FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                  Contact: Beth Amorosi






Lake Placid Institute for the Arts & Humanities Presents Foreign Policy Thought Leader, Author, Communications Expert & Son John Donovan on History as a Harbinger of Hope


July 14, 2014, Lake Placid, NY – – The Lake Placid Institute for the Arts & Humanities features John Donovan, son of Cold War attorney and diplomatic negotiator James Britt Donovan, at the Adirondack Roundtable, Saturday, July 19, in the Mountain View Room of the Visitors Bureau and Conference Center, on Main Street in Lake Placid. James B. Donovan was a prominent attorney who negotiated two very important diplomatic exchanges at the height of the Cold War, one with the Soviet Union and another with Fidel Castro in Cuba. Mr. Donovan’s son John will be speaking about those exchanges, as well as his overall career, life, and legacy as it relates to present day international relations, and his commitment to ethics, the law, education, arts, and the humanities. Breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m., followed by a 9:00 a.m. presentation in the Tickets are $30 in advance at, 518-523-1312, and will also be sold for $35 at the door. All proceeds will benefit the Institute’s programs, and contributions are tax-deductible. It has been recently reported that Jim Donovan is to be portrayed by Tom Hanks in a film directed by Steven Spielberg, slated for release in October, 2015.



John Donovan’s illustrious career began as a journalist in Pennsylvania and Washington, and includes authoring several books, speechwriting for multi-national corporations CEO’s, and representing countries in U.S. investments and trade. He also founded a speaking forum bringing together corporate leaders and foreign diplomats dealing with world trade issues. John is an expert on international relations and how we as private citizens and a society collectively have the opportunity to engage on a more impactful level separate from and in a realm above the fray of policy and politics. “As United States citizens and in a new world more connected now than ever before, we have a responsibility and an opportunity to leverage the private sector’s impact on foreign policy, culture, and society,” said John Donovan. “My father’s success in securing U.S. interests at the height of the Cold War with Communist Soviet Union and Cuba, demonstrates that leveraging the private and public sectors for the common good is not only possible, but necessary to promote and sustain a peaceful and economically sound and prosperous society.”Mr. Donovan is the author of speeches, position papers, articles, and books, including one about the Bay of Pigs prisoner exchange and a forthcoming book about the Cold War. He is also working on a project to bring to audiences the story of the trial of Soviet master spy Rudolf Abel and his father’s negotiation with the Soviets for Abel’s exchange for U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, one of the most dramatic moments in the history of the Cold War. Mr. Donovan grew up in New York and attended Northwood School, having come up to the Lake Placid Club with his family over many years in both summer and winter.  John has a rich knowledge and understanding of history and intelligence, with a knack for storytelling and personal anecdotes, including accompanying his father on one trip to Cuba while a High School Senior. His Cold War background includes that trip and another to Berlin, serving as a Vietnam infantryman and combat correspondent with the First Marine Division, and serving as an information director in Washington with the U.S. foreign aid program.



A Harvard Law Review Editor and Law School alumnus, James B. Donovan began his career as Associate Prosecutor at Nuremberg in charge of visual evidence and Chief Counsel to the OSS, the precursor to the CIA. After a stint as Navy Commander in World War II, he founded a very successful law practice on Wall Street called Watters & Donovan. At the request of the Brooklyn Bar Association, he represented KGB spy, Colonel Rudolf Abel, subsequently negotiating for his exchange with American U2 Pilot Francis Gary Powers on the Gleinicke Bridge in Berlin in February, 1962. Later that year and into 1963, he secured the release of American Bay of Pigs prisoners on behalf of the Cuban Families Committee and the Kennedy Administration, through many negotiations with Fidel Castro. At the request of President Kennedy, he ran as the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from NY against Jacob Javits, was the President of the NY Board of Education and also of Pratt Institute. “We are thrilled to be so personally introduced to the exciting life and career of Jim Donovan by his son John, “ said Charles Noth, Chairman of the Institute. “Little did we all know that our special town played such an integral role in a life filled with such accomplishment, along with international espionage and intrigue! We are honored to be a platform in re-introducing Mr. Donovan’s legacy as it relates to world history, as well as to Lake Placid.” Jim was a social innovator and a real Renaissance man: a rare book collector, a convivial and dynamic personality, who was devoted to a life of learning, the law, ethics, the arts and humanities, the great outdoors, and family. He was a Board member of the Morgan Library, the Grolier Society, the Lake Placid Club and President of the Lake Placid Club Education Foundation, now known as the Lake Placid Education Foundation. Jim Donovan wrote two books, Strangers on a Bridge recounting the Abel/Powers exchange, and a memoir, Challenges. Donovan’s legacy is alive and well through his family in New York City, Connecticut, South Carolina, and Lake Placid, NY where his daughter Jan Donovan Amorosi and son-in-law Dr. Edward L. Amorosi and family, are seasonal residents. You can also learn more about him and his legacy at




The Lake Placid Institute for the Arts & Humanities (LPI) is committed to fostering opportunities for learning, sharing, and celebrating the Adirondacks’ rich creative heritage through high quality, innovative educational and cultural programs. The Institute is also a platform for world-class artists, leaders, and thought leaders to present their work and share their ideas, while also providing residents, visitors, and students of all ages with the opportunity for cultural and intellectual enrichment. Programs include the Adirondack Roundtable, the Great Adirondack Poetry Contest, the Chamber Music Seminar, a 24 Hour photo contest, and an annual trip to the Broadway theatre in Manhattan. The institute partners with regional and national arts organizations, and is always open to new ideas and partnerships for presenting impactful programming to the area.