Wes Pedersen, 91, a former Foreign Service officer and U.S. Information Agency writer who prided himself on forecasting world events with an acumen that eluded his higher-ups, died Dec. 4 at the Carriage Hill Bethesda (Md.) nursing home. The cause was a heart ailment, said his son, Eric Pedersen.
As part of State Department propaganda operations during the Cold War, Mr. Pedersen covered the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and China, penning pseudonymous columns planted in newspapers around the world. He boasted of beating intelligence analysts in discerning Kremlin developments, for example, just by analyzing Communist statements and Soviet broadcasts. Mr. Pedersen's reportage, under such phony bylines as "Benjamin West" and "Paul Ford," had wide reach.
After 30 years in government, Mr. Pedersen became communications director at the Public Affairs Council, an organization of corporate and trade association public affairs executives. He worked at the council for 26 years.
Mr. Pedersen was inducted in 2005 into the Hall of Fame of the National Capital Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. - Bloomberg News