Prosecutor heading for Malaysia

August 11, 1997


Staff Writer

To some, Andrew Kramer is a lawyer becoming a teacher.

But actually, he is returning to his roots, having started his professional career as a teacher many years ago.

Recently Kramer was named the executive director of the Malaysian American Commission of Educational Exchange. As such, he and his Malaysian-born wife, Fazidah, and their two children will be moving to Kuala Lumpur later this summer.

"This post is part of the bi-national Fulbright Commission which has administered Fulbright grants between the two nations since 1946,'' Kramer said.


Conceived and realized by the late U.S. Senator William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright scholar program was designed to repair the post-World War II image of Americans as warlike, Kramer said.

"We needed to spread the word that the U.S. could stress peace as well as war,'' Kramer said.

The Fulbright scholars were thus like diplomats promoting cultural awareness.

For 50 years, graduate and professional level scholars have been going to Malaysia to do research, to lecture and to teach, Kramer said.

As director of educational exchange, Kramer said he will be striving to increase the number of exchange students in both directions.

"I will head up all three departments - exchange, college admissions and testing for college,'' Kramer said.

For the last eight years, Kramer has been a prosecutor with the Washington County State's Attorney's office - a job he said he enjoyed and will miss. He also was on the faculty of Hagerstown Junior College.

While he loves the practice of law, he admits that teaching has always been his first calling. He taught in California after he got his master's degree from the Monterrey Institute of International Studies.

Later he got his law degree from the California Western School of Law and changed hats again.

"I think I got the Fulbright job because I have an academic background as well as law, plus teaching, plus the fact my wife is Malaysian. And I speak the language,'' Kramer said.

Kramer said he was one of 42 applicants who answered an ad in the April issue of Chronicle for Higher Education.

After four years as the prosecutor for the Washington County Narcotics Task Force, Kramer decided it was time for a change.

"I feel like I have contributed in public service working with the NTF,'' Kramer said, noting it was like getting 20 years of legal experience in a short period of time.

Washington County State's Attorney Ken Long said he will miss Kramer.

"He took his NTF duties very seriously and had a great impact on the drug activity in this community,'' Long said.

Long credited Kramer with taking a different approach on those addicted to drugs and those who were in it for profit.

"That philosophy is the same in our community where the effort is to treat people for their addictions,'' Long said.

The Herald-Mail Articles