Skip to main content
Header Image


Donors (1)
Image Donor
Ms. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel

A luminous figure, his life was filled with the best of human riches -- an adoring wife of almost 40 years, Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, a loving family, many devoted friends around the world -- and numerous significant accomplishments as a leader in international business and dedication to the public good. His company's motto, "think globally, act locally," was also his own. U.S. Ambassador to the Slovak Republic from 2000-2001, he received the Presidential Medal of Honor of Slovakia. An informed world traveler, with over 45 years of experience in international trade, doing business in 55 countries, he served as Chairman and CEO of three of the world's largest marketing and communications companies, Backer Spielvogel Bates Worldwide, Inc.; McCann- Erickson/Interpublic Group of Companies; and Chairman and CEO of United Auto Group, Inc. Carl served on the boards of 14 public companies and many not-for- profits, including The Asia Society, the Weissman Institute of International Studies at Baruch College, the International Advisory Board of the Business Council for the United Nations, the International Tennis Hall of Fame (he was a life-long, ardent tennis player), the Council for European Studies at Columbia University, Lincoln Center, Mount Sinai Hospital, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Philharmonic, the Municipal Art Society, and the New York State Council on the Humanities. In 1995, he was appointed by President Clinton to serve on the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors, responsible for Voice of America, and all other non-military governmental broadcast media. Because of his widely-recognized, long-standing commitment to public service, Carl was named chairman of "The Committee in the Public Interest" by Mayor Beame during the fiscal crisis; chairman of "the NYC Public/Private Partnership" by Mayor Dinkins; and chairman of the campaign to "Clean up New York" by Mayor Koch. For 12 years he was a member of the executive committee and board of trustees of the State University of New York, the largest state university system in the U.S. - 425,000 students. Active for 40 years in the New York State Democratic Party, he was Chair of its board. In 1999, he received the Humanitarian award from H.E.L.P, which provides transitional housing for the homeless. A beloved mentor to many, his name was appropriated for the wise counselor Dr. Spielvogel in "Portnoy's Complaint" by novelist Philip Roth, who often joked with Carl that he 'owed him lots of royalties.' In addition to his wife, he is survived by his two children, David and Rachel, two grandchildren, three great-grand- children, and nieces and nephews.
Scholarships associated with Ms. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel
  • Carl Spielvogel Fellowship in International Business