Knights of Malta Mission at the UN

At the October 2012 meeting, Robert Shafer, the UN Ambassador of  The Knights of Malta, provided an informative and inspiring exchange of projectds with the local New York business community.  The Knights of Malta is the religious organization that provides humanitarian and medical assistance worldwide.( It no longer has any connection to the modern state of Malta or its government.)
Ambassador Shafer received his B.A. degree from St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota and his J.D. from the College of Law, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
Ambassador Shafer was a Corporate Vice President and an elected officer of the Pfizer Corporation (the world’s largest pharmaceutical company). He was a member of the Law Department and later Vice President of Public Affairs and Government Relations. Ambassador Shafer retired from the Pfizer Corporation in 1996 after 30 years of service.

Ambassador Shafer, while at Pfizer, assisted key members of management in identifying and influencing issues affecting the operation of Pfizer and its international subsidiaries. Ambassador Shafer developed and maintained contact with political, academic and business influential. He chaired a number of internal committees and represented Pfizer on a number of external organizations, boards and committees. Ambassador Shafer represented the Company at the highest levels of government. Early in his career he was the Administrative Assistant and Counsel to the ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

Ambassador Shafer has been a member of the Federal Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar, and the State Bar of Wisconsin. He was for eighteen years a member of the Board of Regents of St. John’s University. He was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Greenwich, CT. Ambassador Shafer was a member of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Executive Committee of USLIFE Corporation.

Ambassador Shafer is the Permanent Observer of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta to the United Nations. He is also a Director of the Tri-Continental Corporation (world’s largest closed- end mutual fund), and Director of the Seligman Family of Funds, some sixty-six mutual funds.

Ambassador and Mrs. Shafer were Chairmen of the 1997 Lourdes Pilgrimage of the American Association of the Order of Malta. Mrs. Ellen Shafer is a Dame of Malta, Area Chairman of Westchester, and past President of the International Catholic Organizations Information Center, Inc. at the United Nations.

 The knights of Molta has held Permanent Observer status at the United Nations since 1994.
The Knights of Malta was founded in the late 11th century when it established a hospital in Jerusalem. Eventually, Jerusalem was recaptured by the Muslims and the Knights of Malta left Jerusalem and spent time in various places, especially the island of Cyprus.  They were given Malta in 1530 and built the capital city of Valletta. Despite the neutrality of the Knights of Malta, Napoleon conquered Malta in 1798 and the SMOM fled once again. Finally, in 1834 the Knights of Malta found a home in Rome, where they still reside.