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D. Alan Strachan Papers

Identifier: LP000856

Scope and Content

The papers in this collection reflect Mr. Strachan's interest in the labor movement, both here and abroad, and the various political and personal as-pects of his career in government.

Important subjects: AID and its predecessors, AFL, AFL-CIO, Colombo Plan, Communists, CIO, Egypt, Greece, Pakistan, DAW, Vietnam

Important Correspondents: Golden, Clinton S.; Goonetilleke, L. P.; Lapham, Roger; Mahendra, S.; Reuther, Victor; Reuther, Walter; Thomas, R. J.

Series Description: Series I, Labor-related Materials, 1940-1969: Correspondence, articles, dues records and other materials relating to Mr. Strachan's involvement with the American labor movement, especially with the UAW.

Series II, Government Service, 1947-1973: Primarily correspondence and reports relating to Mr. Strachan's government career with AID.

Series III, Personal Correspondence and Materials, 1941-1935: Personal letters Mr. Strachan received or wrote while in office, and his post-retirement correspondence and materials.


  • 1940 - 1977
  • Majority of material found within 1947 - 1973


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


D. Alan Strachan was born in London, England, on August 6, 1903. He attended technical schools there and completed the equivalent of three years of high school before emigrating to the United States in 1926. He became a naturalized citizen in 1933. Mr. Strachan worked for a Detroit tool-maker until 1937, and was an official for the CIO and an international representative for the UAW from 1936 through 1943. From 1943 to 1945 he was a Deputy Vice-chairman of the War Production Board in Washington, D.C. He returned to the UAW in 1945 to serve as its Washington representative for two years. The remainder of his career was spent in government.

From 1947 to 1953 Mr. Strachan was a labor advisor to the U.S. Economic Mission in Greece, an agency that eventually became the Agency for International Development (AID). He was transferred back to Washington in 1954, where he worked in various capacities for AID until 1959 when he was sent as its Regional Director to West Pakistan. At the end of that tour he was appointed Deputy Director for the AID program in Cairo, 1962 to 1964, and then went briefly to Vietnam in 1965. In 1966 he was named Director of the Colombo Plan Bureau in Ceylon, where he stayed until 1969. His last career post was again in Washington, D.C. as Chief of the Welfare and Grievance Staff for AID, from 1969 to 1973. Mr. Strachan retired in June 1973, and in 1983 was still living in the Washington area.


2.5 Linear Feet (6 MB)


Douglas Alan Strachan served as an official in the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), as a representative for the United Auto Workers (UAW), and held various positions in federal government agencies such as the War Production Board and the Agency for International Development (AID). Mr Strachan’s papers reflect his interest in the domestic and international labor movement and document the political and personal aspects of his career in government, particularly with the AID.


Arranged in 3 series – Series 1 (Box 1), Series 2 (Boxes 1-3) and Series 3 (Boxes 5-6). Folders are arranged chronologically.


The papers of Douglas Alan Strachan were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in October 1981 by Mr. Strachan.


One photograph of Mr. Strachan in Ceylon was placed in the Archives Audiovisual Collections.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in October 1983.
Guide to the D. Alan Strachan Papers
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA