H. Douglas Barclay

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H. Douglas Barclay
United States Ambassador to the Republic of El Salvador
In office
December 13, 2003 – July 23, 2006
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
PrecedingRose M. Likins
Succeeded byCharles L. Glazer
Member of the New York Senate
from the 43rd district, 50th district, 45th district, and 46th district
In office
1965 – 1984 (11 consecutive terms)
PrecedingHenry A. Wise
Succeeded byJohn M. McHugh
Personal details
Born(1932-07-05)July 5, 1932
New York City
DiedMarch 14, 2021(2021-03-14) (aged 88)
Pulaski, New York
Political partyRepublican
SpouseSara J. "Dee Dee" Seiter
Parent(s)Hugh and Dorothy (Moody) Barclay
Alma materYale College (B.A., 1955)
Syracuse University College of Law (J.D., 1961)
OccupationOf counsel to Barclay Damon LLP

Hugh Douglas Barclay (July 5, 1932 – March 14, 2021) was an American lawyer, an 11-term New York state senator, and a United States ambassador to El Salvador.

Personal life[edit]

Barclay was born on July 5, 1932, in New York City and moved to Pulaski, Oswego County, New York. He attended Pulaski Academy and Central Schools and later attended St. Paul's School. He graduated BA from Yale University in 1955, and went on to serve in the United States Army for two years. He earned a J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law in 1961.[1] He married Sara J. "Dee Dee" Seiter, and they have five children, among them Assemblyman Will Barclay (born 1969).[2][3]

Barclay died on March 14, 2021, at the age of 88.[2]


From 1961 until 2003, Barclay served as a partner for the upstate New York law firm of Hiscock & Barclay, a law firm specializing in Banking and Administrative Law. He also entered politics as a Republican.

He was a member of the New York State Senate from 1965 to 1984, sitting in the 175th, 176th, 177th, 178th, 179th, 180th, 181st, 182nd, 183rd, 184th, and 185th New York State Legislatures. During this long tenure, he was a chair of Senate Codes Committee, Senate Judiciary Committee, the Select Task Force on Court Reorganization, and the Senate Republican (Majority) Conference.[4] He was responsible for over 500 pieces of legislation.[5]

Between 1990 and 1993, Barclay was appointed a public board member of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation by President George H. W. Bush.[6]

Barclay's appointment as Ambassador to El Salvador by George W. Bush was announced August 21, 2003, and the nomination was sent to the Senate for confirmation on September 15. The Senate confirmed the nomination on October 3. He was sworn in as ambassador on November 12, and presented his credentials to El Salvador's president, Francisco Flores, on December 18. He completed his tour as ambassador in July 2006.

Being sworn in as ambassador by Deputy Sec. of State Richard Armitage as his wife Dee Dee looks on. November 12, 2003.

Barclay received many awards including Clarkson University's Bertrand S. Snell Award (1987),[7] St. Lawrence University Distinguished Service Award (1985), and the SUNY Potsdam's North Country Citation (1985), the El Salvadorian National Congress award of the Nobel Amigo de El Salvador (2006), and the Republic of El Salvador award of the Order of José Matías Delgado in 2007.[4][8][9]

Syracuse University[edit]

Barclay was an influential leader at Syracuse University.[4][5] He served as SU Trustee since 1979 until 2007, and was the chair of the board from 1992 to 1998.[10] He was also a member of the College of Law Advisory Board.

In 1984, he received the George Arents Award Pioneer Medal, the university's highest alumni honor, for Excellence in Law and Public Service.[11] In 1985, the law library at the Syracuse University College of Law was named in his honor.[12][13][14] He also received an honorary degree from SU in 1998.[5]


  1. ^ The New York Red Book. Vol. 76. Williams Press. 1967–1968. p. 75. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "H. Douglas Barclay, 88: Towering figure in state, local politics passes away over weekend". Oswego County News Now. Retrieved March 15, 2021.
  3. ^ Duncan, Brenda (March 16, 2021). "Today's obits: Calling hours set for H. Douglas Barclay, 88, former lawyer, CNY politician, GOP leader". The Post-Standard. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c Michael, Matt (March 18, 2021). "Syracuse University Mourns Loss of H. Douglas Barclay L'61, Life Trustee and Former Board Chair". SU News. Retrieved March 21, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c Eyle, Alexandra (Spring 1998). "A Lifetime of Service: H. Douglas Barclay". Syracuse University Magazine. 14 (3): 26–31. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  6. ^ "Nomination of H. Douglas Barclay To Be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation". George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. June 24, 1992. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  7. ^ "Bertrand H. Snell Awards". clarkson.edu. Clarkson University. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  8. ^ "Oswego County Recognition". Oswego County Government. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  9. ^ "Fallece exembajador de Estados Unidos en El Salvador, Douglas Barclay, a sus 88 años". Diario El Salvador (in Spanish). March 17, 2021. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  10. ^ "Home – Trustees". trustees.syr.edu. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  11. ^ "Arents Award". cusecommunity.syr.edu. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  12. ^ "Stacks of History". law.syr.edu. Syracuse University College of Law. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  13. ^ Dedication of the H. Douglas Law Library at New York Heritage
  14. ^ "Library Detail: H Douglas Barclay Law Library/Syracuse University College of Law". nyslittree.org. The NYSCA Literary Map of New York State and The NYSCA Literary Tree. Retrieved March 21, 2021.
New York State Senate
Preceded by New York State Senate
43rd District

Succeeded by
Preceded by New York State Senate
50th District

Succeeded by
Preceded by New York State Senate
43rd District

Succeeded by
Preceded by New York State Senate
45th District

Succeeded by
Preceded by New York State Senate
46th District

Succeeded by
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by United States Ambassador to El Salvador
Succeeded by