Bio-Data: Arthur F. Madsen


Transnational Research Associates


Arthur F. Madsen was born of Danish and Irish parentage on June 17, 1945, Father's Day, in Quincy, Massachusetts. The Quincy Patriot-Ledger noted the event in a minor feature indicating that Madsen was the first baby born in the "City of Presidents" on Father's Day in the year that World War II ended.

Madsen's father was employed as a Motion Picture Projectionist, while attending the University of Massachusetts, and his mother, whose family was listed in Boston's exclusive Social Register, had been an Administrative Secretary in her father's well-respected firm, Walsh Furniture, in the North End of Boston. Although the firm entered receivorship during the War Years, the prominently displayed company marquee, now fading, can still be viewed from the elevated lanes of the Northeast Expressway as one leaves Boston toward Charlestown.

Madsen's father later rose to significant professional positions within Sylvania, a Division of General Telephone & Electronics, and Electronic Defense Laboratories, located respectively in Waltham, Massachusetts and Mountain View, California. At the latter establishment, he was directly responsible to Dr. William Perry, until recently President Clinton's Secretary of Defense. Indeed, as a conscientious father, he provided a comfortable upper middle class environment for his family to grow, learn and thrive intellectually.

Following early elementary training in the suburban community of Dedham, Massachusetts, Madsen relocated to the Santa Clara Valley with his family in 1956. He continued school in the public systems of Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Jose, entering San Jose State University in Fall of 1963, after graduating from Andrew Hill High School in San Jose, at age 17, with commendable grades, particularly in the Social Sciences, English and French.

Heavily influenced by a group of Malian Exchange Students enrolled at San Jose State University in the tumultuous years of the 1960s, Madsen, majoring in French, perfected his command of this language, lived for a period of time with the son of the Mayor of Timbuctu, Aly Tamboura, and was drawn closer to leftist politics through association (1) with Tamboura's acquaintances from Sekou Toure's Guinea, a nascent Marxist State, and (2) with the Young Socialist Alliance, affiliated, in turn, with student resistance organizations in San Francisco and Berkeley.

During his undergraduate years in San Jose, Madsen contributed tangibly toward the socio-political goals of his idealistic friends by establishing a French Language Evening Broadcast on KSJS, the college FM station, using his 15 minute newscast, twice a week, to promote the cause of peace and pacifism in Vietnam, where the War had begun to escalate tragically. He was also active in avant-garde circles as well as in the International Club, the French Club and in the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, under soon to be exiled Stokely Carmichael.

Political considerations and related pressures led Madsen to discontinue his studies at San Jose State after completing three years of undergraduate study, during which he earned a coveted Departmental Award in Foreign Languages (1966).

Shortly thereafter, in early 1967, he enrolled in the Federal Government's VISTA Volunteer program where, for a year, he served the poor in Northern New Hampshire, assisting with establishment of Tutorial Groups, with Head Start Enrollment campaigns, and with arrangement of financing for an Elderly Housing Project in the Tri-County Region. For his service, he earned a personal commendation from then Vice-President Hubert H. Humphrey.

Following his social work activity in Northern New England, Madsen returned to California briefly, saving money for a transition to the East, and relocated, in late 1968, to Boston where he worked, during the height of the Vietnam War Era, as a Conscientious Objector at Harvard Affiliated Hospitals, namely at Massachusetts General, in his capacity as Neurological Clinic Coordinator, and at Children's Hospital, where he served as Night Manager, in command of all administrative and legal functions on his late-night shift.

Using money generated by his position at Children's Hospital, Madsen relocated to Nelson, British Columbia, during 1972 and 1973, for completion of his B.A. Degree at Notre Dame University, the home of both the Canadian National Ski Team and excellent French, English and Philosophy Faculties. He studied Philosophy under a Laval Ph.D., also the nephew of Malta's Prime Minister, French under Professors from France, Quebec and Saskatchewan, and English under a Ph.D. from Oxford and the University of Toronto, a former student of J.R.R. Tolkien, Dr. L.A.D. Morey, herself a distinguished Medievalist, published in Medium Aevum. Madsen completed his course work in Summer of 1973 and graduated in absentia (he was in Zaire) with an 87.3% GPA, quite high by Canadian standards where 90% is rarely attained.

Madsen's new Canadian Degree in French landed him a position in Kinshasa, Zaire, in 1974 and 1975, as Chief Translator for Morrison Knudsen's Inga-Shaba Transmission Line Project in that equatorial locale. Following an attempted coup d'etat, however, he opted not to renew his contract with this firm inasmuch as social conditions in Zaire were fairly volatile, in spite of the appealing exoticism of the site.

In 1976, Madsen returned to Graduate School, this time in Eastern Canada, where he studied the writings of Andre Gide at the University of New Brunswick under a Canadian professor working with the Nouvelle Revue Francaise (NRF), specifically editing material on the notebooks of Madame Theo Van Ryselleberg, a close acquaintance of Gide.

Foreign lands beckoned again, and in 1977 and 1978, Madsen entered into a contractual arrangement with Dravo Corporation, building on his reputation as a competent diplomatic and technical interpreter. He was assigned to Algiers, Algeria where he served as Technical Editor and Translator with the Algerian Society for Mining Research and Development, an Algero-American Joint Venture responsible for construction of a Salt Refinery in the Sahara.

Following distinguished completion of his 12 month contract in Algeria, often under difficult socio-political conditions, and in the midst of intrigue, deception and unethical business practice, Madsen returned to the Santa Cruz Mountains in California to relax and recover from his North African foray, during the course of which, incidentally, his father had passed away unexpectedly in Mountain View under circumstances which, even today, remain open to question.

Appalled upon learning of deeply ingrained corruption in Santa Cruz County Government, Madsen attempted to expose the powerful figures behind two major industries: drug-dealing and prostitution in the remote towns of the County's mountainous sectors to the East of Santa Cruz proper. Yet, the power structure was well entrenched and, however noble his intentions, Madsen was compelled to relocate to Colorado.

In Colorado Springs, he enrolled in Graduate School once again, studying Cinematography under Professor Marcelle Rabbin, former President of the French Cine-Club of Menton, at Colorado College where he resided at the French House with 16 year old Daryl, a teen-age ward who had been entrusted to him by the State of Colorado, following break-up of the boy's family in a major child abuse case.

Because Daryl had relatives with whom he could reside in New Hampshire, Madsen moved back to New England, settled Daryl in an idyllic lakeside town, and signed a new contract with Morrison-Knudsen Corporation, once again in Kinshasa, Zaire.

During the four years that followed, Madsen remained in Kinshasa and Brazzaville where he rose to prominence in corporate circles as Chief Translator/Interpreter.

America's most impressive undertaking in Africa during the 1980s, the Inga-Shaba Electrical Transmission Line Project's overall cost was to surpass One Billion Dollars, thrusting all top-level personnel into positions of visibility and responsibility far exceeding anything they might have experienced in the U.S.

From 1980 to late 1983, Madsen appeared on television, spoke on radio, at press conferences, and at diplomatic conferences where bilingual skills were required. He translated voluminous documents and edited technical materials for engineers, geologists and architects. Traveling by company aircraft to Lubumbashi, Gombe-Matadi, Kananga and other sites throughout Zaire, he provided linguistic support wherever required for corporate executives, diplomats and technical personnel.

His duties also required him to secure disbursement from the BANK OF ZAIRE of more than One Million U.S. Dollars per month for project expenses. In all, it is estimated that Madsen fed more than 28 Million Dollars into his company's coffers during this period, most of which was returned to Boise, Idaho for the employment of hundreds of Americans in a variety of project support functions and services.

He was selected to speak at the internationally televised Project Completion Ceremony in the presence of 2000 persons at Kolwezi, deep in Shaba Province, a town that had been invaded by Ex-Katangese Rebels, followers of the late Moise Tshombe, on two dramatic occasions.

Madsen's less widely known activities in Zaire included support of up to 30 Zairian orphan children with a once-daily food supply program of rice and corned-beef, near the company's compound gate, and housing assistance for twenty families, totaling at least 175 persons, derived from personal funds.

As the Consortium's Operations entered a demobilization phase, most of the 800 Americans hired to work on the Inga-Shaba Project were terminated during the period extending from 1982 to 1983. Madsen remained until the final 19 persons were the only remnants of this phenomenal mega-project, extending from 1973 to 1984. He had served Ministers of State, Diplomats, Journalists, Fortune 500 Executives, Intelligence Operatives and European Statesmen during his four corporate contracts, and seven years in North and Sub-Saharan Africa.

In 1984, Madsen severed ties with Africa and rented a small apartment in Northernmost New Hampshire near the Quebec Border. He befriended a rural family, and studied the socio-linguistic patterns of this remote mountain border sector.

Following an impulse to enter the field of Education, he enrolled in a Master's Degree Program in Guidance Counseling at Notre Dame College in the Granite State's largest city, Manchester. He completed this program with a 3.73 GPA, obtained his Master's Degree, with State Certification, and taught French locally.

Disenchanted once again with graft, corruption and exploitation in the public schools, he collaborated with a now deceased Guidance Counselor, and compiled a report documenting criminal activity. This led to a series of complex, mob-related events resulting in his being forced to leave the State in 1987 to ensure his personal safety.

Since 1987, Madsen has been traveling widely under the rubric of his research firm Transnational Research Associates, settling for fairly extended periods in Boston, San Diego, Miami, El Paso, Quebec City, and Denver. More recently he has relocated to South East Asia to pursue academic interests. His research has focused on Technology Transfer and he has also provided academic support for international students enrolled at Asian, American and Canadian Universities.

Additionally, he has published several articles on Technology Transfer, the most popular of which, entitled "The El Outaya Salt Refinery: An Algerian-American Joint Venture Technology Transfer Case", appeared in April 2001 in the Proceedings of the International Academy of African Business and Development and later, in 2012, in the The African Journal of Business Management.

African Journal of Business Management, “The El Outaya Salt Refinery”

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