Elsie Topalian Oppenheim, 83, a retired educational and cultural exchange official
with the State Department, died Nov. 19 at the Washington Home hospice. She had
Mrs. Oppenheim joined the State Department in 1948 and spent her career in
Washington, assisting the U.S. delegation to the United Nations and helping with
After working for an office on refugees, she became an educational and cultural
exchange officer in 1962 and helped manage the international Fulbright exchange
program. She retired from the State Department in 1980.
Mrs. Oppenheim then held administrative positions with the American Enterprise
Institute and American Political Science Association until 1987.
Elsie Rose Topalian was born in Boston and graduated from Eastern High School
in Washington in 1944. She graduated from American University in 1948 with a dual
major in French and Spanish.
She lived in the District and volunteered at the Kennedy Center during her retirement.
Survivors include her husband of 38 years, Daniel P. Oppenheim of Washington; a
stepdaughter, Vicki Oppenheim of Denton, Tex.; and three sisters, Nora Topalian and
Joan Topalian, both of Washington, and Lillian Dalton of Cumming, Ga.