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In 1944, Waldo Smith was looking for a place where he could make a difference. He had taught in universities in the United States and Turkey, and he had worked as an engineer in the field of hydrology in the United States. Somehow, a chance meeting with John Adam Fleming, AGU's long-time General Secretary, led to Waldo's becoming the first executive officer employed by the Union. That, in turn, brought him the opportunity to make a difference.