Samuel Sherer

June 17, 1944January 18, 2021

Samuel Ayers Sherer of Washington, DC and Bethesda, MD, 76, died on January 18, 2021 at Doctors Community Hospital in Lanham, MD.

Mr. Sherer was born on June 17, 1944, in Warwick, NY, the son of Helen Ayers Sherer and Ernest Thompson Sherer. He grew up in Fair Lawn, NJ and graduated from Fair Lawn High School. He received his undergraduate degree from Oberlin College and graduate degrees from Harvard Law School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

As an international attorney and land use planner, Mr. Sherer was active in a wide range of policy studies and initiatives from land use planning and minority business development to climate issues. He worked at the Institute for Community and Liberty, developed infrastructure in Jakarta, Indonesia, helped codify the Egyptian Housing Code, and made major contributions in over two dozen countries. He was a partner in the Washington, DC law firm of Topping, Sherer and Mitchell from 1977 to 1986. He was instrumental in the founding of The Climate Institute in Washington, DC, where he served from 1986 to 2020 as a Senior Fellow, mentoring many interns and research fellows. He was a longtime member of the Ripon Society.

Mr. Sherer was predeceased by his wife, Dewi Sherer, and his parents. He is survived by his brother, Paul Sherer, and his sisters, Elaine Sherer McNutt, Elizabeth Sherer, and Jean Sherer.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Climate Institute, 1225 New York Avenue NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20005.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Samuel Sherer

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David Williams

February 4, 2021

Very sad to hear of Sam's passing. We worked together in Jakarta where Sam did excellent work on Indonesian land and property law which helped low income residents improve tenure to their land and housing, and also on housing finance and the city's strategic development plan. I admired Sam's honesty, integrity and quirky sense of humour. I will miss him.

Neneng Andi

January 29, 2021

Our deepest condolences for Sherer’s family

I met Uncle Sam in Jakarta when I married auntie Dewi’s nephew. He was a very kind hearted and humble person. He loved Indonesian food specially spice food. He also liked durian and stinky beans which is not a favorite food for foreigners.

It was an honor to know him in our lives. Shared stories and saw his love for auntie Dewi . You’re always in my thoughts and prayers

Love you Uncle Sam
Neneng, Andi and Benjamin

John McClaughry

January 24, 2021

I am terribly saddened by the departure of my long time friend Sam Sherer.

I hired Sam in 1970 to work at my consulting company. He brought a Harvard Law degree and good recommendations. But I soon came to appreciate Sam for more than his legal and policy skills. He was modest, judicious, perceptive, and unfailingly good natured - a pleasure to work with, and to have as a friend. In the best sense of the word, Sam was a good, indeed a fine, man. I will always cherish our times together, and wish there could have been more.

Jean Sherer

January 22, 2021

Sam and I were the bookends (and still are, I suppose!) of the five children. He was ten years older than I and always had a somewhat mythic status to me. Although the years brought him sorrow as well as joy, and although I wish he had been more willing to allow us to provide support and companionship in his later years after we lost Dewi, I will always respect his decisions. They were the ones that seemed right to him. Sam and I frequently had spirited debates about just about everything and I will miss that most, I think. He was one of those old-fashioned conservatives that you see fewer and fewer of these days, with his mind and his heart on the side of justice and peace. I miss you, big brother.