Lois Evans, Ex-Diplomat

Photo: Jake Chessum

Where do you live?
One of our daughters is a single mother in Park Slope, so we stay with her. After 50 years in New York, we’ve changed our official residence to Miami Beach.

What did you do when you lived here?
I was in government. My last job was chief of protocol for the United States for New York, which means all the heads of state who came here, I greeted. Several of them were killed after I met them, but they were wonderful people. Sadat, Begin, Indira Gandhi … For some reason, Trudeau would always arrive at 3 a.m. I still don’t know why.

How did you get into that?
My first job was actually on staff at the U.N. when George Bush Sr. was ambassador. My husband was Richard Nixon’s partner in a law firm here in New York, so we worked on the campaign. After he won, we decided we’d rather stay in New York. That probably was a mistake!

Were there a lot of wardrobe rules in your old job?
Surprisingly, they give you very little information when you get into this. My biggest faux pas was in Tonga. They didn’t tell me it was a crime to have your knees exposed. I sat across from the king, and he could see my knees.

What did you wear?
Back then, it was skirt suits. Now, it’s still suits, but mostly pants. But I like the same designers: Escada, some Chanel, Anne Klein, Armani. And I always wear my tinted glasses.

What do you do now?
I had done some mergers-and-acquisitions things before, so that’s what I do now.

How do you think New Yorkers do on protocol these days?
People are less rude than they were before 9/11. It’s not necessarily better than the eighties, but definitely better than the nineties.

Lois Evans, Ex-Diplomat