Civil rights pioneer, renowned scholar and former Ambassador to South Africa, James A. Joseph is the next guest of the President’s Forum series. President Mark D. Gearan will welcome Ambassador James A. Joseph to Hobart and William Smith Colleges for a lecture, “Race and Reconciliation: What the United States Can Learn from South Africa,” at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 27 in Albright Auditorium.
Ambassador Joseph’s distinguished career has received notice since 1963 when he helped organize the local civil rights movement in Tuscaloosa, Ala. He has served four U.S. Presidents, and is recognized as being instrumental in building the relationship between the United States and post-Apartheid South Africa.
Joseph was nominated by President Bill Clinton and confirmed as the U.S. Ambassador to South Africa in 1995. He was the first and only U.S. Ambassador to present his credentials to President Nelson Mandela. In 1999, President Thabo Mbeki awarded Joseph the Order of Good Hope, the highest honor the Republic of South Africa bestows on a citizen of another country.
Currently, Ambassador Joseph is a professor of public policy studies at Duke University and founder of the United States-Southern Africa Center for Leadership and Public Values at Duke and the University of Cape Town. He is chairman of the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, and was recently honored by his home state as a Louisiana Legend.
A frequent speaker before academic, civic and religious audiences, Ambassador Joseph is the author of two books, “The Charitable Impulse” and “Remaking America.” A third book, “The Changing Role of Ethics in Public Life,” is near completion.
The President’s Forum is one of many events featured in Engaging Differences: A Colloquium on Diversity and Civic Responsibility, sponsored in part by the Intercultural Affairs Office. This talk is also part of the Colleges’ celebration of Constitution Day.