Ambassador James A. Joseph
Professor and Director
United States-Southern Africa Center for Leadership and Public Values
Ambassador James A. Joseph was nominated as Ambassador to South Africa by President Bill Clinton in 1995 and was the first and only American ambassador to present his credentials to President Nelson Mandela. In 1999, President Thabo Mbeki, Mr. Mandela’s successor, awarded him the Order of Good Hope, the highest honor that the Republic of South Africa bestows on a citizen of another country. Ambassador Joseph has had a distinguished career in government, business, education and philanthropy. From 1982 to 1995, he was president and chief executive officer of the Council on Foundations, an international organization of more than 1,900 foundations and corporate giving programs.
Ambassador Joseph serves presently as professor and director of the United States-Southern Africa Center for Leadership and Public Values at Duke University. He also chairs the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation established by the governor of Louisiana in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He was educated at Yale Divinity School and taught at The Claremont Colleges, where he was also university chaplain. In 1985, he was a distinguished visitor at Nuffield College at Oxford University, and he serves presently as honorary professor and a member of the Board of Advisors of the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town.