POSITION: Professor in the Practice of Public Policy Studies
Ambassador James A. Joseph has served in senior executive or advisory positions for four United States presidents, including Deputy Secretary of the Interior for President Jimmy Carter and U.S. Ambassador to South Africa for President William Clinton. He is currently an emeritus professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University and honorary professor at the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town, where he also serves on the board of advisors. A graduate of Yale Divinity School and a former visiting fellow at Nuffield College at Oxford University, he has nineteen honorary degrees.
Joseph served for almost fourteen years as president and CEO of the Council on Foundations whose 2,000 members came from five continents. A former Vice President of Cummins Engine Company and president and CEO of the Cummins Foundation, he has served on several corporate and foundation boards, including the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the renowned living history museum in Williamsburg, Virginia, and the National Endowment for Democracy. He serves currently as chair emeritus of the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, established by Governor Blanco in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the National Housing Partnership Foundation (NHP), and MDC, the successor to the North Carolina Fund.
Ambassador Joseph was inducted in 1999 to the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame and he has also been honored as a Louisiana Legend. The Republic of South Africa awarded him the Order of Good Hope, the highest honor bestowed on a citizen of another country, and the U.S. Peace Corp presented him the Director’s Award for his encouragement and support of voluntary service, including his role as chair of the commission that established AmeriCorps.