Sanford Professor, former U.S. Ambassador to South Africa, recognized by International Leadership Association

Ambassador James A. Joseph received the Distinguished Leadership Award at the 2012 International Leadership Association (ILA) conference in October.  The ILA is the global network for practitioners, scholars and educators who practice, study and teach leadership.  

The award honors individuals whose work and practice on effective leadership has significant and international impact and serves as an inspiration to others.  Past awardees include Vaclav Havel, former president of Czechoslovakia, and U.S. Representative John Lewis from Georgia.  During the conference in Denver, the Ambassador presented a keynote speech to 1100 participants from 35 countries.  

Ambassador Joseph is the leader in residence at the Hart Leadership Program, emeritus professor of the practice of public policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy and founding director of Duke and University of Cape Town’s joint initiative, the United States-Southern Africa Center for Leadership.

Joseph has taught courses on “Leadership as Moral Activity” and “Leadership and Public Values.” He also mentors students, writes, and presents guest lectures.

Prior to his Duke tenure, Joseph served in senior executive and advisory positions for four U.S. Presidents, most notably as Ambassador to South Africa under President Clinton where he became the first and only U.S. Ambassador to present credentials to Nelson Mandela. The Ambassador started his career in public service in 1977 as Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior under President Carter. From 1982-1995, Joseph served as president and chief executive officer of the Council on Foundations, an international organization of foundations and corporate giving programs. 

Ambassador Joseph is also an expert on corporate philanthropy, author of four books, and working on a fifth publication titled, Private Virtue and the Search for Public Values.