Sanford Professor Inducted into Louisiana Political Museum Hall of Fame

The Louisiana Political Museum inducted nine new people into its hall of fame this month, including Ambassador James Joseph, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Studies and Executive Director of the United States-Southern Africa Center for Leadership and Public Values at Duke University.

Joseph, a native of Opelousas, La., has enjoyed a long, distinguished career in business, government, education and philanthropy. He is a former civil rights activist in Alabama and university chaplain at Claremont College. Joseph was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as Ambassador to South Africa from January 1996 to November 1999. During his ambassadorial tenure, he was the first and only U.S. Ambassador to present his credentials to President Nelson Mandela. In recognition of his contributions to the country, South African President Thabo Mbeki awarded him the Order of Good Hope, the highest honor the Republic of South Africa bestows on a citizen of another country.

Besides Clinton, Joseph served under three other U.S. presidents – as interior undersecretary and chairman of the Commission on the Northern Mariannas under President Jimmy Carter; member of the advisory committee to the Agency for International Development under President Ronald Reagan; and incorporating director for the Points of Light Foundation and a member of the Presidential Commission on Historically Black Colleges under President George Bush.

From 1982 to 1995, he served as president and chief executive officer of the Council on Foundations. He also was the first chairman of the board of directors of Clinton’s Corporation for National and Community Service. He graduated from Southern University and Yale Divinity School.

Joseph has authored several books and numerous articles on topics ranging from foundations and non-profits to ethics and international diplomacy. He is currently at work on Ethics Matter: From Private Virtue to Public Values. In 2001, Joseph founded the Center for Leadership and Public Values. Two of the center’s main programs focus on identifying young emerging leaders and helping them contribute to development and reconstruction of their countries, regions and communities.

Inductees into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame are chosen each year by a state panel of political historians and writers. In the museum, each inductee has his or her own display which traditionally includes a caricature drawn by political cartoonist Pap Dean.