Ambassador James A. Joseph is Emeritus Professor of the Practice of Public Policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. Leader in residence for the Hart Leadership Program for many years, he was founder of the United States – Southern Africa Center for Leadership and Public Values at Duke and the University of Cape Town.
Ambassador Joseph has served in senior executive or advisory positions for four U.S. presidents, including appointments by President Jimmy Carter as Under Secretary of the Interior and President William Clinton as U.S. Ambassador to South Africa.
In 1999, the Republic of South Africa awarded Ambassador Joseph the Order of Good Hope, the highest honor bestowed on a citizen of another country. In 2008, he was inducted into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame and in 2010 he was honored by the United States Peace Corps for his life-long contributions to voluntarism and civil society.
After graduating from Southern University and Yale, Ambassador Joseph began his career at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 1963, where he was founding co-chair of the local civil rights movement. A frequent speaker to academic, civic and religious audiences, he is the author of three books, The Charitable Impulse, Remaking America and Leadership as a Way of Being. His fourth book, Saved for a Purpose: A Journey from Private Virtues to Public Values, was published by Duke University Press in 2015. He is the recipient of nineteen honorary degrees and his undergraduate alma mater, Southern University, has named an endowed chair in his honor. The Board of Directors of the Council on Foundations appointed him President Emeritus and the Association of Black Foundation Executives established the James A. Joseph Lecture on Philanthropy. He is also chairman emeritus of the NHP Foundation.