September 5, 2012
Former U.S. Ambassador to Kenya and career diplomat William M. Bellamy is set to begin his tenure as the new Warburg Chair in International Relations with an opening school year address at the 2012 Simmons Convocation ceremony, today.
Considered an expert in Africa, specifically politics, economy, security, development, and foreign relations, as well as U.S. Foreign and Defense Policy, Ambassador Bellamy has much to share with the Simmons community. Simmons alumna and Emerita Trustee Joan Warburg '45, '97HD created the Warburg chair to educate the College about international affairs. We spoke to Ambassador Bellamy about his career overseas and beyond. Here's what he had to say:
Simmons: Most recently, you served as director of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies in Washington, D.C. Tell us about your areas of expertise.
Bellamy: I consider my areas of expertise to be international relations, generally; Africa, in all respects; U.S. Foreign and Defense Policy in general; and the workings of the U.S. inter-agency process, especially the links between diplomacy, defense, and development. I also am pretty good on development-related issues, and I have a special interest and some expertise in France.
Simmons: Do you have any interesting hobbies?
Bellamy: Aside from family and friends, my interests outside of work include literature, cinema, theatre, travel, running, hiking, game tracking, birdwatching, shooting, golf, and the appreciation of baseball.
Simmons: What is coming up in the news that you want to explore?
Bellamy: The trends in Africa I will be talking about in coming months include: difficult elections in Kenya and Zimbabwe, the growing terrorist threat in Mali and the Sahel, the situation in Somalia, and political developments in South Africa. I expect to talk about African events and policies in the wake of the U.S. elections as well.
Simmons: What is your favorite place in the world to visit?
Bellamy: Every year I try to re-visit Paris and a part of rural France that I have not yet discovered. I also try to visit a part of Africa that I don't know…. My favorite place in the world to visit right now, this minute, would probably be a rock ledge high in the Chyulu Hills at sunrise looking south to Kilimanjaro. My ambition for 2013 is to visit Morocco.
Simmons: Is there anything specific that you try to impress upon young people (Americans) when you describe your experiences overseas?
Bellamy: Young Americans should know that we learn a great deal about ourselves when we travel, observe, and listen to other cultures.
Ambassador Bellamy is the recipient of a Presidential Meritorious Service Award, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Distinguished Civilian Service Award, a Distinguished Honor Award, and two Superior Honor Awards conferred by the Secretary of State. He holds a B.A. in history from Occidental College and an M.A. in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He is a native of La Jolla, CA.