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Photo of Mr. Dawson

Ambassador Horace G. Dawson Jr.



IS THERE LIFE AFTER RETIREMENT FROM THE FOREIGN SERVICE?

ASK USIA ALUMNUS AMBASSADOR HORACE DAWSON

Director of the Ralph Johnson Bunche Center for International Affairs
and the Patricia Roberts Harris Public Affairs Program, Howard University

Ambassador Horace G. Dawson Jr. has been a top administrator at Howard University virtually since the day after he retired from USIA in August 1989. Joining the staff of this historic institution in the nation's capital was, in fact, a return to academe for the scholar/diplomat, who was recruited for the Agency in 1962 by then Director Edward R. Murrow while Dawson was serving as Associate Professor of English and Journalism at North Carolina Central University.

Dawson began his career of more than 28 years in diplomacy as Cultural Affairs Officer in Kampala, Uganda, going from there to become CAO in Nigeria. After that, he served as Public Affairs Officer in Liberia. This assignment was followed by a year in the Seminar in Foreign Policy. Dr. Dawson then began a series of assignments in the Agency, including Cultural Affairs Advisor, Assistant, and ultimately Director of the African Area. This was followed by a field position a public Affairs Officer and Minister for Information and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Manila.

While in the Philippines, Dawson was appointed by President Carter as Ambassador to the Republic of Botswana, where he spent more than three years, becoming lead spokesman for the multinational Contact Group dealing with Namibian independence and the end of apartheid in South Africa. Ambassador Dawson ended his Agency career as Director of the Office of Equal Employment and Civil Rights. He won three Superior Honor Awards as an Agency officer.

Upon retirement, Dawson went to Howard to organize a new program for journalists in the School of Communication, soon becoming Director of the Patricia Roberts Harris Public Affairs Program. He authored the proposal which resulted in a $3 million grant to establish a center for international affairs. After serving for more than a year as special assistant to the university's interim president, Dr. Dawson became Director of the center, which has been named to honor the legendary diplomat, Dr. Ralph Johnson Bunche, the first African American to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Ambassador Dawson also continues to direct the Harris Program in public affairs. He lectures frequently and has published several articles and chapters for books in the area of international affairs and public diplomacy

Ambassador Dawson earned his bachelor's degree at Lincoln University {Pa.}, his master's degree in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and his Ph.D. in Mass Communications at the University of Iowa. Lincoln University awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws in 1991.

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