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Date:Thursday, February 12, 2015
Time:Membership Social at 7:30 Program at 8:00 p.m.
Location: Coastal Georgia Center, 305 Fahm St. (behind the Visitor's Center) Directions and Map Access: Open to the public and free for members, students and accompanying family members, educators and active military and their dependents. $10.00 charge for non-members.
Ambassador William H. Bellamy
Few nations in history have amassed as much economic wealth and military power as the United States since World War Two. With the collapse of the USSR in 1991, the United States became the world’s “sole superpower”and “indispensable nation.”In the following decade, America’s global reach and influence expanded further still.
Much has changed in the new millennium. Costly and inconclusive wars initiated by the US, and a near collapse of the global financial system and deep recession in the developed world, have damaged America’s strategic position. Unprecedented partisan gridlock in Washington has undermined governance and alarmed US friends and allies. Far from winning the “war on terror,”the US is now confronted with a proliferation of violent extremist groups across the Middle East and Africa. Elsewhere, aggressive nationalistic movements are pushing aside liberal democratic values championed by the US and the West in favor of authoritarian models, a trend exemplified by Putin’s Russia. Meanwhile, China rises relentlessly as a counterweight to US global influence.
A redistribution of global power is inevitable in the near term, but the United States is far from finished as the world’s pre-eminent state. Securing America’s place in a rapidly changing and uncertain world will not happen automatically. It will require changes in the way we govern ourselves at home, and in the way we project our values and strengths abroad.
William H. Bellamy is a senior adviser to the Africa Program at CSIS and Warburg Professor of International Relations at Simmons College in Boston, MA. He was previously director of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., and, before that, senior vice president of the National Defense University itself. Ambassador Bellamy retired from the Foreign Service after a 30-year career in 2007. His last overseas posting was as U.S. ambassador to Kenya (2003–2006), where he directed U.S. security programs in the Horn of Africa, supervised the U.S. government’s largest foreign HIV/AIDS program, and led multinational efforts to combat corruption and promote good governance.
He has served as principal deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs (2001–2003) and as deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs (2000–2001). His earlier diplomatic assignments include deputy chief of mission in Canberra (1997–2000), political minister-counselor in Paris (1993–1997), and political counselor in Pretoria and Cape Town (1991–1993). In South Africa, he was closely engaged in U.S. diplomatic efforts to promote a peaceful transition from apartheid to democratic rule.
Ambassador Bellamy 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 holds certificates from the Institute Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales in Geneva and the Ecole Nationale d’Administration in Paris. He is the recipient of a Presidential Meritorious Service Award, the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Distinguished Civilian Service Award, and a Distinguished Honor Award and two Superior Honor Awards conferred by the U.S. secretary of state.
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