Edward J. Perkins
Dr. Edward J. Perkins recently retired as the William J. Crowe Chair and as Executive Director of the International Programs Center by The University of Oklahoma Regents. He served in that position from August 1996 till December 2010.
Ambassador Perkins served as the Clinton Administration’s representative to the Commonwealth of Australia from November 24, 1993 until August 1996. On August 31, 1996, Ambassador Perkins retired with the rank of Career Minister in the United States Foreign Service.
Early appointments: Chief of Personnel at the Army and Air Force Exchange in Taipei, Taiwan, 1958; Deputy Chief, then Chief of Personnel and Administration, at the Army and Air Force Exchange on Okinawa, 1962-66; Assistant General Services Officer to the U. S. Operations Mission to Thailand, 1967. There, he served successively as a Management Analyst, then Deputy Assistant Director for Management.
In 1972 Dr. Perkins was assigned as Staff Assistant in the Office of the Director General of the Foreign Service. He was assigned as a Personnel Officer in the State Department’s Bureau of Personnel from 1972-74. Following this assignment, he was assigned to the Bureau of Far East and South Asian Affairs (1974-75), and thereafter served in the Office of Management Operations in the Department of State from 1975 to 1978. In 1978, he was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Accra, Ghana, as counselor for Political Affairs. He was named Deputy Chief of Mission to the American Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia in 1981; he served as Director of the Department of State’s Office of West African Affairs from 1983-85. In 1985 he was appointed Ambassador to Liberia, and in 1986 as Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa where he served from 1986-89. In 1989 Ambassador Perkins was appointed as Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Personnel in the Department of State where he served from 1989-1992. In 1992 he was appointed as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and U.S. Representative in the UN Security Council, where he served from 1992-1993, until taking up his post in Australia.
Edward J. Perkins was born in Sterlington, Louisiana, and grew up in Portland, Oregon. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maryland and Masters and Doctor of Public Administration degrees from the University of Southern California. He served three years in the U.S. Army and four years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He speaks French, Japanese and Thai.
During his Foreign Service career, he received the Presidential Distinguished and Meritorious Service Awards; the Department of State’s Distinguished Honor and Superior Honor Award; the Una Chapman Cox Foundation Award for Distinguished Foreign Service Work; the University of Southern California’s Distinguished Alumni Award; the Southern University’s Achievement Award; the Links, Inc. Living Legend Award, the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Award for Distinguished Diplomatic Service; the Kappa Alpha Psi C. Rodger Wilson Leadership Conference Award and the Kappa Alpha Psi Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Foreign Service, as well as 1992's Statesman of the Year Award from George Washington University. In 1993, he was granted the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity’s highest honor, the Laurel Wreath Award for Achievement and Distinguished Diplomatic Service. He was the 1998 Honoree of the Beta Gamma Sigma Chapter of The University of Oklahoma. On September 10, 2001, he received the Director General’s Cup awarded by the Department of State. In 2006, he was honored as one of the Strong Men and Women of America by Dominion Resource Services, Inc.
Other assignments by which Ambassador Perkins has been honored include: Distinguished Jerry Collins Lecturer in Public Administration, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida and a Presidential appointment to the Presidential/Congressional Commission on the Public Service from 1992 to 1993. He has served on the White House Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiation since 2003.
He is a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy, the American Consortium for International Public Administration, the American Foreign Service Association, The American Legion, The American Political Science Association, The American Society for Public Administration, the Asia Society, the Center for the Study of the Presidency, the Chester A. Arthur Society, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Epsilon Boule of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, the Foreign Policy Association, the Institute of International Education, the International Studies Association, the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, The Navy League, the Pacific Council on International Policy, the Honor Society of the Phi Kappa Phi, the Public Service Commission, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Chevy Chase Chapter, the World Affairs Council of Oklahoma, and the World Affairs Council of Washington, D.C.
Ambassador Perkins also serves on the Board of the Cranlana Programme in Melbourne, Australia; the Steering Committee for the Center for Australia/New Zealand Studies at Georgetown University; the Advisory Board of the Institute for International Public Policy; the Advisory Council to the University Office of International Programs at The Pennsylvania State University; the Advisory Board of the Thursday Luncheon Group; the Board of Trustees of The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation; the Board of Visitors of the National Defense University; the Board of Directors of the National Academy for Public Administration; and as a Life Trustee of Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon.
He has been awarded honorary degrees from Lewis and Clark College, St. John’s University, the University of Maryland, Beloit College, Winston-Salem State University, St. Augustine College, Bowie State University, and the University of Southern California.
His published works include Mr. Ambassador: Warrior for Peace, Perkins, Edward J. with Connie Cronley. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2006; and articles on foreign policy including: “New Dimensions in Foreign Affairs: Public Administration Theory in Practice,” Public Administration Review, July-Aug. 1990; “Diversity in the U.S. Diplomacy,” The Bureaucrat, Vol. 20, No. 4, 1991-92; “The United States and the UN,” Yale University Law Journal, 1993; “The United States as a Global Citizen,” Presidential Studies Quarterly, Vol. XXIII, No. 1, Winter 1992; “Should the United Nations Have a Standing Army?” The Georgetown Compass--A Journal of International Affairs, Vol. III, No. 2, Fall 1993; “Global Institutions: Action for the Future,” U.S. Catholic Conference 1994; and “Resolution of Conflict, the Attainment of Peace,” Occasional Paper Number 96/1, University of Sydney, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, 1996; “An International Agenda for Change,” American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 40, No. 3, Sage Publishers, January, 1997; “A Clash of Civilizations? Or Normal Relations with Nations of the Islamic World?” To Be a Muslim: Islam, Peace, and Democracy. Prince El Hassan bin Talal; in collaboration with Alain Elkann. Brighton, UK: Sussex Academic Press, 2004; and he contributed to “The Psychology of Diplomacy: Conflict Resolution in a Time of Minimal or Unusual Small-Scale Conflicts,” Chapter 4, The Psychology of Peacekeeping, edited by Harvey J. Langholtz, Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998 .
He served as co-editor for the following books: Preparing America’s Foreign Policy for the 21 st Century, Boren, David L. and Perkins, Edward J. [eds.] Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1999; Palestinian Refugees: Traditional Positions and New Solutions, Ginat, Joseph and Perkins, Edward J. [eds.]. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2001; Democracy, Morality, and the Search for Peace in America’s Foreign Policy, Boren, David L. and Perkins, Edward J [eds.] Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2002; The Middle East Peace Process: Vision versus Reality, Ginat, Joseph; Perkins, Edward J.; and Corr, Edwin G. [eds.] Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2002.
Ambassador Perkins is married to the former Lucy Cheng-mei Liu. They have two daughters, Katherine and Sarah, and four grandchildren.
ACADEMY OF DIPLOMACY