United States Ambassador Dr. Edward J. Perkins will visit the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) Thursday, August 6. Ambassador Perkins will speak during an assembly at 6:15 p.m. in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Conference Center. The event is free and open to the public.
Ambassador Perkins served as the Clinton Administration’s representative to the Commonwealth of Australia from November 24, 1993 until August 1996. Previous appointments include Ambassador to the United Nations in 1992, Ambassador to Liberia in 1985, and Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa where he served from 1986-89.
Ambassador Perkins was born in Sterlington, Louisiana, and lived in Pine Bluff, Arkansas from 1942 to 1945. 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, four years in the U.S. Marine Corps and speaks French, Japanese and Thai.
He began his illustrious career as 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.
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.
On August 31, 1996, Ambassador Perkins retired with the rank of Career Minister in the United States Foreign Service. He 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.
The author of Mr. Ambassador: Warrior for Peace and a litany of articles, Perkins 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.
Ambassador Perkins is married to the former Lucy Cheng-mei Liu. They have two daughters, Katherine and Sarah, and four grandchildren.
For more information about the event, call (870) 575-8234.