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Ambassador William M. Bellamy (ret.) officially became director of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on 1 October 2008. At the time of his appointment, he was resident senior fellow in the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington D.C. Previously he had served as Senior Vice President of National Defense University.
A career diplomat, Ambassador Bellamy was U.S. ambassador to Kenya from 2003 to 2006. During his tenure in Kenya he directed U.S. security programs in the Horn of Africa. He also supervised the U.S. government's largest foreign HIV/AIDS program and led multinational efforts to combat corruption and promote good governance in Kenya. He 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 BA in history from Occidental College and an MA in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts University). He holds certificates from the Institute Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales in Geneva and the Ecole Nationale d'Administration in Paris.
Ambassador Bellamy 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 Secretary of State. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, he worked as a journalist in San Francisco and public relations officer for a major bank in Los Angeles.