HAMPTON, Va. (October 8, 2018) - On Friday, September 28, 2018, The William R. Harvey Leadership Institute (WRHLI) held its first Meet the Leaders Series of the semester welcoming James Richard (“Jim”) Bullington, a retired American diplomat and ambassador to Burundi.
“By bringing real world leaders on campus, The William R. Harvey Leadership Institute is presenting students an opportunity to hear what it takes to be exceptional future leaders,” said Dr. William R. Harvey, Hampton University President. “Ambassador Bullington defines what it means to have character. It was a true honor for him to speak to our students.”
Each semester, the William R. Harvey Leadership Institute hosts three to four Meet The Leaders Lecture Series to provide the Leadership Fellows with an opportunity to interact and engage in critical analysis and thinking, while diving deeply into leadership theory and practice from the perspective of the guest speaker. Ambassador James R. Bullington, the first speaker in this semester’s series, provided insights on global leadership from his role working with foreign governments on behalf of the State Department and the President of the United States. He related stories of the importance of knowing the customs, traditions and courtesies of the host country and how diplomacy works in preventing escalating conflicts and wars. Most importantly, he concluded his speech with encouraging words to the students of the William R. Harvey Leadership Institute.
“Leadership isn’t just about learning and eternalizing sound principles. It’s about applying those principles in action. Learning leadership is like learning to practice medicine or law. Thus, the universal foundation of leadership is engaging,” said Ambassador Bullington. “As we approach a very important election on November sixth, I leave you inspiring leaders with a simple message, do the right thing, get engaged, and vote.”
Jim Bullington was a career Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State for 27 years. He was Dean of the State Department’s highest level training program; and he served as ambassador to Burundi and in other diplomatic and consular positions in Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, Chad, and Benin as well as at the State Department and National Security Council in Washington and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York. After retiring from the Foreign Service, he was Director of International Affairs for the City of Dallas and Director of the Center for Global Business and Executive Education at Old Dominion University.
Born in Chattanooga, Bullington is a graduate of Auburn, Harvard, and the U.S. Army War College. He has published three books and more than 100 articles, and is a frequent speaker on international affairs, national security, and leadership. He has been married since 1968 to Tuy-Cam, a native of Hué, Vietnam. They moved to Patriots Colony in 2014.
“As the William R. Harvey Leadership Institute continues to embrace international study opportunities through our W.D.C. Harvey Scholars and global diversity from the lens of leadership, my vision is to inculcate those foundations for each Leadership Fellow to have the opportunity to not only meet leaders who have studied and worked abroad, but to give them the opportunity to do the same as they matriculate through the Leadership Institute and obtain their minor in Leadership Studies,” said Dr. Jarris Louis Taylor, Jr., Director of the William R. Harvey Leadership Institute. “I firmly believe in maintaining a methodical drumbeat and by planting this global citizenry seed, we all will benefit from their commitment to serve as leaders of character.”