Page 17 - FSJ June 2012

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J U N E 2 0 1 2 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L
17
n June 26 Ambassador William Lacy
Swing will receive the American For-
eign Service Association’s award for
Lifetime Contributions to American
Diplomacy, in recognition of a distin-
guished 38-year Foreign Service career.
Past recipients of the award include U.
Alexis Johnson, Frank Carlucci, George H.W. Bush,
Lawrence Eagleburger, Cyrus Vance, David Newsom, Lee
Hamilton, Thomas Pickering, George Shultz, Richard Parker,
Richard Lugar, Morton Abramowitz, Joan Clark, TomBoyatt,
Sam Nunn, Bruce Laingen and Rozanne Ridgway.
Bill Swing was born in Lexington, N.C., on Sept. 11, 1934.
He graduated from Catawba College with a B.A. in history
and international relations in 1956, and earned a bachelor of
divinity degree from Yale University in 1960. After post-
graduate studies at Tuebingen University in Germany and
Harvard University, he taught at a private German boarding
school before entering the Foreign Service in 1963.
Among other assignments, Ambassador Swing served as
chief of mission in the Republic of the Congo (1979-1981),
Liberia (1981-1985), South Africa (1989-1992), Nigeria
(1992-1993), Haiti (1993-1998) and the Democratic Repub-
lic of the Congo (1998-2001).
After retiring from the Foreign Service in 2001, Amb.
Swing served the United Nations for the next seven years.
First, he was appointed Special Representative to the Secre-
tary-General for Western Sahara and Chief of Mission for the
U.N. Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara. Then,
from May 2003 until January 2008, he served as the Special
Representative of the Secre-
tary-General for the Demo-
cratic Republic of the Congo.
In that capacity, Amb. Swing
successfully led all facets of
the largest United Nations
peacekeeping operation in
history.
Amb. Swing was elected
director general of the Inter-
national Organization for Mi-
gration in October 2008, a
position he continues to hold. In that position, he has worked
tirelessly on behalf of the billion international migrants and
internally displaced persons all over the world, one-seventh of
the global population, to ensure they are treated with dignity.
In the face of rising anti-immigrant attitudes as a result of the
global financial crisis, he has sought to educate leaders, gov-
ernments and the general public about the contributions im-
migrants make.
Fluent in French and German, Amb. Swing also speaks
Afrikaans, Lingala and Creole. He is married to Yuen
Cheong, with whom he has a son, Brian, and daughter,
Gabrielle.
Foreign Service Journal
Editor Steven Alan Honley inter-
viewed Amb. Swing by e-mail.
FSJ:
First of all, congratulations on your award for lifetime
contributions to American diplomacy. What would you say
have been your main strengths as a diplomat?
WLS:
Establishing and motivating teams; building policy
consensus and constituencies to support policy. The morale
and esprit de corps of my colleagues have always been my
A D
IPLOMATIC
T
ROUBLE
-S
HOOTER
:
W
ILLIAM
L
ACY
S
WING
T
HIS MONTH
AFSA
RECOGNIZES THE SIX
-
TIME AMBASSADOR
S MANY CONTRIBUTIONS
TO
A
MERICAN DIPLOMACY AND HIS LIFETIME OF PUBLIC SERVICE
.
B
Y
S
TEVEN
A
LAN
H
ONLEY
Steven Alan Honley is the editor of the
Foreign Service Jour-
nal.
O