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The Honorable Edward Perkins

Ambassador Edward Perkins was born on June 8, 1928 in Sterlington, Louisiana to Edward Joseph Perkins Sr. and Tiny Estella Noble Holmes. Raised by his maternal grandparents, Nathan Noble and Sarah Stovall, in Louisiana, Perkins moved to Pine Bluff, Arkansas, at the age of fourteen to attend high school. He moved to Portland, Oregon in 1947, where he graduated from Jefferson High School. In 1947, Perkins joined the U.S. army and was stationed in Korea and Japan. Perkins served four years with Marine Corps before accepting a position as Chief of Personnel at the Army and Air Force Exchange in Taipei, Taiwan. In 1967, Perkins earned his B.A. degree from the University of Maryland in Taipei, Taiwan, accepted an internship at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and commenced a tour of duty with the U.S. Operations Mission (USOM) in Thailand. Perkins earned his Ph.D. degree in public administration from the University of Southern California in 1978.

In 1972, Perkins accepted his first position with the U.S. Foreign Service, serving as a personnel officer in the office of the Director General, where he and other black officers worked to create more opportunities for minorities and women in the Foreign Service. In 1975, Perkins worked as a management analysis officer in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Management Operations, and was part of Henry Kissinger’s Priorities Policy Group (PPG). In 1978, Perkins accepted a position as counselor for political affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Accra, Ghana. Three years later, Perkins became deputy chief of mission of the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia. Perkins returned to Washington D.C. to work as director of the Office of West Africa and, in 1985, Perkins was appointed as ambassador to Liberia. In 1986, Perkins became the first black ambassador assigned to the Republic of South Africa, where he was a vocal opponent of apartheid. In 1989, Perkins became the director general of the Foreign Service. He was appointed as U.S. ambassador to the United Nation in 1992 and, in 1993, Perkins accepted a position as ambassador to the Commonwealth of Australia. After retiring from the Foreign Service in 1996, Perkins accepted a position at the University of Oklahoma, where he served as the executive director of the International Programs Center.

In 1983, Perkins received the Superior Honor Award from the United States Department of State. He earned the Presidential Meritorious Service Award in 1987 and the Presidential Distinguished Service Award in 1989. He earned the Distinguished Honor Award from the United States Department of State in 1992. He is also a recipient of Kappa Alpha Psi’s Laurel Wreath Award.

Perkins and his wife, Lucy Cheng-mei Liu, have two daughters, Katherine and Sarah.

Edward Perkins was interviewed by TheHistoryMakers on November 1, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.194

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/1/2017 |and| 3/21/2018

Last Name

Perkins

Maker Category
Middle Name

J.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Merrill High School

University of Maryland

University of Southern California

First Name

Edward

Birth City, State, Country

Sterlington

HM ID

PER07

Favorite Season

Autumn

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Canada

Favorite Quote

Asian Philosophy Has An Answer.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

6/8/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Favorite Food

Catfish

Short Description

Ambassador Edward Perkins (1928 - ) served as the ambassador of Liberia, South Africa, Australia, and the United Nations.

Employment

University of Oklahoma

U.S. Ambassador to Australia

U.S. Foreign Service

U.S. Ambassador to South Africa

Favorite Color

Red

The Honorable Susan E. Rice

Ambassador and national security advisor Susan E. Rice was born on November 17, 1964 in Washington, D.C. to Lois Dickson Rice and Emmett J. Rice. Rice graduated from the National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C. in 1982, and received her B.A. degree in history from Stanford University in Stanford, California in 1986. She went on to earn her M.Phil. degree in 1988 and Ph.D. degree in 1990 in international relations, from the New College of the University of Oxford in Oxford, England, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

From 1991 to 1993, Rice worked as a management consultant at McKinsey and Company. In 1993, she was appointed director of International Organizations and Peacekeeping on the National Security Council in President Bill Clinton’s White House, and later continued to serve on the National Security Council as special assistant to the President and senior director for African Affairs. In 1997, Rice moved to the State Department, serving as assistant secretary of State for African Affairs. From 2002 to 2008, Rice was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and became a senior foreign policy advisor for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Once elected, President Obama nominated Rice to the position of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. In 2013, she was appointed national security advisor for President Obama’s second term. After leaving government in 2017, Rice became a distinguished visiting research fellow at American University’s School of International Service and a non-resident senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. She also became a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times.

Rice served on numerous boards, including as an independent director of the Bureau of National Affairs (now Bloomberg BNA), Common Sense Media, the Beauvoir School in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. She also served on the board of Netflix and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in addition to being a member of the Aspen Strategy Group, American Academy of Diplomacy, and Council on Foreign Relations.

In 2000, Rice was the co-recipient of the White House’s Sam Nelson Drew Memorial Award. In 2017, French President Francois Hollande presented Rice with the Award of Commander, the Legion of Honor of France, for her contributions to Franco-American relations.

Rice and her husband, Ian Cameron, have two children.

Susan E. Rice was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 30, 2017 and December 4, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.191

Sex

Female

Interview Date
10/30/2017 |and| 12/4/2017
Last Name

Rice

Maker Category
Schools
National Cathedral School
Stanford University
University of Oxford
First Name

Susan

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

RIC23

Favorite Season

Fall

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anguila

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

11/17/1964

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Favorite Food

Sushi

Short Description

Ambassador and national security advisor Susan Rice (1964 - ) served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs under President Bill Clinton and was appointed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations by President Barack Obama.

Employment
White House
United Nations
Brookings Institution
U.S. Department of State
McKinsey & Company, Inc.
Favorite Color

Purple