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Dartmouth College
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Winston and Bette Bao Lord
May 2012

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Winston and Bette Bao Lord

Winston Lord, former United States Ambassador to China from 1985 to 1989 under Presidents Reagan and Bush and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (1993-1997) under President Clinton, has had a central and istinguished role in determining American foreign policy toward the Far East and in helping to restore US-Chinese relations in the last half of the twentieth century.  From 1969 to 1973 he was on the planning staff of the National Security Council and in 1971 accompanied Henry Kissinger, the first American official to visit mainland China in 22 years, on the latter's secret visit to China that paved the way for President Nixon's historic journey the following year. With President Nixon in 1972 and again with President Ford in 1975, Mr. Lord returned to China and in subsequent years served as the top policy advisor on China at the Department of State. He was also involved in the secret peace talks in Paris and Hanoi ending the Vietnam War. Ambassador Lord has been the Chairman of the International Rescue Committee, the Chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy, and the President of the Council on Foreign Relations (1977-1985). A graduate of Yale University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, he has been honored with the Defense Department's Outstanding Performance Award and the State Department's Distinguished Service Award.

Bette Bao Lord, born in Shanghai, came to the United States at the age of 8. Educated at Tufts (B. A.) and at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (M.A.), she has written novels, memoirs, and children's books. In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson (1984), a children's novella, tells the story of a young Chinese girl's struggle to learn English by listening to radio broadcasts of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Spring Moon (1981), nominated for an American Book Award after being on the N. Y. Times Bestseller List for 31 weeks, and subsequently translated into 19 languages, is an epic romantic tale of the social, political, and familial changes a mandarin Chinese woman must face from her youth at the end of the nineteenth century, to her sad, elderly days during the Cultural Revolution in the late 1960s. In a second novel The Middle Heart (1996) and in a memoir of stories, Legacies: A Chinese Mosaic (1990) chosen by Time as one of the ten finest non-fiction works of the year, Ms. Lord places the everyday experiences of family members, friends, and fictional characters against the turbulent background of twentieth-century Chinese history up to Tiananmen Square. Ms. Lord has been the Chairwoman of Freedom House and on the Board of Trustees of WNET, The Asia Society, and The Council of Foreign Relations. A member of the International Women's Hall of Fame and a recipient of the National Council of Women's "Women of Honor Award," Ms. Lord received the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights from President Clinton in 1998.

 

Last Updated: 7/24/12