Center Staff

James Joseph

Ambassador James A. Joseph

Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Studies and Executive Director of the United States – Southern Africa Center for Leadership and Public Values at Duke University. He is also an Honorary Professor and a member of the Board of Advisors of the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town.

Ambassador Joseph has served four U.S. Presidents, beginning with President Jimmy Carter who appointed him Deputy Secretary of the Department of Interior in 1978, and including President Bill Clinton who appointed him the United States Ambassador to South Africa in 1996. He was also appointed to national commissions under President Ronald Reagan and the first President George Bush. In South Africa, he was the first and only American Ambassador to present his credentials to President Nelson Mandela. In 1999, President Thabo Mbeki awarded him the Order of Good Hope, at that time the highest honor the Republic of South Africa bestowed on a citizen of another country.

Ambassador Joseph has also had a distinguished career in business, education and organized philanthropy. From 1982-1995, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Council on Foundations, an international organization of more than 2000 foundations and corporate giving programs. He served as a Vice President of Cummins Engine Company and President of the Cummins Engine Foundation from 1971-1976. An ordained minister, he has taught at Yale Divinity School and the Claremont Colleges where he was also University Chaplain. In 1985, he was a Distinguished Visitor at Nuffield College at Oxford University.

After graduating from Southern University and Yale, Ambassador Joseph began his career at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where he was one of the founders and co-chairman of the local civil rights movement in 1963. A frequent speaker to academic, civic and religious audiences, he is the author of two books, The Charitable Impulse and Remaking America. A third book on The Changing Role of Ethics in Public Life is near completion. He is the recipient of eighteen honorary degrees and his undergraduate alma mater, Southern University, has named an endowed chair in his honor. The Board of Directors of the Council on Foundations appointed him President Emeritus, the Association of Black Foundation Executives established the James A. Joseph Lecture on Philanthropy and the Children’s Defense Fund appointed him a Board Member Emeritus.

Ambassador Joseph, who was a founding board member of City Year South Africa, was also the founding Chairman of the Corporation for National and Community Service that established Americorps in the United States. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund U.S.A. and he has served on the Board of Directors of the Brookings Institution, the National Endowment for Democracy, Africare, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and Pitzer College. He serves presently as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation (established by the Governor of Louisiana), and MDC, an organization that works with leaders in the South to expand opportunity, reduce poverty and create inclusive communities. He is a director of the Management and Training Corporation and serves on the Board of Advisors of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University, the School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University and the Leadership Center at Morehouse College. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Academy for Public Administration. He is married to the former Mary Braxton, an Emmy Award winning television journalist.


Lance Buhl

Deputy Director of the United States-Southern Africa Center for Leadership and Public Values at Duke, founded in 2001 by James A. Joseph, American Ambassador to South Africa (1996-2000).

Trained as a historian (Ph.D., Harvard University), Lance pursued a twenty-year career in higher education teaching American history, serving as a university administrator (at, consecutively, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth; Harvard; and Cleveland State University), and consulting about teaching/learning effectiveness and the reform of educational practice. From 1981 through 1992, he served as Program Associate, Manager and then Director of Corporate Contributions for British Petroleum America, focusing primarily on support for low-income community development. Since 1992, Lance has served as a consultant in community development; program development, evaluation and assessment; and strategic planning to American foundations (such as Ford, Mott, Kresge and Fannie Mae) and nonprofits (such as CIVICUS, the European Foundation Centre, Neighborhood Progress, Inc. and Living Cities). From 1992-2009, he also served as a consultant to the Ford Foundation in surveying and providing technical services to local community development funding collaboratives, and more recently to regional equity programs in Atlanta, Baltimore and Detroit.

Since 2001, Lance has devoted most of his professional energies to developing and managing the day-to-day affairs and programs of the Center at Duke. These include the Emerging Leaders Program (2002-2008) for rising Southern African and American professionals in government, business and civil society; the Binational Civil Society Forum (2002-2006) for senior nonprofit leaders in South Africa and the United States concerned with advancing social justice; and since 2008, in partnership with the College of Business, Southern University (Baton Rouge), the Effective Leadership program for rising mid-career leaders in the State of Louisiana, modeled after the Emerging Leaders Program but adapted to the realities of that State in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Lance has been the principal curriculum designer for all three programs.

He has been a member and often chaired the boards of several local, state and national public interest organizations in philanthropy and community development. For example, he led the successful public campaign to change the State of Ohio’s Constitution to make housing a public purpose.

In each of these fields of endeavor, he has published, often focusing on the ethical and moral implications facing institutions and leaders. Most recently he was lead author of the 2008 book, Renewing Struggles for Social Justice: A Primer for Transformative Leaders, written on behalf of the Binational Civil Society Forum. The book can be found at Renewing Struggles for Social Justice: A Primer for Transformative Leaders

Khuwailah “Cookie” Onaya Beyah

Executive Assistant/Program Coordinator, US-SA Center for Leadership and Public Values (CLPV)

Khuwailah “Cookie” Beyah is a North Carolina native where she grew up and attended school in Charlotte, North Carolina. She graduated from Providence Senior High School in June 1994. Upon graduating from high school, Ms. Beyah took a year off and worked two full-time jobs. She felt that she needed time to rest, clear her mind, grow-up a bit, and prepare for the rigors of higher-education. In the fall of 1995 Ms. Beyah enrolled in Chowan College (now Chowan University) in Murfreesboro, NC where she studied vocal music. In her senior year of college she decided to double-major in History and Music and she graduated one year later. She completed her History B.A. in 2000 and will complete her final music credit and graduate from Chowan University in the near future with a B.A. in Vocal Performance. Cookie is also currently enrolled in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at Duke University.

During and for year after college, Ms. Beyah worked for the Wholefoods Market where she began to recognize that what you put into your body is just as important as what you put on your body (this remains important to her). Being unsatisfied and unchallenged, Ms. Beyah took a job at Duke University in 2001 with the Center for Health Policy, Law, and Management as the assistant to its then Director, Frank A. Sloan, a health economist. She worked for Dr. Sloan until February 2008 when she left to take her current position with CLPV. She has always had the desire to work in an organization that directly affects change in communities and she feels that she can be part of that through her work in the Center for Leadership and Public Values.

Khuwailah is the middle-child of Alicia Beyah (53) and Khalid Beyah (deceased). She has an older sister Khadijah Beyah-Gibson (34), a younger sister Tahanee Beyah-Padgett (29); and from her mother’s second marriage she has a younger half-sister Tanajlah Beyah-Audrey (23), and half-brother Shalaby Johnson (11 ½). All of her siblings, save the youngest, are married and she has two nieces, Khaleeda and the Kid, and a nephew Jayden. Her mother is one of nine children and she has a very large extended family in and around Charlotte.

Ms. Beyah loves to read, knit, blog, hang-out with friends, and travel. She is single and lives in Durham, NC near Duke. Her greatest love in the world is music and she could not live without it in her life. She is also a dyed-in-the-wool North Carolina Tar Heels Basketball Fan.