Ambassador’s Memoir: “It All Begins with Self”
Delano Lewis, a former U.S. Ambassador to South Africa, rose from segregation-era Kansas to prominence in government, business, and the not-for-profit world. His bestselling memoir, “It All Begins with Self,” affirms his belief in the value of family, education, hard work, perseverance, mentors and supporters. His trailblazing career includes top positions at National Public Radio and the Peace Corps.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
As a full time law student, working 44 hours a week at the renowned Menninger Clinic to support his family, Delano was tapped for the new Honors Program at Robert F. Kennedy’s Department of Justice. His whirlwind initiation exposed him to espionage and criminal cases, and whetted his appetite for government service.
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
While serving in the recently created Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, he was tapped by the Peace Corps to serve as a top staffer in Nigeria until civil war shut down operations. Then, with his wife and three small boys, he moved to Uganda and managed 160 volunteers and staff.
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
Self-discovery—learning your strengths and weaknesses—is foundational, followed by a strong education. Be open and ready for opportunities and be willing to take risks. Don’t be afraid to dream because dreams do come true. Ask yourself, “What can I do that will be productive for me in this society?”
On His Bookshelf
Long Walk to Freedom, by Nelson Mandela
Biographies of people successful in all walks of life
Connecting With Delano Lewis
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Careers: Ambassador, Government service, Lawyer
Topics: Education, Government service, Self-discovery