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Ambassador Richard Williams to Speak at the Hall of Fame
He Accompanied the US Swim and Dive Team to China in 1973

Who:   Ambassador Richard Williams served over three decades as a career U.S. diplomat and opened the first American consulate in mainland China since the 1940s. He also served as the first U.S. Ambassador to Mongolia and as Consul General in Hong Kong. Williams was director of Chinese affairs at the U.S. State Department during the Tiananmen crisis.  In 1973, he accompanied a team of American swimmers and divers who toured China as one of the first cultural exchanges between the USA and the People’s Republic of China after President Nixon's historic visit in 1972. 

What:  Ambassador Richard Williams will share his memories about the ground breaking “Friendship Through Sports” mission that sent American athletes to China and the development of US-China Relations during a celebration of the 40th Anniversary and Reunion of athletes, coaches and officials, from both China and the USA, who participated in the historic “Friendship Through Sports Exchanges” of 1973 and 1980.

When:  Thursday, May 9th through Sunday, May 12th

Where:  At the International Swimming Hall of Fame, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA


About Ambassador Richard Williams
Richard L. Williams joined the Foreign Service in 1956. From 1965 to 1967 he was detailed to the White House correspondence staff. From 1968 to 1972 he was a political officer at the Consulate General of the United States, Hong Kong. Between 1972 and 1975 he served as an international relations officer for the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. He was a country officer for Fiji and Papua New Guinea at the Department of State from 1975 to 1977; and then a student at the National War College from 1977 to 1978. In addition he was Deputy Director of the Office of Micronesian Status Negotiations (1978–1979), Consul General in Guangzhou (Canton) (1979–1981) (recounted in his 2005 memoir At the Dawn of the New China, and Deputy Consul General in Hong Kong (1981–1985). For seven years following his 1994 retirement from the Foreign Service, he taught graduate level China-related courses at Columbia and New York Universities.

In his book, At the Dawn of the New China, Williams shares a fascinating and wryly humorous account of his two years as the U.S. Consul General in the Chinese city of Guangzhou (formerly called "Canton") from 1979 to 1981. His was the first American consulate to re-open in China after formal diplomatic relations with the PRC were established in 1979.  Although almost three decades have passed since Richard Williams and his family opened the post in Guangzhou, At the Dawn of the New China captures much of the enduring qualities of Foreign Service life.
From 1940 - 1945, Williams was one of the kids on the radio program Quiz Kids.   

For more information, contact Bruce Wigo at bwigo@ishof.org or call 954-559-1622.
Greg LouganisEraldo

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