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Carol Bellamy

Doctor of Humane Letters

“I believe that the world is the power of many, not just the power of one, and you can become more powerful if you’re able to engage others and bring them along with you,” Carol Bellamy told an interviewer in 2000. During nearly eight years as executive director of the United Nations Children’s Fund, Bellamy has done just that.

Arguing that poverty can be reduced and the world can be made more secure only if children are allowed to grow in health, peace, and dignity, Bellamy’s UNICEF has five key priorities: immunizing every child; ensuring that all girls and boys receive a quality basic education; reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS and its impact on youth; protecting children from violence and exploitation; and introducing universal early childhood development programs.

Bellamy’s experience spans finance, law, and public service. From 1993 until 1995, she was director of the Peace Corps, the first former Corps volunteer to run the organization. Previously she was a managing director at Bear Stearns & Co., a principal at Morgan Stanley, and an associate in the New York law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore. In 1978 Bellamy was elected the first woman president of the New York City Council, a position she held until 1985, and she earlier served five years in the New York State Senate.

She graduated from Gettysburg College in 1963 and earned her law degree from New York University in 1968. At UNICEF, Bellamy has challenged world leaders to recognize their responsibility to invest in children – and to shift national resources accordingly. “In a global economy worth over $30 trillion, it is clear that the necessary resources and know-how to reach every child are well within our grasp,” Bellamy told a gathering in Stockholm in 2002. Born and raised in the New York area, Bellamy is a Mets fan.


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