Title: Ambassador, Educator, President Emeritus
Location: Decatur, Georgia, United States
James Laney, Ambassador, Educator and President Emeritus, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Executives for dedication, achievements, and leadership in diplomacy and peacemaking.
While studying economics at Yale University and intending to work on Wall St. after graduation, Dr. Laney was geared towards a different career after his experiences serving in the US Army in Korea. With his conscience as guidance, he enrolled in the Divinity School at Yale University and became ordained. From there, he worked for five years as a chaplain in Korea, earned a doctorate and became an educator. When President Bill Clinton took office, he appointed Dr. Laney as an ambassador to the Republic of Korea. However, despite being proud of all these accomplishments, Dr. Lane cites his lifelong marriage to his wife Berta Joan as the part he is most proud of.
Since 1993, Dr. Laney has been Professor Emeritus of Emory University. He served as a Special Presidential Envoy and US Ambassador to the Republic of Korea from 1993 to 1997. He originally began teaching at Emory University in 1977, and served as the President of the institution until 1993. Prior to these positions, Dr. Laney was an assistant professor on Christian ethics at the School of Divinity at Vanderbilt University, Secretary of the Student Christian Movement and professor at Yonsei University, a pastor of the St. Paul Methodist Church in Cincinnati, an assistant lecturer at the School of Divinity at Yale University and a chaplain for the Choate School. In addition, he served as a visiting professor at Harvard University’s School of Divinity and as a D.C. MacIntosh Fellow of Yale University.
Dr. Laney received a BA, BD and PhD from Yale University in 1950, 1954 and 1966, respectively. He has also received a number of honorary degrees from a number of institutions all over the world, including Africa University, Nebraska Wesleyan University, University of Richmond, Kwansei Gakuin University, LaGrance College, Piedmont College, American University, Queens College, Yonsei University, and a number of other prestigious educational institutions. Dr. Laney has also received a number of awards and accolades, including the First International Human Rights Award from the Institute of Human Rights in Korea, and the Atlanta Legend Award. Emory University honored Dr. Laney with naming the Emory Laney Graduate School after him in 2007. The US government recognized Dr. Laney with the US Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service in 1997 and he has also received the Kangwa Medal for Distinguished Diplomatic Service from the Republic of Korea in 1997.
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