Alumnae: Alumnae Stories

Alumnae Stories

Ruth Davis Receives Lifetime American Diplomacy Award

June 2016

davisRuthRuth A. Davis, C’65, discusses her pioneering work as a U.S. diplomat in the September issue of the Foreign Service Journal.

During her 40-year tenure, Davis broke barriers in the Foreign Service while promoting diversity in the field. In June, she received the 2016 Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy Award.

In the article, Davis shares how a study abroad trip to France while she was a student at Spelman sparked her interest in the Foreign Service. While in France, she met African students preparing to return to their recently independent countries to play an active role in building a post-colonial Africa.

“I found it an exciting prospect and wanted to be on the ground in Africa as the nation-building process began and as the U.S. government worked to partner with and help support the development of these newly independent countries,” Davis said in the article. “What better way to do this than as a U.S. diplomat?”

Davis also has helped increase diversity in the Foreign Service. Since her retirement in 2009, Davis has served as chair and a founding member of the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge and chair of the selection committee for the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship.