Carol Bellamy '68 receives the Légion d’honneur, France's highest decoration
In an April 7 ceremony in Paris, Carol Bellamy ’68 received the Légion d’honneur in recognition of her decade of service as executive director of UNICEF, the children’s agency of the United Nations. Created by Napoleon Bonaparte and first bestowed in 1804, the Légion d’honneur is France’s oldest and highest distinction and is awarded to outstanding individuals who have contributed in their own way to public life.
Bellamy has crisscrossed the private and public sectors throughout her career, having worked as a corporate lawyer for Cravath, Swaine & Moore, a managing director at Bear Stearns, a prinicipal at Morgan Stanley, a New York state senator, president of the New York City Council, and director of the United States Peace Corps.
During Bellamy's 10-year tenure as head of UNICEF, from 1995 to 2005, the agency's fundraising and budget grew as did its responsiveness to natural and manmade disasters. The agency also made significant progress in reducing deaths of children under age five.
“Being at the head of UNICEF was an honor and a privilege, and I can think of no work that is more vital to humanity than working to ensure that children everywhere survive their early years and grow up with health, dignity, and peace,” she said upon receiving the Legion d’honneur. “It is on behalf of all the children around the world, that I accept this award with deep appreciation.”
Bellamy currently is president and CEO of World Learning, a Vermont-based nonprofit organization that helps 3,000 Americans a year, through study abroad, graduate education, and community projects, become more effective global citizens and supports others to improve their lives and become leaders of change in their communities. She has announced plans to step down in May 2010.