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 You are in: Under Secretary for Political Affairs > Bureau of International Organization Affairs > U.S. National Commission for UNESCO > Members > Members and Organizations

James H. Billington

James Hadley Billington was sworn in as the Librarian of Congress on September 14, 1987. He is the 13th person to hold the position since the Library was established in 1800.

Born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, on June 1, 1929, Dr. Billington was educated in the public schools of the Philadelphia area. He was class valedictorian at both Lower Merion High School and Princeton University, where he graduated with highest honors in 1950. Three years later, he earned his doctorate from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar at Balliol College. Following service with the U.S. Army and in the Office of National Estimates, he taught history at Harvard University from 1957 to 1962 and subsequently at Princeton University, where he was professor of history from 1964 to 1973.

From 1973 to 1987, Dr. Billington was director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the nationís official memorial in Washington to Americaís 28th president. As director, he founded the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies at the Center and seven other new programs as well as Dr. Billington has received 35 honorary degrees, as well as the Woodrow Wilson Award from Princeton University (1992), the UCLA Medal (1999), and the Pushkin Medal of the International Association of the Teachers of Russian Language and Culture (2000). Most recently he was awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Tblisi in Georgia (1999), the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow (2001), and the University of Oxford (2002).

Dr. Billington is married and has four children, as well as 11 grandchildren.


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