James M. Wilson, Jr.

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James M. Wilson Jr. (died in 2009) "a career diplomat who established the State Department's human rights program and became its first coordinator...

"He received a master's degree in 1940 from Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Medford, Mass...

"Mr. Wilson transferred to the State Department in 1957 and served in Washington, Paris and Madrid. In 1964, he became deputy chief of mission in Bangkok as the Vietnam War was beginning. He served in the same role in Manila, another base of operations for the Vietnam War, from 1966 to 1970...

"After suffering a heart attack, Mr. Wilson was assigned to the White House to negotiate the end of the Micronesia trusteeship, which brought the Northern Mariana Islands into the United States as a commonwealth. In 1975, he was named deputy director of the presidential task force overseeing the resettlement of refugees and began his final government assignment as the State Department's leader in human rights.

"After retiring in 1978, Mr. Wilson served on the boards of the International Rescue Committee and International Student House and was an adviser to the Montgomery County Commission on Human Rights. He volunteered to record books for the blind and monitored trails for the C&O Canal Association.

"Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Joan Rathvon Wilson of Washington". [1]

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  1. Diplomat set up State's human rights program, washingtonpost, accessed April 19, 2010.