We shall not see his like, again.”

                                                              – Richard Cronin, Georgetown University

He stood astride this field … at the beginning …  like a colossus.”  

- J. David Edwards, JNCL- NCLIS

Oral history and professional biography now available on AMAZON KINDLE >>

James E Alatis – A Life In Language: An Oral History – Language Teaching, Learning, Policy and Leadership


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James E Alatis – A Life In Language  

by Nicole Coomber, PhD  copyright 2012 – Digital Download Version – can be read on Kindle, Tablet/Smartphone Devices, Macs, and PCs.

Update 4/23/2015  – by Admin/ Publisher

Prior to his retirement in June of 2012, language advocate Amanda Seewald interviewed J. David Edwards, Ph.D. who for over three decades had served as Executive Director of the nation’s premier political action organization, the Joint National Committee on Languages – National Council Language and International Studies (JNCL-NCLIS).
The entire interview has appeared online here:  ,
but this excerpt introduces Dr. James E. Alatis and clarifies why Dr. Edwards introduced the author, Dr. Nicole Coomber, to Dr. Alatis at the onset.

Amanda Seewald: Who are the most essential … nonpolitical figures whose support have made or facilitated a difference … ?

Dave Edwards:     One stands out above all others and that’s Dr. James E. Alatis. He came up a second-generation Greek kid from West Virginia.

Jim started JNCL.   He stood astride this field, at the beginning of this field, like a colossus.

He was the guy who came to Washington to go to work for the Office of Education under the National Defense Education Act doing the less commonly taught languages, supporting us.

 He was the first president of JNCL-NCLIS. And part of how Jim was so able to accomplish so much was that he had a foot in every field. And he was a brilliant, absolute brilliant consensus builder.

He was the right person at the right time. But he was also a person of tremendous ability. He had that strength that good people have.

The Rockefellers and the people who were strong in the past had an uncanny ability to recognize talent and use it. And Jim had a phenomenal ability to recognize talent and use it.


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