Donald B. Holsinger
When Donald B. Holsinger became director of the Kennedy Center in 1997, he brought with him a wealth of experience. Holsinger received a BA in Hispanic American studies, with an emphasis in Portuguese and Spanish, from BYU. He continued that Hispanic focus at the University of Wisconsin, where he received an MAin Latin American studies and an MS in rural sociology. Holsinger culminated his education at Stanford University with a PhD in international and comparative education and the sociology of education. Special expertise in international development and international education was refined by Holsinger’s work experience.
Though Holsinger had extensive teaching opportunities at the University of Chicago, the University of Arizona (Tucson), State University of New York (Albany), and BYU, his work extends beyond the academic world. Holsinger worked as an education specialist for the World Bank for over ten years researching to improve educational systems in developing countries, including Ethiopia, Uganda, Jamaica, Brazil, Ukraine, Russia, Ghana, Thailand, Mozambique, Angola, Indonesia, and, most recently, Vietnam.
Since leaving the center, Holsinger returned to his focus on world educational programs. He is currently working with the Vietnamese government to expand and enhance the educational services of the Ministry of Education and Technology. In 2002, Holsinger was named president-elect of the Comparative and International Development Education Society, which will hold their 2004 annual conference in Salt Lake City. His expertise and advice continues to strengthen education around the world.
What is your favorite memory from your years as director?
Within my first month of taking up the new position, I was invited to my first meeting with the Dean’s Council. My friend from earlier Washington, D.C., days and fellow Brazilian returned missionary, Bruce L. Christensen, Dean of the College of Fine Arts, motioned to me to sit next to him. As I sat there during that first meeting, a feeling of anticipation and gratitude overcame me. I realized, of course, that whatever had led to this moment was not of my doing but rather something earned through the hard work and personal sacrifice of several predecessors.