Peace Corps
Thai 27
1969
 
 
 
Kevin Delany-
Former Peace Corps Director
Thailand

Joan and Kevin Delany

Kevin writes: "In the interests of time and space I will include a bio used in my media workshops and then add a few thoughts. Please excuse the puffery of the bio -- though some of it is even true!

"KEVIN DELANY is a veteran of a print and broadcast news career that has ranged from
Washington to the far reaches of Asia. He has spent more than 20 of those years as a correspondent,
producer and news executive for ABC News and CBS News. He also served as a speech writer for top State Department officials.

In the past 15 years, Mr. Delany has done media and speech training, as well as crisis management, for many major corporations and government agencies. President of Delany Communications, his clients have ranged from CEOs to politicians and diplomats, from NASA astronauts to racing car drivers.

Mr. Delany started in journalism as a copy boy for the New York Daily News while attending Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism. After graduation and a Navy stint in the Pacific, he became a reporter and later a television columnist for the New York World-Telegram and Sun.

Two years later, he joined CBS News to serve as a reporter-assignment editor and as CBS News Correspondent in Hong Kong.

During the Kennedy Administration, he took a leave of absence to work for the Peace Corps, eventually becoming Director of its East Asia and Pacific Region, and Director in Thailand.

Mr. Delany worked at both the State Department and on Capitol Hill before joining ABC News in 1971 as bureau chief in Saigon. He ran the Vietnam bureau for the next 18 months during the heaviest period of fighting in the war. In 1973, he was made Director of News for ABC's Washington bureau, but returned to Saigon in March, 1975 to head ABC's news coverage during the fall of Vietnam. Mr. Delany was evacuated on the final day of collapse.

He directed the day to day coverage of the Washington bureau throughout the Watergate period, including the impeachment hearings and Nixon's resignation. In the 1980s he became ABC's Director of News for Asia. He was based in both Hong Kong and Tokyo, and was responsible for a region extending from India to Australia. He was also a prime mover in forging agreements linking ABC with NHK in Japan and KBS in Korea, the two largest networks in Asia.

Mr. Delany is a graduate of Williams College, and has an M.A. in Journalism from Columbia University, as well as an M.A. in Political Science from Columbia, earned while on a CBS News Fellowship. He is married to Joan E. Kennan. (daughter of diplomat George Kennan)

Recently Kevin revisited Thailand and Vietnam and published this account of the fall of Saigon and his evacuation from the city as it fell into Communist hands in April 1975. The article is in the September edition of the Williams Alumni Review

Click here to download article (1.5megs)

 

Kevin writes: "I finally stopped doing my workshops around the country last fall after developing some back pains that made it difficult to be on one's feet for eight hours in an intensive workshop. Now I am doing more writing and tackling a few other long-delayed projects.

Joan and I also have had a fair amount of political involvement in the last few years. It started with anti-war rallies and led to early support for Howard Dean 's campaign. We were door knocking in Des Moines in its final throes (a popular phrase these days). After that we switched our support to John Kerry and were in Akron through election night and the crushing returns. We worked to get Dean elected as DNC chairman and still keep a hand in through local political organizations.

I am very sorry that I won't be able to make the Santa Barbara reunion and have a chance to see so many of you again. I sure hope there are future opportunities. I will say that the Peace Corps and Vietnam have been two very formative experiences in my life. Both have had lasting impact in terms of dealing with people and looking at the world. I trust you know what I mean when I say you can often guess that someone has Peace Corps background before it is confirmed.

Probably the most satisfying thing about Vietnam for me was that in the ten days before the fall of Saigon, we were able to get 15 Vietnamese staff members and their families -- a total of 101 people -- out of the country to Guam before the country fell. ABC got jobs in the U.S. for all the staff members and the bulk of them have done quite well.

By the way, those back pains are under control, thanks to an exercise regimen, biking, yoga and the health club.. I regret that I had to give up running after about 50 years of it, as the pounding over the years wore out the cartilage in one ankle. It may have been hastened by my first marathon at 65 and my second at 70. But it was fun so no regrets."