Dirk Anthony Ballendorf earned an EdD in planning and administration from Harvard University in 1973. He also holds an MA in history from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and a BS from Pennsylvania State College at West Chester, which were awarded in 1965 and 1961, respectively.
Dr. Ballendorf was a professor of history and Micronesian studies at the University of Guam and is an internationally recognized scholar, and a specialist on Micronesian history, politics, education and contemporary affairs. In 1979 he joined the faculty at the University of Guam’s Micronesian Area Research Center where he served as director for five years from 1979 to 1984 and again from 2004 to 2007.
Following his graduation from Pennsylvania State College in 1961, he spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines where he also studied history at The Ateneo. From 1975 to 1983 Ballendorf was an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. From 1977 to 1979 he was the president of the College of Micronesia at Pohnpei in the Eastern Caroline Islands. Since 1997 he has also taught at the American Military University in Manassas Park, Virginia.
He is the author of eleven books, and over 200 articles and reviews on Micronesian history and culture. Professor Ballendorf’s principal research and teaching interests are the colonial periods of Spain, Germany, Japan, and the United States in Micronesia, and the effects of this colonization upon the contemporary autonomous/independent period.
Dr. Ballendorf was a Fulbright senior fellow at Macquarie University in Australia (1985); a visiting professor at Hannover University in Germany (1989); a visiting professor at Wollongong University in Australia (1991); and a visiting professor at the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Canterbury in New Zealand (1999). In addition, he has lectured at universities in France, Russia, Japan and the Academica Sinica in Taiwan. He has been invited to lecture as a visiting professor at Kagoshima University’s Research Center for Pacific Island Studies in Japan in 2008.
He was a member of the editorial board of the Journal of the Pacific Society (Japan), and the Micronesian Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. Among his publications are: The Secret Guam Study (with Howard P. Willens), Nan-yo: US Pacific Policy and Guam in the Aftermath of the Russo-Japanese War (Centenary Studies, 2 vols.), and “The Western Pacific Ocean,” Oxford Encyclopedia of Maritime History. In connection with his research, he has been interviewed on The History Channel’s Deep Sea Detectives.
Professor Ballendorf died in 2013. He was married to Francesca K. Remengesau of Palau and between them they have four children.
Guampedia Entry Co-authored by Dr. Dirk Ballendorf
Adventurer: Woodes Rogers