William S. Dickson, a 30-year veteran of the U.S. Information Agency who retired in 1987, died July 15 at the Sunrise of Falls Church assisted-living facility. He was 81.

The cause was dementia, said his son, Mark P. Dickson.

Mr. Dickson’s USIA career included posts in Greece, Morocco, Mali, Senegal, France, South Korea and the Soviet Union. His assignments in Washington included service as chief of the U.S.S.R. division and chief of the European division of Voice of America, working in the USIA’s Bureau of African Affairs and heading the European Fulbright academic-exchange program.

William Simmonds Dickson was born in Montclair, N.J. He graduated from Yale University in 1954 and did postgraduate study at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and the University of Paris.

On retiring from federal service, the Falls Church resident worked for international academic-exchange programs.

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Constance Pierce Dickson of Falls Church; two children, Mark P. Dickson of Arlington County and Carol A. Dickson of Fairfax County; a sister; and three grandchildren.

— Bart Barnes