William I. Bacchus, a personnel specialist who retired in 2001 from the U.S. Agency for International Development after serving as executive director of two management councils, died Jan. 23 at Capital Caring hospice in Arlington. He was 72 and an Arlington resident. He had esophageal cancer and liver cancer. His wife, Mary Bacchus, confirmed the death. Starting in 1975, Dr. Bacchus spent more than 15 years working in personnel management at the State Department. He played a key role drafting the sweeping Foreign Service Act of 1980 that covered employment, career advancement and grievance procedures, among other major administrative procedures. He helped oversee a management study used in the transition from the George H.W.Bush administration to the Clinton White House in 1993. He then joined USAID as executive director of the Quality Council and later was executive director of the agency’s Management Council before retiring. He worked as a consultant in foreign affairs until his death. William Ivar Bacchus, who was a nephew of the science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein, was born in Oklahoma City and raised in Albuquerque. He was a 1962 graduate of Princeton University. After Navy service, he received a doctorate in political science from Yale University in 1970. Early in his career, he was an assistant professor of government and foreign affairs at the University of Virginia and a senior staff member of the Commission on the Organization of the Government for the Conduct of Foreign Policy. His honors included the State Department’s Distinguished Service Award. His books included “Foreign Policy and the Bureaucratic Process” (1974) and “The Price of American Foreign Policy: Congress, the Executive and International Affairs Funding” (1997). Survivors include his wife of 47 years, Mary Dreiling Bacchus of Arlington; and a brother.