Institute for Global and International Studies
Africa Working Group
The Africa Working Group is a multidisciplinary working group centered within the Elliott School's Institute for Global and International Studies that seeks to build a community of scholars, practitioners, and students who share interests in and expertise on important aspects of contemporary African studies and policy.
Activities: The Africa Working Group will organize an occasional internal lunch seminar during which a member presents his/her current work; develop one or more public events each academic year; and commit to furthering attention to critical policy issues related to Africa in the Elliott School, across GW, and with the public.
Topics include: U.S. foreign policy effectiveness toward Africa; African international relations; development, livelihoods, and poverty alleviation; humanitarianism, health, and human security; gender, human rights, and social justice; urbanization, population change, and the environment.
Group members 2012-2013
Nemata Blyden: Associate Professor of History and International Affairs, and Director, Africana Studies Program. She specializes in African and African diaspora history, has researched women's issues in nineteenth century Liberia, and is committed to questions of African development. She has done work for Encyclopedia Britannica and contributed to an on-line historical project called In motion: the African-American migration experience, sponsored by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of the New York Public Library.
Yvonne Captain: Associate professor of Latin American film and literature and international affairs and director, Master of International Policy and Practice Program. She is an expert on Africa and the African diaspora as well as the place of West Africa in the ongoing dialogue among members of the Global South. Her chapter “The 'Senat' of Senegal: Gone Today, Here Tomorrow?” is forthcoming in a book on African legislatures, and shows how one nation is preparing for twenty-first century governance realities. She has published, interviewed, and lectured widely on the subjects of internationalization, south-south relations, and the African diaspora.
Lauren Carruth: Post-doctoral fellow in IGIS/CIGA and Research Associate and teaching fellow at Princeton University's Center for Health and Wellbeing. She has extensive fieldwork experience with Somalis living in Ethiopia on topics of food security, nutrition, reproductive health, fertility, and humanitarian aid. She currently also holds a post-doctoral teaching fellowship at Princeton University.
Jay Graham: is assistant professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and the Department of Global Health in GW's School of Public Health and Health Services. A global environmental health specialist, Dr. Graham's focus on international water supply, sanitation and hygiene development has had him working in a variety of countries, including: Benin, Bolivia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Haiti, Indonesia, Mexico, Senegal, Venezuela and Zambia. He has more than 10 years of experience focusing on: program design, policy development, monitoring and evaluation, community participation, program management and sustainability issues. Between 2008 and 2011, he served as the lead technical advisor on sanitation and indoor air quality for the Environmental Health Team within the Bureau for Global Health at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
John W. Harbeson: Adjunct professor of international affairs. He teaches and writes in the fields of comparative politics, comparative democratization, and international relations, with a focus on Africa. He was professor of political science in the Graduate Center and at City College in the City University of New York from 1985 until 2008. From 1998 to 2001, he chaired the Department of Political Science at City College. The author/editor of eleven books, his most recent book is Africa in World Politics: Engaging a Changing World Order, co-edited with the late Donald Rothchild. He has been a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington and Regional Democracy and Governance Advisor, U.S. Agency for International Development. During 2001-2, he was a Visiting Fellow in the Center of International Studies at Princeton University. He was elected to the governing Council of the American Political Science Association for a two year term (2003-2005). On the Council, he chaired the international affairs committee concerned primarily with the Higher Education Act Renewal, especially Title VI. He was also a member of the Council task force on Difference and Inequality in the Developing World. He is co-founder of the APSA section on Comparative Democratization and was the section's first chair. He is the founder of APSA's African Politics Conference Group and was its first chair. He writes a monthly op-ed column for the Sunday Nation (Kenya) and for the Nairobi Law Monthly.
Rohita Javangula: Elliott School undergraduate student who is double majoring in international affairs with a concentration in African Studies and in geography. During the summer of 2012, she worked with an NGO in Cape Coast, Ghana, whose mission was to empower women and children through sports and education. In addition to volunteering her time for the Elliott School's Africa Working Group, she is also the community relations intern at a non-profit called Thrive DC, which provides social services to people in the Washington, DC, area who are facing homelessness and poverty. In fall 2013, she plans to go to Rwanda to study post-conflict reconstruction.
Remi Jedwab: Assistant professor of economics and international affairs with specializations in development economics, regional and urban economics, political economy, and Sub-Saharan Africa. He has studied urbanization and structural transformation, the economic effects of transportation infrastructure, and agricultural and economic development in Africa.
Steve Lubkemann: Associate professor of anthropology, international affairs, and Africana studies and Acting Director (2012-2013) of the GW Diaspora Research and Policy Program within IGIS. He is also a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African American History and Cultures where he directs the African Slave Wrecks Project and a Research Social Scientist at the U.S. Census Bureau Center for Survey Measurement. His research includes investigations of refugee displacement; social, political, and economic transformation in war-torn societies; post-conflict justice and rule of law; diasporas and their relationship to political and economic development; and archaeological heritage and development. He has a cross-cutting interest in integrative methodology and research epistemology. He has conducted fieldwork in Mozambique, South Africa, Liberia, and Angola and amongst African diasporans in Europe and the U.S.. He is currently assistant director on two methodological research initiatives sponsored by the U.S. Census Bureau and also coordinates an collaborative project linking GW, Oxford University, and the University of Miami, on diaspora impacts in post-conflict societies funded by the IDRC; and a project on informal justice systems in Africa funded by the Carter Center. He has authored numerous articles, book chapters, and reports including Culture in Chaos: An Anthropology of the Social Condition in War and has co-edited four volumes.
Ambassador George E. Moose: Adjunct professor of practice of international affairs. Ambassador Moose retired from the State Department in 2003 after a 30 plus year career in the foreign service. From 1998 to 2001, he was as a U.S. Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the European Office of the United Nations in Geneva. His diplomatic service has included assignments as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Alternate Representative to the United Nations Security Council, and Ambassador to both the Republic of Senegal and the Republic of Benin. During the 2001-2002 academic year, he was Senior Fellow at the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center at Howard University. In 2006, he was a fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University where he led a study group on Africa and the multilateral system. In 2002, the U.S. Senate confirmed his promotion to the rank of Career Ambassador. He has served on the Board of Directors of Search for Common Ground since 2003, and he was re-appointed to a second term on the Board of the U.S. Institute of Peace on January 1, 2013.
Amanda L. Northcross: Assistant professor of environmental and occupational health in the School of Public Health and Health Services. She specializes in exposure assessment, chemical characterization, and source identification of air pollution. Her research focuses on linking exposures to air pollution from household solid fuel use, traffic, refuse burning and other sources found in urban African settings with adverse health effects. She is currently leading the exposure assessment of a randomized control being conducted in Ibadan Nigeria that seeks to determine the ability of a clean cooking ethanol stove to improve pregnancy outcomes for 300 pregnant women in comparison to use of a traditional wood fired cook stove in Ibadan, Nigeria.
Pierre Pratley: Pre-doctoral fellow with IGIS/GGP enrolled in the Doctorate of Public Health program in the School of Public Health and Health Services. His research is focused on understanding and measuring complex social constructs and their relevance to health and development in Sub-Saharan Africa. He has conducted fieldwork throughout Southern Africa and is involved in a randomized control trial in Malawi. His doctoral research focuses on the measurement of female empowerment in Sub-Saharan Africa and its development and health impacts.
David Rain: Associate professor of geography and international affairs and Director of the Environmental Studies Program; specialization in urban geography, population, health and environment, and Africa. His research focuses on the intersection of health and environment in cities of the developing world. His NIH-funded five-year study of Accra, Ghana, examined neighborhood effects on women's health in the context of rapid urbanization. Field techniques included neighborhood mapping using GPS, qualitative methods, and other geospatial data collection such as remote sensing. He is author of the UN Handbook on Geospatial Infrastructure in Support of Census Activities, and Eaters of the Dry Season: Circular Labor Migration in the West African Sahel, as well as articles in journals such as the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Geographical Review, Urban Geography, and GeoJournal.
Ambassador David Shinn: Adjunct professor of international affairs. Ambassador Shinn served for thirty-seven years in the U.S. Foreign Service with assignments at embassies in Lebanon, Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritania, Cameroon, Sudan and as ambassador to Burkina Faso and Ethiopia. He has been teaching in the Elliott School since 2001. He serves on a number of boards of nongovernmental organizations. An expert on the Horn of Africa, Dr. Shinn speaks at events around the world. He is the author of many articles and book chapters, co-author of the Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia, and co-author of China and Africa: A Century of Engagement. He is the author of a widely-read blog that addresses African international affairs. His research interests include China-Africa relations, East Africa and the Horn, terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism, conflict situations, U.S. policy in Africa, and the African brain drain.
Inder Sud: The John O. Rankin professor of the practice of international affairs and director, Master of Arts Program in International Affairs. He is an economist with extensive background and experience in economic development. He joined the Elliott School after a long and distinguished career at the World Bank where he held a variety of senior management positions dealing with various aspects of development: country program management, development policy, project appraisal and financing, and privatization and private sector development. He has worked in most regions of the world and is currently analyzing links between economic development and political organization in fragile states of Africa.
Ron Waldman: Professor of global health and a medical doctor. Early in his career, he was a volunteer in the World Health Organization's Smallpox Eradication Program, serving in rural Bangladesh. He has worked with the Ministry of Health in Somalia and helped establish the field of refugee health epidemiology; was the Coordinator of the Cholera Control Task Force at the World Health Organization in Geneva; Technical Director of the USAID-funded BASICS program, a global child survival effort; and worked in emergency relief in the Balkans and Central Africa. In 1999 he became professor of clinical population and family health and professor of clinical epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health where he was Founding Director of the Program on Forced Migration and Health. Recent roles include: WHO's coordinator during the tsunami emergency in Aceh, Indonesia; Team Leader for USAID's Strategic Preparedness in the Pandemic Influenza and Other Emerging Pandemic Threats Unit; U.S. Government's health sector coordinator in the Haiti earthquake relief effort; and Senior Public Health Advisor to the UN Humanitarian Coordinator during the Pakistan floods disaster response. He is the author and co-author of numerous, scholarly articles, chapters and books as well as professional reports including co-author recently of an article in the journal Disasters; an article in Social Science and Medicine; the 3rd edition of the book Field Investigations of Natural Disasters and Complex Emergencies, and a book chapter on infectious diseases in the context of war and violence.
Paul Williams: Associate professor of international affairs and Director of the Security Policy Studies Program. He is also a Non-Resident Senior Adviser at the International Peace Institute in New York and a visiting professor at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. He serves on the editorial boards of two journals, African Affairsand Global Responsibility to Protect and is managing the Providing for Peacekeeping Project, an independent research project which analyzes how to develop more effective United Nations peacekeeping operations. Williams is the author of many journal articles, book chapters, and books including the co-edited book Security and Development in Global Politics: a Critical Comparison, Security Studies: An Introduction, 2nd Edition, War and Conflict in Africa, Understanding Peacekeeping, 2nd Edition, and The International Politics of Mass Atrocities: The Case of Darfur.
For weekly updates about IGIS events, subscribe to our listserv
For weekly updates about Elliott School events, subscribe to the Elliott School listserv
Institute for Global and International Studies
1957 E Street NW, Suite 501
Washington, D.C. 20052