Regional Program Manager—Regional Office West Africa (ROWA)
Mr. Gerald Lefler assumed his duties as the Regional Program Manager for the Regional Office West Africa (ROWA) in August 2012. He brings 27 years of leadership and management experience, 14 of which have been performed in overseas assignments. For the past several years he has been working Department of State and Department of Defense programs throughout Africa, primarily teaching or facilitating professional education and training programs with African militaries. Located in Dakar, Senegal, the ROWA team, in support of the ACSS mission, promotes continued alumni involvement and interaction, partners with various ministries, agencies, and organizations across the sub-region to examine relevant security topics, and provides operational support to Africa Center programs and events hosted in West Africa.
Prior to joining the ACSS team, Mr. Lefler was the Program Manager for the USEUCOM/USAFRICOM Regional Joint Intelligence Training Facility (RJITF) in Molesworth, U.K. His program provided the curriculum development, instruction, and training administration for US military and civilian professional courses as well as partner nation engagement programs throughout Africa and Europe. During his more than 4 years at the RJITF, programs that he helped develop, taught, and managed were hosted in 12 different African nations and touched regional and bilateral student audiences from 23 African nations. Before the RJITF, Mr. Lefler was an instructor with the African Contingency Operations Training Assistance (ACOTA) program where he trained staff members of national armed forces in preparation for deployment on peacekeeping operations on the continent.
Mr. Lefler served 20 years as a U.S. Naval Officer, retiring in 2005. He served at sea on three destroyers and an aircraft carrier in posts as a Division Officer, Department Head and Executive Officer. His shore tours included assignments as Exchange Professor to the French Naval Academy, Staff Officer (Plans) on the NATO maritime staff in Northwood, U.K., and NATO Liaison Officer to the French Navy in the Mediterranean. He was one of the first designated U.S. Navy Foreign Area Officers (FAO).
He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho in Applied Mathematics/Computer Science and a master’s degree in Management from Salve Regina University. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the Armed Forces Staff College, the Defense Language Institute (French), as well as various other professional and technical service schools.