December 2010

  • Interns Contribute Greatly to The Africa Center

    internsACSS’s tradition of talented and energetic young interns continues this year with Mouna El Mekhfi Kennedy, Angela Yenca, Zach Heinselman and Felipe B. Karian-Torres.

    Mouna El Mekhfi Kennedy has a wealth of international experience. A trained diplomat, she served at the UN Affairs, within the Moroccan Ministry for Foreign Affairs, in Rabat and at the Moroccan Embassy in Sweden before making the U.S. her new home. As a First Secretary, she researched various peace and security issues, including disarmament, non-proliferation, conflict management and resolution. Mrs. Kennedy was member of the Moroccan Delegation to the 48th UNGA and to the 5th NPT Review Conference. She has an MA in International Studies and Diplomacy, and diplomas in International Security and in Sustainable Development Strategies. She is fluent in Classical Arabic, Moroccan Arabic, French, and English and is conversational in several Middle Eastern Arab dialects. Mrs. Kennedy is interested in the role the American foreign and security policies play in advancing international peace and security."

    Angela Yenca is a recent graduate of The Citadel where she received innumerable honors including a 4.0 in both her majors of International Politics and Military Affairs, and French. Ms. Yenca has completed independent research in Disarmament, Civil-Military Relations and Peacekeeping, and plans to continue her studies in February when she will be moving to Canberra, Australia. There she will begin her Master's Degree in International Relations and Peace and Conflict Resolution at the Australian National University. Ms. Yenca is interested in Africa’s challenges from both security and humanitarian standpoints and in reforming police forces by addressing corruption and ethnic issues. Ms. Yenca is serving as the special assistant to Academic Dean Monde Muyangwa, PhD. Ms. Yenca is also assisting in background research for various ACSS programs.

    Zach Heinselman recently departed the Africa Center, returning to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he is a senior pursuing dual bachelor's degrees in History and Political Science, with a Certificate in African Studies. In addition Mr. Heinselman studied International Business at the Copenhagen Business School in Copenhagen, Denmark as a Brittingham Viking Scholar. Mr. Heinselman’s work for the Africa Center focused on budget and funding analysis of Department of Defense programs. He also provided general research support for various Academic Associates. His research interests center on civil-military relations and the consequences of environmental changes and resource management in relation to security in Africa.

    Felipe B. Karian-Torres is currently working on a Rule of Law initiative and selected program topics for John Kelly, PhD, the Africa Center’s Associate Dean. Mr. Karian-Torres is also assisting Vice Admiral Robert Moeller, U.S. Navy (ret.), Senior Fellow for Defense Policy, and U.S. Army Colonel Gene McConville, Senior Military Advisor, Academic Affairs, as they organize new programmatic activities. Prior to joining the Africa Center, Mr. Karian-Torres practiced general civil litigation for three years in Detroit, Michigan, focusing on corporate litigation. Dr. Muyangwa, Academic Dean, congratulated the interns for their strong contributions to the Africa Center. Associate Dean Dr. Kelly added, “We are blessed with extraordinary young people dedicated to the mission we share in Africa. They have made our institution wiser for their presence. We appreciate their insights on some of the most pressing issues facing U.S. policy makers from the plight of South Sudan, to the terror groups plaguing East Africa to the exploitation of natural resources.”
  • Freedom House Selects Dr. Malaquias as Expert Advisor

    MalaquiasFreedom House, a U.S.-based international nongovernmental organization, has selected Assis Malaquias, PhD, Academic Chair for Defense Economics at the Africa Center, to serve as the expert adviser for the Angola and Mozambique reports in its 2011 edition of Countries at the Crossroads. Countries at the Crossroads is the highly regarded annual survey of democratic governance produced by Freedom House. Freedom House conducts research on democracy, political freedom, and human rights. Its annual report is widely used by political scientists and advocacy organizations. It is also frequently consulted by journalists and academics, and serves as a basis for dialogue among NGOs, development agencies, and governments. As an expert adviser, Dr. Malaquias will review the reports on Angola and Mozambique by Countries at the Crossroads authors and offer his critique of the content. Dr. Malaquias oversees curriculum and program development in the area of defense economics at the Africa Center. He recently authored the chapter “UNITA's Insurgency Lifecycle” for the book Violent Non-State Actors in World Politics, analyzing the complex role of UNITA in Angola. Since 2003, Countries at the Crossroads has covered 60 countries worldwide (now expanded to 70), providing in-depth examination of accountability and public voice, civil liberties, rule of law, and anticorruption and transparency. In addition to being published as a book volume, Countries at the Crossroads is included in the World Bank's Governance Matters set of indicators and serves as a primary source of information and guidance for the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Millennium Challenge Corporation.
  • Africa Center Report Writer Becomes U.S. Citizen

    Nad_2010_profile[1] copyNad Sivaramen, an Academic Affairs report writer at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies and who was born and raised in Mauritius, became a naturalized U.S. citizen in November. After working 15 years in sub-Saharan Africa as a journalist and serving as the editor-in-chief of a mainstream newspaper in Mauritius, Nad came to the U.S. in 2007, working in Boston. “After several years in the Southwest Indian Ocean region, my wife wanted me to discover her side of the world,” Nad said. “I found it exciting to come and view the world from a different angle, but I also wanted to continue what I had been doing: writing, traveling, learning, and studying about Africa.” A year later, Nad received a Washington, D.C.-based position as a communications strategist for the U.S. Central Command/Combined Joint Task Force outreach project in the Horn of Africa, located at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti. In June 2008, Nad joined the Africa Center, first as Acting Senior Academic Associate, then as a writer/editor. His work at the Africa Center allows him to visit many countries on the continent. Nad explained that becoming a U.S. citizen, while continuing to work on African issues, was the best combination he could wish for. “Here in Washington,” he said, “I see the world from a bigger perspective as opposed to a regional (African) or sub-regional one (Indian Ocean). What is amazing over here is the potential to develop larger networks and compare perspectives on international relations and the state of world affairs.” Nad holds a master’s degree in Communication Studies from the University of Reunion/Paris-Sorbonne. He also trained at the Ecole des métiers de l’Information in Paris and has done graduate-level research at Harvard on the militarization of the Indian Ocean during the post Cold-War period. He was the 2006 recipient for the best news story in Africa from Radio France International/Reporters Without Borders/International Organization of “La Francophonie.”
  • Africa Center Faculty and Staff Brief Visiting U.S. Defense and Service Attachés

    JMAS 008 webSeveral U.S. military officers and a government civilian employee bound for assignments as attachés in Africa visited the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on Dec. 2. They came to learn more about the Africa Center’s academic and outreach programs and to discuss areas of mutual interest and concern before they report to their new posts. The attachés are destined for Chad, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sudan. Colonel Michael E. Garrison, U.S. Army (ret.), Deputy Director of the Africa Center, welcomed the group and presented a briefing reviewing the Africa Center’s fiscal year 2011 programs. Dr. John Kelly, Associate Dean, provided an overview of the Africa Center’s academic program with faculty members explaining their individual areas of expertise and research projects: Dr. Brad Gutierrez, Academic Chair of Security Studies; Dr. Carolyn Haggis, Instructor; Dr. Mathurin Houngnikpo, Academic Chair of Civil-Military Relations; Dr. Assis Malaquias, Academic Chair of Defense Economics; and Colonel Gene McConville, U.S. Army, Senior Military Advisor. Emily Renard, Community Affairs Specialist, and David Sims, Communications Manager, discussed aspects of the Africa Center’s outreach and public affairs programs. Dana Mascali, Registrar, and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Ron Miller, U.S. Army, Director of Operations, described their respective duties and how they and their staffs would be interacting with the attachés once they arrived in Africa. The attachés’ visit concluded with Dr. Gutierrez and Dr. Houngnikpo giving a briefing about current security challenges in Africa. Click here to view more photos from this event.
  • African Defense Attachés Briefed on U.S. Policy Priorities in Africa

    African DATTS 008Eight African defense attachés and embassy personnel with security portfolios heard firsthand on Dec. 6 how the Africa Center for Strategic Studies can be an important resource for them, as well as their ambassadors, during their tours of duty in Washington, D.C. On the opening day of the weeklong African Defense Attachés Seminar, Africa Center Director Ambassador William M. Bellamy (ret.) welcomed the participants and wished them success.

    Ambassador Bellamy discussed some of the current security challenges on the African continent. He also spoke about how U.S. interests vis-à-vis the continent continue to evolve and he noted with concern the way that changes in the U.S. media landscape—particularly the growing fragmentation of the news industry---impact the formulation of U.S. foreign policy.

    Seminar participants include representatives from Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya, Libya, Mauritius, Morocco, and Togo.

    Most of the participants hold security-related portfolios at their embassies in Washington. The annual seminar, held on the campus of the National Defense University, acquaints newly-assigned African defense attachés and embassy personnel with the structures and workings of the U.S. Government and its security policies and programs pertaining to Africa. Africa Center Associate Dean John F. Kelly, PhD, presented an overview of Center's mission, goals, vision, and academic and outreach programs.

    Later in the afternoon, participants listened to a presentation by Richard Downie, Deputy Director and Fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Africa program.

    Mr. Downie outlined U.S. priority interests, policies, and programs in Africa and he underlined the growing strategic relevance of the continent, saying: “Africa has become more important to the U.S. in recent years. Improving governance and fostering strong institutions in Africa is the number one objective of the U.S. on the African continent.”

    Seminar participants will meet later in the week with U.S. government officials from the State Department and the Department of Defense, including U.S. Africa Command. They will also engage in discussions about the roles of the United Nations, non-governmental organizations, think tanks, and the news media in shaping the formulation of U.S. foreign policy.

     Click here to view photos from this event.
  • U.S. Department of Defense Africa Specialists Visit Africa Center to Help Strengthen Collaboration

    DASD-AFR 008_webA select group of Pentagon Africa specialists came to the Africa Center for Strategic Studies Dec. 2 to be briefed about its vision, mission, and goals, as well as to discuss how they could better cooperate in supporting U.S. security policy initiatives towards Africa. Colonel Michael Garrison, U.S. Army (ret.), Deputy Director of the Africa Center, welcomed the Africa regional desk officers and analysts, who represented the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Africa and the Joint Staff. Brad A Gutierrez, PhD, Africa Center’s Chair for Security Studies, presented an Africa Center overview and program update. Discussion and a question and answer period followed Dr. Gutierrez’s briefing. Africa Center faculty and staff meeting with the visitors included John Kelly, PhD, Associate Dean; Dr. Mathurin C. Houngnikpo, Academic Chair of Civil-Military Relations; Dr. Assis Malaquias, Academic Chair of Defense Economics; Carolyn Haggis, D.Phil, Researcher and Analyst; Colonel Xavier Collignon, Senior French Representative; Colonel Timothy Thurston, Deputy Chief of Staff; and Community Affairs Specialists Mary McGurn, Emily Renard, Amanda Balderston, and Amelia Carvalho. The Department of Defense Africa specialists and their Africa Center hosts agreed at the conclusion of the program that the gathering was beneficial and that future meetings should be held as new people are assigned to Africa positions at the Pentagon. Click here to view photos from this event.
  • Africa Center to Co-Host Sudan Post-Referendum Conference

    CCO_ACSSThe Africa Center for Strategic Studies and the Center for Complex Operations will present a conference titled "Sudan: Regional Implications of Post-Referendum Scenarios" at National Defense University on Dec. 16. For more information on the conference and to register, please click  Here
  • Njuki Mwaniki Promoted to Lieutenant General and Appointed Army Commander

    mwaniki2It was recently announced that Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki has promoted Major General Njuki Mwaniki to the rank of Lieutenant General and appointed him Army Commander of the Kenya Armed Forces.

    Upon learning of General Mwaniki’s promotion and appointment, Ambassador William M. Bellamy (ret.), Director of the Africa Center, congratulated him, noting his long and distinguished military career in the service of his country, supporting peace and security in Africa, and being a trusted adviser and long-time friend to the faculty and staff at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies. …

    General Mwaniki first became associated with the Africa Center in 2004, when he participated in the Senior Leader Seminar (SLS). He went on to serve as President of the Kenya community chapter, known locally as the Kenya Center for Strategic Studies.

    In the ensuing years, General Mwaniki also has provided insight and leadership while serving in roles ranging from participant and facilitator to guest speaker and curriculum review member at the SLS, Security Challenge of Small Arms and Light Weapons Proliferation in Africa Topical Seminar, Managing Security Resources in Africa Seminar, Community Leadership Conference, and chapter reunions.