Special presentation by John Campbell, Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and former US Ambassador to Nigeria.
Ambassador Campbell will discuss his new book Nigeria: Dancing on the Brink. The book offers a history of Nigeria from colonialism through independence to the flawed elections in 2007. Despite the challenges, Campbell argues that Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, is important to the United States and the international community. He points to a history of shared interests, including efforts to promote African regional stability and conflict resolution, economic cooperation in the region’s petroleum resources, and tackling public health challenges, especially HIV/AIDS and malaria. Ambassador Campbell urges the Obama administration to seek greater ties with Nigerian civil society, while warning of the possible negative political consequences if the United States is viewed as too supportive of the Abuja government. He maintains that “the Obama administration should take into greater account what the Nigerian government is doing domestically before embracing Abuja too warmly.”
John Campbell is the Ralph Bunche senior fellow for Africa policy studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York. He currents writes the CFR blog “Africa in Transition,” available at blogs.cfr.org/campbell/. From 1975 to 2007, Ambassador Campbell served as a U.S. Department of State Foreign Service officer. He served twice in Nigeria, as political counselor from 1988 to 1990, and as ambassador from 2004 to 2007. Ambassador Campbell’s additional overseas postings include Lyon, Paris, Geneva, and Pretoria. He also served as deputy assistant secretary for human resources, dean of the Foreign Service Institute’s School of Language Studies, and director of the Office of UN Political Affairs. From 2007 to 2008, Ambassador Campbell was a visiting professor of international relations at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was also a Department of State mid-career fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University. Prior to Ambassador Campbell’s career in the Foreign Service, he taught British and French history at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia. Ambassador Campbell received a BA and MA from the University of Virginia and a PhD in seventeenth-century English history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Sponsor(s): African Studies Center
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