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Mrs. Ronda Dove
Administrative Assistant

P:  (540) 464-7361
F: (540) 464-7396

Center for Leadership & Ethics
VMI, Marshall Hall
500 Anderson Drive
Lexington, VA  24450

Conference Speakers 

Keynote Speakers

Ambassador Johnnie Carson

Ambassador Carson, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, U.S. Department of State, was sworn into office on May 7,Johnnie Carson Thumbnail 2009.  Prior to this he was the National Intelligence Officer for Africa at the NIC, after serviing as the Senior Vice President of the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. (2003-2006).

Carson's 37-year Foreign Service career includes ambassadorships to Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Uganda, and service as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary  for the Bureau of African Affairs (1997-1999).

Before joining the Foreign Service, Ambassador Carson was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania from 1965-1968.  He earned a Bachlor of Arts from Drake University and a Master of Arts from the School of Oriental and Africa Studies at the University of London. 

Ambassador Vicki Huddleston

Vicki HuddlestonAmbassador Huddleston is the Deputy Assistant Secretary For Africa in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, U.S Department of State. She is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa and a four-time Chief of United States Missions in Latin America and Africa. 

Ambassador Huddleston was U.S. Ambassador to Madagascar and Mali and acting Ambassador in Ethiopia. She was Chief of Mission at the United States Interests Section in Havana as well as Director and Deputy Director of Cuban Affairs at the Department of State. 

Prior to joining the Department of Defense she was a Visiting Scholar at the Brookings Institution.   


Major General Christopher Donald Leins (USAR)

Major General Christopher Leins, USARMajor General Leins has served as the Deputy Director for Politico-Military Affairs (Africa), Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (J5) since February 2010. 

Prior to his current assignment, he served as the Deputy Commander, Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa in Djibouti.  From July 2007 through January 2009 he was the Commander, 2d Battle Command Training Brigade, 75th Battle Command Training Division, Fort Dix, New Jersey.

Todd Moss, Ph.D.

Dr. Moss is vice president for programs and senior fellow at the Center for Global Development.Todd Moss high res photo(4) 

In addition to his institutional responsibilities, he directs The Emerging Africa Project and his work focuses on U.S.-Africa relations and financial issues facing Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Moss served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of African Affairs at the U.S. Department of State from May 2007 to Octoer 2008 while on leave from CGD. 

He is an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University and the author of numerous articles and books.


Soji Adelaja, Ph.D.
Soji Adelaja, Ph.D., is the John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor in Land Policy at Michigan State University. His faculty appointment is in the department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics. Until April of 2011, he served as the Director of the Land Policy Institute at Michigan State University, which he founded in 2006; as Co-Director of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation funded People and Land initiative (PAL); and as the Director of Michigan Higher Education Land Policy Consortium (miHELP) which he founded in 2005. Dr. Adelaja is now spearheading new initiatives in international land use.
Deborah Bräutigam, Ph.D.
 Deborah Bräutigam, Ph.D., has been writing about China, Africa, state-building, governance and foreign aid for almost 30 years. Currently Visiting Senior Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute and Professor of International Development at American University’s School of International Service, and Professor II at the University of Bergen, Norway, she has held faculty appointments at Columbia University in New York, and Silpakorn University in Thailand.
Reuben E. Brigety, II, Ph.D.
 Reuben E. Brigety, II, Ph.D., is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.  In this capacity, he supervises US refugee programs in Africa, assisting over 11 million people, manages US humanitarian diplomacy with major international partners, and oversees the development of international migration policy.
Raymond Gilpin, Ph. D.
 Raymond Gilpin, Ph. D., Associate Vice President, Sustainable Economies Centers of Innovation, United States Institute of Peace. Dr. Gilpin directs USIP’s Center for Sustainable Economies (CSE), one of the Institute’s Centers of Innovation.  
Col. James J. Hentz, Ph.D.
 Col. James J. Hentz, Ph.D., Dr. Hentz is Professor and Chair of the Department of International Studies and Political Science at the Virginia Military Institute.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and is editor-in-chief of the Taylor & Francis/Routledge journal African Security
Lieutenant Colonel Nancy Jean-Loius
 LTC Nancy Jean-Louis, the USAFRICOM MilRep to USAID, has been a United States Army Ordnance Ammunition Officer since 1990 and Sub-Saharan Africa Foreign Area Officer (FAO) for the past 18 years.
Christopher LaMonica, Ph. D.
 Christopher LaMonica, Ph. D. is an Associate Professor of Comparative Politics at the United States Coast Guard Academy.  His research interests include the politics of development, the “development-security nexus,” international relations theory and practice, African politics, and the politics of migration, race and ethnicity in history.
J. Peter Pham, Ph.D.
 J. Peter Pham, Ph.D., Director of the Michael S. Ansari Africa Center at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC.  Dr. Pham was previously Senior Vice President of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy in New York City, and editor of its bimonthly journal, American Foreign Policy Interests. He was also a tenured associate professor of Justice Studies, Political Science, and Africana Studies at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where he was director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs.
Mr. Joseph Riley
 Mr. Joseph Riley is currently in his Third Year at the University of Virginia and plans to graduate in the Spring of 2013 with majors in the Politics Honors Program for Government and Foreign Affairs and in Mandarin Chinese. Joseph’s research has focused on American-Sino relations, especially in regards to the potential for resource competition in Africa and Central Asia.
Maj. Howard Sanborn, Ph.D.
 Maj. Howard Sanborn, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, International Studies and Political Science, Virginia Military Institute. Howard Sanborn is currently an Assistant Professor of International Studies and Political Science at the Virginia Military Institute.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 2009 and has focused his research on the development of democratic institutions in East Asia, specifically China and Taiwan, and the subsequent effects on relations with the United States.  
Col. Thomas E. Sheperd
 COL Thomas E. Sheperd is a Sub- Saharan Africa Foreign Area Officer who has worked in Defense Attaché and Security Assistance related positions in Yaoundé, Cameroon; Asmara, Eritrea; and Nairobi, Kenya.  He currently serves as the Director of African Studies and Regional Studies Coordinator at the United States Army War College, Carlisle Pennsylvania, where he teaches courses on the theory of war and strategy, national security policy, and the Sub-Saharan Africa strategic environment.  
Ambassador David H. Shinn, Ph. D.
 Ambassador David H. Shinn, Ph. D., Adjunct professor in the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.  He served for 37 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 is the coauthor of a book on China-Africa relations to be published in late 2011 by the University of Pennsylvania press.  He has a Ph.D. in political science from George Washington University.    
H.E. Sheila Siwela
Ambassador Siwela is currently Ambassador of Zambia to the United States.  She has previously served as Ambassador for her country to Belgium, the Netherlands, the EU, and Zimbabwe.  She also worked in two international organizations, UNDP/ILO and the Eastern & Southern African Management Institute.
Ms. Yun Sun
Ms. Yun Sun is currently a visiting fellow at the Center for Northeast Asia Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., where she is focusing on the analysis of China's national security decision-making system. Ms. Sun earned a Master's Degree in International Policy and Practice from George Washington University, an MA in Asia Pacific studies and a BA in International Relations from the Foreign Affairs College in Beijing. 
Ian Taylor, Ph.D.
 Ian Taylor, Ph.D., Professor, School of International Relations, University of St. Andrews, U.K.; Joint Professor, School of International Studies, Renmin University of China; Honorary Professor in the Institute of African Studies, Zhejiang Normal University, China.  Author of several books on China/Africa relations, and most recently, “The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation” Routledge 2011.  Co-editor, “African Security”.

Panel Chairs and Discussants

Ambassador Priscilla A. Clapp
 Ambassador Priscilla A. Clapp, Ambassador Clapp is a retired Minister-Counselor in the U.S. Foreign Service.  She is currently engaged in foreign policy analysis and community service with several institutions. During her 30-year career with the U.S. Government, Ambassador Clapp served as Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Burma (1999-2002), Deputy Chief of Mission in the US Embassy in South Africa (1993-96), Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Refugee Programs (1989-1993), Deputy Political Counselor in the US Embassy in Moscow (1986-88), and chief of political-military affairs in the US Embassy in Japan (1981-85).
Hongchu Fu, Ph.D
Hongchu Fu, Ph.D.Professor of Chinese Language & Literature and Chair of The Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures at Washington and Lee University. Dr. Fu received his Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of California at Los Angeles. He taught Chinese language and literature at Pomona College and Smith College before he moved to teach at Washington & Lee University. With his expertise in Chinese linguistics and Chinese drama, he is the author of Common Chinese Synonyms Discriminated (Peking UP, 2009) and Chinese Drama (forthcoming). 
Paul V. Hebert, Ph.D.
 Paul V. Hebert, Ph.D., graduated from VMI in 1968 with a BS in Civil Engineering, earned an MS from UNC/Chapel Hill, as well as a PhD in Environmental Engineering from UNC in 1981. For more than 30 years, Dr. Paul Hebert has worked to promote and support humanitarian action in less developed countries through his work with the UN and other NGOs. 
Mr. Charles Horner
 Mr. Charles Horner is Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute in Washington, DC. He is a China scholar who pays special attention to how China's evolving views of its modern historical experience and its intellectual and cultural traditions influence contemporary developments.  The first volume of his projected two-volume study, Rising China and Its Postmodern Fate, was nominated for the Joseph Levenson Prize of the Association of Asian Studies and the second volume is in progress.
Ambassador Louis J Nigro Jr., Ph.D.
 Ambassador Louis J. Nigro, Jr., (Retired), Ph.D., was U.S. ambassador to Chad from 2007 to 2010.  He served previously as Deputy Chief of Mission in the U.S. Embassy in Guinea-Conakry and as Chief of the Political Section in Chad.  He also  served overseas at U.S. diplomatic missions in Cuba, Haiti, The Vatican, and The Bahamas, as well as in the bureaus of European and Western Hemisphere affairs in Washington.  From 2004-2006, he was detailed by the State Department to the U.S. Army War College as Professor of International Affairs.
Yoon Jung Park, Ph.D.
 Yoon Jung Park, Ph.D.,  is currently a freelance researcher. She is a non-resident Senior Research Associate of the Sociology Department at Rhodes University and serves as the convener/coordinator of the Chinese in Africa/Africans in China (CA/AC) International Research Working Group.
Ms. Anna-Linn Persson
 Ms. Anna-Linn Persson is currently serving as the Senior Civilian Observer of the Joint Monitoring Teams in the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).  Ms. Persson has a Master’s Degree in Political Science concentrating on Peace and Conflict Studies and Bachelor degrees in International Politics and Human Rights and in Spanish. She has studied at universities abroad in France and Spain, and speaks Swedish, English, French, Spanish and German.
Donald L. Sparks, Ph.D.
 Donald L. Sparks, Ph.D., is Professor of International Economics and Director of the Office of Fellowships at the Citadel in Charleston. Dr. Sparks received his BA from the George Washington University and his MA and PhD from the School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London. He has co-authored two economics textbooks and numerous journal articles. He has contributed the Economic Trends chapter for Africa South of the Sahara annually since 1985. Dr Sparks has lectured widely, in sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and North America. His research interests are on monetary integration in Southern Africa, regional economic integration, public-private partnerships and economic growth and development.
Aaron Tesfaye, Ph.D.
Aaron Tesfaye, Ph.D., received his bachelor's and M.P.A degrees from California State University, Fresno. He earned his Ph.D in Political Science from the Center for Politics and Economics, Claremont Graduate University in 1996. He began teaching in 1997 in the Departments of Economics and of Political Science at California State University, Fresno.
Narcisse Tiky, Ph.D.
Narcisse Tiky, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor in Residence, University of Connecticut at Storrs and Research Associate at Southern Methodist University's John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies. Dr. Tiky received his B.A. from the University of Yaoundé in Cameroon, his M.A. from the American University in Washington, D.C., and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Dallas.