Former Ambassador speaks on African Affairs
Gribbin served in 15 African nations
Published: Friday, February 22, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 21, 2013 17:02
Former Ambassador Robert E. Gribbin will give two free public lectures on foreign affairs in Africa at the C.J. Davidson Conference Center.
His first lecture, “Where is Africa Going,” will take place on Monday, Feb. 25 at 1 p.m., followed by “Conflict and Terrorism in Africa” on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 8 p.m.
“My first lecture will be over what’s going on in Africa now; how it’s evolving, what the problems are, the status of human rights,” Gribbin said. “The other [lecture] revolves more around conflict and terrorism.
“Many Americans see Africa as an area of conflict which is not entirely wrong, but I’ll discuss how it arises and what the future might bring; in fact, the amount of conflict in Africa is reducing.”
Gribbin has served in fifteen African nations during the past thirty-five years including Chad, Ghana, Congo, Liberia, Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria.
He was a US Ambassador to Rwanda from 1995-99 and Central African Republic from 1992-95.
Gribbin retired from full time diplomatic service in 1999.
Gribbin said he is still engaged in a program with the state department that calls him back every so often for specific jobs.
“I still manage to keep as busy as I want to be,” Gribbin said.
Senior Cheyenne Benson said she is excited to meet the former ambassador.
“I can’t wait to hear his stories about the time he spent abroad,” Benson said. “I think it will be fascinating to learn from his experiences.”
In 2011, Gribbin organized and taught a graduate-level course at American University’s School of International Service entitled Conflict Resolution in Africa.
He has taught three courses on the history, politics, economics and current issues in Sudan for U.S. diplomatic personnel, as well as lectured on the Rwandan genocide, the Congo wars, human rights and democracy.
Gribbin has also lectured to Africa-focused classes at American University, Virginia Tech, Harvard, The Naval War College, The National Defense University and the University of the South.
Gribbin also teaches US Special Forces personnel about how embassies function and consults for the U.S. military in several capacities, usually as an African area expert.
He has received superior honor awards for combating famine in the Horn of Africa and for superb management of American affairs in trouble-torn Rwanda.
Gribbin has several publications including, “In the Aftermath of Genocide: the U.S. Role in Rwanda,” a memoir about his service in Rwanda and his novel “State of Decay, an Oubangui Chronicle.”
Gribbin is being brought in by The Foreign Affairs Speakers Program.
FASP is a program that regularly invites a member of the U.S. diplomatic corps, such as ambassadors, to campus for a series of presentations and classroom visits, according to a FASP report.