Search Results for nelson mandela

Thumbs Down on a Nelson Mandela Speech

Nelson Mandela is justifiably revered, but not every act or speech by the Nobel Peace laureate was universally acclaimed.  American diplomat Tom Krajeski, who served as our ambassador to both Yemen and Bahrain, gave Mandela a candid — and negative — assessment of his speech after both addressed a conference in Dubai.  Mandela asked for […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Nelson Mandela’s Road to the Presidency

May 9th, 1994 marked one of the most significant – and previously unimaginable – milestones in modern African history as Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as President of South Africa. A key figure in the African National Congress (ANC) since the early 1950’s, Mandela  was repeatedly arrested for seditious activities. Although initially committed to non-violent protest, […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Africa Tagged |
The United States and South Africa: The Binational Commission in the Years Following Apartheid

Directly following the election of Nelson Mandela as President of South Africa in 1994, the U.S. government began to work closely with the new South African leadership to facilitate development efforts. Before Mandela’s election, South Africa’s apartheid system and U.S. laws hindered U.S. aid. However, after the election of President Mandela, the binational “Gore-Mbeki Commission” […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
USAID’s Work with an Unsung Hero of the Fight Against Apartheid in South Africa: Dullah Omar

USAID worked intensively with the new South African government after the fall of apartheid in 1994.  William Stacy Rhodes was at the heart of these efforts, serving as Mission Director from 1998-2002.  He recalls working closely with Dullah Omar, Nelson Mandela’s lawyer in the darkest days of apartheid and the first Minister of Justice in […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Harriet Elam-Thomas: A Career Well Served

Harriet Elam-Thomas grew up in Boston, the youngest of five children. She graduated from Simmons College and later earned a Master’s Degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts. Beginning a four-decade career in the Foreign Service, Elam-Thomas served her first tour in Senegal, worked in public diplomacy in Mali and Cote […]

The 1976 Soweto Uprising

During the 1970’s, South Africa’s apartheid rule continued to use official procedures of explicit and implicit racism to subjugate and demoralize the black Africans in the country. By the 1970’s, the majority black communities were sick and tired of these oppressive policies, which led to an increase in violence, protests and militant activity. However, not […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Africa, Human Rights Tagged |
Ghana’s Populist Mystic, Jerry Rawlings

Like many leaders throughout Africa, Jerry Rawlings was a paradoxical figure. He could be calculating and ruthless, as when he ordered a bloody “housecleaning” of those he viewed as corrupt or disloyal. Or he could demonstrate genuine concern for the well-being of Ghanaians as he tried to address the country’s myriad problems. Jerry John Rawlings […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Africa, Human Rights, Military, Spouses and children Tagged |
The Reign of the Snake – The Seedy Tenure of Togo’s President Eyadema

Extravagant dinners with Dom Pérignon and caviar, rampant corruption, political assassinations, a starving populace. Togo had been a small jewel in West Africa in the 1960s, a tourist destination for the French, with fine hotels, a reputation for stability, and a bulwark against Communism. And then it all went to hell. General Gnassingbé Eyadema served as […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Africa, Consular, Human Rights, Women and Minority FSOs Tagged |
Celebrating the Leadership of America’s Ambassadors of African Descent

Ask any five people on an American college campus or maybe even on the streets of any major city, to name the first Black American that comes to their mind when they think of U.S. foreign affairs. I can almost guarantee that the majority of them will mention the names of either Secretaries of State, […]

Oil, Blood and Steel: The Failed Attempt to Create a Democratic Congo

This is the story of how a corrupt multinational oil company, a self-centered dictator,  lingering ethnic tensions, and lack of attention from the West all served to undermine efforts to transform a Marxist-Leninist client state into a democratic African nation. Congo’s struggles have for years been complicated by outside influence from its former colonial ruler, […]

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