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Join us for a Book Launch for: Africa, You Have a Friend in Washington An American Diplomat’s Adventures South of the Sahara by Herman J. “Hank” Cohen
September 19 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Ambassador Herman “Hank” Cohen joins us in inviting you to celebrate publication of his new book at DACOR Bacon House on Tuesday, September 19, at 6:00–7:30 p.m., including refreshments and book-signing.
Please RSVP (acceptances only): [email protected] or 202-682-0500 x20
DACOR Bacon House is located at 1801 F Street, NW, Washington, DC.
“Both experience and insight are keys to good professional memoirs. Ambassador Cohen dishes up large servings of these qualities with objectivity and sympathy. Read it and learn.”
––Edward Marks, U.S. Ambassador (retired)
In his 38-year career as an American diplomat, Hank Cohen experienced many encounters with African leaders, as he recounts along with much more in this latest volume in the ADST Memoirs and Occasional Papers Series. Following his youthful attraction to international service and early postings to Paris and the world of cultural exchange, he specialized in the emerging nations of Africa. He recounts growing a new embassy in Uganda, fighting white supremacy in Southern Rhodesia, the end of colonialism in Zambia, coping with chaos in Zaire, serving in Paris under Kissinger’s scrutiny, and becoming ambassador to Senegal and The Gambia.
Stateside assignments included the intelligence community, personnel management, the National Security Council under Ronald Reagan, heading the Africa Bureau under George H. W. Bush, followed by the World Bank’s Global Coalition for Africa, and, in retirement, heading his own international consulting firm. Throughout, Cohen focused on U.S. relations with economically underperforming sub-Saharan Africa’s postcolonial independent governments. Despite significant development assistance, poverty levels remained high, while private investments in business ventures remained low.
“Ambassador Cohen’s extraordinarily frank memoir draws back the curtain to reveal the complexity of decision-making . . . while shedding light on a basic issue: what kind of foreign policies best promote the American national interest, especially in Africa. It is also fun to read.”
––Dr. Bernard E. Brown, Emeritus Professor of Political Science
City University of New York Graduate Center
Hank Cohen retired from the Foreign Service with the top rank of Career Ambassador. He took a special interest in the economics of developing nations and specialized in U.S. relations with sub-Saharan Africa. Overseas posts included Paris, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Zambia, DRC, and, as ambassador, Senegal. At home he served as assistant secretary of state for African Affairs, the president’s special assistant on Africa, deputy head of State’s Intelligence and Research Bureau, World Bank senior adviser on Africa, president of Cohen and Woods international consulting firm, and adjunct professor at SAIS. He is the author of Intervening in Africa: Superpower Peacemaking in a Troubled Continent, which won the 2000 Douglas Dillon Award; The Mind of the African Strongman: Conversations with Dictators, Statesmen, and Father Figures (2015); and U.S. Policy Toward Africa: Eight Decades of Realpolitik (2020).