Jendayi E. Frazer

Distinguished Service Professor at Carnegie Mellon University; Fmr. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs

Ambassador Frazer was the leading architect of U.S.-Africa policy for nearly a decade serving in senior positions across the U.S. Government at the State Department, National Security Council, Department of Defense, and as the first woman U.S. Ambassador to South Africa.

As the former top diplomat on Africa, she brings unparalleled access to African leaders and officials, and offers valuable insight on recent and future developments in Africa, and on U.S. foreign policy, international development policy, and national security decision-making. As Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and Special Assistant to the President for African Affairs at the National Security Council Frazer was the lead adviser on Africa to the President, National Security Advisor, and Secretary of State. She was instrumental in establishing innovative development initiatives including the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), African Education Initiative, and the Millennium Challenge Account. She also designed the administration’s policies for ending the wars in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Burundi, and was central in resolving the political dispute following Kenya’s 2007 presidential election. As Ambassador, Frazer was the chief executive of the largest U.S. embassy in sub-Saharan Africa, and directed $200 million in U.S. assistance to South Africa. She championed American business with South Africa as the primary destination of U.S. private investment in sub-Saharan Africa. Frazer has served both Republican and Democratic Administrations, and prior to government service was Assistant Professor at the University of Denver and at Harvard University. She returned to academia in 2009 as Distinguished Public Service Professor at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Frazer obtained her B.A. in Political Science (honors) and African and Afro-American Studies (distinction) in 1985, and her M.A. degrees in International Policy Studies in 1985, and International Development Education in 1989, and a Ph.D. in Political Science in 1994, all from Stanford University.