Council Establishes First Endowed Chair in Africa Policy Studies at Any U.S. Think Tank or Public Policy School

January 8, 2003

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New York, January 7, 2003 - The Council on Foreign Relations has established an endowed chair in Africa Policy Studies, Council President Leslie H. Gelb announced today. The chair holder will bring together existing American talent on Africa with new American talent and with African leaders to address Africa’s problems. “The new chair shows the Council’s commitment to addressing African issues and represents a clear statement by the Council’s Board and members that Africa should be and will be a top priority for US foreign policy,” said Gelb.

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The chair will be named in honor of the late Ralph Bunche. Dr. Bunche was Under Secretary General of the United Nations and the first African-American to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. Dr. Bunche was also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. A distinguished scholar and public servant, he embodied both academic and practical policy skills as will the Senior Fellow who will hold the chair in his name.

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The Bunche Senior Fellow will be an agenda-setter on African policy, a mobilizer of talent to help solve Africa’s growing array of problems, and a researcher/writer/commentator on African affairs. The mobilizing idea behind the chair is that the United States should contribute to the solution of Africa’s problems because it is right to do so and because doing so is in America’s national interest. The underlying belief here is that helping to solve matters of economic and political development in Africa along with Africa’s vast health and humanitarian calamities will help advance United States national security interests as well.

The Council has endowed the Bunche Chair with $3.2 million in lead gifts to date. The major donors have been The Hurford Foundation, The Coca-Cola Company, The Starr Foundation, ChevronTexaco, and a number of private individuals. Carl Ware, Executive Vice President, The Coca-Cola Company, and Vincent A. Mai, Chairman, AEA Investors, Inc., have co-chaired the effort, working with a distinguished committee of Council members.


Contact: Lisa Shields, Director of Communications, 212-434-9888

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