SFS Leadership Engages with Alumni, Friends in Nigeria and South Africa

Dean Joel Hellman speaks with Georgetown alumni at a reception in Johannesburg, South Africa

SFS Dean Joel Hellman and Professor Scott Taylor, Director of the African Studies Program, recently visited Nigeria and South Africa to meet with SFS alumni and friends in the region. They explored partnerships with a range of stakeholders in each country, as SFS looks to deepen academic, business, and philanthropic relationships on the continent. Enhancing global experiences for SFS students was an important component of many conversations; Centennial Labs, student internships, and research and study programs are among the potential opportunities.

Professor Scott Taylor with Georgetown alumni in Lagos, Nigeria.

SFS hosted Georgetown alumni events in Lagos, Nigeria and Johannesburg, South Africa during mid-February. While in Johannesburg, Dean Hellman also visited South African think tank Pari: Public Affairs Research Institute, where he spoke on state-capture (privatization of government resources) in South Africa. Hellman wrote his Ph.D dissertation at Columbia University about state-capture in the former Soviet Union.

“It was wonderful to visit our alumni community in Nigeria and South Africa. We encountered a tremendous amount of excitement about Georgetown visiting Africa. I look forward to finding more ways for SFS to be engaged on the African continent,” Dean Hellman said.

SFS has several ongoing activities in Africa. Taylor leads the African Studies Program’s annual alternative spring break trip to Nairobi, Kenya, which combines lessons in international development and historical analysis with site visits and interviews with leaders in business, government and civil society. Led by the African Studies program since 2011, this week-long program for graduate and undergraduate students includes visits with government, firms, and development organizations. The African Studies Program also offers a summer study abroad program in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The trip is part of a six-week, seven-credit intensive academic program combining language classes and area studies in Dar es Salaam with extended travel to Arusha and a three- to four-day safari in the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater Park.

SFS is committed to increasing the representation of African students as a part of the SFS community. Currently, there is a full-tuition scholarship for a talented graduate student from sub-Saharan Africa offered in both the Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) Program and the Global Human Development Program.