US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs 1981-89
As the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs between 1981 and 1989, Chester Crocker developed the strategy and led the diplomacy that produced the treaties signed by Angola, Cuba, and South Africa in New York in December 1988. These agreements resulted in Namibia’s independence (March 1990) and the withdrawal of foreign forces from Namibia and Angola.
Dr. Crocker’s previous professional experience includes service as news editor of Africa Report magazine (1968-69) and staff officer at the National Security Council (1970-72) where he worked on Middle East, Indian Ocean, and African issues.
Activity after public politics
Between 1992 and 2004 Chester Crocker was Chairman of the United States Institute of Peace, an independent, nonpartisan institution created and funded by Congress to strengthen knowledge and practice in international conflict. (He continued to serve as a Member of its Board until 2012).
Professor Crocker also serves on the Board of Bell Pottinger Communications USA LLC; Universal Corporation, Inc.; and Good Governance Group Ltd. He consults as advisor on strategy and negotiation to a number of U.S. and European firms.
Having first joined Georgetown University as Director of its Master of Science in Foreign Service program and Associate Professor of International Relations (1972-80), and serving as Director of African studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (1976-80), Dr. Crocker currently lectures and writes on international politics, U.S. foreign policy, conflict management and security issues, the practice of mediation, and African affairs.
He has appeared on numerous television shows, as a dinner or keynote speaker at conferences in the U.S., Europe and Africa, and as a witness in Congressional hearings.
Dr.Crocker has written and co-edited a number of books, including:
- High Noon in Southern Africa: Making Peace in a Rough Neighborhood (1993)
- Managing Global Chaos: Sources of and Responses to International Conflict (1996)
- Herding Cats: Multiparty Mediation in a Complex World (1999)
- Turbulent Peace: The Challenges of Managing International Conflict (2001)
- Taming Intractable Conflicts: Mediation in the Hardest Cases (2004)
- Grasping the Nettle: Analyzing Cases of Intractable Conflict (2004)
- Leashing the Dogs of War: Conflict Management in a Divided World (2007)
Born in New York City in 1941, Dr. Crocker received his B.A. degree from Ohio State University (1963), graduating Phi Beta Kappa, with distinction in history. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.
Memberships and Associations
- Member of the Council on Foreign Relations
- Member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies
- Member of the American Academy of Diplomacy
- Member of the Independent Advisory Board of the World Bank
- Board Member of Bell Pottinger Communications USA LLC
- Board Member of Universal Corporation, Inc
- Board Member & Non-Executive Chairman of Good Governance Group (G3) Holdings Ltd
- Board Member, Housing for HIV Foundation (USA)
- Member, International Advisory Board, International Affairs (Chatham House)