Dr. J. Peter Pham is the United States Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa. Dr. Pham will be responsible for coordinating the implementation of U.S. policy on the cross-border security, political, and economic issues in the Great Lakes region, with an emphasis on strengthening democratic institutions and civil society, as well as the safe and voluntary return of the region’s refugees and internally displaced persons.
Dr. Pham also serves as Vice President and Director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council. Pham was previously Senior Vice President of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, and Editor of its bimonthly journal, American Foreign Policy Interests. He was also a tenured Associate Professor of justice studies, political science, and Africana studies at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where he was also Director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs. Dr. Pham is the author of more than 300 essays and reviews and the author, editor, or translator of over a dozen books, primarily on African history, politics, and economics.
From 2008 to 2017, Dr. Pham was Vice President of the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA), an academic organization which represents more than 1,300 scholars of Middle Eastern and African Studies at more than 300 colleges and universities in the United States and overseas. In 2015, the Regents of the Smithsonian Institution elected Dr. Pham to the Board of the National Museum of African Art, of which he is presently Vice-chair.
Dr. Pham holds a B.A. in economics from the University of Chicago and a doctorate from the Gregorian University, as well as postgraduate degrees in history, law, international relations, and theology.