I am an Africa political-military analyst based in Washington, DC focusing on dynamics of armed conflict, human security, weak/failed states, and security cooperation.
I’ve worked at the Center for Complex Operations (CCO), the CNA Corporation, the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS), and the RAND Corporation, and I have a M.A. in Security Studies from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a B.A. in International Relations from Carleton College. While at Carleton, I received the David L. Boren National Security Education Program Scholarship and the Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellowship.
My published work has appeared in the The Atlantic, The National Interest, RUSI Journal, PRISM, World Politics Review, Washington Post’s Monkey Cage Blog, Christian Science Monitor, Naval War College Review, African Arguments, War on the Rocks, and Journal of International Peace Operations, and I’ve been interviewed on media outlets such as PBS News Hour, BBC News, Al Jazeera America, France 24, and Radio France Internationale. I’ve also been quoted in the New York Times, Foreign Policy, US News & World Report, Global Post, Voice of America, Al Jazeera America, Stars & Stripes, Think Africa Press, The American Interest, Think Progress, Business Insider, IRIN, Daily Maverick, and World Politics Review’s Trend Lines.
I am currently a PhD candidate in War Studies at Kings College London, where my dissertation focuses on the disintegration of the military integration process in South Sudan. I’m also a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Editorial Board for Parameters, the U.S. Army War College Quarterly.
My interest in Africa has developed from multiple sources over several years – first as a member of the African diaspora (Yay Trinidad!), then through my undergraduate research on Afro-Brazilian political mobilization and the evolution of the dialogue on race in Brazil during the 20th century, and finally through my language studies in French, Portuguese, and Arabic which contributed to my career focus on Africa. I started this blog at the urging of my family – especially my sister, who is one of my mentors and many sources of inspiration. She blogs at A Life More Ordinary.
Lesley on Africa covers African politics and security, and occasionally, my reflections from travels on the continent. The opinions expressed in this blog are mine alone, and do not reflect the views of any organization with which I am affiliated.
You can follow me on twitter or reach me by email at lesleyonafrica [at] gmail [dot] com.