Robert I. Rotberg

World Peace Foundation
Historian; Political scientist; Educator; Academic administrator; Foundation executive
Humanities and Arts

Robert I. Rotberg is the Founding Director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Program on Intrastate Conflict and President Emeritus of the World Peace Foundation (1993-2010). Previously, he was professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1968-87), academic vice president of Tufts University (1987-90), and president of Lafayette College (1990-93). He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He was Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in Waterloo, Canada. and the inaugural Fulbright Research Chair in Political Development at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and Visiting Fulbright Scholar at CIGI. In fall 2012, he was the inaugural Fulbright Research Chair at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) at Carleton University and at the North-South Institute (NSI). In 2016-2017, he was the Fulbright Distinguished Professor International Relations at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. He was a Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 2014-2015. He is an expert on conflict and conflict prevention in the developing world, especially Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean, on failed and fragile states, on good governance and encouraging good governance, on genocide and ethnic cleansing, on corruption, and on specific civil wars and other contemporary issues in Sudan, Kenya, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Somalia, Burma, Sri Lanka, Latin America, and Haiti. He created the Index of African Governance. He also writes on the politics and political history of sub-Saharan Africa, including the biography of Cecil Rhodes. Rotberg is an honorary trustee of Oberlin College. He received the A.B. degree (1955) in history from Oberlin College, and the D.Phil. at University and St. Antony’s Colleges, University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. Rotberg chaired the project on Countering Corruption in Nation-States (2009-10) and edited the resulting publication, Corruption, Global Security, and World Order (Brookings Institution Press). In 2018, he edited a special issue of Daedalus: Anticorruption: How to Beat Back Political and Corporate Graft. In 2015-2016, he led a year-long study group on the challenges and opportunities of contemporary sub-Saharan Africa. His several most recent books are about corruption globally, about transformative political leadership, and about the emergence of Africa.

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