Donald B. Easum
Ambassador Easum’s distinguished career as an Africa expert extended beyond his 27 years in the U.S. Department of State. Afterward, he spent eight years as President of the African American Institute and most recently was a consultant and board member of non-profit organizations operating in Africa. Ambassador Easum was Senior Program Consultant and Vice President of the River Blindness Foundation. He was a member of the Boards of the Rothko Chapel, Renewable Energy for African Development, Friends of Boys Town South Africa, WorldSpace Foundation and the American School of Tangier. During his frequent trips to Africa on behalf of these institutions he maintained high-level contacts in business and government throughout the continent.
While in the Foreign Service, Ambassador Easum rose to the position of Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. He served as U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria and Burkina Faso and Deputy Ambassador in Niger. He also served in Senegal, The Gambia and Guinea Bissau. Ambassador Easum received the State Department’s Meritorious Service Award, he was the author of numerous articles and has lectured widely in the U.S. and Africa.
Ambassador Easum spent 27 years in the U.S. Foreign Service at posts in Nicaragua, Indonesia, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Niger, Upper Volta (Ambassador, 1971-74) and Nigeria (Ambassador, 1975-79)… In April 2003 he was a member of the National Democratic Institute’s monitoring team for the Nigerian elections. He was a Board member of the American School of Tangier/Marrakech, Pact (Washington, DC), and the Rothko Chapel (Houston). He was Senior Fellow at Yale University’s Stimson Seminar from 1998 to 2004 and taught at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He lectured widely in the United States, Europe and Africa on U.S.-African relations. Ambassador Easum held a B.A. degree (Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of Wisconsin as well as M.P.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University. He also studied at London University on a Fulbright scholarship and in Buenos Aires on a Doherty Foundation grant and a Penfield fellowship. He was fluent in Spanish and French.
Ambassador Easum died on April 16, 2016 at the age of 92.