November 1, 2007

HARRISONBURG—Dr. J. Peter Pham, director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University, is scheduled to address a November 8-9, 2007, international conference in Lisbon, Portugal. The conference on “The European Union and Africa: Looking for a Strategic Partnership” is being sponsored by the Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD) and the Portuguese Institute for International Relations (IPRI) at the University of Lisbon as the official lead-up to the second European Union-Africa Summit which will meet in the same city next month.

Dr. Pham, who is also an associate professor of justice studies, political science, and Africana studies, will address “Nigeria’s Foreign Policy” on Thursday, November 8, at a plenary session of the conference on “African Regional Powers.” The conference is being chaired by Antonio Monteiro, the EU’s Special Envoy for the EU-Africa Summit, and will hear from twenty-eight invited political leaders, policymakers, academics, and other Africa experts from Europe, Africa, and North America. Dr. Pham is one of only two Americans invited to address the meeting (the other being Victoria K. Holt, co-director of the Future of Peace Operations Project at the Henry L. Stimson Center in Washington).

Dr. Pham has testified before the U.S. Congress and conducted briefings or consulted for both Congressional and Executive agencies, including the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Defense. He has served as a U.S. delegate on the international delegation monitoring the national elections in Liberia (2005), as well as on the international delegations conducting pre-election assessment (2006) and election observation (2007) in Nigeria. Dr. Pham writes a weekly column on African security issues, “Strategic Interests,” which is distributed by the World Defense Review, and is vice president of the new Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA).

Dr. Pham’s participation came as a result of contact earlier this year with Manuela Franco, who served as Portugal’s deputy minister for foreign affairs and cooperation from 2003 to 2004 and is the coordinator of the conference. Subsequently, former Portuguese Deputy Prime Minister Rui Machete, president of FLAD, and Professor Carlos Gaspar, director of IPRI and chief of staff (1996-2006) of the President of Portugal, the official hosts of the Lisbon meeting, communicated the formal invitation on behalf of Portugal, which currently holds the presidency of the European Union (EU).