Francis Deng to join MIT Center of International Studies

Expert on human security awarded CIS Wilhelm Fellowship
November 29, 2005

CAMBRIDGE, MA—Francis Mading Deng, research professor of international politics, law and society, and director of the Center for Displacement Studies at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C., will join MIT’s Center for International Studies (CIS) on May 1, 2006, as the Center’s Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow.

Professor Deng, a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Kluge Center of the Library of Congress, served from 1992-2004 as the Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Internally Displaced Persons, with the rank of Under-Secretary-General. He is a leading scholar of indigenous cultures and the role of tradition in development, the politics and conflicts of identity in the Sudan, conflict management and the challenges of nation building in Africa, and the global crisis of internal displacement.

Professor Deng served as Sudan’s Ambassador to Canada, the Scandinavian countries and the United States, and was the Sudan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. He resigned from the foreign service in 1983 to protest Sudan’s growing orientation toward Islamic fundamentalism.

"Francis Deng is one of the world's leading diplomats, an unusual combination of practitioner and theorist. At the U.N., he helped revolutionize the global responsibility for human security,” said John Tirman, Executive Director of CIS. “We are honored and delighted that he'll be joining us here at the Center, where he will add new dimensions that will benefit the entire MIT community."

Professor Deng has been involved in numerous peace efforts and has collaborated with prominent mediators, including President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. He is the author of several books about the Dinka of Sudan, and has written or co-authored numerous other volumes, including: Protecting the Dispossessed: A Challenge for the International Community; Conflict Resolution in Africa; Masses in Flight: the Crisis of Internal Displacement; Human Rights in Africa; and Forsaken People: Case Studies of the Internally Displaced.

The one-year Robert E. Wilhelm Fellowship is awarded by MIT’s Center for International Studies to individuals who have held senior positions in public life. Wilhelm Fellows come to the Center with an intellectual project to be accomplished and collaborate with MIT faculty members in research and/or teaching.

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The Center for International Studies (CIS) supports interna­tional research and education at MIT. It is the home of MIT’s Security Studies Program; the MIT International Science & Technology Initiative, its pioneering global education program; the Program on Emerging Technologies; and seminars and research on migration, South Asia politics, the Middle East, cybersecurity, nuclear weapons, and East Asia. The Center has traditionally been aligned with the social sciences while also working with MIT’s premier science and engineering scholars. CIS produces research that creatively addresses global issues while helping to educate the next generation of global citizens.