Chris Fomunyoh, Ph.D.
Chris Fomunyoh and Hon. Cheikh
Cissokho, Speaker of the National
Assembly of Senegal, one of Africa's
Former President Jimmy Carter, former Nigerian President Ousmane
and Chris Fomunyoh at a press
conference in Abuja, Nigeria (February,1999)
A native of Cameroon, Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh
has been deeply involved in the development and strengthening of democracies in Africa since 1989.
He is currently senior associate for Africa and regional director at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), a Washington-based nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide by promoting citizen participation, openness and accountability in government.
Dr. Chris Fomunyoh has organized and advised international election observation missions to Benin, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. He has also designed and supervised country specific democracy support programs with civic organizations, political parties and legislative bodies in Benin, Burundi, Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Liberia, Mali, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, The Gambia, Senegal and Togo.
A few years ago, Dr. Fomunyoh designed and helped launch the African Statesmen Initiative (ASI), a program aimed at facilitating political transitions in Africa by encouraging former democratic Heads of State to stay engaged in humanitarian issues, conflict mediation, public health and other key sectors of political, economic and human development on the continent.
In the course of his work, Dr. Fomunyoh interacts regularly with Heads of State and Government, Cabinet ministers, elected officials and political and civic leaders. Also, as regional director he serves as the principal liaison between NDI and development partners working in Africa such as the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, the National Endowment for Democracy and the UK Department for International development (DFID).
As an expert on democratization, Dr. Fomunyoh makes frequent guest appearances on PBS NewsHour, CNN, Voice of America, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Radio France Internationale (RFI) and other foreign television and radio stations, as well as interviews for major national and international newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Times, Le Monde and International Herald Tribune. He has also authored many scholarly articles.
Prior to his career in the United States, Dr. Fomunyoh worked in Douala, Cameroon -- first for the Water Corporation, Societé Nationale des Eaux du Cameroun (SNEC), and later for Cameroon Airlines where he established and ran the Legal Department for close to seven years.
In his primary school days, Dr. Fomunyoh attended Catholic School Guzang, then later Presbyterian Schools in Ambo and Guzang (both in Batibo Sub-Division) before proceeding to secondary school in Cameroon Protestant College, Bali, one of the oldest and most renowned academic institutions in the country. He later studied in Cameroon College of Arts, Science and Technology (CCAST) Bambili, before matriculating in the University of Yaoundé, Faculty of Law and Economics.
Dr. Fomunyoh holds a Licence en Droit from Yaounde University in Cameroon, a Master's Degree (LL.M.) in International Law from Harvard Law School; and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Boston University. He also holds a professional certificate in Air Law from the Université d’Aix en Provence in France. Dr. Fomunyoh is an adjunct faculty at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, and a former adjunct professor of African Politics and Government at Georgetown University. He is perfectly bilingual in English and French.
Dr. Fomunyoh has traveled extensively in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America. He resides in Washington, DC with his wife Mary Anne, their two sons Franklin and Brian, and their daughter Christina.
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