Project Description

David Shinn has been teaching in the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University since 2001.  He previously served in the U.S. Foreign Service for 37 years with assignments at embassies in Lebanon, Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritania, Cameroon, Sudan, and as ambassador to Burkina Faso and Ethiopia.  He served in the State Department as desk officer for Somalia and Djibouti and assistant desk officer for Ethiopia, desk officer for Tanzania and Uganda, State Department Coordinator for Somalia during the international intervention in 1993, and director of East African and Horn of African affairs.

Ambassador Shinn serves on a number of non-governmental organization boards and is a frequent contributor to Voice of America, BBC, Al-Jazeera, China Central Television, and Radio France Internationale.  He is the author of numerous articles in policy and academic journals and contributor to edited books dealing with Africa.  Dr. Shinn is the co-author of China and Africa: A Century of Engagement (2012) and Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia (2013) and the author of Hizmet in Africa: The Activities and Significance of the Gülen Movement (2015).

He has a PhD in political science from George Washington University and blogs at  He speaks at events around the world concerning Africa and China-Africa.