The Wilson Center is pleased to announce that His Excellency Festus Mogae, current President of Botswana and Betty Oyella Bigombe, Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), will be joining the Africa Program as Distinguished Fellows.

President Festus Mogae succeeded Quett Masire as President of Botswana in 1998 and was re-elected in 2004. Mogae studied economics in the United Kingdom, first at the University of Sussex and then at the University of Oxford. He returned to Botswana to work as a Planning Officer in the Ministry of Development and Planning and later held several positions in the Ministry of Finance. He also held several posts with the International Monetary Fund, the African Development Bank and the Bank of Botswana. In the private sector, President Mogae was chair of the Botswana Development Corporation, worked with DeBeers Botswana Mining, Bangwato Concessions Ltd., and B.C.L. Sales Ltd. He was vice-president of Botswana from 1992 to 1998, and also Minister of Finance and Development Planning. President Mogae will be a fellow during the summer of 2008.

Betty Oyella Bigombe is currently a Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and is writing a book on the challenges of mediation in armed conflicts. She has extensive experience in Conflict Management/Resolution, Mediation, Support Services to war-torn societies and displaced communities with a focus on vulnerable groups. She also served as Chief Mediator between the government of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Betty Bigombe has served as Ugandan Minister of State, Deputy Minister and also Project Manager for the African Development Bank. She received a MA in Public Administration from Harvard University in June 1997 and was a Fellow in Public Policy and Management at the Harvard Institute for International Development. Bigombe received her BA with Honors in Literature, Sociology and Rural Economy from Makerere University, Uganda. Bigombe will be a fellow from February until July 2008.

Also, Ahmed Abdisalam Adan and Maina Kiai will be serving as Public Policy Scholars.

Ahmed Abdisalam Adan is currently the Managing Partner and Director of programs of HornAfrik Media Inc. in Mogadishu, Somalia. Previously, he was a Program Manager at the Employment Resource Centre in the City of Ottawa, Canada. He was also an Employment Counselor in the City of Ottawa, Canada from 1990-1996. In Somalia, Adan served as Director of Higher Education in the Somali Ministry of Culture & Higher Education from September 1987 - May 1999. Adan received a Master's Degree in Social Policy Analysis from McMaster University in Canada in 1997. He attended the United States Department of Agriculture's Graduate School for Human Resource Development in 1989. He also earned a MA in Social Research from the University of Kent at Canterbury in 1988 and a BA in Education at Somali National University in 1981. Adan will join the Center in January 2008.

Maina Kiai, an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, is the Chairman of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR). In November 2004, Kiai was nominated to sit in the Steering Committee of the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF). Prior to taking up his position with the National Commission, Kiai was the Director of Africa Programs at the International Human Rights Law Group (now Global Rights) in Washington DC. Kiai also served as Africa Director at the International Secretariat of Amnesty International (AI) in London, UK, from 1999 to 2001. Kiai is the founding Executive Director of the nongovernmental Kenya Human Rights Commission. Kiai will begin his fellowship in February 2008.