The African Network
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Keynote Speaker

Haskel Ward

Senior Vice President

Haskell Sears Ward was born in 1940 in the small town of Griffin, Georgia. As a student at Clark College in Atlanta in 1960, he was an active participant in the student sit-in movement carried out by college students during the civil rights movement. He has over 40 years of experience in public and international affairs.

Mr. Ward has been an officer of two major African infrastructure investment projects. He was for nearly a decade an officer in Global Alumina, a major energy and mining company. At Global Alumina, he was responsible for managing the company’s relationships with key government officials and non-governmental organizations including the U.N., USAID and the World Bank. He is currently Senior Vice President of SEACOM, a company that is developing a major sub-marine fiber optics communications system linking Eastern and Southern Africa with Europe and Asia.

Mr. Ward began his professional career as a volunteer in Kenya in 1962 with a Non-governmental organization, Operation Crossroads Africa, for which he later became a staff member. In 1963, Mr. Ward was a member of one of the first groups of Peace Corps volunteers, posted to Ethiopia. He also worked for the Ford Foundation (in New York City and Lagos, Nigeria), where he specialized in economic development programs and strategies for the Middle East and Africa.

He served on the Policy Planning Staff of the State Department during the Carter Administration under Secretary of State Cyrus Vance. With the rank of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, he was the responsible officer on the Policy Planning Staff for the development and oversight of the Department’s Africa policies. Following his tenure at the State Department, he served as Deputy Mayor of The City of New York in the Administration of Edward Koch.

Mr. Ward served on the board of directors of the American Council on Germany and was a long time member of the Trilateral Commission. He currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of the Corporate Council on Africa and is Chairman of the US side of the US/South African Business Commission. He is Chairman of the Global Advisory Committee of the American Cancer Society.

He is the author of African Development Reconsidered: New Perspectives from the Continent widely used as a college textbook on African development issues.

Mr. Ward received his undergraduate degree from Clark College in Atlanta and his graduate degree in African Studies from the University of California in Los Angeles. He is married to Leah Sears, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia. They reside in Atlanta, Georgia.

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