Professor, Strategic Studies
Chester A. Crocker is the James R. Schlesinger professor of strategic studies at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and serves on the board of its Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. Dr. Crocker’s teaching and research focus on international security, conflict management and mediation.
From 1981 to 1989, Dr. Crocker served as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. He developed the strategy and led the diplomacy that produced the treaties signed by Angola, Cuba, and South Africa in New York in December 1988. These agreements resulted in Namibia’s independence (March 1990) and the withdrawal of foreign forces from Namibia and Angola. President Ronald Reagan granted him the President’s Citizens Medal, the country’s second highest civilian award.
Dr. Crocker chaired the board of the United States Institute of Peace (1992-2004) and continued to serve as a director through 2011 of this independent, nonpartisan institution created and funded by Congress to strengthen knowledge and practice in international conflict. He serves on the board of the Good Governance Group Ltd, an independent strategic advisory firm. He is a founding member of the Global Leadership Foundation, a leading international NGO that advises leaders facing governance and conflict challenges; and also serves on the board of the Ngena Foundation, and the international advisory board of International Affairs (London). He is a non-resident distinguished fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Canada. Dr. Crocker consults as advisor on strategy and negotiation to a number of U.S. and European firms.
Dr. Crocker’s previous professional experience includes service as news editor of Africa Report magazine (1968-69) and staff officer at the National Security Council (1970-72) where he worked on Middle East, Indian Ocean, and African issues. He first joined Georgetown University as director of its Master of Science in Foreign Service program, serving concurrently as associate professor of international relations (1972-80). He served as director of African studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (1976-80).
Dr. Crocker lectures and writes on international politics, U.S. foreign policy, conflict management and security issues, and African affairs. He appears on media and as a dinner or keynote speaker in the U.S., Europe and Africa. His book, High Noon in Southern Africa: Making Peace in a Rough Neighborhood, was published by Norton in 1993. He is the co-author of Taming Intractable Conflicts: Mediation in the Hardest Cases (2004) and co-editor with Pamela Aall of The Fabric of Peace in Africa: Looking Beyond the State (2017) and Minding the Gap: African Conflict Management in a Time of Change; and with Fen O. Hampson and Pamela Aall of: Managing Conflict in a World Adrift (2015), Rewiring Regional Security in a Fragmented World (2011), Leashing the Dogs of War: Conflict Management in a Divided World (2007), Grasping the Nettle: Analyzing Cases of Intractable Conflict (2005), Turbulent Peace: The Challenges of Managing International Conflict (2001), Herding Cats: Multiparty Mediation in a Complex World (1999) and Managing Global Chaos: Sources of and Responses to International Conflict (1996). Born in New York City in 1941, Dr. Crocker received his B.A. degree from Ohio State University (1963), graduating Phi Beta Kappa, with distinction in history. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, The International Institute of Strategic Studies, the International Studies Association, and the American Academy of Diplomacy.