Ambassador Princeton N. Lyman

Senior Advisor to the President U.S. Institute of Peace

Ambassador Lyman began his government career with the U.S. Agency for International Development and served as USAID director in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 1976 to 1978. Subsequently, he was deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs (1981-1986), U.S. ambassador to Nigeria (1986-1989), director of refugee programs (1989-1992), U.S. ambassador to South Africa (1992-1995), and assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs (1996-1998). From 2008-2010, he was a member of the African Advisory Committee to the United States Trade Representative.

Ambassador Lyman was called back to government by President Obama to serve as the presidential special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan from March 2011 to March 2013.  As special envoy he led U.S. policy in the final stages of implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended the Sudan-South Sudan civil war.

Outside of government, from 1999 to 2003, Ambassador Lyman was executive director of the Global Interdependence Initiative at the Aspen Institute. From 2003 to 2006, he was the Ralph Bunche Fellow for African Affairs at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has also been an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and at Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies.

Ambassador Lyman has a PhD in political science from Harvard University. He has published books and articles on foreign policy, African affairs, economic development, HIV/AIDS, U.N. reform, and peacekeeping. He has published op-eds in The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Sun, Miami Herald, Los Angeles Times, and International Herald Tribune. His book, Partner to History: The U.S. Role in South Africa’s Transition to Democracy (U.S. Institute of Peace Press), was published in 2002. He was co-director of the Council on Foreign Relations Task Force Report, “More Than Humanitarianism: A Strategic U.S. Approach Toward Africa”, issued in 2006, and co-editor of Beyond Humanitarianism: What You Need to Know About Africa and Why It Matters (Council on Foreign Relations) published in 2007.

Most recently he has published several articles on Sudan and South Sudan, including “Sudan-South Sudan: The Unfinished Tasks” (American Foreign Policy Interests, Fall 2013), “The United States and South Sudan: A Relationship Under Pressure,” (The Ambassador’s Review, Fall 2013), “Crisis and Opportunity in South Sudan” (USIP Peace Brief, January 2014). He wrote on Nelson Mandela’s legacy on democracy in the April 2014 issue of the Journal of Democracy.