Dr. Robin Renee Sanders served as U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the ECOWAS Regional Organization from 2007-2010, and to the Republic of the Congo from 2002-2005. Prior to that she was the International Affairs Advisor and Deputy Commandant of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces -- one of the U.S. military’s premier colleges at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. -- where she also taught International Affairs, National Security Issues, and African Studies. Ambassador Sanders has served twice as the Director for Africa at the National Security Council at the White House. She has a range of foreign and public policy analytical experience; technical expertise in public diplomacy; substantive knowledge on business development, African election processes, human rights, food security, education, environment, democracy, conflict resolution; and best practice expertise on energy sector reform having worked in two oil-producing African nations.
Ambassador Sanders holds a Doctor of Science degree from Pittsburgh’s Robert Morris University (RMU); Master of Art and Master of Science degrees in International Relations, Africa Studies, and Communications, respectively from Ohio University; and, a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Hampton University. Dr. Sanders is currently Board Chairperson of Songhai Integrative Farms Systems – which are leading African centers of excellence focusing on the key global issues of food security, agriculture, sustainable environment, energy, youth education and entrepreneurship. Sanders also is founder of the FEEEDS® Advocacy Initiative on these same issues at RMU and an RMU Board Trustee.
Sanders is the recipient of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Civilian Honor Award (one of the highest U.S. military civilian honor awards); three State Department Superior Honor Awards; four State Department Meritorious Honor Awards; the “Presidential Medal of Honor” from the President of the Republic of Congo; several citations in Who’s Who in America; and, was recently inducted into the U.S. National Honor and Scholar Society for her leadership, public service and academic work. She is a board member of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, and a global advisor to Operation Hope - a non-profit organization focused on at risk communities around the world.
In addition to her most recent State Department assignment as the International Affairs Advisor and Communication-Outreach Director for Africare, a U.S. development NGO, Sanders’ overseas postings have included Dominican Republic, Portugal, Sudan, Namibia, Senegal, Republic of Congo, and Nigeria, with missions to Angola, South Africa, DRC, Cameroon, Botswana, Mozambique, Rwanda, Zambia, and Benin. Sanders speaks French, some Spanish and Portuguese.
Activities and articles written by Dr. Sanders can be found on her blog www.blogitrrs.blogspot.com, www.huffingtonpost.com, www.foodsecurity.asc.uk, or follow her global interest on FEEEDS® issues on www.twitter.com/#rrsafrica