Ambassador Campbell to be UW-Madison Diplomat-in-Residence

DATE: Monday, April 30, 2007
CONTACT: Ronnie Hess, Director of Communications, Division of International Studies, UW-Madison, (608) 262-5590,

Madison, WI – John Campbell, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria since May, 2004, will be Diplomat-in-Residence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison next fall, the Division of International Studies announced today.

“We are tremendously pleased that Ambassador Campbell will spend the next academic year at UW-Madison. His extensive experience as a diplomat, as an international practitioner, will be of enormous benefit to our students, both in and outside the classroom,” says Gilles Bousquet, dean of International Studies. “And he’s a Badger, too, an embodiment of the Wisconsin Idea in a global sense!”

As Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Campbell has led one of the largest U.S. Missions in Africa, with an Embassy in Abuja and a Consulate General in Lagos. His previous domestic assignments in the U.S. Department of State have included Deputy Assistant Secretary, responsible for personnel world-wide under the Director General, Dean of the language training facility, Deputy Executive Secretary, and Director of the Office of UN Political Affairs. His previous overseas assignments have been in Lyon, Paris, Geneva, Lagos, Pretoria and Capetown.

Ambassador Campbell earned his BA and MA degrees from the University of Virginia and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1970. He was a 1990-91 U.S. Department of State Senior Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. From 1970 to 1975, he taught British and French history at Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, Virginia.

Ambassador Campbell, who will retire from government service next fall, will be on campus from October 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008. He will teach a spring semester seminar on current U.S.-African relations for advanced undergraduates and graduate students, advise students participating in the Division of International Studies’ International Internship program in Washington, D.C., and give a series of lectures throughout the academic year for the campus and greater Madison area community.

“I am looking forward to exploring contemporary West African politics and society, with an emphasis on Nigeria, with Wisconsin students and interacting with the wider Madison and Wisconsin community that has an interest in Africa,” Mr. Campbell says. “[Nigeria] is a part of Africa that is of increasing strategic importance to Americans, and its success in building democratic institutions and meeting basic human needs will have a continent-wide impact.”

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, a major source of U.S. energy requirements, and an indispensable U.S. partner on a host of regional and international issues. It is working to build a democratic order characterized by the rule of law following a generation of military misrule.

Ambassador Campbell’s residency is being co-sponsored by African Studies, the International Studies major, and the Department of History.

“The African Studies Program is simply delighted that Ambassador Campbell will be joining us,” says Michael Schatzberg, professor of political science and director of the African Studies Program. “Our students should benefit from the Ambassador’s substantial experience in the world of international diplomacy and his knowledge and observations on the complexities of Nigerian politics and African international relations.”

“Ambassador Campbell’s experience and insight will provide a valuable contribution to our university’s longstanding strength in the study of Africa,” says David McDonald, professor of history and Chair of the Department of History.