Alex de Waal

Research Professor, Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation

  • D.Phil., Social Anthropology, Nuffield College, Oxford
  • BA (Hons), Psychology with Philosophy, Corpus Christi College, Oxford


Alex de Waal is Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation and a Research Professor at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Considered one of the foremost experts on Sudan and the Horn of Africa, his scholarship and practice has also probed humanitarian crisis and response, human rights, HIV/AIDS and governance in Africa, and conflict and peacebuilding. Professor de Waal received a D.Phil. from Oxford for his thesis on the 1984-1985 Darfur famine in Sudan. He worked for several Africa-focused human rights organizations, focusing on the Horn of Africa, and especially on avenues to peaceful resolution of the second Sudanese Civil War. He also researched the intersection of HIV/AIDS, poverty and governance, and initiated the Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa. De Waal was a fellow at the Global Equity Initiative at Harvard (2004-2006), and Program Director at the Social Science Research Council. He was a member of the African Union mediation team for Darfur (2005-2006) and senior adviser to the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel for Sudan (2009-2012). He was on the list of Foreign Policy’s 100 most influential public intellectuals in 2008 and Atlantic Monthly’s 27 “brave thinkers” in 2009.

Areas of Expertise
  • Africa
  • Complex Emergencies
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Human Rights
  • Humanitarian Action
  • Security and Defense, International
  • Sudan

Professional Activities
  • President, International Humanitarian Studies Association (2009-2011)
  • Chair, Mines Advisory Group (1993-98)

Professional Associations
  • International Humanitarian Studies Association

  • Visiting Professor, London School of Economics
  • Fellow, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
  • Fellow, Social Science Research Council
  • Senior Adviser, African Union High Level Implementation Panel for Sudan

Email Address

Office Phone

Mailing Address
World Peace Foundation, 169 Holland Street, Suite 201
Somerville, Massachusetts, 02144

World Peace Foundation

Related Links

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School Leadership


  • Board of Advisors
  • Asian Advisory Group
  • European Advisory Group
  • Latin American Advisory Group
  • MENASA Advisory Group