Alex DeWaal

Alex de Waal

160 Packard Avenue, Medford, MA 02155
Research/Areas of Interest:

Africa; Complex Emergencies; Conflict Resolution; Human Rights; Humanitarian Action; Security and Defense, International; Sudan; Famine


  • D.Phil., Social Anthropology, Nuffield College, Oxford
  • B.A. (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 at Tufts University. 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

Human Rights
Humanitarian Affairs
International Law & Organizations

Professional Activities

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

Other Affiliations

  • 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


  • Atlantic Monthly’s 27 “brave thinkers,” 2009
  • Officer, Order of the British Empire, 2009
  • 100 top public intellectuals, Foreign Policy/Prospect, 2007

Courses taught