Known worldwide as a policy leader and expert on African Affairs, Dr. Jendayi Frazer became the first woman U.S Ambassador to South Africa in June 2004. Before that appointment, Ambassador Frazer served as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from August 2005 to January 2009. She was also Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council from January 2001 to June 2004.
During her nearly decade-long service as the leading architect of US-Africa policy, US assistance to Africa quadrupled, reaching a historic high of $6.7 billion by 2008. She was instrumental in the decisions that established the Bush Administration’s signature initiatives, including the $15 billion President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the $500 million African Education Initiative, as well as the Millennium Challenge Account that committed $3.2 billion to well-governed African countries by 2008. Dr. Frazer was widely credited for designing the administration’s policies for ending the wars in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Burundi. She was also instrumental in resolving the crisis following Kenya’s 2007 presidential election. In recognition of her contributions, Secretary Condoleezza Rice presented Frazer with the Distinguished Service Award in January 2009, the highest award bestowed by the Secretary of State. In July 2010, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf awarded Frazer with the distinction of Dame Grand Commander in the Humane Order of African Redemption to recognize her contributions to end Liberia’s civil war and restore peace and democracy to the country.
Dr. Frazer is the Managing Partner of Africa Exchange Holdings, Ltd., a private sector initiative to build Africa’s equity and commodity markets. She serves as Chairman of the Board of the East Africa Exchange, Ltd, which is based in Kigali, Rwanda. Dr. Frazer is also an Adjunct Senior Fellow for Africa Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Previously she was a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) with joint appointments in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences and the H. John Heinz III College’s School of Public Policy and Management and Director of CMU’s Center for International Policy and Innovation (CIPI).
Dr. Frazer received her B.A. degree in Political Science (honors) and African and Afro-American Studies (distinction) in 1985, and M.A. degrees in International Policy Studies in 1985 and International Development Education in 1989, and a Ph.D. in Political Science, 1994 all from Stanford University.