Join the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs for its Fall 2023 discussion series -- Africa in Focus: Reframing U.S.-Africa Policy. Following the announcement of a new US Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa in August 2022, and a second US-Africa Leaders Summit in December 2022, the goal of this discussion series is to take stock of US-African relations to date, including unpacking key components of the US strategy, and understanding African perspectives on the current and future trajectory of US engagement on the continent.
This session will feature Chidi Blyden, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO) of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). Before joining MCC, Ms. Blyden served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs, where she managed the Department of Defense's (DOD) relationships with 53 African nations. She has held various roles, honing her policy, national security, and practitioner skilled throughout her career in the government, academia, and non-profit sectors.
Registration: This event is in-person. RSVP required.
Speaker: Chidi Blyden, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
Moderator: Natalie Colbert, Executive Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Refreshments will be provided.
Chidi Blyden is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO) of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). As Deputy CEO, Ms. Blyden supports the CEO in the daily management of the agency and delivering on MCC’s mission to reduce global poverty through economic growth.
Before joining MCC, Ms. Blyden served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs, where she managed the Department of Defense’s (DOD) relationships with 53 African nations. She has held various roles, honing her policy, national security, and practitioner skills throughout her career in the government, academia, and non-profit sectors. Ms. Blyden is an expert and socio-cultural advisor on Africa’s conflicts, security, and development issues. Her work has focused on the impact of culture in developing policy and community-centric approaches to security challenges in African nations. She was the first Africa Director at the Center for Civilians in Conflict, where she led the design and implementation of culture-specific training for the Nigerian Armed Forces on civilian harm.
Ms. Blyden has over 15 years of government service and served in the Obama Administration as a Special Assistant in DOD’s Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy – African Affairs and as the Africa Peacekeeping Advisor in DOD’s Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy – Stability and Humanitarian Affairs. She served as a Professional Staff Member in Congress on the House Armed Services Committee, advising on Africa and South America’s defense equities. She is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University in the Security Studies Program and is an alumnus of Texas A&M University and the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University.
Ms. Blyden is affiliated with the Leadership Council for Women in National Security and the Truman National Security Project and serves on the Leadership Council for Memunatu Magazine, a nonprofit that promotes literacy and leadership for teen girls in Africa and the diaspora.