Woodrow Wilson Center Welcomes New Scholar Former Botswana President Festus Mogae

Aug 06, 2010

WASHINGTON — The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is proud to welcome former President of Botswana Festus Mogae as a new public policy scholar. President Mogae comes to the Wilson Center to complete his study on government engagement with HIV/AIDS in southern Africa as part of his role as chairman of Champions for an HIV-free Generation. He will be in residence at the Woodrow Wilson Center through October.

"I am pleased to come to the Woodrow Wilson Center to complete my study on HIV/AIDS, where I will be able to raise the profile of Champions for an HIV-free Generation and the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa" Mogae said. "I look forward to interacting with knowledgeable people informed on issues in HIV/AIDS in Africa in the Wilson Center and around Washington."

"We are delighted to welcome one of the world's most progressive leaders on the HIV/AIDS pandemic here at the Center," said Steve McDonald, director of the Woodrow Wilson Center's Africa Program. "President Mogae's extraordinary leadership in promoting HIV/AIDS education, treatment, and prevention provides a model for engaging these issues in Africa. His outreach to other African leaders is critical to stemming the tide of destruction this disease has brought."

Prior to joining the Woodrow Wilson Center as a scholar, Mogae served two terms as President of the Republic of Botswana from 1998-2008. His presidency focused on addressing poverty and unemployment and featured programs to develop Botswana's education and health infrastructure. When he was reelected as President in 2004, he vowed to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS in Botswana, pledging to stop the spread of the disease by 2016. He is widely respected and recognized as an outstanding leader and has been honored with several prestigious awards including the Grand Cross of France's Légion d'honneur, the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, and the Africa-America Institute's National Leadership Award, previously awarded only once, to Nelson Mandela. Mogae also currently serves as Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations on Climate Change and as chairman of the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is the national, living memorial honoring President Woodrow Wilson. In providing an essential link between the worlds of ideas and public policy, the Center addresses current and emerging challenges confronting the United States and the world. The Center promotes policy-relevant research and dialogue to increase understanding and enhance the capabilities and knowledge of leaders, citizens, and institutions worldwide. Created by an Act of Congress in 1968, the Center is a non-partisan institution headquartered in Washington, D.C. and supported by both public and private funds.

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