Gannon University Welcomes Former U.S. Ambassador to Campus

Robin Renee Sanders LeaderboardPosted: October 27, 2014

Robin Renee Sanders, Ph.D., the former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria and the Republic of the Congo, will be a visiting fellow on Gannon's campus during the week of Oct. 27 through the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows Program of the Council of Independent Colleges.

Ambassador Sanders will attend classes, give workshops and public lectures, and meet with high school students and community organizations. In Erie, she will deliver three public addresses.

She will talk on, "The US-Africa Relationship": Its Elements and Why It's Important" on Wednesday, Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. in the Yehl Room of Gannon University's Waldron Campus Center, 124 W. Seventh St.; and her address,"The Uli Women of Nigeria," will be Thursday, October 30 at 5 p.m. in Room 3216 of the Palumbo Academic Center, 824 Peach St.

Sanders is currently CEO of the FEEEEDS (Food Security, Education, Environment-Energy, Economics, Democracy- Development and Self-help) Advocacy Initiative and owns FE3DS, LLC, both of which advise businesses, foundations, NGOs, and governments on business strategies primarily for Sub-Saharan Africa.

She was also U.S. Permanent Representative to the West African Regional Organization, ECOWAS. As an academic while serving in the U.S. Diplomatic Service, Sanders was the International Affairs Advisor and Deputy Commander of the Eisenhower Resource College of the National Defense University. A noted international lecturer, she has taught international and African affairs, national security strategies, and human cultural communication.

She has testified before Congress on Boko Haram, participated in the White House's recent U.S.-Africa Summit, which brought together dozens of African leaders in Washington, D.C. and has been a prominent expert on the recent Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa.

Sanders recently published a new book, "The Legendary Uli Women of Nigeria," that follows eight Nigerian women as they try to preserve the meanings of their endangered sign, symbol, and motif system called Uli. Sanders sees the non-text, non- oral Uli system as important as the written word and worthy of respect and preservation.

Sanders is the recipient of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Civilian Honor Award, one of the highest U.S. military civilian honor awards; three State Department Superior Honor Awards; four State Department Meritorious Honor Awards; the "Medal of Honor" from the President of the Republic of Congo; several citations in Who's Who in America; and several leadership honors such as the African Advocacy Impact and Diaspora Awards.

The Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows program brings prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders and other non-academic professionals to campuses across the United States for substantive dialogue with students and faculty members. Through a week-long residential program of classes, seminars, workshops, lectures and informal discussions, the Fellows create better understanding and new connections between the academic and nonacademic worlds.

Sanders' residency is also supported by the Academic Affairs Office at Gannon University.