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Staff

Caroline M. Elkins

Chair of the Committee on African Studies; Professor of History and Professor of African and African American Studies (FAS)
Work Phone: 617.495.2568 Add to Address Book

Caroline Elkins is Professor of History and African and African American Studies at Harvard University, and Chair of Harvard’s Committee on African Studies and Committee on Ethnic Studies. She received her A.B., summa cum laude, from Princeton University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. Her first book, Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction in 2006. She is a contributor to the New York Times Book Review, The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, and The New Republic. She and her research have been the subjects of a BBC documentary titled “Kenya: White Terror,” which won the International Red Cross Award at the Monte Carlos Film Festival. She has held numerous fellowships and awards including those from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Scholars, Fulbright, the Social Science Research Council, the Radcliffe  Institute for Advanced Study, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, the Carr Center for Human Rights, and the Rockefeller Center in Bellagio, Italy.

John M. Mugane

Director of the African Language Program; Professor of the Practice of African Languages and Cultures (FAS), Director of the Harvard South Africa Fellowship Program
Work Phone: 617.496.4995 Add to Address Book

John M. Mugane is the Director of the African Language program in the Department of African and African American Studies. He is a linguist specializing in African languages and is the Professor of the Practice of African Languages and Cultures at Harvard University. Mugane has been the Director of the language program since 2003 developing the teaching of African languages and cultures. Mugane received his Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Arizona, Tucson (1997) and his M.A. in Linguistics from Ohio University (1991). A graduate of Kenyatta University in Kenya, B.Ed. in Languages, Literature, and Linguistics (1987), he also earned an M.A. in International Affairs, African Studies (1991) at Ohio University. Mugane’s current projects include the Africa’s Sources of Knowledge Digital Library (ASK-DL) and the Enhanced Language Instruction for African Studies (ELIAS).  Download CV.

Sarah Martin Banse

Executive Assistant
Work Phone: 617-495-5265 Add to Address Book

Sarah serves as Executive Assistant to both Professor Elkins and the Committee as a whole. She holds a MFA in Fiction from Emerson College, where she was a Dean’s Fellow and the winner of the Graduate Award in Nonfiction. She also earned a J.D. from Suffolk University and is a member of the Massachusetts Bar.

Susan Cook

Executive Director
Work Phone: 617.384.5273 Add to Address Book

Susan Cook is the Executive Director of Harvard’s Committee on African Studies. Cook’s fourteen years in Africa include teaching and curriculum development in Botswana, research on the immediate aftermath of genocide in Rwanda, and most recently, serving as Research Executive in the Royal Bafokeng Nation in South Africa. Cook has published widely on traditional leadership in Africa, the anthropology of the corporation, urban hybrid languages, and comparative genocide. Cook was Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pretoria, Visiting Assistant Professor for Research at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, and Director of the Cambodian Genocide Program at Yale University. Cook earned her PhD in Anthropology from Yale University, and her BA (Honors) in Literature and Society from Brown University.

Maggie Lopes

Operations & Program Manager
Work Phone: 617.496.2712 Add to Address Book

Maggie currently oversees the administration of CAS programming on the continent, including the Maru-a-Pula Program, oversees CAS communications and manages grant processes. Maggie spent four years in Namibia, working for the Ministry of Education on information and communication technology (ICT) programs, and later, as the Country Director for WorldTeach, running the organization’s volunteer teaching programs in-country.   Armed with a passion for Africa and social justice, she took this experience to the London School of Economics to achieve her Master’s Degree in Development Management.  In 2010, Maggie returned to the United States to work as WorldTeach’s Director of Programs, overseeing programs in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific Islands. 

Barbara Matteau

Financial Administrator
Work Phone: 617.496.5191 Add to Address Book

Barbara is the Financial Administrator who oversees all financial aspects of CAS. With a Bachelor of Arts in English from Salem State University and a Master of Liberal Arts in Dramatic Arts from Harvard University, Barbara ended up with a Master’s thesis that focused on the depiction of race relations in three salient plays written by the prolific Joyce Carol Oates.  Prior to this position, she was the Administrative Manager of a Lab at the Harvard Medical School.

Elise Noël

Student Programs and Outreach Officer
Work Phone: 617.496.5193 Add to Address Book

Having graduating from Bentley University with a double major in Management and Global Perspectives, one of Elise’s favorite courses was Race in Southern Africa. After studying abroad in Italy and Chile, she knew that her career path would take her to work in international education. Elise spent two years working at an educational travel company, ACIS, after which she completed her Masters in Higher Education at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. She most recently worked in International Advancement at Harvard University’s Development Office and is a Freshman Advisor.

Brendan Gerety

Events & Media Intern

Brendan Gerety is a freshman at Bentley University studying Management. He hopes to expand his global knowledge in his future academic career through studying abroad and international coursework. At Bentley Brendan is involved in student government as well as the student newspaper, The Vanguard. Brendan assists the CAS team with events and programs, helping to develop marketing materials and conduct research. 

Alice Hyde

Student Programs Intern

Alice Hyde is a sophomore at Harvard College concentrating in history and African studies. She spent the past summer at the Maru-a-Pula school in Botswana through CAS, and is hoping to return to Southern Africa to continue her language studies in the future. At CAS, Alice is primarily involved in helping run and market the various CAS programs on offer; outside of CAS, she is involved in technical theater and advises freshmen.

Teagan Lende

Research Assistant

Teagan Lende is a sophomore at Harvard College pursuing a joint concentration in African Studies and Social Studies. He spent the past summer studying in South Africa through the Harvard Summer School. He is planning on returning to Africa next summer to study a language or intern for a local company. In his role as an intern at CAS, Teagan works mainly on research for Title VI funding. In his spare time at the college, he works with multiple groups on campus involved in entrepreneurship, cross-cultural engagement, and African business.

Tricia Reinken

Tricia Reinken is a sophomore at Bentley University studying Marketing with a minor in Computer Information Systems. She is passionate about widening her world view and is planning on studying abroad in her junior year. With a love for giving back, Tricia has attended a service trip to Guatemala and is looking forward to spending her spring break building houses with Habitat for Humanity. At Bentley, Tricia is a resident assistant and a member of the Student Alumni Leadership Council. At CAS, she assists in drafting the weekly newsletter, keeping the website up-to-date and graphics for communications platforms.