youtube   facebook   twitter   vimeo   Newsletter Signup


Caroline M. Elkins
Chair of the Committee on African Studies; Professor of History and Professor of African and African American Studies (FAS)

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

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

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 is a member of the editorial staff of Ploughshares Literary Magazine. Sarah also earned a J.D. from Suffolk University and is a member of the Massachusetts Bar.

Susan Cook
Executive Director

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

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

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

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.

Andrea Clark
Events & Communications Intern

Andrea Clark is a junior at Wake Forest University studying Business and Enterprise Management with a concentration in Marketing.  She studied abroad in London the summer of 2013, and traveled to Spain and Italy to build on her language courses during her summers in high school.  Andrea is a member of the Varsity Wake Forest Dance Team and is involved in Greek life.  She assists the CAS team with events, managing data, and keeping the website up-to-date.

Beatice Edmonds
Research Intern

Beatrice is a senior at The Dalton School in New York City. She lived in Nairobi, Kenya from 2010-2012 where she attended the International School of Kenya, developed an interest in African Studies, and had the opportunity to visit six African countries. Beatrice is Director General of Dalton’s Model UN team, and is a writer and Opinion editor for her school paper, The Daltonian. During her time with CAS she will be assisting with ad hoc projects for both the office and CAS Faculty Chair, Caroline Elkins.

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. 

Tricia Reinken
Communications Intern

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.