Sue Cook's, CAS Executive Director, Departure

September 4, 2018

        Dear Friends of the Center for African Studies,

It is with regret that I write to announce that Sue Cook stepped down from her role as Executive Director of the Center for African Studies at the end of this summer. 

Over the past five years, Sue’s contributions to the Center are simply too numerous to mention. In addition to significantly expanding the Center’s programmatic landscape, Sue facilitated new partnerships with African Leadership University, NBA Africa, Royal Bafokeng Nation, African Food and Peace Foundation, and Roxbury Community College, among others. Sue was instrumental in helping the American Repertory Theater premier and promote the Africa-related productions “Witness Uganda” and “Hear Word!”, and she has ensured that the Center serves as a resource not only for students and scholars of Africa at Harvard, but also for African students and scholars.  Sue launched the “All Harvard Africa Mixer” in 2015 and assisted in the design of the Center’s new offices at 1280 Mass Ave as an oasis for both Africans and Africanists. 

Sue worked to establish Harvard’s first cross-disciplinary office on the African continent; the Africa Office in Johannesburg now spearheads alumni engagement on the continent and offers a broad array of public programs.   Sue also built amazing teams in both offices that have benefited greatly from her mentorship and leadership.  This past spring, the CAS staff received the coveted Dean’s Distinction Team Award.

In addition, Sue has been an outstanding University citizen, making significant and enduring contributions to the Social Science Division and the international community at Harvard.  She has worked on several important projects for the Division focused on enhancing the workplace culture, and she has been a strong partner to Harvard Global Support Services, connecting many in the Harvard community to her network on the African continent. 

Sue moves on to the next phase of her career with our sincerest thanks and deepest affection.   Please join me in thanking her for her tireless commitment and countless contributions to the Center for African Studies.  We wish Sue every success as she assumes her new position as Project Manager, Cultural Initiatives in  the Division of Social Science.


Emmanuel Akyeampong

Faculty Director, Center for African Studies