de Waal, Alexander
- Existence: 1963-02-22
Alexander de Waal (1963- ) was born in Cambridge, United Kingdom in 1963. He received his D.Phil in 1988 in social anthropology at Nuffield College, Oxford after completing his thesis on the 1984-1985 Darfur famine in Sudan. He is the Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation and teaches courses at The Fletcher School. An activist and scholar, his work focuses on Sudan and the Horn of Africa, humanitarian crisis and response, human rights, HIV/AIDS governance in Africa, and conflict and peacebuilding.
In 1990 Alex de Waal joined the Africa division of Human Rights Watch. He resigned in December 1992 in protest for Human Rights Watch’s support for the American military involvement in Somalia. He was the first chairman of the Mines Advisory Group at the beginning of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. In 1993 he set up African Rights, a human rights organization that documented human rights abuses. In 1999 he set up and served as the director for Justice Africa, which focused on developing policies to respond to human rights crises, notably in Rwanda, Somalia and Sudan.
From 1997 to 2001, he focused on avenues to peaceful resolution of Second Sudanese Civil War. In 2001, he returned to his work on health in Africa, writing on the intersection of HIV/AIDS, poverty and drought. As the Sudanese conflict worsened in 2004, he returned to his doctoral thesis topic of Darfur.
Following a fellowship with the Global Equity Initiative at Harvard (2004-06), de Waal was the program director at the Social Science Research Council on HIV/AIDS and Social Transformation, and led projects on conflict and humanitarian crisis in Africa (2006-09).
From November 2005 to May 2006, de Waal was an advisor to the African Union mediation team for Darfur. Following the signing of the 2006 Darfur Peace Agreement, he was an informal advisor to the African Union and the Darfur-Darfur Dialogue and Consultation process from June 2006 to March 2009. He also advised Abdul Mohammed, head of political affairs for UNAMID. He was an advisor to the African Union Panel on Darfur (March 2009-October 2009) He was a full-time advisor to the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel from January 2010 to June 2011. Beginning in July 2011 he was a part-time adviser to the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel.
His published books include, Famine that kills: Darfur Sudan (1989), Famine crimes: politics and the disaster relief industry in Africa (1997), Islamism and its enemies in the Horn of Africa (2004), Darfur: A Short History of a Long War (2005), AIDS and power: why there is no political crisis—yet (2006), and War in Darfur and the search for peace (2007).