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Director of USAID Liberia to speak at OSU

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Oklahoma State University School of International Studies will host Dr. Wilbur Thomas, director of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)/Liberia, on Thursday, March 30, at 3:30 p.m. in the Wes Watkins Center room 108. Thomas will deliver a lecture entitled “Transformational Diplomacy in Post-Conflict Countries: The Case of Liberia.”

Thomas has served as USAID’s Office Director for Southern African Affairs, USAID’s Mission Director to Guinea, USAID’s Mission Director to Burkina Faso, and USAID’s Deputy Director to Mali. From 2001-04, Thomas served as the Provost for Langston University’s urban campus in Tulsa.

In September 2004, Thomas accepted a recall appointment for his second tenure with USAID in his current position as director of the USAID/Liberia program. He has worked throughout Sub-Saharan Africa on more than 50 major projects and programs, including agricultural sector assistance and famine early warning systems in Niger; basic education sector assistance in Mali and Guinea; community health delivery systems in Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea; rural enterprise development in Mali and Guinea; and democracy/governance and election assistance programs in Guinea and Liberia.

Thomas holds a master's degree in public administration from Syracuse University (1984), a master's and Ph.D. in animal science from the University of Illinois (1975 and 1977), and a bachelor's in agriculture from Oklahoma State University (1968). Thomas speaks French, Vietnamese and Bambara. The Wes Watkins Center is located at the Hall of Fame Avenue and Washington Street intersection on the OSU-Stillwater campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The School of International Studies aims to provide a universitywide focus to expand international opportunities in instruction, research and outreach for individuals and organizations seeking a greater understanding and involvement in international affairs. The school is part of the Office of International Education and Outreach, which helps carry out the university’s mission of providing educational programs and services beyond traditional campus boundaries.

The School of International Studies systematically coordinates academic programs and opportunities with colleges and departments. School components include the International Bureaus, English Language Institute, Study Abroad, a Peace Corps recruiting office, the Fulbright Information Center, the Mexico Liaison Office, Phi Beta Delta, and a Graduate Program offering an M.S. and Certificate in International Studies and the Master’s International Peace Corps degree. More than 145 OSU faculty members participate in school activities.

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