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Anglers on Lake Tanganyika near Kigoma, Tanzania

Free Public Lecture

The Great Lakes to Great Lakes Initiative: Mutual Interests in Africa

Russ Feingold
Visiting Lecturer, UW-Madison International Division African Studies Former U.S. Senator

September 25, 2018
7:00 PM
Shannon Hall
Wisconsin Union Theater
800 Langdon Street(map)

In early 2015, a conference was held on the banks of Lake Tanganyika in Kigoma, Tanzania, with environmental, scientific, and other experts from Africa, the U.S., and Canada in order to explore areas of common concern and common opportunity regarding the Great Lakes Region of North America and the Great Lakes Region of Africa. The focus was on the lakes themselves from fish populations to sanitation to climate change implications to tourism potential and beyond. The Conference was initiated by the U.S. Government at the suggestion of the U.S. State Department and the Great Lakes Region of the Environmental Protection Agency. In particular, this was an attempt to start a process that could bring the governments and people in Grest Lakes Region of Africa into a positive partnership as diplomatic efforts were being made to resolve the ongoing war-related catastrophes that have plagued the region since the mid-1990's. The lecture will explore the varied motivations for the conference, the highlights of the conference, and the ongoing efforts to form partnerships involving the Great Lakes Region of Africa as well as other African lake regions.

Russ Feingold

Russ Feingold served as a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin from 1993 to 2011 and as a Wisconsin State Senator from 1983 to 1993. Most recently, he was a Visiting Lecturer in Law and Martin R. Flug Visiting Professor in the Practice of Law at Yale Law School.

From 2013 to 2015, Russ served as the United States Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region of Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In this capacity, he worked for peace in the long troubled region and was successful in helping broker a peace agreement between regional governments and a militia group known as the M23. Russ also spearheaded the Great Lakes to Great Lakes Initiative which brought American experts together with African Great Lakes specialists in an important exchange opportunity for the scholars to share management similarities of these two Great Lakes regions and their transboundary lakes.

When in public office, Russ worked to protect treasured natural resources including Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands, combat climate change by expanding clean energy and supported efforts to safeguard the water we drink.

In addition to his congressional and diplomatic career, Senator Feingold has taught or lectured at Stanford University and Stanford University Law School,Lawrence University, Marquette University Law School, American University, and Beloit College. His writing has appeared in The Guardian, Think--an NBC News Blog,The New York Times and The Washington Post. Senator Feingold holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Oxford (as a Rhodes Scholar), and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Presented in partnership with:

LaFollette School of Public Affairs

Event contact: Emily Reynolds