David Shinn has been an adjunct professor in the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs since 2001. He previously served for 37 years in the U.S. Foreign Service with assignments at embassies in Lebanon, Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritania, Cameroon, and Sudan, and as ambassador to Burkina Faso and Ethiopia. He has specialized in China-Africa issues since 2007, with a particular focus on the Horn of Africa, and speaks at events around the world.

Ambassador Shinn is the coauthor of China and Africa: A Century of Engagement (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012) and the Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia (Scarecrow Press, 2004) and he has authored numerous articles and book chapters. His research interests include China-Africa relations, East Africa and the Horn, terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism, conflict situations, U.S. policy in Africa, and the African brain drain. Ambassador Shinn received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from George Washington University and he has a certificate in African studies from Northwestern University.

Last Updated: November 28, 2017



What Does Mugabe’s Resignation Mean for China?

David Shinn, Huang Hongxiang & more
On November 15, soldiers placed the 93-year-old Robert Mugabe under house arrest. Mugabe had ruled Zimbabwe since the country gained independence in 1980. On November 21, he resigned after 37 years in power. China, Zimbabwe’s largest foreign...

As BRICS Slow Investments in Africa, Turkey Ramps Up

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Remember when the BRICS were going to power the global economy? Well, the past few years have not been kind to Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. With the exception of India, the other members of this once elite diplomatic club are...

China’s Expanding Military Presence in Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
China is steadily expanding its military footprint in Africa, highlighted by the recent deployment of 700 combat-ready troops to join a multinational peacekeeping operation in South Sudan. In all, the People’s Liberation Army and Navy now have an...