Travis Adkins is the President and CEO for the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF).
Mr. Adkins served as the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Africa at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), as a Lecturer of African and Security Studies at Georgetown University, and as Staff Director of the House Subcommittee on Africa. He has over two decades of experience working in governance, education, humanitarian affairs, and women’s and youth empowerment in over 50 nations throughout Africa and the Middle East.
Statements on development, diplomacy, and U.S. global leadership:
On U.S Global Leadership: “So instead of us framing ourselves and our foreign policy as a nation who fell from the heavens to the top of a mountain, it’s a more powerful story to say that we climbed up out of a valley and are still climbing out of a valley of trying to create and produce a multiracial, multiethnic democracy with respect for all, and that that is and has been a struggle.” (source)
On Democracy: “We believe that democracy, human rights, and governance are central in all of our partnerships. And that it should not be assumed that simply for global power competition concerns that partners can just get away with going and violating those kinds of statutes, those kinds of values, those kind of notions and ideals.” (source)
On Development: “This symbiotic relationship between development and security, on one hand, it’s almost impossible and, certainly, if not, very challenging to conduct long-term development activities in a nation that is experiencing heightened forms of insecurity or conflict. Of course, on the other hand, it’s very difficult to work in nations that don’t have sufficient development in their governing institutions, in their infrastructure, in their healthcare systems, and their economies, because all of these things can also be drivers of conflict.” (source)
On U.S.- Africa engagement: “In a moment where localized development, respect for African agency, and high-level engagement between the U.S. and African nations comes into focus, USADF is well placed to lead.” (source)
On COVID-19, Climate, and Conflict: “As we assess the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, climate and conflict on the continent, my aim is for us to be increasingly responsive to the needs and conditions in the countries where we work. Often, we have models and ways that we do things, but the world changes and we have to change with the world.” (source)