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William Lawrence Sr Adj Prof Lecturer School of International Service

Send email to William Lawrence
MALD and Ph.D, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
Certificate, CASA Program, American University in Cairo
Certificate, Advanced Arabic, Bourguiba School, Tunis, Tunisia
Second Cycle Degree in History, University of Paris IV
BA, History and French, Duke University

Languages Spoken
Fluent Moroccan Arabic and French. Conversant Tunisian, Egyptian, and Modern Standard Arabic. Proficient Hassaniya, Tamazight, and Spanish.
Dr. Lawrence lived and worked for fifteen years as a senior diplomat, analyst, and international programs director in seven North African, Sahelian, and Middle Eastern countries and France. Since 2011, he served as Crisis Group’s North Africa director, the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy’s MENA Program Director, and Control Risks’ MENA Associate Director. Previously, he served as Global Engagement Senior Advisor at the State Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES), where he worked closely with the White House on core Obama administration initiatives. He co-created Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST), the U.S. Science Envoy Program, and the Maghreb Digital Library; co-chaired the U.S.-Egypt S&T Development Fund for four years; directed a NATO wind energy project in Morocco and Mauritania; co-created the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership; served as a West Africa regional security officer; served at U.S. missions in Nouakchott, Marrakech, Casablanca, Rabat, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli; and helped negotiate and implement the first major U.S.-Libya agreement in decades. He has taught at Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, George Washington, Tufts, Amideast/Mohamed V, and Cadi Ayyad universities and for six years in U.S. intelligence and has lectured at over 100 universities worldwide. He appears regularly on BBC, NPR, VOA, France 24, Al Jazeera, TRT, and CGTN and has appeared on over three dozen regional TV and radio stations. He received six merit awards from the State Department, two medals from the Egyptian government, an alumni achievement award from Duke University, and the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Fenn School. He also co-produced six MENA-related films and fourteen albums of North African music. There are only a few spoits left in the new Maghreb-Sahel course; feel free to contact him with questions.
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.


Spring 2022

  • SIS-676 Sel Topics in Cross-Natl Study: Security in the Maghreb-Sahel