The Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) is pleased to welcome Mr. Thomas Dempsey, a retired U.S. Army colonel, as Assistant Professor for Security Studies. His expertise includes security sector reform (SSR), peace operations, failed state reconstruction, African area studies, countering violent extremism, defense reform, and stability operations.
As a key member of the ACSS faculty, Professor Dempsey will be conducting Topical Outreach Program Series (TOPS) symposiums in Africa on SSR-related issues and consultative sessions to explore key security challenges facing West African countries. “The state of insecurity on the African continent, in general, has led to numerous questions about how best to restructure the security sector to address contemporary security challenges,” Dempsey said. “This may result in the need for some countries to transform rather than reform their security sectors.”
Each national gathering will bring together senior-level alumni and other civilian and military officers to determine the nature of the needed restructuring and discuss the way forward.
Professor Dempsey comes to the Africa Center from Deloitte Consulting LLP, where he specialized in security sector reform, the rule of law, and African studies. He started his career as a strategic intelligence analyst for Africa at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and later served as Chief of the Africa Branch for the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C. In August 2006, Dempsey retired from his position as Director of African Studies in the U.S. Army War College’s Department of National Security and Strategy. Following a 31-year military career, he worked as an independent consultant on security sector reform and policing before joining Deloitte.
Mr. Dempsey earned a B.A. in history from Wichita State University, an M.A. in African studies from the University of California at Los Angeles, and a Master of Military Art and Science degree in theater operations from the School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He is currently a doctoral candidate in public administration at Penn State Harrisburg. Dempsey has researched and authored an extensive list of publications. He has also provided invaluable contributions to past ACSS programs, and supported multiple Africa Center events while at Deloitte Consulting.
“I have worked with the Africa Center on many occasions since its founding and I regard it as the premier African studies academic organization in the United States,” Dempsey said. “Joining its permanent faculty is a great honor, and I look forward to being part of the team.”
ACSS is the pre-eminent institution for strategic security studies, research, and outreach in Africa. The Africa Center engages African partner states and institutions through rigorous academic and outreach programs that build strategic capacity and foster long-term, collaborative relationships. Over the past 12 years, more than 4,400 African and international leaders have participated in ACSS programs.