El-Ghassim Wane

El-Ghassim Wane portrait
J.B. and Maurice C Shapiro Professor of International Affairs
[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

Peace, security and governance

El-Ghassim Wane is from Mauritania. He has extensive experience on peace, security and governance issues. From October 2017 to April 2019, he was the Chief of Staff and Chief Advisor of the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission. From January 2016 to September 2017, he served as the United Nations (UN) Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) for Peacekeeping Operations.

Prior to that, he served as the Director of the Peace and Security Department of the AU Commission in Addis Ababa from 2009 to 2015. He held various positions between 1994 and 2009 at the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now the AU, including as Head of the Conflict Management Division. He was also Spokesperson of the AU on peace and security issues from 2008 to 2009.

In the course of his career, Mr. Wane contributed to the formulation of several of the OAU/AU’s conflict prevention and management policy documents, including the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). He was involved in several conflict prevention and mediation efforts, as well as in the planning and management of AU peace support operations.

As ASG, he actively contributed to the management of UN peacekeeping operations across the world, including the development of integrated strategies and the provision of political direction and operational support to those operations, and regularly interacted with relevant UN policy organs, including briefing the Security Council. He led a number of strategic reviews of peacekeeping operations. 

In both the AU and the UN, he has worked towards consolidating the strategic partnership between the UN and the AU.

In 2012, Mr. Wane was featured by the Africa Report as one of the 50 most influential Africans of the year.

Mr. Wane currently serves as a Visiting Senior Research Fellow and Leading Practitioner in the African Leadership Centre at King’s College, London. He was also a lecturer in spring 2020 at the Paris Public School of International Affairs, Sciences Po., on the African Management of Peace and Security.

Mr. Wane holds a Master’s degree in International Public Law and International Relations from the University of Dakar in Senegal (1984), and a Post-graduate degree in International and European Studies from the University of Lille II in France (1985). He is fluent in English, French and Fulani.

Current Research

African normative framework on governance; conflict prevention and management; and peacekeeping


Master’s degree in International Public Law and International Relations and Post-graduate degree in International and European Studies


  1. COVID Response Reflects Africa’s New Mindset, Emirates Diplomatic Academy Reflection (Pandemic Diplomacy Series), July 2020
  2. An African Agenda for Peace, Governance and Development at Thirty - A Retrospective Look at the Genesis and Significance of the OAU’s July 1990 Declaration on Fundamental Changes. World Peace Foundation, Occasional Paper #23, July 2020 (co-authored).
  3. Sudan will never prosper while it is on the US terrorist list, The Guardian, 12 December 2019 (co-authored)
  4. L’Union africaine à l’épreuve des opérations de soutien à la paix. Entre innovations institutionnelles et contraintes opérationnelles, in Guide du Maintien de la paix 2011: L’Afrique et les opérations de paix. Athéna, 2011
  5. The Continental Early Warning System: Methodology and Approach, in Ulf Engel and João Gomes Porto (eds), Africa’s New Peace and Security Architecture. Promoting Norms and Institutionalizing Solutions, Ashgate Publishers, 2010 (co-authored)
  6. Meeting the Challenge of Conflict Prevention in Africa: Towards the Operationalization of the Continental Early Warning System (CEWS), Conflict Management Division of the AU Peace and Security Department, African Union, 2008 (co-authored)
  7. Towards a Landmine Free Africa - The OAU and the Legacy of Anti-Personal Mines, OAU and Institute of African Studies, 1997 (co-authored)

Classes Taught

UN and Global Security (Fall Semester)

UN and Security in Africa (Spring Semester)