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Judd Devermont is the special advisor for Africa strategy at the National Security Council. He was previously the director of the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) from 2018 to 2021. Mr. Devermont also was a senior adviser at Kupanda Capital, a pan-African investment platform, and at Fraym, a data analytics firm. From 2015 to 2018, he served as the national intelligence officer for Africa. In this position, he led the U.S. intelligence community’s analytic efforts on sub-Saharan African issues and served as the DNI’s personal representative at interagency policy meetings. From 2013 to 2015, he was the Central Intelligence Agency’s senior political analyst on sub-Saharan Africa. Mr. Devermont also served as the National Security Council director for Somalia, Nigeria, the Sahel, and the African Union from 2011 to 2013. In this role, he contributed to the U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa, signed by President Obama in 2012, and managed the process that resulted in U.S. recognition of the Somali government for the first time since 1991. Mr. Devermont spent two years abroad working at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria from 2008 to 2010.
Mr. Devermont has been a frequent commentator in print, on radio, and on television, and he has testified before Congress. He has published articles in a range of journals, such as Foreign Affairs and African Affairs, as well as newspapers and magazines like Bloomberg, the Hill, Lawfare, and Mail & Guardian in South Africa. In addition, from 2018 to 2021, Mr. Devermont hosted "Into Africa," a biweekly podcast series on African politics and policy, and co-hosted "49," a podcast mini-series on the past, present, and future of U.S. policy toward sub-Saharan Africa. Mr. Devermont has lived in South Africa and Cote d’Ivoire, and he has traveled widely across the continent. He has a master’s degree in African studies from Yale University and bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California, Los Angeles.