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Since 1987, the Institute for African Development (IAD) has focused on a central mission to strengthen and expand African development studies through an interdisciplinary lens. With its twin focus on policy and development, IAD draws faculty from a wide range of disciplines and takes full advantage of Cornell’s unique strength of combining a first-rate liberal arts college with an exceptional applied policy tradition in its land grant colleges.

IAD is a mature, campus-wide, interdisciplinary, collaborative, policy-driven, development-focused program. The institute promotes the study of Africa through courses, seminars, meetings, fellowships, and publications, as well as through linkages with other departments, academic units, and institutions both within and outside Cornell.

The institute strives to foster a faculty and student constituency that is knowledgeable about issues of African development and governance in the broadest sense and to serve as a base for strengthening the study of Africa. This is done with the primary objective of creating an environment for the university to play a key role in influencing policies that promote the continent’s development.

The institute’s true mark has been its capacity to embrace a wide range of disciplines across campus and to always move forward, instituting the necessary policies needed to advance African development studies. Although Ithaca serves as home, the institute’s impact spans the globe. IAD visitors, visiting fellows, and graduate fellows are testaments to the diverse constituency that calls IAD home.

Our outreach to educators in our region receives support from the U.S. Department of Education through a Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) grant.

Einaudi Director: Rachel Beatty Riedl

Rachel Beatty Riedl, the Einaudi Center's director, studies African politics. Her research interests include institutional development in new democracies, local governance and decentralization, and authoritarian regime legacies in Africa.

Check out her podcast on life and politics on the continent, Ufahamu Africa