Carnegie Mellon University
February 12, 2013

News Brief: Carnegie Mellon’s Jendayi Frazer To Discuss Upcoming Kenya Election at Brookings Institution

Contact: Shilo Rea / 412-268-6094 /

jendayiCarnegie Mellon University’s Jendayi Frazer will participate in a panel discussion on the upcoming presidential election in Kenya from 1 – 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 20 at the Brookings Institution. The panel, titled "Kenya Decides: The 2013 Presidential Election," will be moderated by Voice of America’s Vincent Makori. Additional panelists include Mwangi Kimenyi, director of Brookings Africa Growth Initiative, and Karuti Kanyinga from the University of Nairobi.

Frazer, a distinguished service professor in CMU’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Heinz College, was a leading architect of U.S.-Africa policy over the last decade, most recently serving as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from August 2005 to January 2009. Previously she was senior director and special assistant to President George W. Bush at the National Security Council. As the lead U.S. envoy to Africa, Frazer was instrumental in resolving the crisis following Kenya’s 2007 presidential election. 

Kenya is preparing for its first presidential elections since unprecedented violence erupted following the December 2007 polls during which more than 1,000 people were killed. The country has undertaken a number of political reforms since the 2007 contest, including the formation of a unity government, a restructured independent electoral and boundary commission, and the successful adoption of a new national constitution. Strong efforts are under way to ensure polls are conducted peacefully and transparently; however, analysts are currently monitoring the situation leading up to the March 4 elections. The Brookings panel will offer thoughts on the electoral process.

Frazer, who also directs CMU's Center for International Policy and Innovation (CIPI), co-edited a book last year titled "Preventing Electoral Violence in Africa."  It was the result of deliberations that the CIPI and the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) held on the Conference on Preventing Electoral Violence and Instituting Good Governance. The discussions included 38 high-level participants representing 10 countries, the United Nations and 26 diverse organizations in Accra, Ghana.

Additionally, the CIPI will host a 2013 Electoral Violence Lecture from noon – 2 p.m., Thursday, March 21 at the University Club in Washington, D.C. The second annual electoral violence lecture series will take place just after the first round of elections in Kenya and prior to the beginning of Zimbabwe’s electoral process. The Electoral Violence Lecture theme takes its name from the title of the new book edited by Heinz College alum Dorina Bekoe, "Voting in Fear: Electoral Violence in sub-Saharan Africa."  Frazer will moderate the lecture discussion between Bekoe and contributing authors Norma Kriger and Lahra Smith. 

For more information on the CIPI, visit


Pictured above is Carnegie Mellon University's Jendayi Frazer.