LiveAtState Media Advisory — Threats to Civilian Security in Africa

By Embassy of the United States - Accra - Ghana

Please join the U.S. Department of State for an online press conferencefeaturing Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Sarah Sewall. Having recently returned from Guinea and Mali, the under secretary will discuss the threat of violent extremism in Africa, as well as ending female genital mutilation/cutting and ensuring accountability for sexual violence in conflict. Journalists will be able to submit questions ahead of time and live during the briefing.


Speakers: Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Sarah Sewall

Topic: Threats to civilian security in Africa: violent extremism, female genital mutilation/cutting, and sexual violence in conflict

Date: Thursday, May 5, 2016

Time: 1:00 pm (Please arrive no later than 12:45 to ensure time to pass through security.)

Location: U.S. Embassy, Accra

Ground rules: ON THE RECORD

To submit questions in advance: Please email your questions to [email protected]

To join us at the embassy: Please confirm attendance by noon on Wednesday, May 4, 2016, by contacting Joyce Asiedu of the Public Affairs Section on 0243-045-332 or Zainab Mahama on 0244-329-9960. You must bring photo ID to be admitted to the embassy. We look forward to your participation.

To participate independently: Journalists who wish to participate on their own may also RSVP independently to [email protected] to receive the link and call-in info for the event. If you plan to participate independently, we would still be grateful if you could let us know, so we can determine interest in these sorts of events.

About LiveAtState

LiveAtState is the U.S. Department of State's interactive online video platform for engaging international media on the top foreign policy issues of the day. Invited journalists from around the world submit questions and receive live video answers from U.S. policymakers. By harnessing cutting edge web chat technology, we are able to cross borders and time zones, offering international media new opportunities to engage in meaningful discussions with U.S. policymakers through unscripted “virtual press briefings” that address the most pressing topics of the day. Past LiveAtState programs may be viewed on

BIO: Sarah Sewall

Term of Appointment: 02/20/2014to present

Dr. Sarah Sewall is a longtime advocate for advancing civilian security and human rights around the world. Dr. Sewall was sworn in as Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights on February 20, 2014. She serves concurrently as the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues. Over the previous decade, Dr. Sewall taught at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where she served as Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy and directed the Program on National Security and Human Rights.

Dr. Sewall has extensive experience partnering with the U.S. armed forces around civilian security. At the Kennedy School, she launched the MARO (Mass Atrocities Response Operations Project) to assist the U.S. military with contingency planning to protect civilians from large-scale violence. She was a member of the Defense Policy Board and served as the Minerva Chair at the Naval War College in 2012. She also led several research studies of U.S. military operations for the Department of Defense and served as the inaugural Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Assistance in the Clinton Administration. Prior joining the executive branch, Dr. Sewall served for six years as the Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to U.S. Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell and earned a Ph.D at Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

Note: RSVPs to join the event at the embassy must be received by 12 noon on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. You must bring photo ID to be admitted to the embassy.