Press Releases

House Intelligence Committee to Hold Virtual Hearing on Impact of COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa

Washington, DC – On Monday, June 15, 2020 at 12:00 pm EST, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) will hold a virtual open hearing on the impact of COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa, and how it will impact U.S. national security and intelligence.

COVID-19 presents a broad array of humanitarian, economic, and political challenges to Africa, where WHO estimates the pandemic has now infected at least 200,000 people across the continent.  The Committee will hear from four experts, who can help define the challenges that the disease represents for Africa, how these challenges will impact U.S. national security and how other nation states are responding to the crisis.

The Committee has hosted numerous closed full Committee roundtables in the past three months, but this will be the first open virtual hearing that the Committee has held since the House passed new rules authorizing virtual committee work. The Committee is planning other open virtual hearings in the coming weeks and months.

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Senior Vice President at the Albright Stonebridge Group and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs

Ambassador Michelle Gavin, Senior Fellow at Council on Foreign Relations and former U.S. Ambassador to Botswana           

J. Stephen Morrison, Senior Vice President and Director, Global Health Policy Center at Center for Strategic and International Studies

Judd Devermont, Director of the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and former national intelligence officer for Africa

House Intelligence Committee Hearing on Impact of COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa

Monday, June 15, 2020 at 12:00 pm EST

The Committee will livestream the hearing for the public and press here.



Linda Thomas-Greenfield – Albright Stonebridge Group

Linda Thomas-Greenfield is a Senior Vice President at ASG and leads the firm's Africa practice.  She joined ASG following a long and distinguished 35-year foreign service career. From 2013-2017, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, where she led the development and management of U.S. policy toward sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on economic empowerment, investment opportunities, peace and security, and democracy and governance. Prior to that appointment, she served as Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources, leading the team in charge of the State Department's 70,000 personnel.

Her foreign service career also included an ambassadorship to Liberia from 2008 to 2012, and postings at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Switzerland, as well as in Kenya, Nigeria, The Gambia, Pakistan, and Jamaica. In Washington, she served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the State Department's Bureau of African Affairs, and as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. Prior to joining the U.S. Department of State, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield taught political science at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield was awarded the Hubert Humphrey Public Leadership Award, the Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award, and the Warren Christopher Award for Outstanding Achievement in Global Affairs. She has also received the Presidential Rank Award and the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award.

She earned a B.A. from Louisiana State University and an M.A. degree from the University of Wisconsin, where she worked towards a PhD. She received an honorary Doctor of Law degree from the University of Wisconsin in May 2018. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield is also a Distinguished Resident Fellow in African Affairs at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University Walsh School of Foreign Service. She is based in Washington, D.C.

Michelle Gavin - Council on Foreign Relations

Michelle D. Gavin is senior fellow for Africa Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. She has over twenty years of experience in international affairs in government and non-profit roles. She was formerly the managing director of The Africa Center, a multidisciplinary institution dedicated to increasing understanding of contemporary Africa. From 2011 to 2014 she was the United States ambassador to Botswana, and served concurrently as the United States representative to the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

During her tenure the United States and Botswana launched the most ambitious HIV prevention study in the world, Botswana hosted the 1,400-strong joint military exercise Southern Accord, and the U.S. embassy helped to found the first Botswana-American Chamber of Commerce. Prior to that, Gavin was a special assistant to President Obama and the senior director for Africa at the National Security Council, where she led major policy reviews of Sudan and Somalia, and helped to originate the Young African Leaders Initiative.

Before joining the Obama administration, she was an international affairs fellow and adjunct fellow for Africa at CFR. Earlier in her career she worked in the U.S. Senate, where she was the staff director for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s subcommittee on African affairs, director of international policy issues for Senator Russ Feingold, and legislative director for Senator Ken Salazar.

Gavin received an MPhil in international relations from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes scholar, and earned her BA from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where she was a Truman scholar.  She serves on the board of directors of Points of Light, the Africa-America Institute, and is a member of the Harvard AIDS Initiative’s International advisory board.

Stephen Morrison – Center for Strategic and International Studies

J. Stephen Morrison is senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and director of its Global Health Policy Center. Dr. Morrison writes widely, has directed several high-level commissions, and is a frequent commentator on U.S. foreign policy, global health, Africa, and foreign assistance. He served in the Clinton administration, as committee staff in the House of Representatives, and taught for 12 years at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin and is a magna cum laude graduate of Yale College.

Judd Devermont - Center for Strategic and International Studies

Judd Devermont is the director of the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Prior to joining CSIS, he served as the national intelligence officer for Africa from 2015 to 2018. 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 is a lecturer at George Washington University’s Elliot School of International Affairs where he co-teaches a class on U.S. intelligence analysis on sub-Saharan Africa. He is also a senior adviser at Kupanda Capital, a pan-African investment platform, and at Fraym, a data analytics firm. Mr. Devermont is 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, Mr. Devermont hosts Into Africa, a biweekly podcast series on African politics and policy. The views expressed in publications authored by Mr. Devermont do not represent those of the U.S. government. 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.