Board of Directors
Through its by-laws, WARA has established a Board of Directors composed of representatives elected by the general membership. There are nine board members, representing a range of institutions and disciplines. Each serves for a term of three years, with three members rotating off each year. The board’s role is to assure that the WARA mandate is fulfilled. The directors then elect officers who, in close cooperation with the U.S. and overseas directors, are charged with the coordination and execution of programs taking place in the U.S. and in West Africa. For information, please Contact the WARA headquarters.
WARA Board Officers
Scott M. Youngstedt , President
Scott M. Youngstedt earned his Ph.D. in Anthropology at UCLA in 1993, and is currently Professor of Anthropology at Saginaw Valley State University. His ethnographic research in Niger over the past 24 years explores the ways by which migrant Hausa construct communities in diaspora, create modernities, and negotiate personal identities in the context of neoliberal globalization. Youngstedt is examining similar dynamics in the new Nigerien Hausa diaspora in the U.S. He has also carried out research focused on tourism and festivals in Niger, Ghana, Senegal, and Morocco, considering issues such as cultural representation, authenticity, and intercultural communication. Youngstedt is the author of Surviving with Dignity: Hausa Communities of Niamey, Niger (Lexington Books, 2012). His work has been published in Africa Insight, African Studies Quarterly, African Studies Review, and City and Society, among other places. He is Co-Editor with Tara Flynn Deubel of Saharan Crossroads: Historical, Cultural, and Artistic Linkages between North and West Africa (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013). Youngstedt has been committed to WARA for many years. He has served on the Board of Directors since 2007 and as Vice President from 2009-2012. He participated in the 2005 WARA Summer Institute in Ghana, and was a co-organizer of the Saharan Crossroads: View from the South conference held in Niamey in 2011. Youngstedt has also co-led three Study Abroad programs in Dakar in collaboration with Ousmane Sène, Executive Director of WARC, and is planning a fourth program for summer 2013.
Wendy Wilson Fall, Vice President
Wendy Wilson Fall is Associate Professor and Program Chair of the Africana Studies Program at Lafayette College. Wilson-Fall served as Director of the West African Research Center in Dakar from 1999-2004. She earned her Ph.D. from Howard University’s African Studies Center, with a concentration in Social Anthropology, and her M.A. from Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria. Her research engages questions of socio-cultural change among nomadic livestock producers, slavery and unfree labor in Africa and the diaspora, and ethnic identity. Most of her work has been in the Sahel region of West Africa. Publications on pastoralism include “Fulbe of the Dieri and the Ferlo,” in La societe senegalaise entre le local et le global (ed. Momar Coumba Diop), Karthala, 2002, ”Traditional African Conflict Medicine: The Fulbe Example,” in Traditional African Conflict Medicine ( ed. William Zartman), Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999, and “The Upward Mobility of Wives: Gender, Class and Ethnicity,” The Journal of African Philosophy, 1999. Recent publications include “Women Merchants and Slave Depots: St. Louis, Senegal and St. Mary’s, Madagascar,” in Slaving Paths: Rebuilding and Rethinking the Atlantic Worlds, (ed., Ana Lucia Araujo), Cambria Press, 2011; and “Life Stories and Ancestor Debts: Creole Malagasy in Eighteenth Century Virginia,” in Crossing Memories: Slavery and the African Diaspora, (eds. Maria Candido, Paul Lovejoy and Ana Lucia Araujo), Africa World Press, 2011. Dr. Wilson-Fall is currently working on a book manuscript: Performance of Difference: African American Family Narratives of Madagascar; her current research is on the marginalization of today’s West African pastoralists and the dangers of pasture loss, youth unrest, and militarization.
Ismail Rashid, Secretary
Ismail Rashid grew up in Freetown, Sierra Leone and has been teaching at Vassar College since 1998. He is an associate professor in history and Africana Studies and the Director of Africana Studies Program. Dr. Rashid received his B.A. Hons from the University of Ghana, and Ph.D in African History from McGill University. His primary teaching interests are precolonial and modern African history, enslavement, resistance and emancipation and African Diaspora and Pan-Africanism. His research interests include subaltern resistance against colonialism and social and military conflicts in contemporary Africa. Dr. Rashid’s publications include: “The Student Radicals, the urban Lumpen Youth and the Origins of ‘Revolutionary’ Groups in Sierra Leone, 1977-1996” and “Smallest Victims; Youngest Killers: Juvenile Combatants in Sierra Leone’s Civil War”, (co-authored with Ibrahim Abdullah, in Democracy and Terror: The Sierra Leone Civil War (2003): 66-89 & 238-254; West Africa’s Security Challenges (2004) (co-edited with A. Adebajo), “Class, Caste, and Social Inequality in West African History,” in Emmanuel Akyeampong (ed.), History of West Africa, (2005). Dr. Rashid is currently working on a manuscript entitled Resisting Domination in West Africa: Enslaved people, Peasants and Chiefs under Colonialism in Sierra Leone, 1890-1960.
Jemadari Kamara , WARA Treasurer
Jemadari Kamara is the co-director of the Center for African, Caribbean and Community Development at the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMB). The center is involved in educational, environmental, economic and community development projects in the Caribbean , West Africa and urban America . He also serves as a senior fellow in the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies and on the faculty of the Africana Studies Department at UMB which he chaired from 1996-2001. He first became involved with West Africa attending Fourah Bay College in 1969. Subsequently, he has continued to live and work throughout the region teaching on senior Fulbright assignments at the Universite Nationale du Benin (Cotonou 1985-1987) and most recently at Universite Gaston Berger (UGB – St. Louis, Senegal 2001-2002). During his tenure at UGB he co-directed a community development project establishing a community resource center in the St.Louis region. Also, he has served as the chairman of the Massachusetts delegation to the National Summit on Africa/Africa Society. Of particular interest has been his ongoing work using photovoltaic (solar) systems for rural electrification and economic development. Most recently, Kamara has co-directed a youth leadership development program in Senegal and Benin , YES (Youth Education and Sports) with Africa , which has over 1000 youth participants. Kamara came to UMB as dean of the College of Public and Community Service (1988-1993). Kamara’s most recent publication includes contributions from throughout Africa and the Diaspora, The State of the Race–Creating Our 21 st Century (2004).
Jennifer Yanco, WARA U.S. Director
Dr. Yanco is a Visiting Researcher at the African Studies Center at Boston University. She holds a masters degree from the Harvard School of Public Health where she specialized in the social and political determinants of health and worked for a number of years as a women’s health advocate. Her current work developing anti-racism curricula for schools and adult education programs stems from the conviction that, of all the determinants of health, racism continues to have the most devastating, widespread, and long-term effects, making it the most serious public health issue facing us. Dr. Yanco has a Ph.D. in Linguistics and African Studies from Indiana University and has taught for many years in the African language program at Boston University, focusing on curriculum and materials development for Lingala, Hausa, and Setswana. She has organized and taught intensive summer language programs in Hausa and Setswana and recently co-directed a four-week Fulbright Hays Seminar Abroad for US faculty in Senegal. Yanco spent many years in Niger, involved in various aspects of language education and served for two years as a Fulbright senior lecturer in Linguistics at the Université de Niamey.
Ousmane Sène, Director of WARC
Dr. Sène is an associate professor of Literature (African and African-American) in the Department of English, Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal. He chaired the department from 1988 to 1998. He is an alumnus of Université Cheikh Anta Diop where he earned his B.A. and M.A. in English before going to Paris for a Ph.D. in Commonwealth Literatures at Ecole Normale Supérieure de Saint Cloud and Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris III. He has been serving in the Department of English of Université Cheikh Anta Diop since his return from Paris in 1983. Sène is a frequent visitor to the United States, primarily for teaching and research purposes. He was a senior Fulbright Research Scholar at the University of Florida in 1992-93. Before and subsequently he has served as visiting professor in several U.S. universities such as Michigan State University, the University of Minnesota, Loyola Marymount University, Wofford and Converse Colleges, Beloit College, and more. Sène has substantial experience in the area of administration, first as chair of the Department of English in Dakar (3,500 students) and then as study abroad program administrator in Senegal for a number of U.S. universities. He is the author of several publications on issues relating to literature and the social sciences and is a regular contributor to Senegalese daily newspapers and radio and television programs. Sène has also worked as a free-lance translator for several international institutions, such as the Panafrican News Agency (Pana), U.N. representations in Dakar, USAID, and several other development-oriented NGO’s. Prior to being appointed Director of the West African Research Center, Sène was the President of AROA (Association de Recherche Ouest Africaine).
- Louise Badiane, Bridgewater State University (2015)
- Matthew Christensen, University of Texas-Pan American (2013)
- Rebecca Golden-Timsar, Independent Scholar (2015)
- Ismail Montana, Northern Illinois University (2015)
- Mbare Ngom, Morgan State University (2015)
- Pearl Robinson, Tufts University (2014)
- Ibra Sene, The College of Wooster (2013)
- Tarshia L. Stanley, Spelman College (2014)
- Jennifer Yanco, US Director (ex-officio)
- Mbye Cham, Past President (ex-officio)
- Ousmane Sène, Director, West African Research Center (ex-officio)
- Ibrahima Thioub, President, Association de Recherche Ouest Africain (ex-officio)
WARA Standing Committees 2012-2013
Membership & Nominations Committee
Finance and Development
The WARA Executive Committee is composed of the officers of the board.