Richard Downie is deputy director and fellow with the CSIS Africa Program, based in Washington, DC. In this role, he analyzes emerging political, economic, social, and security trends in sub-Saharan Africa with the aim of informing U.S. policymakers, the U.S. military, and members of Congress. Downie recently codirected a major project commissioned by the U.S. Africa Command that “stress-tested” African states, identifying possible sources of instability in 10 countries during the next decade. He authored the Sudan country report in this series. He also completed a project looking at the challenge of police reform in sub-Saharan Africa.
Downie joined CSIS following a decade-long career in journalism. He was a reporter for several newspapers in the United Kingdom before joining the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), where he worked as a senior broadcast journalist covering the leading international stories of the day for radio and television. Since then, he has conducted research and completed writing projects on Africa for the Council on Foreign Relations and the U.S. Institute of Peace. He is a contributor to the Africa section of Freedom House’s annual report, Freedom In the World. He is a frequent commentator on African issues for the BBC, Al Jazeera, CNN, and other international media. He teaches seminars on U.S. foreign policy in Africa at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, part of the National Defense University; and the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute. Downie holds a master’s degree in international public policy from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a B.A. in modern history from Oxford University.