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Friday, Oct. 27
CDFAC, Ruth Lilly Performance Hall
Her Excellency Ambassador Mathilde Mukantabana is the ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda to the United States. She also serves as the non-resident ambassador to Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.
Prior to her 2014 appointment, Ambassador Mukantabana was a tenured professor of history at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento, Calif., from 1994-2013. She is the co-founder and president of Friends of Rwanda Association (FORA), a non-profit American relief organization created in the wake of the 1994 genocide of more than 800,000 members of the Tutsi ethnic group in Rwanda, including several members of her immediate family. FORA’s purpose since its inception is to increase international awareness of the Rwandan tragedy and to support survivors of the incident. She launched the social work program at the National University of Rwanda in 1999 and has organized numerous domestic and international workshops and conferences to on human rights issues across the world. Today, Ambassador Mukantabana cites the Rwandan genocide as a lesson for the entire international community about equality, justice and hope. Her philanthropy and leadership on this and other global human rights issues earned her numerous accolades, including the 2012 Peace and Justice Award from the Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution and the Peace and Global Peace Award by Global Majority.
Fluent in English, French, Kinyarwanda and Kirundi, she holds a bachelor’s degree in history and geography from the University of Burundi and a master’s degree in social work (with a special emphasis on community organization, planning and administration) as well as a master’s in history from California State University.
The Ambassador will speak about her work concerning peace and development in Rwanda, specifically, the role of a strong and efficient state in building human capacity, encouraging economic growth, trade and investment. She will also talk about the role that the African diaspora can play in the development of the continent with a particular focus on her experience in Rwanda.