Mr. Francis Deng is writer, scholar, diplomat and South Sudan’s first ambassador to the United Nations. From 2006 to 2007, Mr. Deng served as Director of the Sudan Peace Support Project based at the United States Institute of Peace. He was also a Wilhelm Fellow at the Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Research Professor of International Politics, Law and Society at Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. Before joining MIT, Mr. Deng was a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the John Kluge Center of the Library of Congress.
Mr. Deng served as Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Internally Displaced Persons from 1992 to 2004, and from 2002 to 2003 was a Senior Fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace. Mr. Deng served as a Human Rights Officer in the UN Secretariat from 1967 to 1972 and as the Ambassador of Sudan to Canada, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the United States. He also served as Sudan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
Mr. Deng holds an LL.B from Khartoum University and an LL.M and a J.S.D. from Yale University and has authored and edited over 30 books in the fields of law, conflict resolution, internal displacement, human rights, anthropology, folklore, history and politics and has also written two novels on the theme of the crisis of national identity in the Sudan. Reflecting on the root causes of genocide and its sustainable prevention, he said in 2008:
There is a potential Hitler in all human situations. Unless we address what produces a Hitler, we will not be able to eradicate him within society. Respect for differences and the creation of a framework of equality and dignity for all are essential to ensure peaceful coexistence between and among groups.