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Johns Hopkins SAIS appoints the Warren Weinstein Chair of African Studies


Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) has appointed Peter M. Lewis, Ph.D., as the Warren Weinstein Chair of African Studies, an endowed position supported by the legacy of Dr. Warren Weinstein and the generosity of his family. 
“We are grateful for the Weinstein family’s commitment to establishing this professorship. Their efforts will ensure Dr. Weinstein’s contributions as an African Studies scholar and humanitarian will not be forgotten,” said Eliot A. Cohen, Dean of Johns Hopkins SAIS. “Professor Lewis embodies Dr. Weinstein’s passion for the study of Africa.” 
Lewis is the director of Africa and Middle East Programs at Johns Hopkins SAIS. His research and teaching focus on economic reform and political transition in developing countries, with particular emphasis on governance and development in Sub-Saharan Africa. He has written extensively on questions of economic adjustment, democratization, civil society in Africa, democratic reform and political economy in Nigeria, public attitudes toward reform and democracy in West Africa, and the comparative politics of economic change in Africa and Southeast Asia. He received a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University.
The Weinstein family decided to partner with Johns Hopkins SAIS for the professorship due to the school’s unparalleled reputation in both the education and international affairs communities. In addition, the Weinstein family noted honoring Dr. Weinstein through this position allows for his life to continue to benefit others.
Dr. Weinstein was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1941. He graduated cum laude from Brooklyn College before attending Columbia University where he earned a scholarship to learn Swahili, an African Affairs certificate, an M. A. in International Relations, and a Ph.D. in International Relations and Economics. While an adjunct at Johns Hopkins SAIS, he was impressed and inspired by the students and faculty who shared his love of learning and exploration of the world and its varied cultures. 
During his career, Dr. Weinstein worked for various private consulting firms as well as USAID, Peace Corps, and the International Finance Corporation. He traveled extensively in the developing world, getting personally involved and always trying to find ways to improve the lives of the people he met. While working on a USAID project, he was kidnapped from his residence in Pakistan on Aug. 15, 2011. In Jan. 2015, Dr. Weinstein and an Italian hostage, Giovanni Lo Porto, were killed in a counterterrorism strike. Dr. Weinstein was survived by his wife of 46 years, Elaine, his daughter Alisa, his daughter and son-in-law Jennifer and Carl Coakley, and his grandchildren Sydney and Connor. He also left behind thousands of people whose lives he touched and who, in turn, filled his heart with joy.
“Associating Warren with both Johns Hopkins SAIS and Professor Lewis is an honor to us and to Warren’s memory,” said Elaine Weinstein, widow of Dr. Weinstein. “Education was important to Warren and Professor Lewis demonstrates that same dedication in his own studies and the study of Africa – a region that mattered so much to Warren.”
“Professor Lewis’ Africa expertise has made him a leader at SAIS and in the discipline. There is no better demonstration of this than his tireless stewardship at the school’s African Studies program,” said Andrew Mertha, Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs and International Research Cooperation at Johns Hopkins SAIS. “This professorship, made possible through collaboration with the Weinstein family, is a well-deserved recognition of his scholarship and his many other contributions.”

Media Contacts

Miji Bell
Director of Communications and Media Relations
Johns Hopkins SAIS
+1 (202) 587-3205
Jason Lucas 
Communications Manager
Johns Hopkins SAIS
+1 (202) 663-5620

Johns Hopkins SAIS

A division of Johns Hopkins University, the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) is a global institution that offers students an international perspective on today's critical issues. For 75 years, Johns Hopkins SAIS has produced great leaders, thinkers, and practitioners of international relations. Public leaders and private sector executives alike seek the counsel of the faculty, whose ideas and research inform and shape policy. Johns Hopkins SAIS offers a global perspective across three campus locations: Bologna, Italy; Nanjing, China; and Washington, D.C. The school's interdisciplinary curriculum is strongly rooted in the study of international economics, international relations, and regional studies, preparing students to address multifaceted challenges in the world today. 
For more information, visit or on Twitter @SAISHopkins
Thursday, July 30, 2020