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Mvemba Dizolele

Adjunct Lecturer


Mvemba Phezo Dizolele has over two decades of experience in international affairs, foreign policy analysis, defense and security, democratization, corporate governance, advocacy and strategic communication. He is a former Peter J. Duignan Distinguished Visiting Fellow and a former National Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is the author of a forthcoming biography: Mobutu: the Rise and Fall of the Leopard King (Random House UK).
Dizolele’s analyses have been published in the Washington Post, Journal of Democracy, New York Times, Newsweek International, International Herald Tribune, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, and other outlets.
A frequent commentator on African affairs, he has been a guest analyst on PBS’s NewsHour and Foreign Exchange; NPR's Tell Me More and Weekend Edition, On Point, and the Diane Rehm Show; BBC’s World News Update; and Al Jazeera’s The Stream, NewsHour, and Inside Story.

He has testified before various subcommittees of both chambers of the United States Congress, as well as before the United Nations Security Council. He was a grantee of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and covered the 2006 elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he was embedded with UN peacekeepers in Congo's Ituri district and South Kivu province as a reporter.

With the Pulitzer Center, he produced Congo’s Bloody Coltan, a documentary report on the relationship between the Congo conflict and the scramble for mineral resources.

Dizolele holds an International MBA and an MPP from the University of Chicago, and he graduated magna cum laude with a BA in political science and French from Southern Utah University.

He is a veteran of the US Marine Corps Reserve, and he is fluent in several languages, including French, Norwegian and Kikongo.

Congo’s Election is a Farce, The Washington Post, December 29, 2018

Waiting for Democracy in Congo, Foreign Affairs, August 17, 2018

What Mobutu Did Right, Democracy Lab, Foreign Policy, May 9, 2014

Congo is too Big to Fail, Foreign Policy, September 3, 2013

Back to Africa, Foreign Policy, November 5, 2012

The DRC’s Crumbling Democracy, Journal of Democracy, July 2012

A Crisis in the Congo, Foreign Policy, December 14, 2011

Joseph Kabila and Where the Election in Congo Went Wrong, Foreign Affairs, November 28, 2011

Battle After Ballot: Ivory Coast’s Bloody Presidential Standoff, Newsweek International, April 10, 2011

It’s Time to Hold Rwanda Accountable for Its War Crimes, The New Republic, and October 5, 2010

The Mirage of Democracy in DRC, Journal of Democracy, July 2010

Bush’s Quiet Successes, Hoover Digest, Stanford University, Winter 2009

Congo’s Conflict, Forbes, December 22, 2008

The Toll of Small Arms (with Rachel Stohl), The New York Times, September 5, 2006

How to End the Deadliest War in Africa, Hoover Digest, Stanford University, Summer 2006

Eye on Africa: Mali’s Democracy, United Press International, December 21, 2004

The UN in Congo: The Failure of a Peacekeeping Mission, The New York Times, May 10, 2004

Kabila Needs Real Help Now, The International Herald Tribune, November 12, 2003




  • Africa


  • Foreign Policy Analysis
  • Defense and Human Security
  • Democratization and Governance
  • Advocacy and Strategic Communication

In the News

The dark side of Rwanda’s rebirth.

Mvemba Dizolele wrote in Foreign Policy, 05/29

A key moment for DR Congo and Patrice Lumumba's family.

Mvemba Dizolele interviewed on BBC, 05/28

Elections in Africa.

Mvemba Dizolele testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Relations, 03/02

Power shift in Congo.

Mvemba Dizolele wrote in Foreign Affairs, 02/25

DRC grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic shock.

Mvemba Dizolele wrote for Center for Strategic and International Studies, 7/21