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Top U.S. official in African affairs to speak this week on campus

A high-ranking official who oversees U.S. defense involvement in Africa will speak next week at Austin Peay State University.

Charles P. Kosak, principal director in the Office of African Affairs, Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), will present a talk, titled Africa: U.S. Involvement and the Future, at 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 28 in the Morgan University Center, Room 303.

A meet-and-greet session will precede his presentation at 5 p.m. in the MUC third floor lounge. The public is invited to attend both events.
A high-ranking official who oversees U.S. defense involvement in Africa will speak next week at Austin Peay State University.

Charles P. Kosak, principal director in the Office of African Affairs, Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), will present a talk, titled “Africa: U.S. Involvement and the Future,” at 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 28 in the Morgan University Center, Room 303.

A meet-and-greet session will precede his presentation at 5 p.m. in the MUC third floor lounge. The public is invited to attend both events.

Kosak's visit is sponsored by the Global Security Studies (GSS) Club, a new student organization at APSU, and the Institute for Global Security Studies (IGSS).

“We are fortunate that we can bring such a distinguished speaker to our community for the GSS Club's inaugural event,” said Greg Kaufmann, director of the IGSS. “U.S. involvement on the African continent should be a concern for every American, and Mr. Kosak will provide us with important insights into that involvement to include information on the newly established U.S. African Command.”

With an extensive background in overseas policy, Kosak most recently was deputy director of NATO Policy in the OSD. From 1998-2002, he served as political adviser to the commanding general of V Corps, U.S. Army Europe. He was senior policy analyst on the OSD Balkans Task Force from 1997-98.

Kosak also served as head of office for the International Rescue Committee, a New York City-based humanitarian relief organization founded by Albert Einstein during World War II, in Bosnia from 1993-95 and as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Congo from 1988-91.

Fluent in both the French and Swahili languages, Kosak gained professional experiences in on-the-ground humanitarian service during some of the worst fighting in the Balkans as well as deployments with the U.S. Army to the Balkans, the Middle East and Africa.

Kosak's awards include the Department of the Army Award for Superior Civil Service in 2002; the Office of the Secretary of Defense Award for Excellence, 2001; the Department of the Army Award for Civil Service, 1999; the Office of the Secretary of Defense Award for Excellence, 1998; and the Office of the Secretary of Defense Joint Meritorious Unit Award, 1998.

Kosak has a bachelor's degree in economics and political science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He holds two master's degrees — one in international politics and economics from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, and the other in national security studies from the National War College, Washington, D.C.

For more information about Kosak's talk, contact the Institute for Global Security Studies by telephone at (931) 221-7910. -- Melony Leazer