Ambassador (retired) Cindy Courville, Ph.D. currently serves on the executive board of the National Security Executives and Professional Association (NSEPA) and as a member of the Steering Committee of the Leadership Council for Women in National Security (LCWINS). Previously Ambassador Courville served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Social Science Foundation Board for the Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver.
Within the U.S. government national security enterprise Ambassador Courville has served in a number of positions for nearly 20 years in the Department of State, the National Security Council, the Defense Intelligence Agency , and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In the academic arena, Ambassador Courville taught at the National Intelligence University, Occidental College, and Hanover College.
Ambassador Courville served as the first U.S. Ambassador to the African Union where she was significantly instrumental in organizing and managing the fiftieth U.S. mission in Africa from November 2006-May 2008. She led the U.S., European Union, and Non-African Observer countries negotiating efforts to design and implement the Strategic Planning Management Unit to support the African Union Mission to Somalia. Also, she facilitated engagements with the ambassadors from Algeria, Ethiopia, and Uganda to develop a strategic engagement plan for the launch and sustainment of a Ugandan People’s Defense Force led African Union peacekeeping mission to Somalia. In addition, Ambassador Courville led a team of experts that developed a Disaster Readiness Program. Under her leadership, this effort was fully funded at $1 million to assist the African Union in the creation of a standardized, coordinated system to monitor, address and remedy humanitarian crises in Africa.
From 2004 – 2006 at the National Security Council (NSC), Dr. Courville served as the Special Assistant to the President of the United States and Senior Director for African Affairs. She was responsible for developing and implementing critical strategic bilateral U.S. – Africa policy and relations that contributed to the advancement of U.S.- Africa political, economic, military partnerships, and security alliances. Dr. Courville served as the White House and NSC lead working in collaboration with the Nigerian government and the Special Court for Sierra Leone Office of the Prosecutor that help bring former Liberian President Charles Taylor to justice for war crimes at The Hague. In addition, Dr. Courville led the NSC interagency process that resulted in the U.S. training, airlifting and deployment of African Union troops in Darfur. Also, she helped to create and launch the Corporate Council on Africa a public private partnership in support of the Presidential Malaria Initiative.
Ambassador Cindy Courville received her Ph.D. and M.A. in international studies from the University of Denver and received her M.A. and B.A. in political science from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Also, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Louisiana, selected as the Korbel School of International Studies 2014 Alumni of the Decade, and received the University of Denver Alumni Association Professional Achievement Award. Ambassador Courville is a Shell Oil Fellow, Ford Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow, International Career and Advancement Fellow and Department of Defense Executive Leadership Development Fellow.