AUBURN – Faida Mitifu, Ambassador of Democratic Republic of the Congo to the United States, will speak at Auburn University on Monday, Feb. 28, at 3:30 p.m. in Student Center room 2222-2223. The public lecture, “The United States and Africa: Current Opportunities and Concerns,” will address issues related to political and economic ties between the United States and Africa.
Mitifu is a graduate of Auburn’s Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. She holds an undergraduate degree in biochemistry education from the National University of Zaire-ISP in Kinshasa, a master’s of French studies from Auburn and a Ph.D. in romance languages from the University of Georgia.
Appointed to her position as ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of DRC to the United States in 1999, she is one of only a handful of female ambassadors who are chiefs of diplomatic missions in the United States and one of the longest serving ambassadors within the diplomatic corps in Washington, D.C.
During her tenure, she has testified before Congress on the resolution of the crisis in DRC and in Africa’s Great Lakes region and has been instrumental in strengthening relations between the United States and DRC.
Mitifu has facilitated multibillion dollar investments in her country and has organized exchange visits of entrepreneurs to increase networking between the United States and DRC. She works with U.S. government and international non-governmental organizations to enhance the status of women in Africa, and to increase their participation in the economic and political processes of their country, striving to engage women in issues including human rights, environment, health and good governance.
“We are thrilled to host one of the most distinguished and most respected ambassadors in Washington, D.C. – one who has served under three U.S. presidents,” said Samia Spencer, professor of French in Auburn’s Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. “Added to the pleasure of welcoming her to campus is the pride that she is one of our own graduates, as both she and her husband, Maurice Shali Shali, are Auburn alumni.”
During her two-day visit to Auburn, Mitifu will meet with various Auburn constituencies involved in projects in Africa. The lecture is sponsored by the University Lectures Program, The Honors College and the College of Liberal Arts’ Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures and Department of Political Science.