Former Mali Ambassador to Speak

USF’s Center for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies hosts Vicki Huddleston, who will speak on Mali and Islamist militants.


From USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (March 29, 2013) – The University of South Florida’s Center for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies will host former ambassador and U.S. State Department official Vicki Huddleston on Wednesday, April 3, for a conversation on the current conflict in Mali.


Ambassador Huddleston will speak from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Patel Center for Global Solutions, 11710 USF Maple Drive.


The conversation will be moderated by USF World’s Center for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies Director Mohsen Milani and focus on the turmoil in Mali, where Islamist militants have taken control over the northern portion of the country and a military coup overthrew the country’s democratically elected government last year.


“We are concerned about Mali because of the potential impact on neighboring countries,” said Milani, an internationally-recognized expert on Islamic movements. “Because some of these militants are Al Qaeda-affiliated, there are implications for U.S. national security.”

Huddleston served as ambassador to Mali from 2002 to 2005 and served as the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from June 2009 through December 2011. Now retired, the career diplomat also held the posts of Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Haiti, and Director and Deputy Director of Cuban Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, and has been a visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution.

The co-author of a book on U.S-Cuban relations and numerous opinion pieces, Huddleston penned a January 2013 op-ed for the New York Times, “Why We Must Save Mali”.

Huddleston is the ninth high-level diplomat or author hosted by the Center for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies since it was founded in 2012 as a center for interdisciplinary research on national security issues, diplomacy and strategy. The center serves as a bridge among academia, the private sector and the government on international issues.

The event is free and open to the public; please RSVP at For additional information, visit USF World Events here or call (813) 974-3724.