Professor Louis A. Picard is incoming Director of the African Studies Program in the University Center for International Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. He also serves as Co-coordinator of the Governance group at the University. Picard served four years as the Director of the Ford Institute for Human Security at the University of Pittsburgh. He is also the former Associate Dean (1988-1992) and Acting Dean (1989-1990) of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh. He served for many years as the Director of the International Development Division of the Graduate school of Public and International Affairs of the University of Pittsburgh.
Picard served as President of Public Administration Service (2002-2005). His research and consulting specializations include international development, human security, governance, development management, local government, civil society and human resource development. His primary area of interest is Africa and he has had extensive fieldwork in Southern Africa including three years in South Africa. He has worked extensively in the Anglophone East and West Africa, including the Horn of Africa, Francophone West Africa and North Africa. He also has research interests and experience the Middle East and in Central America and the Caribbean, and in Central and Eastern Europe and Russia.
He has served as a consultant to the U.S. Agency for International Development (A.I.D.), the World Bank, the U.S. Information Agency (U.S.I.A.), UNDP, and U.S. Department of State. He is an Associate Member of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) Standing Panel on Social Equity in Governance and a member of the NAPA Africa Working Group, a joint initiative of the Social Equity Panel and the International Standing Panel. He has worked for the Academy with Educational Development, Associates for Rural Development, Management Systems International, TransCentury, Creative Associates, Democracy International, The Mitchell Group and Development Alternatives Inc.
Picard has worked as teacher, researcher and consultant in Botswana, Uganda, Somalia, Nicaragua, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Guinea-Conakry, Mexico, Morocco, Lesotho, Mozambique, Pakistan, Somalia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. He also has taught and carried out capacity building activities, in Denmark, Hungary, Britain and Slovakia.
Dr. Picard has carried out research on regional and district administration in Tanzania, developed the training system for local government in Botswana, and for the last ten years has been working on issues of liberalism, governance and local governance and development management on South Africa. He currently is principle investigator on a large USAID funded program focusing on the assessment of programs addressed at conflict mitigation and extreme violence in West Africa (ECOWAS and Chad).
From 1991-1994 Dr. Picard served as a UNDP and World Bank advisor on regional and local government and on public sector capacity building in both Ethiopia and Eritrea. He has worked in more than 50 countries, 44 of which are in Africa and the Middle East. His major academic research for the last several years has been on the political transformation in South Africa and the development of political institutions in fragile states. He has also carried out research on U.S. foreign aid, security and diplomacy. He is the author or editor of 11 books more than forty articles and book chapters and numerous reports.