Ambassador Rama Yade is Senior Director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center and senior fellow for the Europe Center. She is also a teacher of African affairs at Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Morocco and at Sciences Po Paris.


She is a Senegalese and French citizen.


Prior to joining the Council, she was a consultant for the World Bank, advising the institution on education, youth, sports, human capital, and disability issues in Africa. She also has strong experience in the private sector as an editor in London, where she overviewed a collection of books about African millennials, and as director for development at a French consulting firm in corporate and social responsibility.


Ambassador Yade has over a decade of experience working in French, European, and international politics. At the age of thirty, she was appointed as the deputy minister for foreign affairs and human rights of the Republic of France: the first ever French minister for human rights and the first woman of African descent to become a member of the French cabinet.


Ambassador Yade prioritized women’s rights during the French presidency of the European Union in 2008. Thanks to strong advocacy, she strengthened the Paris Commitments and Paris Principles on ending the use of child soldiers in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. From Chad to Haiti, she also mobilized resources to post-crisis areas to manage emergencies in cooperation with international nongovernmental organizations. In recognition of her work, she was Nelson Mandela’s personal guest on his ninetieth birthday in Johannesburg.


She was subsequently appointed to the position of deputy minister of sports. In this role, she successfully promoted France’s bid to host the Euro 2016 football tournament as well as the 2018 Ryder Cup. Confirming her commitments towards the fight against discrimination, she led the campaign for all French sports federations to sign a charter against homophobia in sports and to get more involved in equal pay for female athletes. In 2010, Ambassador Yade was appointed as the ambassador of France to UNESCO, where she obtained in 2011, after twelve years of effort, the designation of World Heritage Site for the Causses and the Cévennes.


Ambassador Yade is a parliamentary high civil servant and belongs to the French Senate In the Luxembourg Palace, she worked as legal senior advisor from 2000 to 2007, taking part in the law-making process for the Social Affairs Committee, developed a deep knowledge of worldwide parliamentary networks as the executive director of the France-West Africa Parliamentary Friendship Group and cooperated with the TV network of the Parliament, Public Sénat, as deputy director for programming and director of communications.


Ambassador Yade received a master’s degree in political science and public affairs from Sciences Po Paris. She is the author of several books, including Noirs de France, Les droits de l’homme expliqués aux enfants de 7 à 77, Lettre à la jeunesse, Plaidoyer pour une instruction publique, Carnets de pouvoir, and Anthologie regrettable du machisme en politique.