John Campbell

Council on Foreign Relations


John Campbell is the Ralph Bunche senior fellow for Africa policy studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

From 1975 to 2007, Campbell served as a U.S. Department of State Foreign Service officer. He served twice in Nigeria, as political counselor from 1988 to 1990 and as ambassador from 2004 to 2007. Campbell's other posts included Lyon, Paris, Geneva, and Pretoria. He also served as deputy assistant secretary for human resources, dean of the Foreign Service Institute's School of Language Studies, and director of the Office of UN Political Affairs.

From 2007 to 2008, Campbell was a visiting professor of international relations at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was also a Department of State mid-career fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University. Prior to his career in the Foreign Service, Campbell taught British and French history at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia.

Campbell is the author of Nigeria: Dancing on the Brink and he writes the blog ""Africa in Transition"" and edits the Nigeria Security Tracker. He has also written for The Atlantic, Foreign Policy,, Christian Science Monitor, and other publications.

Featured Work

The aftermath of a Boko Haram bombing in Jos, Nigeria, in May, 2014. CREDIT: <a href=""> Diariocritico de Venezuela</a> <a href="">(CC)</a>

MAR 9, 2015 Podcast

Nigeria and the Horror of Boko Haram

"Like other radical insurgencies, Boko Haram is fueled by poor governance, political marginalization, and its region's deepening impoverishment," says former Ambassador to Nigeria John Campbell. "...