As part of the “Leading for Peace: Voices from the Field” series, IPI hosted James Swan, current Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, on June 6, 2022. Swan shared his reflections on the current situation in Somalia following the recent presidential and parliamentary elections and their implications for UN engagement moving forward.
Swan was appointed in May 2019 as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). Prior to this appointment, Swan spent much of his career serving in the US government supporting African countries facing complex political transitions. He served as Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from 2013 to 2016, US Special Representative for Somalia from 2011 to 2013, and Ambassador to Djibouti from 2008 to 2011.
Earlier in his career, Swan served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 2006 to 2008 and Director of African Analysis in the US Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research from 2005 to 2006. Prior to this, he held various assignments in the DRC, the Republic of Congo, Somalia, Cameroon, Nicaragua, and Haiti.
Swan holds a B.Sc. degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, an MA degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and a master’s degree in security studies from the National War College.
H.E. Mr. James Swan, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM)
Dr. Adam Lupel, IPI Vice President and COO