Edvige Jean-François, an award-winning global journalist and producer, has been named as the inaugural executive director of the Center for Studies on Africa and Its Diaspora (CSAD) at Georgia State University.
Jean-François assumes the leadership position at CSAD, a key research and community outreach unit of the university’s College of Arts & Sciences, July 1. The center, which is focused on scholarship related to understanding the African diaspora and its contributions to our global society, was founded in 2020 by a group of interdisciplinary faculty members.
“Edvige Jean-François brings the right ingredients to lead the Center for Studies on Africa and Its Diaspora at this defining moment,” said Sara Rosen, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. “I look forward to working with Edvige and members of the center to position Georgia State and the Atlanta community at the forefront of global conversations on Africa and the African diaspora.”
CSAD brings together faculty from a wide range of fields, including African American and Africana studies, business, digital media, education, public health, environmental studies, fine and creative arts, journalism, languages, law, technology, humanities, social sciences, and women’s, gender and sexuality studies.
As the inaugural executive director, Jean-François’ leadership portfolio will include establishing and fostering relationships with key community leaders and securing sustaining resources to promote the center’s mission. She will be responsible for overseeing collaborative programming that leverages Atlanta’s rich history and identity while being responsive to the needs of Georgia State’s diverse student body.
“It is an honor to have been selected to serve as the inaugural director for CSAD during such a time of global uncertainty,” said Jean-François. “I look forward to leveraging my background to implement a forward vision that encapsulates the cultural, economic and intellectual dynamism of Africa and its diaspora.
“As someone who has lived and traveled across continents, I’ve had the opportunity to see firsthand the impact that the center can make on both Atlanta and the world, while also serving as a bridge for awareness, education and empowerment.”
During her more than 20 years as a journalist and television producer, including covering the White House, Jean-François has traveled extensively while documenting the stories of people around the globe. Much of her work has focused on exploring developments in Africa and across the African diaspora, covering topics as wide-ranging as business and economics, geopolitics, natural disasters and crises, arts, culture, sciences and technology.
An alumna of Hamilton College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Jean-François has utilized her education to create a solid career as a journalist. Her past work with CNN International, CNN’s Washington Bureau and Associated Press Television News, among other news organizations, has garnered more than 20 awards, nominations and commendations, including as a contributor to a Peabody Award and CINE Golden Eagle Award. She has received numerous Telly awards and Emmy nominations. As a speaker, she has conducted lectures, seminars and panel discussions for the Inter American Press Association, USIA and World Affairs Council of Atlanta. She brings to Georgia State a wide network of relationships with governmental and corporate entities, as well as other significant connections in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and across the globe.