George Ayittey

Distinguished Economist in Residence, American University

Dr. Ayittey is a distinguished economist in residence at American University and founder and president of the Free Africa Foundation. His areas of expertise include economic development, the World Bank, IMF, and democratization of Africa.

Dr. Ayittey is the author of numerous op-eds for the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. He writes columns for African-owned publications including The African Letter, African Continent News, Africa News Weekly, and African Forum.  His books include Africa in Chaos, Indigenous African Institutions, The Blueprint for Ghana's Economic Recovery, and Africa Betrayed, for which won the 1992 H. L. Mencken Award for Best Book.

Dr. Ayittey has appeared on several television and radio news shows including ABC’s Nightline and CNN’s Crossfire as well as programs on National Public Radio, and the BBC World Service. He has also lectured across the United States, Europe, and Africa. He has testified several times before U.S. congressional committees about the third world debt crisis, foreign aid to Africa, apartheid in South Africa, the World Bank, and debt forgiveness. In addition, Dr. Ayittey has served as a consultant to several organizations, including the World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the International Council on Metals and the Environment (ICME).

Professor Ayittey holds a BS from the University of Ghana, a MA from the University of Western Ontario, and a PhD in Economics from the University of Manitoba.