Carl LeVan is an Assistant Professor in the School of International Service at American University in Washington, D.C. He joined IPS as an associate fellow in 2012 to do research on US security policy towards Africa. His articles have appeared in Governance, Africa Today, Democratization, and a forthcoming study on dictatorships will appear in Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics.

He previously worked as legislative director for U.S. Rep. John Conyers, and then as the National Democratic Institute’s first Country Director in Nigeria.

In 2005 he published In Democracy’s Shadow: the Secret World of National Security with IPS co-founder Marcus Raskin while serving as a Melman Fellow. He just finished a book manuscript on Nigerian government performance, and he publishes the blog Development4Security at


Teaching, Testing and ‘Filling the Pail’

Using FBI Director James Comey’s speech on inequality and bias in policing to make a broader point about the state of education and the reform needed.

Charlie Hebdo Meets ‘The Interview’

We’re better off having the limits of free speech tested by artists — including obnoxious ones — than having its limits imposed by political rulers.

Aid and Trade at the U.S.-Africa Summit

If increased trade to Africa is to benefit the continent’s youth, democracy must go hand-in-hand with development.

U.S. Professors to Clinton: Respond to Boko Haram with Diplomacy, Development, and Demilitarization

Twenty-two scholars with expertise on Nigeria note the “horrific violence” perpetrated against civilians and government officials, but argue that responding to Boko Haram ultimately requires a “diplomatic, developmental, and demilitarized framework.”