Constance Freeman

Former Director of the Canadian International Development Research Center (IDRC) Regional Office for East and Southern Africa

Freeman Constance

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PhD, University of Denver


African affairs and issues, U.S. economic policy, foreign assistance


Constance Freeman is a 40-year veteran of African affairs and issues, who has served as an Economic Councilor at the US Embassy in Nairobi and most recently as Director of the Canadian IDRC (International Development Research Center) Regional Office for East and Southern Africa.

She has Ph.D. and MA degrees in Development Economics from the School of International Studies at the University of Denver and a BA from the American University in Washington, D.C. She has spent over forty years living and working on Africa and traveling widely in Africa and Asia.

From 1999-2001, Freeman was Professor of Economics/Senior Advisor, African Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS), Washington, D.C. Previously she served as Director of African Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), in Washington, D.C. where she was consulted widely as an African expert by the press, government and corporations.

During her 14 years as a U.S. diplomat, Dr. Freeman was the Director of the Economic Policy Staff for the African Bureau where she helped craft U.S. economic policy for sub-Saharan Africa; she worked as Economic Counsellor at the American Embassy in Nairobi where she developed U.S. economic policy towards Kenya and she served at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi.

Dr. Freeman worked in Cameroon and Brazzaville as Peace Corps Country Director and earlier in her career on the Professional Staff of the Foreign Assistance Sub-Committee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. There she played a major role in shaping foreign assistance, development bank and Peace Corps legislation.

As an academic, Dr. Freeman taught at the University of Zambia in the early seventies and has lectured for over 20 years throughout the U.S. and Africa on African issues. She authored numerous reports and evaluations for the U.S. government during her 20-year diversified career and published a number of articles after she retired from government. "The Three Economies of Africa" was published in December 2000 by ISS in Pretoria.