Djibril Diallo Named Webster University Commencement Speaker
February 21, 2022
Djibril Diallo, president and CEO of the African Renaissance and Diaspora Network (ARDN), has been named the commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient for Webster University’s 103rd Commencement, to be held May 13-14, 2022. Diallo has a distinguished career in international relations, diplomacy and human development, particularly in advocacy for issues affecting the African continent and victims of the AIDS epidemic. He has served a variety of leading international nongovernmental organizations.
Before assuming leadership of ARDN in 2018, he served as the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS’ regional director for Western and Central Africa, as director of the United Nations New York Office of Sport for Development and Peace, as director of communications for United Nations Development Programme, and as special adviser to the executive director of the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund.
As chief executive of ARDN, Diallo leads the organization’s “Pathway to Solutions” initiative, which aims to popularize the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and to increase public understanding of the role and functions of the UN. Webster University and ARDN first signed an MOU in 2017 which launched a partnership that strengthens intergenerational leadership among women and youth across the diaspora to achieve a just and sustainable world for all. In 2020, ARDN and Webster University together advanced ARDN’s Red Card Campaign with a focus on SDG #5, gender equality. The University’s Red Card campaign raises global awareness and invites all to pledge their support to end all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls.
“Djibril Diallo has spent his career encouraging young people, advocating for international human rights, and building partnerships and networks that focus on the need for all of us to engage the world’s most critical issues and challenges. His life and career embody the values of individual excellence and global citizenship, aligning well with Webster University’s mission,” said Chancellor Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble. “Webster University is proud to know him as a partner and friend, and we are honored that he will serve as our Commencement speaker.”
“Around the world, at Webster campuses on four continents and online, our mission is the same: To provide educational opportunities that transform students for global citizenship and individual success,” said President Julian Z. Schuster. “Djibril Diallo’s life and career exemplify that mission, and his words will be timely inspiration for our graduates in the Class of 2022.”
A citizen of Senegal, Diallo holds a Ph.D in Linguistics, Education and Communications from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, as well as certificates from University of Nottingham and a degree in modern languages and education from University of Dakar, Senegal. During the commencement weekend, Webster University will award him an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
African Renaissance and Diaspora Network (ARDN)
ARDN is an internationally operating NGO headquartered in New York, with the status of a United States 501(c)(3) public charity. ARDN’s mission is to accelerate the attainment of the African renaissance by advocating for and supporting United Nations programs, such as the Sustainable Development Goals. To this end, ARDN mobilizes the passion of government, educators, mayors, artists, intellectuals, the private sector, civil society and youth, using the power of art, sport and culture as vectors for creating a better world. ARDN also serves as the Secretariat for the Global Alliance of Mayors and Leaders from Africa and of African Descent.