Dr. Amii Omara-Otunnu has devoted his life to promoting democracy, human rights, development and social justice around the globe. He engages these causes as a scholar and an advocate, by shaping policy and building structures and alliances through which to effect positive change in society. For his achievements, Dr. Omara-Otunnu has received international recognition-including an entry in the 2001 edition of Marquis' Who's Who in the World.
Since his student days in Uganda and the United States, Dr. Omara-Otunnu has been involved in movements for democracy, human rights, and social justice in pre- and post-apartheid South Africa and other countries around the world. He held a wide range of key leadership positions as both an undergraduate and a graduate student.
Dr. Omara-Otunnu's academic interests span the areas of jurisprudence and constitutional and administrative law, civil-military relations, Pan Africanism, and leadership in Africa. He places a special focus on the interplay of politics, the military, and human rights in Sub-Saharan Africa, and has received research support from the Ford Foundation, Harvard University, and the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning.
His articles on political developments in Africa have been published in academic journals and scholarly books, including the Journal of Modern African Studies; The Oxford Companion to Politics of the World; Military and Militarism in Africa; Conflict in Africa; The Biographical Dictionary of African Leaders South of the Sahara; Africa and Eastern Europe: Crisis and Transformation; and Political Parties in Africa. He has authored Politics and the Military in Uganda, 1895-1985, has a book on the modern history of the Upper Nile Basin forthcoming, and is currently writing on the relationship between the rule of law and human rights in Africa since the advent of colonialism. He also writes regularly for a wider audience and has had articles published in several newspapers and magazines including Newsday and The Hartford Courant. He has appeared on current affairs radio and TV programs, such as BBC, Radio Netherlands International, Voice of America, National Public Radio (in the USA and in South Africa) and World Net TV.
He has been invited by the United Nations' Security Council to discuss approaches to international security through regional organizations. In 1984, he was a member of a UNESCO delegation of experts to Beijing, China, for a conference aimed at identifying ways to eliminate racism and its impact worldwide. In 1995, he was one of five international scholars selected to work on a project with the International Peace Institute in Oslo, Norway, on the issue of armed conflict and democratization in Africa. Dr. Omara-Otunnu is a member of the Connecticut Governor's Board on Trade with Africa, and has been consulted by the U.S. Department of State. He also has extensive experience in development, working on various projects with the United Nations Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and with the Council for the Development of Economic and Social Research in Africa (CODESRIA).
Dr. Omara-Otunnu holds memberships in a number of organizations, including the African Studies Association, Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, Oxford Law Society, CODESRIA, the Desmond Tutu Peace Center Board of Trustees,
and the Desmond Tutu Educational Trust. At the University of Connecticut, he founded the Center for Contemporary African Studies. Later, he initiated and led the negotiations that established the partnership between the University and the African National Congress.
A Professor of History at the University of Connecticut, and UNESCO Chair in Comparative Human Rights, Dr. Omara-Otunnu currently serves as Executive Director of the UConn-ANC Partnership which consists of three projects: comparative human rights, oral history and archives. He leads the Comparative Human Rights Project, and is the Director of the University of Connecticut-University of Fort Hare (South Africa) international linkage, which is funded by a Tertiary Education Linkages Project (TELP) grant from the United Negro
Dr. Amii Omara-Otunnu was educated at Makerere University, Uganda, and earned a B.A. (Cum Laude) degree in Social Studies from Harvard University, an M.Sc. in Political Science from the London School of Economics, and a B.A. (Honours) in Jurisprudence (Law) and a Doctor of Philosophy in History from the University of Oxford.