Peter Chaveas

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Press release from Mars Hill College, shared March 22:

Peter Chaveas, former ambassador to Sierra Leone and Malawi, and former director of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies at the U.S. Department of Defense, will speak at Mars Hill College on April 3 at 1 p.m. in Belk Auditorium. The public is welcome.

Ambassador Chaveas’s planned lecture will address issues in Africa, the need for students to have an international perspective and the need to work and study abroad.

Chaveas served for almost 40 years in the U.S. government, first as a Peace Corps volunteer and then for 34 years as a State Department Foreign Service Officer with assignments including ambassador to Malawi, political adviser to the commander of U.S. Forces in Europe, and ambassador to Sierra Leone.

He finally retired in 2008 as director of the Department of Defense’s Africa Center for Strategic Studies. He and his wife, Lucille, met while training to be Peace Corps volunteers. They moved to Brevard in 2008. They have two grown children and six grandchildren.

Chaveas is originally from Philadelphia. He attended undergraduate school at Denison University and did graduate work in political science and economics at Rutgers and Princeton Universities. Since moving to Brevard, he has been active in the Democratic Party, has taught in various continuing education programs in the region and serves on the boards of the Western North Carolina World Affairs Council and the Pisgah Group of the Sierra Club.

Heather Hawn, assistant professor of political science at Mars Hill College, said: “It is important for Mars Hill students, and all of us, to understand the importance of ‘thinking globally’ and Ambassador Chaveas will be able to contribute to that understanding. He not only is highly educated in issues in Africa with regard to political and economic development, he is well versed in American national security interests in the region. He demonstrates the need to travel, work and serve internationally and will help prepare students for our increasingly globalized world.”

This event is sponsored by Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honor Society) and the Visiting Artists and Lecturers Committee of Mars Hill College.

Angie Newsome

Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at

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