Gabon – COI

Benjamin N. Lawrance, Ph.D.

Professor of History at the University of Arizona



Benjamin N. Lawrance is the former Conable Chair in International Studies at Rochester Institute of Technology and is currently a professor of history at the University of Arizona. He has conducted field research in West Africa since 1997 and published extensively about political and social conditions. He has served as an expert witness in the asylum cases for  over 130 West Africans in the US, Europe and Canada which have involved human trafficking, citizenship, statelessness, female genital cutting, gender issues, gender identity, ethnic and religious violence, and witchcraft accusations.

Dr Jeremy Rich


Dr. Jeremy Rich is a specialist on central African politics and history, particularly on the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, and the Republic of Congo.  He served for over 5 years as a member of the Amnesty International USA Central Africa country specialist program.  Dr. Rich has extensive experience in reviewing applications of individuals seeking political asylum (particularly in the USA) and writing letters of support and affidavits on their behalf.  He was written 2 books and over 30 articles on Congolese and Gabonese history.  The US State Department has invited Dr. Rich to present on Gabonese politics and he also was an official observer of the 2016 Gabonese presidential election.  He is fluent in French and some familiarity with Fang, Lingala, and Kinyarwanda.   He currently teaches at Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA.