Donna A. Patterson

Fellow, International Security Program

Donna A. Patterson is a fellow with New America’s International Security program. Patterson is an associate professor of history and director of Africana Studies at Delaware State University. Her first book, Pharmacy in Senegal: Gender, Healing, and Entrepreneurship, was published by Indiana University Press in 2015. Patterson’s research and teaching interests include global health security, epidemics, Sahelian insecurity, and African affairs. She is currently writing a book on the 2014 Ebola outbreak. Her work on Ebola, global public health, and African affairs has appeared in academic journals and media outlets including Anthropologie et Santé, Slate Magazine, and the Huffington Post. She regularly lectures and participates in meetings on Ebola, global public health, and African politics. Patterson has provided expertise to corporations, NGOs, and government agencies on African affairs and public health. 

Patterson was a 2016 Carnegie fellow at New America. She currently holds affiliations as a visiting scholar at the Center for Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and a visiting researcher at the African Studies Center at Boston University.

She has received fellowships from Fulbright IIE, the Woodrow Wilson Center, Princeton University, the American Historical Association, the West African Research Association and the Institute for the Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch. Patterson previously taught at Wellesley College. 

All Work

The Travel Ban Against Chad Puts American Security At Risk

Donna Patterson wrote for the Washington Post about the history of the US-Chad relationship and the travel ban's effect on it.

America's Long War on Immigrants

The United States has a history of controlling the movement of black and brown people into the country—and it's only getting worse.

The Danger of Adding a Vital Ally to the U.S. Travel Ban List

Trump's addition of Chad to the U.S. travel ban list threatens development and counterterrorism goals in the region.

France's Presidential Election Has Re-Ignited an Identity Crisis

Despite Emmanuel Macron’s victory, the election points to growing tension around France’s reckoning with its sense of itself.

America First Shouldn’t Mean America Alone

Security in the Horn of Africa

What will President Donald Trump’s policy towards the Horn of Africa region look like?

Without the West Africa Outbreak, There Would be No Ebola Vaccine

The recent Ebola epidemic underscored the interconnectedness of global public health.

Black Lives Matter Is Not Anti-Cop (and Other Things to Understand This Week)

Donna Patterson and Mariatu Santiago offer articles worth reading on race and racism in America.

Zika’s Getting All of the Attention. It Shouldn’t.

Donna A. Patterson writes for Slate about the Zika epidemic and how it compares to other regional outbreaks.

The Veil in Senegal

Donna A. Patterson argues that, contrary to popular belief, France and the West could learn something about religious tolerance from a count

Casualties of the War on Drugs

The Justice department will begin releasing inmates who committed nonviolent drug crimes at the end of this month. This decision comes off t