Connie Freeman is currently the Regional Director for the East and Southern Africa section of the Canadian International Development Research Center. Connie oversees the extensive African-lead research program in a cross-section of disciplines that IDRC has supported for the last forty years. She has spent 40 years working on African issues and is a frequent commentator on sub-Saharan African development. During her 14 years as a diplomat in Africa, Freeman helped craft American economic policy for sub-Saharan Africa and Kenya. She was Peace Corps Country Director in Cameroon and Congo-Brazzaville. Earlier in her career she was on the professional staff of the Foreign Assistance Sub-Committee of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. There she played a major role in shaping legislation related to foreign assistance, development banks, and the Peace Corps. She was also a professor of Defense Economics at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, and a Director of African Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC. Freeman has a Ph.D. in economic development from the University of Denver's School of International Studies.