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Mahmood Mamdani is from Kampala, Uganda and became director of MISR in 2010. He received his Ph.D. in government from Harvard University. Mamdani is Herbert Lehman Professor of Government in the Department of Anthropology and Political Science and the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, where he was also director of the Institute of African Studies from 1999 to 2004.
He has taught at the University of Dar-es-Salaam (1973–79), Makerere University (1980–93), and University of Cape Town (1996–99) and was the founding director of Centre for Basic Research in Kampala, Uganda (1987–96).
Mahmood Mamdani is the author of Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War and the Origins of Terror (Pantheon 2004); When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism and Genocide in Rwanda (Princeton 2001); Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism (Princeton 1996); and ten other books. Mahmood Mamdani was president of CODESRIA (Council for the Development of Social Research in Africa) from 1999 to 2002.