Leon Hartwell is a South African independent political analyst currently living in Riga. He loves Latvian, which he studied at the Foreign Service Institute in the USA. He describes himself as a “pracademic” with one foot in academia and the other in practice. Leon is passionate about African politics and has done extensive research on Structural Adjustment Programmes and Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers in Africa. He has also published a number of newspaper and journal articles on a wide variety of issues affecting the continent.
From 2010-2013, Leon lived in Zimbabwe, where he worked for the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands as a Senior Policy Advisor on Development and Political Cooperation. He also worked for the Netherlands Embassy in South Africa, where he was responsible for political and development cooperation, and analysing domestic and regional issues in Southern Africa.
Leon holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Pretoria, where he also lectured in the Political Sciences Department on international relations and politics. He has presented guest lectures at Bates College (USA), the University of South Africa; Indiana University-Purdue University (USA), St. Francis University (USA); and Ritsumeikan University (Japan).