Ambassador Nagy recently served as US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 2018 until 2021. In addition to leading the US Government’s efforts to deal with Africa’s myriad systemic challenges – including instability, corruption, and poor governance – Ambassador Nagy prioritized dramatically increasing trade and investment between the US and Africa and implementing “deal teams” in every US Embassy to support this effort. He also focused on urging African governments to create the types of business and governance environments which would attract outside investment to create jobs for Africa’s emerging Youth Tsunami
He is also an Emeritus Professor at Texas Tech University (TTU). Previously, as Vice Provost for International Affairs at TTU from 2003 – 2018, he focused on increasing international student numbers, study abroad opportunities for domestic students, and long-term partnership opportunities with international institutions, especially in Africa. He has also lectured nationally on Africa, foreign policy, international development, and American diplomacy, and advised several U.S. Presidential campaigns on Africa policy, including serving as Gov. Romney’s Africa group co-chair in 2012.
Ambassador Nagy arrived in the United States in 1957 as a political refugee from Hungary; he received his B.A. from Texas Tech University and M.S.A. from George Washington University.
His 32 years of U.S. Government service included over twenty years in Africa at eight postings. He was the U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia (1999-2002) following his Ambassadorship to Guinea (1996-1999). He also served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Nigeria (1993-1995), Cameroon (1990-1993), and Togo (1987-1990). His other assignments included Zambia, the Seychelles, an initial tour in Ethiopia, and Washington DC.
His U.S. State Department awards include commendations for: helping prevent famine in Ethiopia; supporting the evacuation of Americans from Sierra Leone during a violent insurrection; supporting efforts to end the Ethio-Eritrean War; and managing the U.S. Embassy in Lagos Nigeria during political and economic crises. He was selected as runner-up for the prestigious “Deputy Chief of Mission of the Year” award in 1995 and knighted by the President of Guinea in 1999.
Ambassador Nagy remains a regular contributor to the op-ed pages of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal newspaper, focusing on global events. His current board service includes the American Academy of Diplomacy, Friends of Camp Soles, and emeritus status for Breedlove Foods. He also serves as a consultant on Africa for the Transnational Strategy Group. He co-authored “Kiss Your Latte Goodbye: Managing Overseas Operations,” which was recognized as the best nonfiction work of the 2014 Paris Book Festival. He has been married to Eva Jane Nagy for 50 years, and they have three adult children – the first triplets born in independent Zimbabwe.