Fellow, Co-Founder of the Enough Project
Expertise: National security, terrorism
John Prendergast is the Co-Founder of the Enough Project at American Progress. He is an author and human rights activist who for over 25 years has worked for peace in Africa. During the Clinton administration, John was involved in a number of peace processes in Africa while he was director of African affairs at the National Security Council and special advisor to Susan Rice at the Department of State. John has also worked for two members of Congress, UNICEF, Human Rights Watch, the International Crisis Group, and the U.S. Institute of Peace. He has also been a youth counselor, a basketball coach, and a Big Brother for over 25 years.
He has authored eight books on Africa, including Not on Our Watch, a New York Times bestseller and NAACP non-fiction book of the year that he co-authored with actor Don Cheadle. John is currently working on two new books for publication by Random House. The Enough Moment, due out this fall and also co-authored with Don Cheadle, focuses on building a popular movement against genocide and other human rights crimes. His other forthcoming book draws on his many years in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.
John has worked with a number of television shows to raise awareness about human rights issues in Africa. He has appeared in four episodes of “60 Minutes,” for which the team won an Emmy Award, and has consulted on two episodes of “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” one focusing on the recruitment of child soldiers and the other on rape as a war strategy. He has also traveled to Africa with ABC’s “Nightline,” PBS’s “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” and CNN’s “Inside Africa.” He has appeared in several documentaries including: “Sand and Sorrow,” “Darfur Now,” “3 Points,” and “War Child.” He also co-produced “Journey into Sunset,” about Northern Uganda, and partnered with Downtown Records and Mercer Street Records to create the compilation album “Raise Hope for Congo,” which shines a spotlight on sexual violence against women and girls in the Congo.
With Tracy McGrady and other NBA stars, John co-founded the Darfur Dream Team Sister Schools Program to fund schools in Darfurian refugee camps and create partnerships with schools in the United States. He also helped create the Raise Hope for Congo Campaign, highlighting the issue of conflict minerals that fuel the war in Congo. John is a board member and serves as strategic advisor to Not On Our Watch, the organization founded by George Clooney, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, and Brad Pitt.
John’s op-eds have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Washington Post, and The International Herald Tribune, and he has been profiled in Vanity Fair, Men’s Vogue, Time, Entertainment Weekly, GQ Magazine, Oprah Magazine, Capitol File, Arrive Magazine, Interview Magazine, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Kenneth Cole’s Awearness.
John has been a visiting professor at the University of San Diego, Eckerd College, St. Mary’s College, the University of Maryland, and the American University in Cairo, and will be at Columbia University and the University of Pittsburgh. He has been awarded six honorary doctorates.