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CV | ... in the spirit of service


To request a formal CV, write: dzosborn at gmail dot com

Presentation CV

Expert in rural community development (technical focus on tropical and semi-arid agriculture and forestry), with particular interest in cultural and linguistic dimensions of development and research. Interdisciplinary background in social sciences and environmental studies, including research methods and policy. Additional expertise in: language and localization for international development; security and development; and teaching and training. International experience in West and East Africa, China, and Middle East.

Employment highlights

  • IDS International - Research director for Social Science Research and Analysis in Afghanistan
  • BAE Systems - Research specialist/advisor for AFRICOM in Djibouti; Policy and doctrine specialist for JIEDDO
  • Localization projects for Africa - PanAfrican Localisation and African Network for Localisation
  • Teaching - Instructor at Chengdu University of Technology; Adjunct asst. prof. at Tulane University
  • U.S. Peace Corps - Associate Director, Agriculture, in Niger

International service highlights

  • Bisharat! A language, technology, and development initiative - Founder and director, with vision of using information and communication technology (ICT) in diverse African languages in the service of development and education in Africa.
  • Peace Corps volunteer in: Amlam√©, Togo; Djenn√©, Mali; Pita, Guinea


Four broad themes as focus of professional and academic work over the last three decades:

  1. development, which in its broadest sense includes more than material improvement
  2. languages, which are essential for communication, learning, and culture, but in many contexts need explicit attention
  3. technology - ICT - which can be adapted to any language and serve development and educational purposes
  4. scholar-practitioner, as an iterative approach to research and application


Background in international development focuses on rural development, with experience in agriculture, forestry, and natural resource management (NRM) on village levels, in development administration, research, and teaching. Extensive technical knowledge as well as theoretical and applied understanding of approaches to development.

Field experience in West Africa includes 6 years of community-level work in agriculture and forestry, 4 years' management experience (Associate Director of Peace Corps/Niger), and some research; in East Africa, evaluation and support of veterinary civil affairs projects.


Spent many years learning about languages, aspects of linguistics, and issues related to policy. Current research interest in the linguistic dimensions of development (relation to development communication, participation, use of indigenous knowledge, localization of ICT for development, etc.).

Languages spoken include French, two dialects of Fula, and Bambara. Some elementary skills or basic familiarity in several other languages (very basic skills in Chinese and German; rudiments of Arabic, including the script; developing reading skills in Spanish).


Expertise in localization of ICT, especially in African languages. Keen interest in assuring that ICT used for development and education in Africa take account of linguistic realities. This work, begining with founding the Bisharat initiative and including work as project lead of PanAfrican Localisation (2005-8), has involved: networking, research, online gathering and presentation of information, moderation of online discussions, organization of workshops, and public presentations.


A guiding approach to research, learning, knowledge generation, information sharing, and teaching.

Formal education

Ph.D. in Resource Development, Michigan State University, Dec. 1997

M.S. in Resource Development, Michigan State University, May 1993

B.A. in Social and Behavioral Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University, May 1978

See also

Page last modified on 2014-01-27 08:46
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