Ambassador (ret) Bisa Williams is special advisor on Mali for The Carter Center and, since 2018, has served as an independent observer for implementation of a peace agreement in Mali. She is also a senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, where she teaches a course on peacebuilding. Her distinguished career in foreign service includes two years at the National Security Council in the White House, U.S. Ambassador to Niger, deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of African Affairs, and acting deputy assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs, where she led the U.S. delegation to talks in Havana, Cuba, ending a seven-year hiatus of high-level direct discussions. Upon retirement, she co-founded Williams Strategy Advisors, LLC, while chairing boards dedicated to public health, food security, environmental sustainability, and more. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude from Yale and holds a Master of Science in National Security Strategy from the National War College of the National Defense University, a Master of Arts, and an ABD in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Los Angeles.