Page last updated at 20:00 GMT, Thursday, 24 April 2008 21:00 UK

Profile: Jendayi Frazer

Jendayi Frazer
Ms Frazer was a student at Stanford when Condoleezza Rice was Provost

Jendayi Frazer, the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, has been one of the more outspoken members of Condoleezza Rice's State Department.

She raised eyebrows when she described the unrest following Kenya's presidential election in January as "ethnic cleansing", a description that a State Department spokesman later refused to back up.

And she was accused by John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the UN, of ripping up a carefully crafted plan to resolve the border dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea and pushing to give a major piece of disputed land to Ethiopia.

Dr Frazer's background, like that of her boss, Ms Rice, is in academia.

She received her BA, MA, and PhD degrees at Stanford University, during Ms Rice's tenure as Provost of the university.

Her doctoral dissertation looked at the relationship between the civilian government and the military in Kenya.

Blunt talker

After obtaining her doctorate she became an International Affairs Fellow at the foreign policy think-tank, the Council on Foreign Relations, and taught public policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

She also served as an adviser on African affairs to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and to the National Security Council.

In 2001, she joined the Bush administration as a full-time member of the National Security Council, before being appointed as the US Ambassador to South Africa in 2004.

She returned to Washington in 2005 to take up her current position as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

She made the news in 2007 when she conducted the first state visit by a US official to Somalia for 14 years.

Her comment on the disputed election in Zimbabwe - that opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was the "clear victor" of the vote - will certainly cement her reputation as a blunt talker.

US denounces Kenya 'cleansing'
30 Jan 08 |  Africa
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