Rwandan ambassador to visit St. Mary’s

Rwanda’s ambassador to the United States, Mathilde Mukantabana, will visit St. Mary’s University next week to meet with leadership and students.

The emphasis of the ambassador’s visit is “Rwanda at 22: Reflecting on the 22nd Anniversary of the Liberation of Rwanda.” Also known as Kwibohora22, it is celebrated on July 4 in Rwanda and by Rwandan diaspora around the world.

Catholic educational institutions in Africa are prominent. The ambassador will be exploring the possibility of a Memorandum of Understanding regarding educational exchanges with St. Mary’s and a potential partnership in hosting a major event on campus next year.

On July 18, the ambassador will meet individually with University President Thomas Mengler, J.D.; Provost Aaron Tyler, Ph.D., whose academic expertise is International Relations; the Rev. Timothy Eden, S.M., Vice President for Mission; Ambassador James Creagan, the Eugene Scassa Visiting Professor of International Diplomacy; as well as several University deans.

On July 19, the ambassador will meet off campus with area business leaders. There will also be a session with St. Mary’s International Relations students and faculty at 6 p.m. in Room 330 of St. Louis Hall.

Mukantabana also is nonresident ambassador to Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. Before becoming ambassador, she was a history professor at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento, California, from 1994 to 2013.

For more information, please contact Celine Jacquemin, Ph.D., Associate Dean of the St. Mary’s University School of Humanities and Social Sciences, at 210-431-2013 or cjacquemin1@stmarytx.edu.

More about Ambassador Mathilde Mukantabana, from the embassy
Mukantabana is co-founder and president of Friends of Rwanda Association (FORA), a nonprofit American relief association created after the 1994 genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda. FORA’s purpose is to expand the circle of friends of Rwanda and to support survivors of the genocide.

In addition, with the support of United Nations for Development Programs, she started a Social Work academic program at the National University of Rwanda in 1999, and taught in its summer program.

Mukantabana helps lead organizations that promote the advancement of Rwandan communities in the United States. She is an active board member of the Holocaust and Genocide Studies program at Sonoma State University, and she belongs to the International Association of Genocide Scholars and the Organization of African Leaders in Diaspora, which she co-founded.

The ambassador has organized domestic and international workshops and conferences on genocide and on the Rwandan experience. She has been a featured presenter at film festivals and an international speaker, and she was honored with the 2012 Peace and Justice Award from the Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution; Peace and Global Peace Award (on behalf of FORA) by Global Majority, 2012; and Crystal Apple Award for Best Instructor at Cosumnes River College, 2012.

Mukantabana earned a bachelor’s degree in History and Geography from the University of Burundi, and two master’s degrees – one in Social Work, with special emphasis in Community Organization, Planning and Administration, and the other in History – from California State University in Sacramento, California. She is fluent in English, French, Kinyarwanda and Kirundi.


St. Mary's University, founded in 1852, is the first institution of higher learning in San Antonio and the oldest Catholic university in the Southwest. It offers 75 programs, including doctoral and law programs, and has a diverse student population of about 3,800 of all faiths and backgrounds. Its vision, as a Catholic and Marianist liberal arts institution, is to become one of the finest private universities in the region, a gateway for graduates to professional lives as ethical leaders in Texas, the nation and the world.

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