Physician and Congolese presidential candidate to discuss 'Ethics and Rule of Law in African Leadership' Oct. 15

Dr. Oscar Kashala

Dr. Oscar Kashala

Dr. Oscar Kashala, a Harvard-trained physician and president of the Union for the Rebuilding of the Congo, will speak next week at an upcoming International Leadership Forum on the downtown Minneapolis campus of the University of St. Thomas.

Kashala was a candidate for president of his native Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006 and is running for president again in 2011.

He will discuss "Ethics and Rule of Law in African Leadership: Case of the Democratic Republic of the Congo" from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, in Thornton Auditorium of Terrence Murphy Hall.

The talk, free and open to the public, is part of the university's International Leadership Forum that is sponsored by the School of Education's Department of Leadership, Policy and Administration. More information about the talk is available at the School of Education's events Web site. The School of Education is part of St. Thomas' College of Applied Professional Studies.

Kashala's academic degrees include a 1980 M.D. and 1986 Ph.D. in pathology, both from the University of Kinshasa Medical School in the Congo, and a 1992 doctorate in cancer biology from Harvard University, where he later held teaching and research fellowships. 

He is an adjunct professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Medicine at the University of North Carolina and a senior medical director for the Massachusetts-based biopharmaceutical firm, EMD Serono Inc.

Kashala, 55, became active Congolese politics in 2005. More information about him and the Union for the Rebuilding of Congo can be found at the union's Web site.

"I ran for the presidency of the Democratic Republic of Congo because of my deep concern about the despair and misery that has descended upon our country," he said in a Web site introduction.  "When I was a boy growing up in Lubumbashi, I had access to health care and education that were ranked as the best in Africa.  My mother and father had jobs and raised a family of five children who went on to become successful adults.

"The Congo of my childhood has been erased," he said.  "It has been erased and stolen from this generation by years of war, government corruption and the illegal exploitation of our natural resources by foreign corporations and neighboring countries. My 2006 campaign for the presidency was based upon a promise made to the Congolese people to end this tragic state of affairs."

The Department of Leadership, Policy and Administration, a sponsor of the Oct. 15 lecture, offers a certificate program designed to expose graduate students to issues of leadership, democratization and Third World development through courses, intercultural exchanges and on-campus forums with national and international leaders.