After a successful career in management and leadership training, Ambassador Bushnell joined the U.S. Foreign Service, eventually serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (1993-1996), Ambassador to the Republics of Kenya (1996-1999) and Guatemala (1999-2002), and as Dean of the Leadership and Management School at the Foreign Service Institute (2002-2005). In her current position as CEO of Sage Associates, Prudence Bushnell lectures and consults on a range of international and leadership issues.  Her motivational speeches on the importance of personal leadership resonate equally in the private, public, and academic sectors and reflect her experiences as a diplomat, leader and educator.

Ambassador Bushnell’s achievements have been recognized through numerous Department of State awards, the Department of Commerce Peace through Commerce Award, the Service to America Career Achievement medal and three honorary doctoral degrees. The Nairobi Mission Award for Heroism noted her community’s response to the 1998 Al Qaeda bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. Glamour magazine named her one of the Top Ten Women of the Year and Vanity Fair magazine featured her in its Hall of Fame in 1998.   Her efforts to bring attention to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda were featured in the 2005 film, Sometimes in April, in which she is portrayed by actress Debra Winger. She is one of three ambassadors highlighted in the National Geographic special, Inside an Embassy. In 2010, Ms. Bushnell was given the Rising Voice of Woman Award by the International Women’s Associates of Chicago. 

Ambassador Bushnell’s written works on leadership and terrorism have been published by the Cambridge University Press and the Foreign Service Journal. She is sought out as a public speaker and applauded by Hamilton College students who attended her class on “Africa’s Lessons for Our Future,” which she designed as the 2010 Sol M. Linowitz Visiting Professor of International Relations.  She is a frequent guest on television and radio news programs. Born in Washington, D.C., and educated in Germany, France, Pakistan and Iran, Ms. Bushnell holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.


Office / Department Name

Levitt Center

Contact Name

Levitt Center

Office Location
Kirner-Johnson 251

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