Landry Signe

Landry Signé

Landry Signé is a senior fellow in the Global Economy and Development Program and the Africa Growth Initiative at the Brookings Institution. He was previously a David M. Rubenstein Fellow at Brookings. His career and research span the areas of global political economy, global governance and sustainable development, global business and emerging markets, strategic management and leadership, fragility, state capacity and policy implementation, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Globalization 4.0, and the political economy of Africa and developing countries.

He is a full professor and founding co-director of the Globalization 4.0 and Fourth Industrial Revolution Initiative at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, distinguished fellow at Stanford University’s Center for African Studies, chairman of the Global Network for Africa’s Prosperity, and senior adviser to top global leaders (presidential, prime minister, and C-suite levels) in business, policy, and international affairs. In addition, he has been on numerous boards and councils including for the World Economic Forum, the United Nations, Ampion Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Africa, and the African Union, was a co-chair of the World Economic Forum YGL Board Governance Initiative (improving board governance in leading public and private corporations, and nonprofit organizations), professor and former senior adviser to the chancellor and provost on international affairs at UAA, among others.

Signé was also a visiting scholar or has taught at the universities of Oxford, Stanford, Georgetown, Montreal, Ottawa, Witwatersrand, as well as the Sub-Regional Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics in Central Africa, Mohamed VI Polytechnic University and HEC Paris School of Management. He taught an award-winning course at Stanford presenting Africa as a continent of economic opportunities (“Emerging African Markets: Strategies, Investments and Government Affairs”), winning the African Network Outstanding Visionary Leadership Award and the Stanford University’s Center for African Studies Distinguished Leadership Award “in recognition and honor of distinguished contributions to African studies, innovative teaching, outstanding mentorship, and exceptional service to the community.”                .

Signé was selected as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader for “finding innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues,” an Andrew Carnegie Fellow for being one of the “most creative thinkers,” a Desmond Tutu Fellow for driving “the transformation of Africa,” a Woodrow Wilson Public Policy Fellow for “preeminent scholarship uniting the world of ideas to the world of policy,” one of JCI’s Ten Outstanding Young Persons in the World for “extraordinary achievements and dedication exemplifying the best attributes and leadership in academia,” and has won numerous academic awards, including the American Political Science Association Campus Teaching Award, the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Academic Research and Creative Activity.

He is the author of numerous scholarly publications, including books with leading academic presses such as Cambridge University Press (CUP), namely “Innovating Development Strategies in Africa: The Role of International, Regional and National Actors” (CUP 2017), “African Development, African Transformation: How Institutions Shape Development Strategy,” (CUP 2018), “Unlocking Africa’s Business Potential: Trends, Opportunities, Risks, and Strategies” (2020 with the Brookings Institution Press), and “Africa’s Role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Ridding the World’s Biggest Disruptive Innovation” (forthcoming). He is also the author or co-author of numerous Brookings reports such as  “Spotlighting Opportunities for Business in Africa and Strategies to Succeed in the World’s Next Big Growth Market,” “The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Digitization will Transform Africa into a Global Powerhouse,” “Leaving No Fragile State and No One Behind in a Prosperous World: A New Approach,” “The Potential of Manufacturing and Industrialization in Africa,” “Africa’s Tourism Potential,” “Africa’s Consumer Market Potential,” “Keys to success for the AfCFTA Negotiations,” “Illicit Financial Flows in Africa: Drivers, Destinations, and Policy Options,” “Why has Africa’s Fast Economic Growth Left More Poor People Behind and How Do We Fix it?,” “Accountable Leadership: The Key to Africa’s Successful Transformation,” among others. His work has also appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, CNBC, Forbes, the Hill, and Harvard International Review, among others.

Signé was educated in Cameroon (with honors and distinction; Vogt College), in France (valedictorian and salutatorian; University of Lyon 3, Sciences Po Paris, Sandar Institute), in Canada (received a series of awards and fellowships for the best doctoral performance; McGill University, and University of Montreal), earned his Ph.D. from the University of Montreal (awarded the Best International Ph.D. Dissertation), and completed his postdoctoral studies at Stanford University (Banting fellowship for best and brightest researchers internationally). He has also completed executive business and leadership programs at the University of Oxford Saïd School of Business and Harvard Kennedy School.

  • Areas of Expertise

    • Political economy of growth and development
    • Fragile, failed, low-income and conflict-ridden states
    • Governance, state capacity, and service delivery
    • Political regimes, democracy, and elections
    • African Union, NEPAD, and regional economic communities (RECs)
    • Business and institutional strategies in Africa and emerging markets
    • Policymaking and policy implementation
    • Innovation in development strategies
    • Regional integration
    • Sustainable development goals
    • Institutional change and development
    • Conflict prevention, peacebuilding and security
    • International relations
    • Management of natural resources
    • Arctic affairs
    • Fourth Industrial Revolution
    • Globalization 4.0
    • Global leadership and management
    • Technological innovation
    • Global governance
  • Current Positions

    • Full Professor of Global Political Economy and Business, Global Leadership and Management, Global Affairs and Public Policy, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Globalization 4.0, Thunderbird School of Global Management
    • Founding Co-Director of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Globalization 4.0 Initiative, Thunderbird School of Global Management
    • Distinguished Fellow, Stanford University, Center for African Studies
    • Chairman, Global Network for Africa’s Prosperity
    • Senior Nonresident Fellow, OCP Policy Center
  • Past Positions

    • David M. Rubenstein Fellow, Brookings Institution
    • Professor of Political Science and Senior Adviser to the Chancellor, University of Alaska Anchorage
    • Andrew Carnegie Fellow, Carnegie Corporation of New York
    • Curator, World Economic Forum’s Transformation Map on Africa
    • Member, African Union Youth Advisory Board
    • Banting Fellow, Visiting Scholar, Stanford University, Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law
    • Visiting Scholar, University of Oxford, Center for the Study of African Economies
    • Public Policy Fellow, Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars
  • Education

    • University Jean Moulin Lyon III, bachelor's, 2003
    • University Jean Moulin Lyon III, master's, 2004
    • Paris School of International Affairs, Visiting Ph.D. Student, 2005
    • University of Montreal, Ph.D. in Political Science, 2010
    • Stanford University (Banting Fellowship), Postdoctoral Studies in Political Science, 2011 to 2013
    • University of Oxford/Said Business School (Tutu Fellowship), Executive Program in Leadership, 2015
    • Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education, Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century, 2016
  • Languages

    • French
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