Ambassador Joseph Huggins, a retired Career Diplomat, is the Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Huggins Group (THG). The firm, which was founded in 2006, provides strategic advice to U.S. companies interested in trade and investment opportunities in Africa and the Middle East. He is also the Chairman and co-owner of Travel Leisure (PTY) Ltd., www.travelleisure.co.bw, a tour operating business in Botswana, and a Founding Partner in HHSP, LLC – a commodities purchasing company. Prior to his current position, Ambassador Huggins had a long and distinguished Diplomatic career serving in senior positions in the former Soviet Union, Kenya, Guinea, Togo, Jordan, and Washington. In his last overseas assignment from January 2003 to July 2005, he served as Ambassador to the Republic of Botswana and the Secretary of State’s Special Representative to the Southern Africa Development Community, a political and economic organization comprised of 14 countries in southern Africa. During his tour in Botswana, Ambassador Huggins was responsible for strengthening U.S.-Botswana relations and promoting trade and investment opportunities for U.S. firms. Following his assignment to Botswana, Ambassador Huggins worked with The Corporate Council on Africa as Senior Advisor to the Financing and Capital Flows Committee in developing strategies to increase investment flows to Africa. He also served as a liaison between the Council and multilateral organizations, African governments and the broader business community on issues related specifically to finance and capital flows.
Ambassador Huggins previously served as Executive Director for the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs where he worked closely with the Assistant Secretary of State for Africa in formulating policy and resource requirements for 44 U.S. Embassies in Africa. In 2008, he served on President-elect Obama’s Transition Team reviewing National Security issues at the Department of State.Ambassador Huggins served two terms on the Sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee for the Export-Import Bank of the United States. The Committee, established by an act of Congress, provides expert guidance to the Bank in developing policies to strengthen Bank support of U.S. exports to Africa. He serves on the advisory board of Wintara Energy; a subsidiary of U.S. based Wintara Inc. (www.wintara.com).
Ambassador Huggins Chairs the Board of Directors of the non-profit Ariel Foundation International and is a founding board member of Airborne Lifeline Foundation www.airbornelifeline.org/. He is also a founding board member of the Botswana based “Show You Care Trust.” He has been featured in the documentary film, Africa Investment Horizons; Fox 5 New York News broadcast on Investment Opportunities in Botswana; Reuters Africa Journal Broadcast; Al-Jazeera’s English language service broadcast on foundations supporting HIV/AIDS programs in Africa; Cleveland, Ohio’s National Public Radio – WCPN 90.3 – broadcast, Africa, Land of the 144 Percent Investment Return; and MHZ Network’s African World.