Redesigning the Senior Leader Engagement Program of the United States Africa Command

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Matthew Dabkowski
Hailey Conger
Collin Cooley
Sarah Juhn
Devon Richter
Anne Schreiner
Bernard Tortorice


AFRICOM conducts hundreds of senior leader engagements (SLEs) each year throughout the African continent in order to create strategic partnerships and military relationships that preserve American interests abroad. While AFRICOM has been planning and executing these engagements since the inception of the organization in 2008, it lacks a well-defined method to systemize its SLE process. As a result, SLE development is largely ad hoc, potentially decreasing the strategic effectiveness of the engagements and increasing their cost. This paper delineates a decision-making framework to redesign and enhance AFRICOM’s SLE program. In particular, it posits a multiple objective decision analysis model that quantifies key stakeholder values and develops several alternatives for future evaluation. Of note, potential solutions imagine a more expansive system where subsets of Senior Leaders (SLs) are assigned to clusters of African countries based on the SLs’ similarity to countries within each cluster, providing a basis for relationship ownership and mutual trust.

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Dabkowski, M., Conger, H., Cooley, C., Juhn, S., Richter, D., Schreiner, A., & Tortorice, B. (2019). Redesigning the Senior Leader Engagement Program of the United States Africa Command. Industrial and Systems Engineering Review, 7(1), 24-30.


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