Deng Majok Chol

Dubin fellow, Harvard Center for Public Leadership

Deng Majok-Gutatur Chol was born in the village of Duk, in South Sudan. He is a candidate for a Master’s of Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School.  Deng is a Dubin Fellow at the  Harvard Center for Public Leadership, and is a Dean’s Ambassador Co-Chair at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Deng holds an MBA in Global Business Management from the George Washington University School of Business.  He holds a B.S. in Political Science, and a minor in Economics from Arizona State University, where he was the President of the African Student Union.

In 2014, Deng completed a summer internship on ways to stop the violence in South Sudan, and to bring about an inclusive, peaceful, and political solution to the conflict in that country. The focus of the internship was three-fold: 1) engaging the U.S. State Department, White House, and Capitol Hill to exercise more leadership the respect to addressing the violence in South Sudan; 2) working on a proposal to include representatives of millions of South Sudanese outside the country in the peace negotiations taking place in in Addis Ababa, which included trips to Kenya, South Sudan, and Ethiopia; and 3) raising financial resources to assist with the disastrous humanitarian conditions in South Sudan through the purchase and distribution of food items in displacement camps.

Deng was a consultant on the Investment Climate Advisory Service 2011-2012 at the International Finance Corporation, and was a consultant on the Decentralization of Investment Climate Services, regulatory simplification and investment generation for the South Sudan Ministry of Investment.

He was also a consultant to the Private Participation in Transport Infrastructure Projects in low and middle-income countries from 2010 to 2011 at the World Bank.

Deng was a co-founder and Executive Director of the Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan (USA). He was a manager at Goodwill of Central Arizona, and an assistance case manager at the International Rescue Committee in Phoenix, Arizona. He was Advisor to the Jonglei Peace Initiative in North America; and a key advocate to the U.S. Congress on the Lost Boys of Sudan Loan Forgiveness Act. Finally, he worked with the U.S. State Department on issues related to South Sudan, including translating and audio taping President Obama’s message on the violence in South Sudan, which was aired on radios in local languages throughout South Sudan.

As a child too long deprived of parental love, forced to walk more than 1,000 miles across Africa and illiterate until the age of 14, Deng firmly believes that no boy or girl should have the childhood he had. A child should not need to experience a civil war in order to be educated, nor to have trees for a classroom, sandy soil for notebooks, index fingers for a pencil, or feet as erasers. This humble beginning has contributed to Deng’s character and capacity to stand up for the disadvantaged around the world.

Deng strongly believes in education as a viable tool to transform societies. He has worked to relocate his 14 siblings (five girls, nine boys) from the village and currently supports them in boarding schools in Kenya – their lives have changed. Today, there are more than 140 million children in the world without access to basic education. Deng was supposed to have been one of them, but by a great and fortunate accident, he  has had the opportunity to learn.