Richard K. Orth, COL USA (ret.)
Senior Associate, African Affairs
Rick is a former African Foreign Area Officer who retired from the U.S. Army as a Colonel after 26 years of active service, including a combat tour as an armor company commander during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. He received a B.A. in African studies from Bucknell University, an M.A. in political science from the University of Florida, and an M.S.S. in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College. At MAPP Associates, he is responsible for African affairs, project management, and business development.
A recognized authority on Africa, Rick has published multiple scholarly articles and is a frequent invited speaker at professional and academic conferences. In addition to African regional affairs, he has substantive expertise in stabilization and security operations, peacekeeping, arms reduction, threat reduction, and intelligence. His continuing professional education includes studies at the Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management, the U.S. Army Command and Staff College, and Shipley Associates. He is a member of the Foreign Area Officer Association, the Corporate Council on Africa, the International Peace Operations Association, and the International Stability Operations Association.
During his career as an Army African Foreign Affairs Officer, Rick held assignments with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the U.S. Department of State, where he served as the senior military advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. He pioneered the Defense Department’s humanitarian assistance in Rwanda, supported the Ugandan army in its campaign against the Lord’s Resistance Army, was liaison to the U.N. peacekeeping operations in Ethiopia and Rwanda, and served in the U.S. Embassies in Botswana, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Uganda.
Upon leaving the Army, Rick joined AECOM Government Services Group, where he was Director of Strategic Plans and later served as capture manager on a multi-million dollar proposal to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. He subsequently joined SOC LLC, where he was program manager for Near East and Africa, working out of the company’s Kenya office.