"Dr. William (Chip) Beck (Commander, USNR retired)
As a special operations officer, diplomat, peacekeeper, photographer, vagabond artist, and editorial cartoonist, Dr. Chip Beck has lived, worked, or traveled in 42 African countries all across the continent. His first entry into African politics entailed being inserted deep inside Angola in 1975 as that country plunged into civil war. His most recent trip in July 2017 was an 800-mile safari across the northern reaches of Botswana. He spent three years in the Western Sahara during the POLISARIO War and lived more than two years in Sudan (north and south) and Kenya at various times between 1979-2011. In 2013, the campaign of Morgan Tsvangirai invited Dr. Beck--a professional editorial cartoonist--to assist in the unsuccessful effort to oust President Robert Mugabe during that summer's election.
In his final official capacity (2005-2010) before retiring, Dr. Beck was Director of the U.S. State Department's peacekeeper training program known as the ACOTA (African Contingency Operations Training Assistance) program. During his tenure, 150,000 peacekeepers were trained from 25 African countries to support United Nations and African Union peace support operations in Africa, Lebanon, and Haiti. Since his retirement, Dr. Beck has continued to return to Africa in search of adventure as an independent artist, explorer, and photographer."