You ask me to introduce myself, and I will do so, fully aware that we are culturally inhibited to speak about ourselves. I will give a brief outline of my biography for the benefit of people who may not know about me. So, here goes.
The fallowing is taken from a summary description about me sketched by the University of California, at Los Angeles (UCLA) Law School, where I was honored to give the Mellinkoff Memorial Lecture last year:
"Professor Selassie (i.e. Bereket) has held several high-level positions within the Ethiopian government, including Federal Supreme Court Judge, Attorney General, Vice Minister of Interior, and Mayor of Harar. In 1964, he resigned his position as Attorney General in protest of the Ethiopian Emperor's policies. A few years later, Professor Selassie became involved with the Eritrean Freedom Fighters, eventually becoming a representative tot eh United Nations fro the Eritrean Peoples Liberation Front. His ongoing participation in the politics of Eritrea culminated in his position as Chairman of the Constitutional Commission of Eritrea...His work in Eritrea has been well-chronicled through a number of books he has authored, the most recent being, The Making of the Eritrean Constitutionialectic of Process and Substance (2003).
Professor Selassie has taught at Howard and Georgetown University before joining the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He studied at the University of Perugia and received his LL.B and Ph.D from the University of London."
I have taught law and politics for the most part in my academic career stretching from 1977 to the present time, and my writings reflect this fact. My area of specialty being constitutional law, I teach "Comparative Constitutional Law at the the Law School of the University of North Carlina at Chapel Hill, comparing American, European and "Third World" constitutional systems. My expertise on this subject has landed me in several important assignments, including advising the President of Nigeria on the review of the Nigerian constitution (September-December 2000), adviser to the Constitutional commissions of Afghanistan, Iraq and Congo (DRC), among others. For a period of three years (2001-2004) I was appointed by the United States Institute of Peace to be chairman of a Working Committee comprising some of the most distinguished professors of law and political science in the United States. We reviewed and analyzed the constitution making experience of some seventeen countries from all over the world(including those of Eritrea, South Africa and Spain), and a book of great significance will come out of this important process, which be helpful to all interested in constitution making and constitutionalism. The book will be published early next year.
I hope this gives a helpful background information. If necessary more detail can be provided if and when it is requested by readers.