Robert Skinner is the associate director of the UN Foundation's New York office and a former US Foreign Service officer in Ivory Coast. Skinner rejoined the UN Foundation in April 2008 after a brief tenure working in international corporate law. Previously, he was the director of external relations in UNF’s New York office. Before joining UNF, he spent nearly nine years in the US State Department, serving in Trinidad and Tobago, El Salvador and Ivory Coast as well as at the US Mission to the UN in New York. He also practiced law in Chicago, including working as a criminal defense lawyer with the Office of the Cook County Public Defender.
Skinner received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin; his undergraduate degree is from Oakland University in Rochester, Mich.
As the political crisis continues to spin dramatically in Ivory Coast, Robert Skinner, the associate director of the United Nations Foundation's New York office and a former Foreign Service officer in the West African country, has written a blog post on the situation right now as four African leaders -- from Kenya, Benin, Cape Verde and Sierra Leone -- meet with the former president, Laurent Gbagbo, to negotiate the latest effort in a peace deal. Gbagbo has refused to cede office to his opponent, Allasane Outtara, who has been recognized internationally as the winner of the election in November.