Hussein Mohamed Adam (1943-2017)



Hussein Adam, nicknamed "Hussein Tanzania", died on January 14, 2017.

Born in Tanzania (then Tanganyika), he came to Princeton through a Kennedy-era program that sought to assist in educating outstanding African students who might be part of that continent’s post-independence leadership.

As an undergraduate Hussein was a Woodrow Wilson School major and belonged to Ivy Club. In his senior year he roomed with Drew Hicks and Steve Ingersoll.

After graduating from Princeton, he earned a master’s degree at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, and a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard. Fluent in French, Swahili, and Somali, he also studied in The Hague, Paris, and Cairo.

Hussein served on the faculty of Brandeis University and, from 1989 until his retirement in 2015, the faculty of The College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, MA), where he taught African politics and literature, the politics of international humanitarian assistance, and black political and social thought.

In addition to a distinguished teaching career, Hussein was tireless in nonpartisan service to the United States government and to international organizations, including the World Bank and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

Hussein leaves a wife, Faduma, and seven children, to whom the Class extends heartfelt condolences.


For additional information about Hussein's life and tributes from his peers, please see:

Lewis Rutherfurd writes:

I was a clubmate of his for several years and have wonderful memories of hussain. He was a special presence around the club with his gentle nature and curiosity about American humor and behavior. He never mocked or critiscized anyone and was a friend to anyone who took the time to share with him or try to learn more about his special journey to the Princeton campus. He was good friends with all the foreign students that were a strong presence in the fabric of the club when he was there.

My memory goes back to Ali Alawi and to John well as Ivan Gurpinar and Carl Correy. I will think of others if his family wishes to know their names.

My own friendship with Hussein started to do with my being in the East Asian department and studying a then unusual language, and he was in the Middle East department and knew Arabic or studied it.

i remember him well and wish my message to his children to be very clear: I will always remember his intelligence, gentleness, and curiosity. What a special father they had.

Charles Plohn has added three books written or co-edited by Hussein to the Plohn Hall Library, and one more is on the way. The titles are: War Destroys, Peace Nurtures - Somali Reconciliation and Development (2003, co-edited), From Tyranny to Anarchy - The Somali Experience (2007), and Removing Barricades in Somalia - Options for Peace and Rehabilitation (1998).

Photos: The photos at the top are from the Freshman Herald and the Nassau Herald. The first photo below shows Hussein speaking, and the second is a Holy Cross faculty photo.