Ted Vestal's Web Site


School of Int'l Studies
Recent Speeches




  Theodore M. Vestal, Ph. D. 

Professor Emeritus of Political Science

Oklahoma State University

  • :Panelist, "Country Update for Ethiopia and Eritrea," 50th Anniversary Celebration, Ethiopia and Eritrea II Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, Englewood, FL, 20 April 2013.

  • Speaker, "117th Anniversary of the Battle of Adwa Victory Celebration," Ethiopian Heritage Society in North America, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., 3 March 2013.

  • Speaker, "Ethiopia as the Leader in the PanAfrican Movement, Little Ethiopia Cultural Dinner, Washington, D.C., 13 January 2013.

  • Speaker, “Let Freedom Ring!” Ethiopian Cultural Conference and Soccer Tournament, Dallas, TX, 6 July 2012.

  • Speaker, “Remarks upon Receiving Lifetime Commitment and Dedication to Democracy and Development in Ethiopia Award from the Global Civic Movement for Change in Ethiopia,” Dallas, TX, 5 July 2012.

  • Speaker, “Ethiopian-American Relations during the Reign of Emperor Haile Selassie, 1930-1974,” Distinguished Lectures on Africa, Center for African Policy Development Research, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, 28 March 2012.

  • Speaker, Tulsa Premier of Documentary Movie "Point Four," Circle Cinema, Tulsa, 4 February 2012.

  • Speaker, Premier of Documentary Movie "Point Four," OSU-Stillwater, 2 February 2012.

  • Keynote Speaker, “Pan-Africanism, Emperor Haile Selassie and the African World: The Quest For Dignity, Freedom, and Unity,” Howard University, Washington, DC, 14 January 2012.

  • Panelist, “Symposium on the Horn of Africa,” Tower Center for Political Studies, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, 11 November 2011.

  • Keynote Speaker, "Media for Change under Repressive Regimes," Ethiopian Satellite Television Fundraiser, Arlington, VA, 30 October 2011.

  • Speaker, "The Lion of Judah in the New World," Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, 26 September 2011.

  • Speaker, "The Lion of Judah in the New World," Howard University, Washington, DC, 25 September 2011.

  •  Instructor, "The United States and the Horn of Africa: From the Lion of Judah to Black Hawk Down," OLLI Course, OSU-Tulsa, 13 September-18 October 2011.

  • Speaker, "The Lion of Judah in the New World," CorpsAfrica Reception, Washington, DC, 12 July 2011.

  • Speaker, "The Evolution of Peace Corps Training," 50th Anniversary Celebration of Founding of the Peace Corps, Tulsa, 21 April 2011.

  • Speaker, Ethiopian Student Association Annual Dinner, OSU, 30 March 2011.

  • Guest Lecturer, "The Horn of Africa," Great Decisions, OLLI Program, OSU-Tulsa, 17 March, 2011.

  • Guest Lecturer, "The Horn of Africa," Great Decisions, OLLI Program, OSU-Stillwater, 8 March 2011.

  • Speaker, “Conflict and Human Rights in the Somali Region: the EPRDF and Governance in the Ogaden,” Institute for Horn of Africa Studies and Affairs Conference on “Looking Back & Looking Forward: The Somali Region (aka the Ogaden) in the 21st Century,” University of Minnesota, Human Rights Center 19 June 2010.          

  • Panelist, “Governance and Human Rights: How to Win Elections in Ethiopia” Conference on Good Governance, Peace, Security, and Sustainable Development in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa, Arlington, VA, 9 April 2010.                            

  • Panelist, “Symposium on the Crisis in Somalia and U.S. Interests in the Horn of Africa,” Tower Center for Political Studies, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, 22 February 2010.                   

  • Speaker, “Current Events in Ethiopia and Eritrea,” Ethiopia/ Eritrea 2 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Reunion, Denver, CO, 18 September 2009.                

  • Speaker, “What if the Horn of Africa were in Tune?” Horn of Africa Conference–VIII,” Horn of Africa and Peace: The Role of the Environment,” Lund, Sweden, 7 August 2009.

  • Speaker, "The History and Culture of Ethiopia," Opening Ceremony Address, African Week, African Students Organization, Oklahoma State University, 30 March 2009.

  • Speaker, “The Lion of Judah at Camelot: U.S. Foreign Policy towards Ethiopia as Reflected in the Second State Visit of Emperor Haile Selassie to the United States,” XVIth  International  Conference of Ethiopian Studies, Trondheim, Norway, 2007.

  • Speaker, 50th Anniversary Meeting, African Studies Association, New York City 2007.

  • Speaker, “The Importance of Political Definitions: Semantic Guidelines from Political Science,” Government of Libya Conference, Democracy in the 21st Century, Sebha, Libya, 27 Feb 2007.                  

  • Keynote Speaker, “Human Rights and Deficits of Democracy in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa,” Biennial Meeting, Oklahoma-Ethiopia Society, Stillwater, OK, 4 November 2006.

  • Hiob Ludolf Endowed Professor in Contemporary Ethiopian Affairs, Asien- Afrika Institut, Abteilung Äthiopistik, Universität Hamburg, 2005.

  • Who's Who in America, 2004-2013.

  • Who's Who in American Education 2006-2009.

  • Technology Innovator Award, Divisions of Academic Affairs and Information Technology, Oklahoma State University, 2004.

  • Who's Who Among American Teachers, 2004, 2005 (nominated by former students).

  • Phi Beta Delta, Honor Society for International Scholars, 2004-

  • Board Member, Ethiopian Research Council 2003-

  • Mortar Board Honorary Initiate 2003.

  • Regents Distinguished Teaching Award Nominee, 2002.

  • Outstanding Political Scientist 2001, Oklahoma Political Science Association.

  • Recipient of the "2001 Outstanding Professor Award" from the College of Arts and Sciences; Finalist, 2005.

  • Recipient of Certificate of Achievement, Tulsa Opera, 2001.


Contact Info:

Office Location: OSU-Tulsa T-MCB 2405       

Email Address: ted.vestal@okstate.edu

Telephone:  Tulsa: (918) 594-8277



Haile Selassie’s Government
(1930 - 1974)
by Christopher Clapham; Afterword by : Theodore M. Vestal (Los Angeles: Tsehai, 2012).

  • The Lion of Judah in the New World: Emperor Haile Selassie of  Ethiopia and the Shaping of Americans’ Attitudes toward Africa (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger/ABC CLIO, 2011).  The Eisenhower Court and Civil Liberties                

  • The Eisenhower Court and Civil Liberties (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2002). Ethiopia: A Post-Cold War African State

  • Ethiopia: A Post-Cold War African State (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1999).

  • Freedom of Association in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (Boston University, African Studies Center Working Papers, W.P. No 210, 1998).International Education: Its History and Promise for Today

  • International Education: Its History and Promise for Today (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1994).

  • The Pits: Federal Administration of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 in Oklahoma (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma, Bureau of Government Research,1986).

    Selected Book Chapters 

    • “The Lion of Judah at Camelot: US Foreign Policy towards Ethiopia as Reflected in the Second State Visit of Emperor Haylä Sellassé I to the United States,” Proceedings of the 16th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies, Svein Ege, Harald Aspen, Birhanu Teferra, and Shiferaw Bekele, eds.     (Trondheim, Norway, 2009).

    • Reflections on the Battle of Adwa and Its Significance for Today,” in Paulos Milkias and Getachew Metaferia (eds.), The Battle of Adwa—Reflections on Ethiopia's Historic Victory Against European Colonialism (New York: Algora, 2005).

    • Harlan Fiske Stone: New Deal Prudence, in William Pederson (ed.), Rating Game of the Greatest Supreme Court Justices: Polls and Case Studies (New York: Peter Lang, 2003).

    • “Consequences of the British Occupation of Ethiopia During World War II,” in Barry J. Ward (ed), Rediscovering the British Empire (Malabar, FL: Krieger, 2002).

    • Promises to Keep: Human Rights in Post-Derg Ethiopia, in Abebe Zegeye and Pat Lauderdale (eds), Crisis and Terror in the Horn of Africa (London: Ashgate Publishers, 2000).





Theodore M. Vestal has been a member of the faculty of Oklahoma State University since 1988, serving in the Department of Political Science, where he has been a professor since 1995, and in the School of International Studies. On 1 August 2008, he was granted the title of Professor Emeritus of Political Science. Professor Vestal teaches primarily in the field of constitutional law, with an emphasis on civil liberties and civil rights. His research interests include public law, the Supreme Court, contemporary Ethiopia, and international education. Dr. Vestal testified before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Africa in 1994 on "Ethiopia: The Challenges Ahead." In 2002, Professor Vestal was awarded a research grant from the Oklahoma Council for the Humanities to write a book about U.S. foreign policy and attitudes towards Africa generally and Ethiopia specifically as seen in the North American travels of Emperor Haile Selassie. In September 2002, the Theodore M. Vestal Collection was formally opened in the OSU Library, Department of Special Collections and University Archives. From 1994-2007, Dr. Vestal received travel grants from OSU to attend International Ethiopian Studies Conferences in East Lansing, Kyoto, Hamburg, and Trondheim. Stanford University invited Dr. Vestal to be a panelist and moderator and to deliver a paper at the December 2003 conference, "100 Years of US-Ethiopia Relations." In December 2003 he was appointed to the Board of the Ethiopian Research Council, which since 1934 has been disseminating information on the history, culture, civilization, and diplomatic relations of Ethiopia in ancient and modern times. In 2004 he was an official representative of OSU at the 50th anniversary of the founding of Alemaya University in Ethiopia. In 2005 Dr. Vestal served as a moderator at the annual meeting of Orbis Aethiopicus in Liepzig. He delivered a paper on “The Importance of Political Definitions: Semantic Guidelines from Political Science,” at the conference, “Democracy in the 21st Century" at Sebha, Libya, in 2007. In 2011, Dr. Vestal was an evaluator for the MacArthur Foundation's genius grant program.

Professor Vestal earned his B.A. in Government with high honors from the University of North Texas (where he was honored as Alumnus of the Year in Political Science in 2006) and his advanced degrees (M.A. and Ph.D.) in political science from Stanford University. He also studied law at the Yale Law School and holds a diploma from Harvard University’s Institute of Educational Management.

Professor Vestal served abroad as Associate Director of the Peace Corps in Ethiopia, as Resident Director of the University of the State of New York’s Educational Resources Center in New Delhi, and as Director of OSU-Kyoto. He worked in the federal government as University Officer in Peace Corps/Washington; as Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Education in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare; and as an officer in the U.S. Army Chemical Corps. Professor Vestal was a dean at Austin College and Briarcliff College and was college president of both the California Institute of Asian Studies and the

Vestal-sensei slaying dragons of ignorance!
(Photo courtesy Kyoto Films)

Recent Articles 

  • The Spring of the Lion: Stillwater Welcomes the King of Ethiopia,” This Land, New Media from the Middle of America, 15 June 2012, p. 9.

  • “The Lion of Judah at Camelot: US Foreign Policy towards Ethiopia as Reflected in the Second State Visit of Emperor   Haile Selassie to the United States,” 4 International Journal of Ethiopian Studies (2009).

  • “An American's View of the Horn of Africa from World War II to the Present,” XXV Horn of Africa 71-89(2007). Published April 2008.

  • “Prerequisites to Macro-Economic Development and Globalization in the Horn of Africa: Human and Economic Rights,” XXVI Horn of Africa 85-96(2008).  Published April 2009.

  • "Public Diplomacy in the U.S. Supreme Court: The Warren Years" in The Journal of Supreme Court History, Part I (Dec 2008) and Part II (March 2009).

  • “An American's View of the Horn of Africa from World War II to the Present,” XXV Horn of Africa Horn of Africa 71-89(2007). 2008.

  • “Emperor Haile Selassie’s First State Visit to the United States  in 1954: The Oklahoma Interlude,” 1 International Journal of   Ethiopian Studies 133-152 (2003).

  • “Globalization And Human Rights: The Bush Administration’s Policy Toward The Federal Democratic Republic Of Ethiopia,” 3 Pan-Ethiopia Forum: 14-23 (2002-2003).

  • “Consequences of the British Occupation of Ethiopia During World War II,” 18 Horn of Africa 60-69 (2000). Published January 2002.

  • “Emperor Haile Selassie in Stillwater: The First Visit to Oklahoma by a Reigning Foreign Head of State, 74 Chronicle of Oklahoma 132-157 (Summer 2001).

  • “Human Rights Abuses in Ethiopia: New Light on the Slippery Slope, 2 Pan-Ethiopia Forum: 1-11 (2000-2001); also Published in Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association, Nashville, TN, 16-19 November 2000

Encyclopedia Articles      

  • “Wolde Giorgis Wolde Johannes,” Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Emmanuel Akyeampong, eds., Dictionary of African Biography (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).

  • “Chief Justice Earl Warren,” in Steven H. Wilson, ed., The U.S. Justice System: An Encyclopedia (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC CLIO, 2011).     

  • “The United States Peace Corps” in Siegbert Uhlig, ed., Encyclopaedia Aethiopica, Vol. IV (Wiesbaden:     Harrassowitz Verlag, 2009).

  • "Warren, Earl," "Brennan, William J.. Jr.," and "Wieman v. Updegraff," in David Tanenhaus, ed., Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States (Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008).

  • “General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer,” “Werner Erhard,” “Abraham Fortas,” “Albert Speer,” “Robert (Bobby) Baker,” “Nathuram Vinayak Godse,” and “Gerald L.K. Smith,” in Carl L. Bankston III, ed., Notorious Lives from History (Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 2007).     

  • “Constitution, U.S., and Criminal Justice,” “Due Process of  Law,” “Supreme Court Cases: Table (APPENDIX),” “Radio Coverage of Crime,” “U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service,”  “Treason: Definitions, History, and Prevalence,” “Treason:  Investigation, Prosecution, and Punishment,” and “Television Programs (APPENDIX) in Encyclopedia of Criminal Justice   (Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 2005). 

  • Modern Education; in Siegbert Uhlig, ed., Encyclopedia Aethiopica, Vol. II (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2005). Vol III (2008) “League of Nations Relations with Ethiopia;” “Ethiopia’s Official Newspaper, Nägarit Gazeta; Archeologist and Ethiopianist Stuart Munro-Hay.” Forthcoming:  Vol. V (2012) “Relations of Ethiopia and the United States” and "United Nations;" “Ambo Agricultural College.”

  • Biological warfare and bioterrorism, Chemical warfare, and Famine as an instrument of oppression or coercion in Ethics, Revised Edition (Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 2004).

  • “Jencks Act” and “National Defense Education Act” in Timothy L. Hall, ed., U.S. Laws, Acts, and Treaties (Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 2003).

  • Älemayya (town, college) in Siegbert Uhlig, ed., Encyclopedia Aethiopica, Vol. I (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2003)

  • Earl Warren, Robert H. Jackson, James Madison, and Circuit Courts of Appeals, in Thomas T. Lewis   and  Richard L. Wilson, eds., Encyclopedia of the U.S. Supreme Court (Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 2000).

  • Montesquieu, Charles de Secondat, in Robert A. Rutland, ed., James Madison and the American Nation, 1751-1836: An Encyclopedia (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994).  

    Forthcoming: Hoyt Smith and Theodore M. Vestal, Haile Selassie’s Ethiopia through the Eyes of a Peace Corps Volunteer (Los Angeles: Tsehai, 2013).       








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