Cynthia A. McKinney is Georgia’s first African-American Congresswoman. She takes an active interest in voting rights, human rights, and the strengthening of business ties between Africa and the United States. Prior to her election to the US Congress five years ago, she was a Georgia state legislator from 1988 to 1992. Representative McKinney serves on the National Security Committee in addition to the International Operations and Human Rights Subcommittee of the International Relations Committee of the House of Representatives. In May 1997, Representative McKinney traveled to Zaire to meet with Mr. Laurent Kabila, leader of the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo/Zaire, where she urged him to liberate the Congolese people of Mobutu Sese Seko’s reign. She has worked to secure aid and investment for the newly renamed Democratic Republic of Congo. Representative McKinney visited Rwanda in November 1997. In January 1998, she organized an in-depth hearing on the Rwanda genocide in cooperation with Congressman Christopher Smith of New Jersey. On March 31, she testified before the Appropriations Committee to release Emergency Refugee and Migratory (ERMA) funds for Rwanda and Sierra Leone. In June, President Clinton announced the release of $14 million in ERMA funds for Rwanda. She is currently working on a landmine action plan that will include the transfer of US humanitarian de-mining technology to villages and townships in Sub-Saharan Africa. Representative McKinney earned a BA in International Relations from the University of Southern California in 1978. She is currently working to complete her dissertation in international relations at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. She has taught Political Science at Clark Atlanta University and later at Agnes Scott College a women’s college in Decatur, Georgia.