AMA VAN DANTZIG | Ghana
Ama van Dantzig is the Co-Founder of Dr. Monk, a social innovation agency based in Accra and Amsterdam. She believes that research and ideation will lead to the development of more compassionate and inclusive products, services, and systems. Ama is passionate about creating new opportunities by linking seemingly disconnected worlds; in this process we discover that we are truly more alike than unalike. Ama has many civic heroes but her favorite is Wangari Maathai.
RACHEL NYARADZO ADAMS | Zimbabwe
Rachel Nyaradzo Adams is an ontological, neuroscience, and personality coach. She is also a facilitator and speaker. Using transformational tools, she works with corporations, entrepreneurs, teams, and individuals. Her intention is to develop deep benches of transformed leaders across Africa who can in turn transform their environments. She believes that self-awareness and personal mastery are the keys to our deepest courage as individuals and as leaders. She is a Mandela Rhodes Scholar, Tutu Fellow, Mellon Mays Fellow, and a Felix Scholar.
VEDA SUNASSEE | Mauritius
Veda Sunassee has spent nine years in several roles with the African Leadership (AL) Group, starting as an Entrepreneurial Leadership Faculty at the African Leadership Academy. He most recently served as the founding Dean of the African Leadership University, Rwanda for two years. Veda is currently pursuing his other passion for the arts, in theatre and film as a content creator.
REUBEN BRIGETY | United States
Ambassador (ret.) Reuben E. Brigety, II is the Dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs of The George Washington University. He serves concurrently as an Adjunct Senior Fellow for African Peace and Security at the Council on Foreign Relations. Reuben is a 1995 Distinguished Midshipman Graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he earned a B.S. in political science (with merit), served as the Brigade Commander, and received the Thomas G. Pownall Scholarship. He also holds an M.Phil. and a Ph.D. in international relations from the University of Cambridge, England.
EGBE OYEGUN-ADEOYE | South Africa
Egbe Oyegun-Adeoye is an Organizational Effectiveness practitioner with over 20 years of corporate experience. Energized by the opportunity to contribute meaningfully in ways that are sustainable and effective, she loves learning and engaging with others. Egbe is interested in how to create real opportunities for organizations and the people who work within them, by valuing what they bring and partnering in ways that they can grow and do even more, even better. She is hopeful about the future of Africa.
MIMI KALINDA | South Africa
Born in the DRC of Rwandan heritage and raised in South Africa, Mimi Kalinda is the Group CEO and Co-Founder of the Africa Communications Media Group (ACG), a pan-African public relations and communications agency headquartered in Johannesburg. ACG clients include MTN, Barloworld, Accenture, AFIG Funds, Nesta, the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the Dalberg Group.
Mimi sits on the board of Catalyst for Growth and the Africa Brand Counsel. She frequently speaks about the African narrative and its impact on economic development (specifically FDI).
NONYE MPHO OMOTOLA | Nigeria
Nonye Mpho Omotola is the Managing Director of Africa Communications Media Group based in Johannesburg. She has over 20 years of strategic brand experience gained in the UK, South Africa, and Nigeria, and was awarded the Brand Leadership Award at the World Brand Congress in Mumbai, India for her professional and strategic excellence. She is a member of several professional institutions and has gained extensive work experience within the global PR, branding, and advertising spheres. Nonye is particularly driven by socio-impact initiatives and the role of effective communications in Africa.
RUMBIDZAI CHISENGA | South Africa
Rumbi Chisenga is a 2018 – 2019 Obama Foundation Scholar and a former Program Manager at the Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS), a pan- African think tank. Rumbi is passionate about improving youth participation in governance and strengthening the capacity and effectiveness of Africa’s governance institutions.
EDWIN IKHUORIA | Nigeria
Edwin Ikhuoria is the Senior Advisor (Policy and Advocacy) to the Africa Executive Director for ONE Campaign, an international anti-poverty campaigns organization. With over 15 years in the development sector, he previously managed the Transparency and Accountability portfolio for Africa and the Nigeria Country programme for ONE. Ediwn also worked for the Development Impact Evaluation Unit of the World Bank as an Impact Evaluation and Advocacy Coordinator in the Nigeria Country Office. He holds two Masters degrees in Development Management (Turin, Italy) and Geographic Information Systems (Lagos, Nigeria).
TUMBA TSHIMANGA | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Tumba Tshimanga is the Influential Engagement Manager at the ONE Campaign. With a background in international relations and now a communications specialist, Tumba is passionate about storytelling and targeted messaging to create a positive narrative for Africa and its development. Alongside securing media coverage, he is also responsible for implementing communication strategies that help increase brand awareness and working with brand ambassador/celebrities from across the continent.
VALERIE TRAORE | Burkina Faso
Valerie Traore is the Founder and Executive Director of Niyel. She has over eighteen years of professional experience in campaigning and advocacy on a wide range of issues including human rights and rights based programming, development, human security and conflict, politics, and international relations. Prior to founding Niyel, Valerie was International Campaigner at ActionAid International, PanAfrican Program Manager at ACORD, and Regional Communication Officer at Oxfam America.
WANJIKU KAMAU | Kenya
Wanjiku Kamau is a passionate campaigner and advocacy strategist with over 20 years of experience in changing government policies and practices in the interest of the most vulnerable people in society. Prior to her appointment at the Advocacy Accelerator, Wanjiku was the Policy & Advocacy Lead in a Dutch-funded programme called the Partnership to Inspire, Transform and Connect the HIV Response (PITCH) at the International HIV/AIDS Alliance. She has designed and delivered successful advocacy strategies for policy-change projects and campaigns that have been implemented in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
EDDAH MWAKIMA | Kenya
As a Business Designer based in the Nairobi studio, Eddah brings in business and strategy perspectives to design solutions. Through thoughtful and creative considerations on feasibility and viability, she helps project teams design interventions that are scalable and sustainable. Prior to IDEO.org; Eddah worked in capital markets as an analyst with a focus on the banking and insurance sectors. She also co-founded a fashion business in Barcelona that helped artisans from East Africa access the European market. Eddah has an MBA from IESE Business School based in Barcelona Spain. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in Financial Economics from Strathmore University in Nairobi Kenya. In addition, she studied Accounting with ACCA (The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) to Affiliate level.
TOSH JUMA | Kenya
As Managing Director for IDEO.org’s Nairobi studio, Tosh Juma leads the business and oversees a portfolio of work focused on designing products, services, and brands that address emerging global development and humanitarian challenges. Tosh works with design teams to integrate systems thinking, social and behavior change frameworks, and measurement in the creative design process.
Tosh is also the Founder and Creative Director of the Nairobi Design Institute, an impact design academy based in Nairobi. NDI’s mission is to drive the future of innovation and impact in Africa through the power of design education. NDI is piloting a model that builds capacity and opportunity for the next generation of creative leaders on the continent where students address complex challenges through new design practices and bespoke community engagement. Prior to IDEO.org and NDI, Tosh was the Creative Lead at Dalberg Design – Nairobi, where he brought human-centered design innovation services to the international development field in the areas such as global health, access to finance, and food security.
EDWIN MWAI | Kenya
Edwin Mwai is a product designer based in the IDEO.org Nairobi studio. He focuses on integrating his innovation and illustrative skills to further the impact of the design solutions that the team implements. Edwin firmly believes that the fusion of core art and design principles woven together with a user-centric mindset can create a basis for increasingly groundbreaking design. Before joining IDEO.org he worked as a product designer at Brand2D, a marketing and branding agency. He was involved in innovation and strategy, assisting clients in diversifying their approach towards product and service diversification. He also led the conceptualization of the branding and strategy for a nationwide youth movement, JIACTIVATE, which sought to reinvigorate youths’ role in shaping Kenya’s future through active involvement in the policy making landscape. Edwin attended Coventry University, where he received a Master of Design in Product Design.
YEWANDE OMOTOSO | South Africa
Yewande Omotoso is a novelist (translated into six languages) with over 10 years experience. With her degree in architecture she continues to practice spatial design consultation. In addition Yewande has taught writing and storytelling for over five years, both running online courses and delivering workshops to activists looking to utilize storytelling in their advocacy work as well as writers keen to perfect their craft. Yewande brings to bear all her skills in her facilitation work, emphasising purpose-built and practical exercises to ground the training.
SANGU DELLE | Ghana
Sangu Delle is an entrepreneur, investor, and author. He is Managing Director of Africa Health Holdings, an innovative company based in West Africa, focused on “building Africa’s healthcare future.” He also serves as Executive Chairman of Golden Palm Investments Corporation. GPIC has backed startups such as Andela, mPharma, and Flutterwave, and GPI portfolio companies have raised over $500 million in venture financing. Sangu is a graduate of Harvard College, Harvard Business School, and Harvard Law School.
AFRA FOLI | Netherlands
Afra Foli is a PhD candidate researching uneven access to sanitation and waste networks in Accra, Ghana. She is interested in distributive politics and the impact of different leadership forms in creating access for urban residents. Afra believes everyone should have access to a dignified life in the city, as part of a sustainable urban future.
COUMBA TOURE | Senegal
Born and raised between Mali and Senegal, Coumba Toure is a writer and storyteller. She publishes children’s stories and organizes art events targeting children’s minds through Falia artist collective and production house. She also designs popular education programs with a focus to impact women and children. Coumba is a board member of TrustAfrica and the coordinator of Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity. She has extensive experience in facilitating meetings internationally, engaging young people, and designing, implementing, and evaluating training programs to promote human rights, especially those of women.
TREVOR MANUEL | South Africa
Trevor Manuel served as a Cabinet Minister from 1994 to 2014 under the first four Presidents of democratic South Africa: Mandela, Mbeki, Motlanthe and Zuma. He was first appointed to Cabinet as Minister of Trade and Industry in May 1994, a portfolio he held for two years. In April 1996, he became Finance Minister, steering the South African economy for 13 years as one of the world’s longest serving finance ministers. During his last term in office, he served as Minister in the Presidency responsible for the National Planning Commission, a position he held from May 2009 to May 2014. During his two decades as a Cabinet Minister he also served as a Member of Parliament, representing the African National Congress in a system of proportional representation.
FRED SWANIKER | Ghana
Fred is the co-founder of the African Leadership Group – an ecosystem of organizations that are catalyzing a generation of ethical, entrepreneurial African leaders. Collectively, these institutions aim to develop 3 million leaders for Africa by 2035. Fred previously worked as a McKinsey consultant in South Africa before earning an MBA from Stanford and becoming an entrepreneur. He is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader; an Echoing Green Fellow; an Aspen Institute Fellow; was named one of Forbes Magazine’s “Top ten young ‘power men’ in Africa” in 2011; and most recently, was recognized as one of TIME Magazine’s most influential people of 2019.
NOZIPHO MBANJWA | South Africa
Nozipho Mbanjwa is the CEO of The Talent Firm – a specialized talent management firm advising on millennial talent in South Africa. She is also an internationally acclaimed conference moderator and has moderated conversations for the World Economic Forum, United Nations agencies including UN Women, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, amongst other global bodies. Nozipho’s unique talent to moderate dialogue with depth, insight, and with targeted outcomes has seen her rendering services for a number of multinational organizations and blue chip companies operating across Africa. She extends her prowess in dialogue to CNBC Africa where as an award-winning journalist. She broadcasts financial markets shows to 48 African countries, reaching millions of Africans daily. Her broadcast niche lies in political economy, development finance, gender mainstreaming, and youth development. Nozipho is a faculty member for Duke CE in Africa and brings her world class facilitation and orchestration skills to a competitive executive education offering. She has worked for The Presidency in South Africa, the Mayor’s Office in Washington DC, the Umlambo Foundation, as well as Tata Africa in Johannesburg.
In 2016, Nozipho launched The WoCode Dialogue, a platform for young professional women to engage on issues emanating from the workplace. She is an alumnus of the University of London (Masters in International Studies), Stellenbosch Business School (Masters in Development Finance – cum laude), University of Pretoria (Hons: International Relations), and has completed shorter courses at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (Leadership) and the University of the Witwatersrand (Marketing).
NGOZI OKONJO-IWEALA | Nigeria
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is an economist and international development expert with over 30 years of experience. She is Chair of the Board of Gavi, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation. She is also Senior Adviser at Lazard and sits on the Boards of Standard Chartered PLC and Twitter Inc. Previously, Ngozi served twice as Nigeria’s Finance Minister, from 2003-2006, 2011-2015, and briefly as Foreign Minister, the first woman to hold both positions. She spent a 25-year career at the World Bank as a development economist, rising to the No.2 position of Managing Director, overseeing an $81 billion operational portfolio in Africa, South Asia, Europe and Central Asia.
Ngozi has been ranked by Fortune as one of the 50 Greatest World Leaders in 2015, by Forbes as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the World consecutively for four years, by Time as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2014, and by the UK Guardian as one of the Top 100 Women in the World in 2011. Ngozi holds a bachelor’s in economics from Harvard University and a PhD in Regional Economics and Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has received honorary degrees from 14 universities including the University of Pennsylvania, Yale, Brown and Trinity College, Dublin. She is the author of numerous articles on finance and development, and several books including Fighting Corruption is Dangerous: The Story Behind the Headlines (MIT Press, 2018) and Reforming the Unreformable: Lessons from Nigeria (MIT Press, 2012).
Ben Rhodes is the author of the New York Times bestseller The World As It Is; a contributor for NBC News, MSNBC, and Crooked Media; the co-chair of National Security Action; and an advisor to former President Barack Obama. From 2009-2017, Ben served as a Deputy National Security Advisor to President Obama. In that capacity, he participated in nearly all of President Obama’s key decisions, and oversaw the President’s national security communications, speechwriting, public diplomacy and global engagement programming. He also led the secret negotiations with the Cuban government that resulted in the effort to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba, and supported the negotiations to conclude the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran. Prior to joining the Administration, Ben was a senior speechwriter and foreign policy advisor to the Obama campaign. From 2002-2007, he worked for former Congressman Lee Hamilton, supporting his work on the 9/11 Commission and Iraq Study Group. A native New Yorker, Ben has a B.A. from Rice University and an M.F.A from New York University.