Rose Kayi MIVEDOR was appointed in November 2020 Minister of Investment Promotion in Togo, with the mission to perpetuate the ambition of Togo to become an attractive destination and mobilize more investment (domestic and foreign).
She has more than 15 years of experience in the banking sector at senior management position. Following her positions as Director of Risks, then Director of Corporate banking at Banque Atlantique Togo; she has joined Diamond Bank Togo as General Manager. After this experience, she has decided to face new challenges and joined the Pan-African group, ORAGROUP, in 2016 where she has been promoted as General Manager of the Gabon subsidiary in March 2018. She was one of four women leaders in the banking sector in Gabon.
In 2017, Ms. MIVEDOR has been nominated one of the 50 most powerful women leaders in Francophone Africa by “Jeune Afrique magazine”. Former president of the Association of Banks and Financial Institutions (APBEF of Togo), she is also an alumni of Science Po Paris where she was awarded the prize for Female Entrepreneurship by the French Development Agency in 2017.
Salim S. Abdool Karim, FRS, is a clinical infectious diseases epidemiologist renowned for his scientific contributions and leadership in AIDS and Covid-19. He is the Director of CAPRISA (Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa), Professor of Global Health at Columbia University and Adjunct Professor of Immunology and Infectious diseases at Harvard University. He is ranked by Web of Science as one of the world’s most highly cited scientists. He serves on the WHO Science Council and the WHO TB-HIV Task Force. He is a Member of the Africa Task Force for Coronavirus and the Lancet Commission on Covid-19.
Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid is the twice-elected African Union Commissioner in charge of Infrastructure, Energy & ICT. For more than 30 years, Dr Abou-Zeid has served in leadership positions in international organizations and has amassed a remarkable mix of experience from across continents and stakeholders. She has managed AfDB largest operational portfolio and implemented national and continental multi-sectoral development programs, including the world’s largest solar power plant. She launched the Single African Air Transport Market, African Single Energy Market, First African Digital Transformation Strategy as well as 2nd 10-year Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa - thus, delivering on major continental initiatives for African Integration under African Union Agenda 2063. An Egyptian national, Dr Abou-Zeid holds a BSc in Electrical Engineering, Cairo University; MBA, Université Senghor; MPA, Harvard University; and Ph.D. Economic Development, The University of Manchester. Dr. Abou-Zeid sets the example for women in STEM and in leadership positions; She is long named and recognized as a champion of gender equality and is often voted one of Africa’s most influential women.
Haydé Adams is the host and moderator of Voice of America's flagship African current affairs show, Straight Talk Africa. Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Haydé is a seasoned international broadcaster, with more than 20 years of experience in African, European and U.S. media. She has interviewed leaders in government, business, academia and civil society. Haydé has traveled throughout Africa and the U.S., covering global politics, gender and economic inequality, as well as the legacies of slavery, segregation and conflict. She has also worked in international development communications on U.S.-government funded projects in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Travis Adkins serves as the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Africa.
Previously, he was a Lecturer of African and Security Studies at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He also taught in the Georgetown Prison Scholars Program, as part of the university’s Prisons & Justice Initiative. As an international development leader, he has two decades of experience working in governance, civil society, and refugee and migration affairs in over 50 nations throughout Africa and the Middle East. This includes serving as Staff Director of the House Subcommittee on Africa, working with leading international NGOs and think tanks, as well as within several branches of the United Nations system.
He is an alumnus of the International Affairs Fellowship at the Council on Foreign Relations, and a recipient of academic appointments from Carnegie Mellon and New York Universities.
Mr. Adkins has served in numerous international election observation missions in Africa and the Middle East with the National Democratic Institute has been a regular contributor to national and international media outlets on African affairs, and is a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also a graduate of Fisk University, one of our nation's illustrious Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Olugbenga GB Agboola is the Founder and CEO at Flutterwave, an organization committed to growing businesses in emerging economies. A serial entrepreneur with two exits under his belt, GB has over 15 years of experience in building scalable financial technology firms.
GB has been instrumental in leading the development of Fintech solutions for several organizations and financial institutions such as PayPal, Standard Bank and Google, among others. His last Fintech venture focused on easy Alternative Payment Methods and was acquired by a top bank in Nigeria.
GB’s software engineering background and expertise in enterprise architecture and payments got him the rare opportunity to work with institutions such as the Royal Bank of Scotland as a Business Entrepreneur and Africa Fintech Foundry as a Senior Entrepreneur in Residence.
Among GB’s well-rounded background includes Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Wharton School of Management and the University of Westminster.
He has been named African Leadership Magazine's Young Business Leader of The Year (2020). GB has been recognized for his achievements in leadership and innovation by Fortune Magazine's prestigious 40 under 40 list and Time Magazine’s 2021 Next 100 list, respectively.
Olalekan (“Lekan”) is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of LEKOIL, an Africa focused Oil exploration and production company. Since inception, he has led the company through an IPO and subsequent fundraises of over $200 million on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market. This funded LEKOIL’s farm-in to OPL 310 and the subsequent discovery of the Ogo field – one of the world’s largest in 2013 with estimated gross resources of 774mmboe. In September 2015 LEKOIL achieved “first oil” on its Otakikpo Marginal Field, just 9 months after commencing operations and currently production 6000bpd. In October 2015 the Company announced its acquisition of a controlling interest in OPL 325. Lekan has over 20 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry and was the International Energy Sector Head at AllianceBernstein L.P. in New York (Global asset manager with over $400 Billion under management) with direct responsibility for a $1Billion Energy and Natural Resource Portfolio. Prior to that he was a member of the #1 institutional investor-ranked team of analysts covering the oilfield services industry as an Associate Director at UBS Investment Research. Lekan has held Engineering and operational roles within Schlumberger in a career that spanned Nigeria, Egypt, Pakistan, Oman and Scotland. Lekan graduated from the Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering and also holds an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management.
Addis Alemayehou has become a household name in Africa’s business and entrepreneurship landscape with Ethiopia as the genesis of his long and successful business career. The founder and CEO of 251 Communications, Addis began from a humble three-people marketing agency 10 years ago to remarkably grow the company as one of the leading PR and communications firms in Ethiopia. Having become a marketing and communications veteran, Addis expanded his outreach outside of Ethiopia by co-founding Africa Communications Media Group (ACG), the first African-owned, panAfrican agency handling communication for global clients in the African setting. Addis is also a co-founder and shareholder of a trailblazing private entertainment television station in Ethiopia called KANA TV in partnership with MOBY Group.
Joining the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) in March 2009, Rick Angiuoni is currently Director of Africa in the Office of Board Authorized Finance. Rick has been responsible for developing EXIM Bank’s activities with Africa and is engaged in the development of the U.S. Government’s Prosper Africa strategy. In the ten years Rick has worked at EXIM Bank, the portfolio has grown its annual credit authorizations from $500 million in 2009 to over $5 billion in fiscal year 2019. He has assisted in the origination and underwriting of both small and large transactions in over 44 countries across Africa.
He previously served as Director of HSBC in New York, part of the team responsible for Export Finance. Rick began his international banking career on Wall Street, working with JPMorgan/Chemical Bank followed with positions at Bankers Trust in New York and London.
Rick holds Bachelor and MBA degrees from the University of Notre Dame
Michael is a seasoned banker with over 20 years of experience in investment banking, mergers and acquisitions, leveraged finance and development finance. Michael has advised and executed over US$ 20 billion of capital markets and M&A transactions, in Africa, and globally.
As TDB’s Deputy CEO and COO, Michael works closely with the Group MD and CEO on the execution of the Bank’s overall vision and mission. He is responsible for managing the Bank’s Operations Complex, which comprises the primary product houses, Trade Finance, Project & Infrastructure Finance, Advisory, Syndications and Co-Financing departments. He also manages the Bank’s Regional Coverage departments.
Mr. Mossadeck Bally is the Founder of the Azalaï Hotels Group, a leading private hotel chain group in the West African Region.
Born August 27, 1961 in Niger to Malian parents with a long tradition in commerce and trading, Mr. Bally was raised in Niger and Mali, where he received his early education. He studied abroad, notably in France and in the United States where he improved his business knowledge by holding a Bachelor
of Science in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco, in California.
Mr. Bally commenced his foray into the African hospitality industry with an initial focus on his home country, Mali. In 1994 he established the special purpose vehicle, “Société Malienne de Promotion Hôtelière (SMPH)” to effect the acquisition of the first hotel of the future Azalaï Hotels Group through the State
privatization of the mythical “Grand Hôtel de Bamako”. In 2000, he built on the strong reputation on the service quality and management of its premier hotel to build and open the Salam Hotel, and enter into a management agreement for
Hotel Nord Sud, both based in Bamako.
In 2005, Mr. Bally consolidated the activities of the various properties under a common brand (“Azalaï Hotels”), and formally launched the Group’s expansion strategy in the WAEMU region. Under Mr. Bally’s leadership, the Azalaï Hotels
Group expanded to Burkina Faso in 2004, to Guinea Bissau in 2007, to Benin in 2008 and more recently to Nouakchott, Abidjan and Dakar, with projects underway in Conakry, Niamey and Douala. From its humble origin, 25 years ago, Azalaï Hotels Group is today the first African private hotel chain group in
the West African Region, providing direct employment to about 700 persons and over 2000 indirectly.
Mr. Bally, through the Azalaï Hotels Group strives to provide a positive and conquering vision for African Entrepreneurship.
Dana L. Banks was selected to serve as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Africa at the National Security Council in January 2021. A career diplomat, Dana was previously the Director of Executive Development at the State Department's Foreign Service Institute. In 22 years with the U.S. Department of State, Dana has held a variety of senior position across Sub-Saharan Africa, including service as Deputy Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in South Africa, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Togo, and Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania. In Washington, Dana has worked in the Operations Center, the Executive Secretariat, the Office of West African Affairs and as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. A native of Philadelphia, Dana is a graduate of Spelman College and Syracuse University’s Maxwell School. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with her son.
H.E. José Alexandre Barroso was born in Luanda, Angola, is married and father of three children.
From February 14, 2019 until now has been appointed as a Secretary of State for Oil and Gas Sector. H.E. has a MBA from Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), an Erasmus Business from the University of Rotterdam, The Netherlands and also hasa degree in geology from the Agostinho Neto’ University, Angola.
In the way of his professional career, the Secretary of State worked as a member of the Executive Committee of Sonangol Holding; was a General Director of Sonamet Angola; South America Regional Director for Schlumberger Drilling Engineering and Operation Center; North Africa Regional Director for Schlumberger Drilling & Measurements in Argelia and General Manager of Schlumberger.
Appointed by the Board of Directors for a five-year term, renewable once, Mr. Moustapha Ben Barka, Vice-President of the West African Development (BOAD), took office on 2 March 2020.
Prior to joining BOAD, he was Minister, Permanent Secretary of the President’s Office of the Republic of Mali, after serving as Minister of Industry and Investment Promotion and Minister reporting to the Minister of Economy and Finance, in charge of Investment Promotion and Private Initiative.
Mr. Moustapha Ben Barka is holder of an Executive MBA in Financial Services (University of Quebec, Montreal), a certificate from the Canadian Bankers’ Institute, a graduate certificate in Treasury (McGill University), a bachelor’s degree in Finance and International Trade (HEC Montreal) and a certificate in Arts and Sciences (University of Montréal).
From the beginning of Bassem’s career, he has been on the fast track for senior leadership positions and recognized for his passion, dedication and creativity.
Bassem has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the international medical devices market, with appointments in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Dubai, US and Athens, culminating in Vice President, Regional Director and General Manager positions with accountability for MENA and EMEA regions, championing year-on-year growth and access to emerging markets.
As a true visionary, Bassem shapes compelling strategic visions aligned with corporate objectives and goals, he is able to see the ‘big picture’ and demonstrates the required business acumen to direct global businesses, working in established brands such as Abbott, Johnson & Johnson and W/L/ Gore & Associates. Operating in multi-cultural environments is Bassem’s forte and he advocates equality and diversity in all the organisations he is part of, he has succeeded in opening many new entities.
As a consummate leader and professional, Bassem seeks out new ways to expand business footprints and generate opportunities. He possesses multi-lingual capabilities and is well versed in media, public relations and presentations.
Well respected by his peers, leadership team and staff of all levels, he places people at the centre of his success and values individual contributions to the attainment of goals, targets and objectives. He has a robust work ethic and has been recognised for building brands in new regions and helping multinationals, small and medium-sized enterprises to gain respect.
Deborah L. Birx, M.D., has spent her first career serving the United States, as an Army Colonel and later, running some of the most high-profile and influential programs at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of State. Most recently, Dr. Birx served as the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, where she made recommendations to the Vice President using complex data integration to drive decision-making, as well as worked closely with state officials across the country to provide state-specific advice and guidance. In 2014, Dr. Birx became an Ambassador-at-Large, when she assumed the role of the Coordinator of the United States Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS and U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy. Dr. Birx is a world renowned medical expert and leader whose long career has focused on clinical and basic immunology, infectious disease, pandemic preparedness, vaccine research, and global health. As the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, she oversaw the spending of the $6 billion annual budget of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease in history, as well as all U.S. Government engagement with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Tony Carroll has 45 years of experience working in Africa as a lawyer, business and development consultant, investor, academic, democracy advocate and professor. He started this journey as a Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana from 1976-1978. He has also served in public service as Assistant General Counsel to the Peace Corps and on the Africa advisory committees of EXIM Bank, OPIC and USTR. He has been affiliated with the Africa programs at the Woodrow Wilson Center, CSIS and the Atlantic Council and has published widely. He is a founding member of both the Corporate Council on Africa and the American Bar Association’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Task Force. He was involved in the design and passage of AGOA and has testified in Congress on numerous occasions. He is a senior advisor to Manchester Trade, Ltd founding Director of Acorus Capital, an African focused private equity investment fund and adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advance International Studies. He remains active in Botswana through his board membership at Global HOPE and in the development of collaborative relationships in environmental and wildlife conservations between his alma mater,the University of Wisconsin and the University of Botswana, among many, many other things.
A retired career diplomat and specialist in African and European affairs, Ambassador (ret.) Herman J. Cohen is President of Cohen and Woods International. Established in 1998, the consulting firm provides strategic planning services to African governments, and multinational corporations doing business in Africa. The firm’s main activity since the year 2000 has involved private American investments in power generation. Ambassador Cohen has negotiated private power investments in four African countries: Togo, Rwanda, Senegal and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Ambassador Cohen retired from the US Foreign Service in November 1993. His last position prior to retirement was Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs under President George H. W. Bush (1989-1993). During this period, he led negotiations that successfully ended decades-long civil wars in Ethiopia, Angola, and Mozambique.1 During his 38-year career with the U.S. Foreign Service, Ambassador Cohen served in five African countries and twice in France. He was the American Ambassador to Senegal, with dual accreditation to the Gambia, from 1977 to 1980. During assignments in Washington, Mr. Cohen also served as Special Assistant to President Reagan and Senior Director for Africa, on the National Security Council (1987-89), and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Research (1980 to 1984). During this period, he was the State Department’s representative on the National Intelligence Council of the Director of Central Intelligence. After retirement from the State Department in 1993, Ambassador Cohen joined the Global Coalition for Africa, an intergovernmental organization that worked with African governments to improve their economic climates for investors. During his tenure with the Global Coalition for Africa, Ambassador Cohen was under contract to the World Bank. After leaving the Global Coalition for Africa in 1998, Mr. Cohen established a consulting firm, Cohen and Woods International (CWI), for the purpose assisting American business firms to find opportunities in Africa. Mr. Cohen’s honors and awards include the French Legion of Honor, the Belgian Order of Leopold II, and the US Foreign Service distinction of Career Ambassador, the highest rank in the Foreign Service. In 2020, Mr. Cohen received the reward of the American Foreign Service Association for “Lifetime of Excellence in Diplomacy.” Mr. Cohen is the author of three books: “Intervening in Africa: Superpower Peacekeeping in a Troubled Continent”. Macmillan, New York 2000. “The Mind of the African Strong Man: Conversations with Dictators, Statesmen and Father Figures”, New Academia, Washington DC, 2015. “U.S. Policy Toward Africa: Eight Decades of Realpolitk”, Lynne Riener, Boulder, Colorado, 2020.
Recognized as a leading expert on Africa, Ambassador Cohen is a frequent guest on the news broadcasts of the Voice of America, CNN, PBS, the BBC, Radio Canada, and Radio France International. He also maintains a blog at Cohenonafrica.com,, and has a very active social media presence on Twitter under @cohenonafrica.
Akunna Cook serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in the Biden-Harris Administration. In this role, Ms. Cook oversees the development of U.S. foreign policy for Southern Africa, as well as economic and regional issues including trade, investment, climate, health, multilateral engagement, democracy, and human rights. Previously, Ms. Cook was the founder and principal at Drake Road Strategies where she advised individuals and organizations on public policy strategy and advocacy. She was also the inaugural executive director of the Black Economic Alliance, a non-partisan organization focused on driving economic progress in the black community through policy development, advocacy, and supporting candidates for office. Ms. Cook practiced law at a large international law firm, where she advised former Attorney General Eric Holder on political and legal strategy related to redistricting around the country. She also advised a variety of clients on public policy, government affairs, and corporate governance. Ms. Cook was also a legal fellow in the office of U.S. Senator Chris Coons.
Ms. Cook began her State Department career over 20 years ago as a Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow. She served for almost ten years as a career diplomat with the State Department where she focused on economic and political development. Ms. Cook’s foreign service assignments included service overseas in China, South Africa, and Iraq, and several years in Washington serving in the Africa Bureau in various roles. She is a graduate of the Yale Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She is also a summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Howard University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration. Ms. Cook is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Washington, D.C. bar. She is also a member of the Alliance for Justice Board of Directors.
Jesse Corradi is Managing Director of Africa at the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC). As such, Jesse oversees DFC’s Africa investment strategy and is responsible for investing in underserved markets across sub-Saharan Africa aligned with U.S. development and foreign policy priorities. Jesse has led transactions in over 35 countries and oversees a portfolio of $1.4 billion across the agriculture, energy, financial services, healthcare, and infrastructure sectors. Jesse also sits on DFC’s credit committee and joined DFC as a core member of the DFC transition team. Before joining DFC, Jesse held leadership positions in government, impact investing, and private equity.
Mr. John G. Coumantaros is the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (FMN), one of the largest food and agro-allied concerns in West Africa. An experienced and successful entrepreneur with interests around the globe, Mr. Coumantaros was born in 1961 and graduated from Yale University with a B.A. Degree in History in 1984.
Mr. Coumantaros began his long relationship with FMN in 1984 and was appointed to FMN’s Board as a non-executive Director in 1990. He served as a Non-Executive Vice Chairman of the Company and its subsidiaries from 2012 until he was elected Chairman of FMN Board of Directors in 2014. He is also the Chairman & CEO of Southern Star Shipping CO. Inc. of New York, sits on the Board of the Oxbow Carbon LLC, a leading U.S. based international energy company, and is a Director of ELBISCO, a fast-moving consumer food business in Athens, Greece.
Mr. Coumantaros has over 30 years’ experience in international trade, logistics, manufacturing, and industry and is passionately dedicated to the industrial and agricultural development of Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa. The founder of the US Nigerian Business Council, he is also an active supporter to a number of not-for-profit initiatives globally.
Dr. Ernest Darkoh is an internationally respected thought-leader and expert on health systems strengthening, strategic planning and large-scale program implementation. His recent work has focused on using cutting-edge technologies, big data and analytics to drive improvements in programmatic outcomes. Ernest has worked globally with governments, international normative organizations and the private sector.
Ernest co-founded BroadReach in 2003. He is on the Board of member of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and has been recognized by New African Magazine as one of the 100 most influential Africans and named one of eighteen “Global Health Heroes” by TIME Magazine. Ernest is a popular guest speaker, most recently speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos 2019.
Before co-founding BroadReach, Ernest worked with the African Comprehensive HIV & AIDS Partnership (ACHAP) where he served as the Operations Manager leading the rollout of the Botswana government’s national ARV program (Masa). Prior to ACHAP, Ernest was a consultant with McKinsey & Company.
Ernest earned his BS in Chemistry and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin, his MD from Harvard Medical School and his MPH from Harvard Chan School of Public Health. He completed his MBA at the Said School of Business at Oxford University as a Fulbright Scholar.
Akin Dawodu, Managing Director, Head for Sub-Saharan Africa, Citi. Since November 2019, Mr. Dawodu has led Citi’s Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) business with responsibility for 12 presence and 21 non-presence markets. Prior to his appointment as Head for SSA, he was the Cluster Head for Citi in West and Central Africa and the CEO for Citi Nigeria.
Mr. Dawodu started his Citi career in 2000 as a Foreign Exchange dealer in Nigeria. After a short duration as MTN Nigeria’s first Treasurer, he returned to Citi in 2007 and became the Country Treasurer. Thereafter, he held the position of Chief Operating Officer and Public Sector head for Citi Nigeria.
Mr. Dawodu attended Kings’ College Lagos and the University of Lagos. He also holds a Master of Business Administration from Manchester Business School and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Aida Diarra joined Visa as SVP and Head of Sub-Saharan Africa at Visa in November 2018. In this capacity, she oversees Visa’s business operations in fifty countries and seven offices in Sub Saharan Africa. Her focus is digitizing cash, driving wider digital acceptance, and promoting financial inclusion in the diverse markets of the region.
She is a recognized leader in the financial services and digital finance industries, having previously led Western Union’s Africa portfolio.
Aida has a Master in Business Administration (MBA) in International Business & Management from the University of Hartford, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from American Business School in France.
Kurt Donnelly is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service. He is currently the Department of State Bureau of Energy Resources’ Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Diplomacy. Prior to coming back to Washington, DC, DAS Donnelly served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia. His other assignments include the U.S. Mission to NATO, Afghanistan, Turkey, Hungary, Russia, Germany, the National Security Council, Director of the State Department Office for International Religious Freedom, and Director for Central Asian Affairs.
In February 2021, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. appointed Enoh T. Ebong to serve as the Acting Director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. The appointment meant a return to USTDA where from 2004 to 2019, Ms. Ebong had served in a variety of roles, most recently as the Agency’s General Counsel, and Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer. As Acting Director, Ms. Ebong leads an agency that partners with the U.S. private sector to develop sustainable infrastructure and foster economic growth in emerging economies, while supporting U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services.
Since 18 August 2020, he became President of the West African Development Bank (BOAD). Prior to joining the community development finance institution of the member countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), he served as Natixis' Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) Country Manager for the UK in London since 2016. He combined this position with that of Head of Global Markets for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). Before then, he also served as Head of Natixis' Africa and Russia Departments.
A well-known expert in financial and capital markets, Serge managed Natixis' Global Markets for the Asia-Pacific region for nearly six years (2010-2016) before taking over as Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong-based bank. He has over twenty years of extensive experience in global finance, structured finance and markets.
He holds an Executive MBA from HEC Paris, a post-graduate degree in Banking & Finance from Paris V University, and a degree from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Bordeaux.
Dr. Fayad serves as professor of Radiology and Medicine (Cardiology) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and holds the Lucy G. Moses Professorship in Medical Imaging and Bioengineering. He is the founding Director of the Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Institute; Vice chair for Research, Department of Radiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Fayad’s interdisciplinary and discipline bridging research - from engineering to biology and from pre-clinical to clinical investigations - has been dedicated to the detection and prevention of cardiovascular disease with many seminal contributions in the field of multimodality biomedical imaging (MR, CT, PET and PET/MR) and nanomedicine. His work has recently expanded in understanding the effect of stress on the immune system and cardiovascular disease.
Ms. Nadia Fettah was born in 1971 in Rabat. She was appointed by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, May God Assist Him, on 9 October 2019, as the first female Minister of Tourism, Handicrafts, Air Transport and Social Economy. Having graduated from international business school HEC Paris in 1994, Ms. Nadia Fettah began her career as a consultant at Arthur Andersen before founding her firm “Maroc Investment” and running it for five years. After holding the Managing Director position of a prominent Moroccan insurance company, she helped a renowned investment holding with mergers-acquisitions in Africa and the Middle East. In 2017, Ms. Fettah worked as a Managing Director of the Sanlam Pan Africa group before being appointed Minister. Well-known for her work in the field of insurance in Africa, she won the prestigious CEO of the Year Award in Abidjan in 2018. As a community life advocate, Ms. Fettah is a founding member of the Club des Femmes Administrateurs au Maroc (Club of Women Business Administrators) and a member of the “Women Corporate Directors” international network. Ms. Nadia Fettah is married and mother of two children.
Eleni Giokos is a CNN anchor and correspondent, based in Dubai.
Born in Greece and raised in South Africa, she has more than 15 years' experience working across TV, digital, radio and print media. One of CNN's most versatile correspondents, she joined the network in 2015.
Giokos has interviewed heads of state including former South African President, Jacob Zuma and former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan. Her list of business and economic interviews includes the likes of International Monetary Fund Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva; ECB president, Christine Lagarde; and Virgin founder, Richard Branson; as well as a 'who's who?' of Africa's most prominent business leaders, including Aliko Dangote, Tony Elumelu, Patrice Motsepe, and the late Bob Collymore.
At CNN she has reported on the ground across Africa, from Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt and Zimbabwe, to Rwanda, Senegal, Ghana, Lesotho and more. She has highlighted the growing links between Africa and Asia, reporting from South Korea and Kazakhstan, traveled to the United States to report from Washington DC, and anchored shows from the network's London, New York and Atlanta hubs.
Giokos began her career at CNBC Africa in 2005, before joining 24-hour news channel, eNCA, as an anchor and correspondent. There she covered business stories as well as breaking news -- including the killing of Reeva Steenkamp by Oscar Pistorius and the Westgate Mall attack.
She has reported from key global events such as the World Economic Forum in Davos and the United Nations General Assembly, and chaired debates at Davos, WEF Africa, the IMF, African Finance Corporation and the Africa CEO Forum.
Giokos hosted the NBA's pioneering visit to Johannesburg in 2017, and has interviewed NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, Toronto Raptors President, Masai Ujiri, as well as basketball legends, Bismack Biyombo and Dikembe Mutombo.
Elsewhere, she has contributed regularly to South Africa's Mail and Guardian newspaper, worked as a motivational speaker at public schools, and trained aspiring journalism students.
Giokos has an Honors Degree in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of Witwatersrand and was made an International Monetary Fund Fellow in 2014.
Don Graves is the 19th Deputy Secretary of Commerce.
Graves brings decades of experience in the private sector, government, and nonprofits to the Department of Commerce. Most recently, he served as Counselor to President Joe Biden during the 2020 presidential campaign. Prior to that, Graves served as Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Responsibility and Community Relations at KeyBank. In this role, Graves led KeyBank’s corporate responsibility team, including the bank’s $16.5 billion National Community Benefits Plan, the bank’s sustainability work, stakeholder engagement, and outreach, and oversaw the KeyBank Foundation and the First Niagara Foundation.
During the Obama-Biden Administration, Graves served as Counselor and Domestic and Economic Policy Director for then-Vice President Biden. He was previously appointed by President Barack Obama as Executive Director of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and led the federal government’s efforts in the economic recovery of the city of Detroit. Graves also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Small Business, Community Development, and Housing Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he oversaw the CDFI Fund, the $4 billion Small Business Lending Fund, and the $1.5 billion State Small Business Credit Initiative. He was also the U.S. Federal Representative to the G7 Task Force on Social Impact Investment.
He has served on the Board of Directors of the MetroHealth Foundation, the FDIC’s Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion, the Board of Trustees of the Community Reinvestment Fund, the Policy Advisory Board of the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware, the Board of Visitors of the Cuyahoga Community College, the Advisory Board of the Commission on Economic Inclusion, and as Co-Chair of Cleveland Rising.
Graves has a rich family history connected to the Commerce Department. His four-times great grandparents built a successful horse and buggy taxi business in Washington that once stood at the site of the Department’s headquarters. Their son went on to own a premier hotel just blocks away and become one of our nation’s first Black patent-holders through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Graves holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Williams College and a Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center, where he received the Dean’s Award. He is a fellow of the National Association of Public Administration. Graves is married and has two children.
Kimberly Green, PhD, leads PATH’s Primary Health Care program, which includes teams focusing on Early Childhood Development; Health Systems, Innovation, and Delivery; HIV and Tuberculosis; Maternal, Newborn, Child Health and Nutrition; Noncommunicable Diseases; and Sexual and Reproductive Health. Prior to assuming this role, Dr. Green led PATH’s global HIV and TB portfolio, including the USAID/PATH Healthy Markets project which leverages innovation and partnerships to increase key population access to essential health services.Dr. Green has nearly thirty years’ experience in public health management, policy development and research. She deeply believes in the power of primary health care to improve health access and equity and is specifically interested in health service delivery innovations; the role of lay providers in delivering health care; self-care and digital health; private-public sector partnerships; and social and behavior change communications.
Before joining PATH, Dr. Green directed and supported several global and regional primary health care projects focused on HIV, TB, hypertension, SRH, malaria and MNCHN in Africa and Asia, partnering with ministries of health, communities and private sector to incubate and scale-up evidence-based approaches. She has worked with FHI 360, CARE Cambodia, Plan International, Global Health Council, and was a health fellow with PACT Cambodia.
Dr. Green is a member of the WHO Global PrEP Coalition and HIV testing technical working group, Deputy Editor for the Journal of the International AIDS Society, scientific committee member for the International AIDS Society conference and Clinical Associate Professor in the University of Washington Global Health Program. She holds a master’s degree in International Health and Development from The George Washington University in Washington, DC, and a PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Clay M. Hamilton is a native of Floydada, Texas where he grew up on a cotton and wheat farm and was also involved in sheep and cattle production. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science from Texas A&M University in 1982, and a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Economics from Texas Tech University in 1988.
Mr. Hamilton was in the U.S. Army reserves from 1982 until 1995 and worked as a County Extension Agent in Texas from 1982 until 1985. He joined USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service in 1988 and entered the Foreign Service in 1991 where he now has the rank of Career Minister in the Senior Foreign Service. In addition to various positions in FAS/Washington, he served in Bulgaria, Italy, Japan, Turkey and Pakistan and Brazil. Clay began his duties as Associate Administrator and General Sales Manager for the Foreign Agricultural Service on July 5, 2018.
Mr. Hamilton is married and has 3 children, two daughters and a son.
Ms. Joann J. Hill, a native of Columbia, South Carolina is the Chief of the Office of Business Development for the United States Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). Ms. Hill has served at MBDA for more than a decade and in her current capacity has oversight of the Office of Business Development. She also serves as the lead federal program officer for the nationwide network of more than 40 MBDA Business Centers that generate $6 billion in performance goals annually. She is responsible for the creation and implementation of strategies for business development in the areas of access to capital, access to contracts, access to emerging domestic and international markets and global supply chains. She engages in international business initiatives both domestically and abroad, designed to promote business to business linkages. Additionally, Ms. Hill has served as Senior Policy Advisor on Federal and State Export Promotion at the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration. Prior to joining MBDA, she worked in the areas of operations management, banking, and finance. Ms. Hill holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Benedict College; Masters of Business Administration degree from Emory University, Goizueta Business School; and is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Senior Executive Fellows Program.
Angela Hwang is a member of Pfizer’s Executive Team and Group President of the Pfizer Biopharmaceuticals Group, which is the commercial organization of Pfizer. Her organization of 26,000 colleagues across 125 countries is responsible for bringing over 600 innovative medicines and products to patients. In 2020, more than 420 million people benefited from a Pfizer Biopharma medicine or vaccine to improve their health and, in some cases, save their lives. Altogether, Pfizer Biopharma generated almost $42 billion in 2020 revenues.
As Group President of Pfizer Biopharma, Angela leads 7 commercial business units. Together, these businesses strive to deliver transformational medicines that address major global health priorities in cancer, rare disease, inflammation & immunology, primary care, infectious diseases, and preventative care with vaccines.
Angela has been with Pfizer for over 24 years, working across all geographies and therapeutic areas. She is motivated by the common purpose that all Pfizer colleagues share, to bring breakthroughs to patients, regardless of where they are in the world. Her childhood as an Asian girl growing up in apartheid South Africa, defined her worldview and underscored the importance of equity in everything she does today.
Angela is a member of the Board of Directors of UPS, the global leader in supply chain logistics and package delivery, EFPIA (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations), as well as the Pfizer Foundation, a charitable organization that addresses global health challenges. In 2019, she was named in Crain’s Notable Women in Healthcare list, and in 2020 she was ranked #16 in Fortune’s Top 50 Most Powerful Women. In 2021, she has been recognized as one of Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Women Leaders, and as an A100 Honoree, which celebrates the 100 most impactful Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders of the past year. She also received the President’s Award from the 2021 National Diversity & Leadership Conference, for her efforts to champion diversity, equity, and inclusion in her organization.
Having always been curious about transformation and the art of the possible, in 2019, Angela launched Diverse Perspectives, a podcast series where she hosts global thought leaders pioneering change across a variety of industries. You can learn more about Diverse Perspectives here, and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other streaming platforms. Angela received her Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and Biochemistry from the University of Cape Town and her MBA from Cornell University, where she remains a Member of the Advisory Council ofthe SC Johnson Graduate School of Business. She is a wife and proud mom to a teenage son and daughter, and a strong advocate for women’s leadership and sustainable global health equity.
Adiba Ighodaro was a founding member of international private equity firm Actis where over a 30-year career, she established and ran both the Firm’s West Africa investment office in Lagos and latterly, its Americas office in New York. Adiba has raised capital for investing across key sectors in Africa including Energy Infrastructure, Real Estate and Financial Services. Adiba is a former non-executive director of Old Mutual Plc. Today, Adiba is a senior advisor to Actis in Africa, a non-executive director of Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria, a member of the EMPEA Africa Council and a Trustee of the English National Opera.
Hon. Dr. Jagutpal joined the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life as Medical and Health Officer in 1997. He also served as a Consultant Psychiatrist at Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital. Hon. Dr. Jagutpal was Chairman of Medical Council for Mauritius from February 2016 to May 2019. He was in charge of Rehabilitation Alcoholic Ward at Mahebourg Hospital until August 2019. He was a Lecturer in Mental Health at Open University Mauritius. Supervision
of Dissertation for medical students of University of Mauritius. Worked with NGOs engaged
in drug awareness campaign. Vice President of the Mauritius Psychiatric Association from
2015 to 2016.
Chaitan is currently the Director of Regulatory Affairs at United Airlines, based in Washington DC. In his current capacity he serves as a liaison to US Federal Government Agencies on regulatory matters and leads United’s engagement with the DC diplomatic corps. He has been heavily involved in United’s COVID-19 response, working across the company on testing requirements, repatriation flights, and the future customer journey.
Prior to joining United in 2019, Chaitan worked for over a decade at the International Air Transport Association (IATA), based in Geneva, Switzerland.
He holds a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School, and Bachelor of Arts in Quantitative Economics and International Relations from Tufts University.
Nafisa Jiwani is the Managing Director for Health Initiatives at the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), America’s development bank. As a Managing Director, Ms. Jiwani serves as a senior adviser to the agency’s Chief Executive Officer, providing guidance and leadership on policy and transactional matters focused on Global Health. Additionally, Nafisa is spearheading DFC’s Health and Prosperity Initiative, which seeks to mobilize capital to strengthen health systems and improve resiliency in developing countries.
Prior to joining the agency, Nafisa served as the Deputy Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on Value-Based Care where she led strategic department-wide priorities on maternal morbidity and mortality, sepsis and kidney care, social determinants of health and artificial intelligence/predictive analytics. Before taking her role at HHS, Nafisa worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a Team Lead for Policy and Partnerships in the Office of the Associate Director for Policy and Strategy. During her time at CDC, she focused her efforts on health systems transformation and was responsible for translating evidence into payment policy. Ms. Jiwani's previous experience includes work in the fields of international development, clinical psychiatry research, youth development and newborn screening translational research.
Nafisa earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Southern Methodist University and a Master of Public Health in Management and Policy degree from the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University.
Bill Killeen is the CEO and Chairman of Acrow, which is a leading manufacturer of prefabricated modular steel bridges based in the United States of America with its headquarters in Parsippany, NJ, a manufacturing facility in Milton, PA, warehousing in Lafayette, NJ, Centralia, WA, and Eden, NC, 10 domestic sales offices, 3 Canadian offices headquartered in Toronto, and international efforts headquartered in New York City, and sales offices in Johannesburg, South Africa, Rome, Italy, Rydzyna, Poland, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Barcelona, Spain, and Hong Kong. Acrow acquired Mabey Bridge Ltd. of Lydney, UK in 2019 with manufacturing facility at same location.
Bill's career started at Acrow in 1977. He worked his way through the organization and became president in 1995. In 1999 Bill led a group that included his brother Charles in the acquisition of Acrow. Today, Acrow remains privately held by 9 of its senior managers.
Bill received his Bachelors degree from New Jersey Institute of Technology in 1983. He then obtained a professional engineering license in 1987 from the State of New Jersey and has practiced structural bridge engineering most of his career.
Bill recognizes that the use of prefabrication in bridges results in numerous benefits some of which are:
rapid design and construction with bridges commissioned in 1 or 2 weeks, which has the positive outcome of opening territories quickly to private investment resulting in the creation of new businesses, connecting regional trade partners supporting AfCFTA, and expanding individual prosperity
reliable robust crossings that make it easier and safer to cross a river for access to health clinics, education facilities, jobs, and markets
crossings that improve access and lower the costs of other infrastructure constructions, such as other bridges, freshwater systems, cellular phone transmission towers, systems for Prosper & Power Africa and other heavy construction applications, and more.
Bill has dedicated himself to improving prefabrication technologies because of the abundant benefits it yields for developing countries, and also for developed countries.
Bill finished 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Corporate Council on Africa based in Washington, DC. In September 2016 Bill was appointed by President Obama to the Presidential Advisory Committee – Doing Business in Africa. His appointment continued under President Trump, and now under President Biden.
Dr. Francis Kateh serves as the Chief Medical Officer/ Deputy Minister for Health Services at the Ministry of Health, Republic of Liberia. He is also Vice Chair/ Acting Chairperson of the Board of Trustee of Tubman University, Maryland County, Liberia, and Chairperson of the Board of Health, United Methodist Church, Liberia Annual Conference.Based on his experience and expertise, he was appointed to serve as Co-chair on the National Incident Management System for COVID-19 response. As Co-chair, his roles are but limited to, provide technical supports, oversee medical planning and ensure quality delivery of plans in various Precautionary Observation Centers (POCs) and Treatment units during the response process. His passion for quality health care delivery to the people of Liberia cannot be overemphasized. He has provided leadership and management to a wide range of health policies and strategies. His interest is to provide high satisfaction to patients and ensure patient safety. He has proven skills in running cost-effective patient care and establishing monitoring measures to ensure excellence in clinical care. When the Ebola Crisis erupted, Dr. Kateh yielded to the call from the Minister of Health and Social Welfare to serve as a Technical Advisor to Margibi County in curbing the exponential rate of infection in the County. After a month of serving in the County, and based on a debrief of Dr. Tom Freiden, former CDC Director with Her Excellency, Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the then Incident Manager, Hon Tolbert Nyenswah asked to create a position as National Deputy Incident Manager for Medical Planning with an over-sight responsibility on the Technical Areas of the National Response. He is accredited with the development of the CCC (Community Care Center) Strategy, RITE (Rapid Isolation and Treatment of Ebola) Strategy and other interventions.
Mr. Kelly joined Visa in October, 2016 as Chief Executive Officer and was elected Chairman of the Board in April, 2019. Mr. Kelly spent the majority of his career at American Express where he worked from 1987 to 2010. Over those 23 years, he held several senior positions, including serving as President from July 2007 to April 2010. Immediately prior to Visa, Mr. Kelly was President and Chief Executive Officer at Intersection, a technology and digital media company which is an Alphabet-backed private company based in New York City. Mr. Kelly was a Management Advisor to TowerBrook Capital Partners, L.P. in 2015, while simultaneously serving as Chair of Pope Francis’ visit to New York City. From April 2011 to August 2014, Mr. Kelly was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the 2014 NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Company, the entity created to raise funds for and host Super Bowl XLVIII. Prior to joining American Express, Mr. Kelly was the head of information systems at the White House from 1985 to 1987. Mr. Kelly also held various positions in information systems and financial planning at PepsiCo Inc. from 1981 to 1985. Mr. Kelly currently serves on the board of directors of Visa and Catalyst, as well as several entities in the Archdiocese of New York and is a guardian for the Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican. He is Chairman of the Payments Leadership Council and Chairman of the Board of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation. He is also a Trustee of New York Presbyterian Hospital and Boston College. In 2015, Mr. Kelly was named a Knight in the Order of Saint Gregory the Great, by Pope Francis. Mr. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer and Information Science and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Iona College.
Mahesh Kotecha is President and Founder of Structured Credit International Corp., a New York-based firm established in 1999 that provides capital markets advisory services, including ratings advice, to public and private sector financial institutions in emerging markets, mostly in Africa. Earlier, he was a Managing Director of MBIA Insurance Corporation, then a triple-A-rated financial guarantee company, a Senior Vice President at Kidder, Peabody & Co., a US investment bank, and for eight years at Standard & Poor's, as head of international ratings. Prior to S&P, Kotecha worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and UNFPA
Dr. Jenelle Krishnamoorthy is the Interim Vice President for Global Public Policy at MSD and is trained as a licensed clinical psychologist. Jenelle leads regional and therapeutic asset teams globally and is responsible for the development and advocacy of Merck’s positions on cross-cutting public policy issues and key therapeutics areas. Prior to joining Merck in January 2015, Jenelle was the Health Policy Director for the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and led the health team in the United States Senate for Chairman Harkin. Dr. Krishnamoorthy first joined Chairman Harkin's team as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow in 2003 and 2004. During 2004 and 2005 Jenelle worked at the U.S. State Department in the Bureau of South Asian Affairs on health, science, technology, and environment issues with India on an AAAS Diplomacy Fellowship.
Early in her career, Jenelle completed her pediatric clinical psychology residency and post-doctoral fellowship at Brown Medical School where she conducted research in the areas of childhood obesity and tobacco issues. Dr. Krishnamoorthy received her B.S. from Randolph-Macon College, M.S. from the University of Tennessee and her Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Moulay Lahcen Ennahli joined the Chairman Cabinet of OCP Group in September 2017 and served Since March 2018 as a Senior Vice President for OCP Africa in charge of the West Region.
With a Bachelor in Civil works, a Master in Rural Engineering, and an Executive MBA, he has over 30 years of professional experience including 19 years with the African Development Bank and 16 years in the public and private sectors.
With a Bachelor in Civil works, a Master in Rural Engineering, and an Executive MBA, he has over 30 years of diversified professional experience including 19 years with African Development Bank (1998 2017), holding several managerial positions which include six years as the Bank’s Resident Representative in Mali (2008-2011) and in Gabon (2011-2014) and Adviser to the Operations Vice President in charge of Agriculture, Water Supply and Sanitation, Human Development, Governance and Natural Resources Management (2014-2017).
Before joining the African Development Bank in 1998, he worked for 16 years in the public and private sectors where he held several operational roles and managerial positions. He carried out technical and design studies and managed the implementation of a portfolio of over 20 infrastructure projects including, dams, roads, irrigation, land development, rural construction, water supply, and sanitation.
Laura Lane is Chief Corporate Affairs, Communications and Sustainability Officer. In this role she oversees Public Policy and Government Affairs, Public Relations, Employee Communications, and the UPS Foundation and is a member of UPS’s Executive Leadership Team reporting to CEO Carol Tomé.
Laura began her UPS career as president, Global Public Affairs in 2011 and was responsible for worldwide government affairs activities for UPS in over 220 countries and territories. She managed a global team of over 80 government affairs and strategic communications professionals. In a short time, she strengthened UPS growth and competitiveness, including successfully advocating for comprehensive tax reform; enhancing network efficiencies through infrastructure investments; securing alternative fuel credits in support of sustainability; working to modernize trade agreements and customs processes; leveling the playing field with postal networks; facilitating UPS Flight Forward certification; and advocating for laws that promote equity and justice in the workplace.
Prior to joining UPS, Laura served in both the public and private sectors. She was managing director and head of International Government Affairs at Citigroup and vice president for Global Public Policy with Time Warner.
In her government career, Laura served as a trade negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in the negotiation of China’s entry to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the WTO Financial Services Agreement and the WTO Basic Telecommunications Agreement. She also served as a diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service from 1990-1997, including serving as consular/economic officer in Bogota, Colombia and then at the American Embassy in Kigali, Rwanda. In Rwanda, she led evacuation efforts during the outbreak of civil war and returned as political advisor to U.S. forces providing humanitarian relief in the post-conflict environment. In a recent TED Talk, Laura describes that first-hand account and the importance of advocating for positive change.
Laura currently serves as co-chair of the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA). She is also a member of the Board of UNHCR USA and previously served as a U.S. government appointed delegate for the APEC Business Advisory Council. Laura is a member of the board of several U.S. business associations and non-profits, including serving on the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital.
Laura graduated summa cum laude from Loyola University with a Bachelor’s degree in political science and history. As a Truman Scholar, she also graduated summa cum laude from Georgetown University with a Master of Science degree in foreign service in international economics and business diplomacy.
Heather Lanigan is the Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa at the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), where she is responsible for developing the agency’s strategies, assistance activities, and innovative partnerships throughout the region. In addition to her regional responsibilities, she also leads USTDA’s Global Telecommunications Sector Team.
In her tenure at USTDA, Ms. Lanigan previously served as the Country Manager for the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and Eurasia, and for South Asia. Ms. Lanigan also served as the Economic Transition Coordinator for the U.S. Department of State’s policy and programming assistance in Egypt, Libya, Syria, and Tunisia.
Dr. Acha Leke is a Senior Partner in McKinsey’s Johannesburg office Chairman of McKinsey’s Africa practice, and a member of McKinsey’s Shareholders Council – its global governance board. He started his career at McKinsey & Company as a Summer Associate in South Africa in 1998. He rejoined the Firm in Atlanta in 1999 and transferred back to Johannesburg in 2002 to help expand the Firm’s activities across Sub- Saharan Africa. Acha relocated to Lagos in 2010 to open up the Firm’s newly established office in Nigeria and returned to South Africa in 2014. He leads the Firm’s Private Equity Practice in Africa and is a member of the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) Council. Until December 2018, he led the Firm’s Public and Social Sector Practice in Africa and was also the Senior Partner in charge of Global Recruiting for McKinsey worldwide.
Acha serves governments, multinational, and private sector institutions across Africa on issues of economic development, tax administration, growth strategies, holistic transformations, and investment decisions. He has worked across over 20 African countries to date.
Prior to McKinsey, Acha worked as a part-time Consultant on novel techniques to linearize High Power Amplifiers for wireless applications, while completing a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. He also received an M.S. in Electrical Engineering and an M.S. in Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management from Stanford University, as well as a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering summa cum laude, with a minor in Economics, from the Georgia Institute of Technology where he graduated as Valedictorian (first Black Valedictorian in the School’s history) and was elected to Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu
Acha is a co-founder and member of the Global Advisory Council of the African Leadership Academy, a co-educational boarding school which aims to develop the next generation of African leaders. He is also a co-founder of the African Leadership Network, a network of the current generation of African leaders who aspire to bring prosperity to the Continent. He is a World Economic Forum (WEF) Young Global Leader Alumni (2008), and has received numerous recognitions including Africa’s Young Investment Professional of the year (Africa Investor, 2008); Top 40 men under 40 in South Africa (Destiny Man, 2010); Top 10 Youngest Power Men in Africa (Forbes, 2011); 50 Most Influential Africans (Africa Report, 2012, 2019; Jeune Afrique, 2018); 100 Most Influential Africans (New African, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016; Jeune Afrique, 2019); Top 20 next generation Francophone Africans (Forbes, 2013); Top 40 under 40 in Nigeria (Business Day, 2013); Top 20 Rising Stars in Africa (Euromoney, 2014).
He served on the WEF’s Global Future Council on Economic Growth and Social Inclusion for 2 years, after having served for 8 years on the Global Agenda Council for Africa; he also served on ONE’s Africa Policy Advisory Board. He is a member the Lagos Business School Advisory Board, and of President Kagame’s African Union (AU) Reform Steering Committee. He co-authored McKinsey’s highly acclaimed series of Lions on the Move reports and the latest book Africa’s Business Revolution: How to Succeed in the World’s Next Big Growth Market. He is regularly featured in various media (CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, Economist, FT, Wall Street Journal, Jeune Afrique, Harvard Business Review, etc.).
Acha is from Cameroon, and is fluent in both English and French.
Florizelle (Florie) Liser is the third President and CEO of CCA. Ms. Liser brings expertise and an extensive network on trade and Africa to her new role, along with a strong track record of working with the private sector to translate policy into action. She is the first woman to lead the Council since its founding in 1993.
Ms. Liser joined CCA from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), where she was the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa since 2003. At USTR, she led trade and investment policy towards 49 sub-Saharan African nations and oversaw implementation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
Previously, Ms. Liser served as Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Industry, Market Access, and Telecommunications from 2000-2003. She also served as Senior Trade Policy Advisor in the Office of International Transportation and Trade at the Department of Transportation from 1987-2000; worked as a Director in USTR’s Office of GATT Affairs, and served as an Associate Fellow at the Overseas Development Council (ODC) from 1975-1980.
Currently, she is a co-chair of the Advisory Council for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and a member of the Sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee for the Export-Import Bank (EXIM). Previously, she served as a Board member for the Women in International Trade (WIIT). Ms. Liser holds a M.A. in International Economics from Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a B.A. in International Relations and Political Science from Dickinson College.
Florizelle (Florie) Liser is the third President and CEO of CCA. Ms. Liser brings expertise and an extensive network on trade and Africa to her new role, along with a strong track record of working with the private sector to translate policy into action. She is the first woman to lead the Council since its founding in 1993.
Rodney MacAlister is CEO and Co-Founder of Monetizing Gas Africa Inc. a “Midstream” company that develops, invests in and plans to operate natural gas infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa. “MGA” places its emphasis on LNG and gas to power projects with hybrid options designed for the Energy Transition whereby cleaner, versatile gas makes renewable energy non-intermittent while aiding decarbonization. MacAlister has served as General Manager of VAALCO Energy in Gabon (oil production, 2011-2014); MD of the Africa Middle Market Fund (Private Equity, 2008-2011); CEO of the US African Development Foundation in the G.W. Bush Administration (USG development agency, 2006-2007); Independent consultant in operating in conflict zones (“Business & Conflict”, 2003-2006); and various positions at ConocoPhillips, 1978-2003, much of it in Africa, including 13 years in Business Development, and GM in the Congo (Brazzaville). He also headed Conoco’s Washington office for 8 years. MacAlister holds BA and MA degrees in International Relations from the University of Redlands, California, and spent a year of post-graduate work at The Sorbonne, Paris. He is an avid explorer, photographer, musician and reader, and a frequent conference speaker. He currently resides in Cape Town, South Africa, where Monetizing Gas Africa is headquartered.
Carl Manlan is Vice President, Social Impact for Central Europe, Middle East, and Africa (CEMEA) at Visa. In this role, Carl works closely with the CEMEA Leadership Team to implement a Social Impact strategy for the region. Prior to VISA, Carl served at Ecobank Foundation as Chief Operating Officer responsible for 33 African countries. Before Ecobank Foundation, he held various leadership roles at AUDA-NEPAD, Economic Commission for Africa, The Global Fund, and UNDP. Carl holds a Master of Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School. He is Mo Ibrahim Foundation Fellow and an Aspen Institute New Voces Senior Fellow.
Leslie Marbury joined Prosper Africa as the Acting Chief Operating Officer in July 2021. Most recently, she completed a tour as the Mission Director in Rwanda and Burundi, where she led the development of a new Country Development Cooperation Strategy, established a leadership initiative to empower staff to achieve greater development results, and led the response to COVID-19. Her previous posts include Honduras, Bolivia, South Africa and Burma. Throughout her time with the U.S. government, she has worked with governments, the private sector and civil society to improve economic governance, private sector investment, trade, the financial sector, environmental policy, agricultural development, and food security. Leslie is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service. She gained her formative experience as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana and received her Masters degree in Environmental Economics and Policy from the University of Georgia.
David Marchick is DFC’s Chief Operating Officer. In this role, he manages agency policies, oversees business operations, and coordinates strategy and priorities for DFC.
Prior to joining DFC, Mr. Marchick served as Director of the non-profit, non-partisan Center for Presidential Transition where he worked with the Biden Transition Team, senior officials in the White House and engaged with more than 100 federal agencies on transition planning efforts. He also served as an adjunct professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.
Mr. Marchick spent 12 years at the Carlyle Group as Managing Director and as a Member of Carlyle’s Management Committee. In these roles, Mr. Marchick led Carlyle’s regulatory and government affairs, communications and branding, events, research, and sustainability functions, and had broad responsibility for engaging with Carlyle’s investors. He launched Carlyle’s sustainability initiatives and helped drive both the firm’s and the industry’s diversity efforts. Mr. Marchick was part of the core team to take Carlyle public and helped manage Carlyle’s public reporting and quarterly earnings reports.
Prior to Carlyle, Mr. Marchick was a partner at and Vice Chair of the International Practice at Covington, where his practice focused on international trade, CFIUS, transportation, and legislative matters. Mr. Marchick also held several positions within the Clinton Administration including Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Transportation Affairs, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Trade Policy at the State Department, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Trade Development. He also served in the White House, where he worked on NAFTA and the WTO Agreements, and at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
He serves on the Board of Trustees for the Holocaust Memorial Museum, appointed by President Obama, and reappointed by President Trump.
Mr. Marchick holds a law degree from the George Washington University, a Masters in Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. from the University of California at San Diego.
Julie Monaco is Global Head of Citi’s Public Sector Group. Her team provides a range of services including transaction banking, capital markets, and advisory in 160 countries to central banks, governments, supranationals, and other public sector entities. She serves on the Banking, Capital Markets and Advisory’s Diversity Committee, Citi Women’s Senior Steering Committee and leads the committee on driving economic progress through gender equality. Prior to Citi, Julie spent six years at JPMorgan Chase and held senior positions at Deutsche Bank and Bankers Trust. She holds an MBA from New York University and a BA from George Washington University.
Todd Moss is founder and executive director of the Energy for Growth Hub. He is also a nonresident fellow at the Center for Global Development, at the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute, and at the Colorado School of Mines’ Payne Institute. Previously, Todd served as U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, as chief operating officer of CGD, and has worked at the London School of Economics, Georgetown University, the World Bank, and the EIU. He is a widely recognized expert on energy, development finance, and foreign policy who has testified to the U.S. Congress eleven times. Todd is the author of African Development: Making sense of the issues and actors (eds. 2007, 2011, 2018) and Oil to Cash: Fighting the resource curse with cash transfers (2015). He holds a PhD and MSc from the University of London’s SOAS and a BA from Tufts University.
In the early mornings, Todd also writes international political thrillers.
Dr. Gerardine MUKESHIMANA is the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources of the Republic of Rwanda. As a Minister she is responsible for oversight of all agricultural and livestock related activities in the Country, charged with new policy formulation, oversight of implementation of existing policies, work with other Ministries and Development Partners on issues that affect the agricultural sector especially land use and land management, trade, commerce, infrastructure, gender and youth employment. Prior to that, Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana worked at International Livestock Institute, MINAGRI, and the National University of Rwanda. She holds both PhD and Masters in Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology from Michigan State University.
Corporate lawyer turned entrepreneur, Monica Musonda is Founder & CE of Java Foods, a Zambian based food processing/FMCG company. Java Foods first product was “eeZee Instant Noodles”, which has become Zambia’s leading instant noodle brand. Java Foods also manufactures and distributes Supa Cereal (a fortified instant cereal/porridge) for school feeding programmes and emergency relief programmes. She is responsible for Java Foods success in Zambia and it is now exporting products into Zimbabwe & Botswana.
Monica is a dual qualified English solicitor and Zambian advocate with over 16 years post qualification experience. She begun her legal career working for the Attorney General of Zambia, where she advised on the privatization of state-owned enterprises. She then went on to work in private practice for Clifford Chance (London) and Edward Nathan (Johannesburg – where she rose to the rank of partner). She also worked as Counsel at International Finance Corporation in Washington DC and for the Dangote Group as Director Legal and Corporate Affairs. She was directly involved in Dangote Cement’s $13bn listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange as well as assisted the Group raise various debt instruments in the international market (in excess of $3bn). Monica was the project lead responsible for the Group’s $400m investment into Zambia to build the country’s largest integrated cement plant. Her experience working with one of Africa’s most successful entrepreneurs gave her the impetus to start her own business and in 2012, she moved back to Zambia and set up Java Foods.
Monica currently serves as non-executive director on a number of boards including Airtel Networks Zambia Plc & Zambia Breweries (where she is chair). She is a nutrition advocate and sits on both the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Lead Group and the Global Advisory Board for SUN Business Network. She is the recipient of the 2017 African Agribusiness Entrepreneur of the Year award, which is an award conferred annually to entrepreneurs who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in agricultural input and value addition in Africa. She is a 2013 Young Global Leader (World Economic Forum) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow. Forbes Magazine and Africa Investor named her as one of the leading Young Power Women in Business in Africa in 2013 and 2014 respectively. She is one of the few Zambian women involved in manufacturing/agro-processing at a scalable level.
Bramuel Mwalo is the Founder and CEO of xetova, a
technology start-up that was borne from the desire to solve
a kink in the procurement process. xetova uses tech-led
innovations and initiatives to transform B2B supply chains in the context of Africa and its unique-placed challenges. xetova’s aims to transform supply chain management processes to be less complex, a natural value and growth
driver for Africa’s businesses.
Bramuel’s journey to excellence has been fueled with an unrelenting passion for empowering people and organizations to drive impact. Leveraging the unique lessons learnt from the inside out by establishing Kountable, a San Francisco based company that saw 250 SMEs access financing in the continent, he continuously innovates winning strategies for African markets and local businesses to scale.
Bramuel’s honors include being recognized as a World Economic Forum Uplink contributor and an MIT Solver fellow due to the exemplary work championed through xetova.
Pascal Mwele has over 15 years of experience in supporting national and multi-country technology projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. He currently serving as a Chief of Party in Palladium, where he leads a CDC-funded health informatics project in Kenya. Previously, he served as the Regional Program Director on a USAID-funded project covering the West and the Eastern Africa regions. The project worked with regional organizations to strengthen national health data governance and promoted technology-enabled cross-border public health response collaboration while supporting cross-border continuity of care using person-centered technologies. He has a background in Computer Science, Technology Management and Project Management.
Dr. Nkengasong Director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prior to his current position, he served as the acting deputy principal director (acting) of the Center for Global Health, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC), and Chief of the International Laboratory Branch, Division of Global HIV and TB., U.S CDC. He received a Masters in Tropical Biomedical Science at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium and a Doctorate in Medical Sciences (Virology) from the University of Brussels, Belgium. He has received numerous awards for his work including Sheppard Award, the William Watson Medal of Excellence, the highest recognition awarded by CDC. He is also recipient of the Knight of Honour Medal by the Government of Cote d’Ivoire, was knighted in 2017 as the Officer of Loin by the President of Senegal, H.E. Macky Sall, and Knighted in November 2018 by the government of Cameroon for his significant contributions to public health. He is an adjunct professor at the Emory School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA. He serves on several international advisory boards including the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Initiative – CEPI, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) among others. He has authored over 250 peer-review articles in international journals and published several book chapters.
Patricia Obozuwa was appointed as the Vice President, Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability, Africa at The Coca-Cola Company in December 2020. In this role, she leads a team that oversees Government Affairs, thought leadership, media relations, corporate communications and sustainability for the company across the African continent. Prior to this role, Patricia was the Chief Communications & Public Affairs Officer, GE Africa (since 2012). She founded GE Africa’s corporate social responsibility platform, GE Kujenga and established the ‘GE Lagos Garage’ a hub for advanced manufacturing skills development that has produced over 2,400 graduates in Nigeria to date. She was also the founding co-hub leader of the GE Women’s Network for Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to joining GE, she was Head, External Relations, Nigeria and Corporate Communication Leader, Sub-Saharan Africa at Procter & Gamble (P&G) Before joining P&G in 2005, Patricia was the Arts and Sponsorship Manager for the British Council in Nigeria. Patricia is a Non-Executive Director of The Water Trust, a US-Headquartered Non-Profit Organization operating in East Africa. She teaches teenagers at her local church. She is passionate about gender balance and telling Africa’s ‘full’ story.
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the seventh Director-General of the WTO. She took office on 1 March 2021, becoming the first woman and the first African to serve as Director-General.
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a global finance expert, an economist and international development professional with over 30 years of experience working in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America. Dr Okonjo-Iweala was formerly Chair of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Since its creation in 2000, Gavi has immunized 760 million children globally and saved thirteen million lives. She was previously on the Boards of Standard Chartered PLC and Twitter Inc. She was recently appointed as African Union (AU) Special Envoy to mobilise international financial support for the fight against COVID-19 and WHO Special Envoy for Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator. She is a skilled negotiator and has brokered numerous agreements which have produced win-win outcomes in negotiations. She is regarded as an effective consensus builder and an honest broker enjoying the trust and confidence of governments and other stakeholders.Previously, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala twice served as Nigeria's Finance Minister (2003-2006 and 2011-2015) and briefly acted as Foreign Minister in 2006, the first woman to hold both positions. She distinguished herself by carrying out major reforms which improved the effectiveness of these two Ministries and the functioning of the government machinery. She had a 25-year career at the World Bank as a development economist, rising to the No. 2 position of Managing Director, Operations. As a development economist and Finance Minister, Dr Okonjo-Iweala steered her country through various reforms ranging from macroeconomic to trade, financial and real sector issues.
She is a firm believer in the power of trade to lift developing countries out of poverty and assist them to achieve robust economic growth and sustainable development. As Finance Minister, she was involved in trade negotiations with other West African countries and contributed to the overhaul of Nigeria's trade policy enabling it to enhance its competitiveness. She has closely followed developments at the WTO, as she believes that a strengthened multilateral trading system is in the interests of all countries, particularly least developed and African countries.
Oluyemi Oluleke Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, is the Vice President of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria. Born on March 8 1957 at Creek Hospital,Lagos, Yemi is a professor of law and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. He is married to Oludolapo Osinbajo (nee Soyode), granddaughter of the late sage and statesman, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. They are blessed with three children.
Yemi’s early years in primary school and secondary schools at
Corona School Lagos, and Igbobi College, Yaba where he was the
winner of the State Merit Award (1971); the School Prize for English
Oratory (1972) and several others.
Thereafter, he studied for his undergraduate degree at the University of Lagos between 1975-1978 when he obtained a Second Class Upper Degree in Law. Here, he also won the Graham-Douglas Prize for Commercial Law. In 1979, he completed the mandatory one year professional training at the Nigerian Law School whereon he was admitted to practice as a Barrister and Solicitor of Nigeria's
Supreme Court. In 1980, he attended the London School of
Economics & Political Science, where he obtained a Master of Law
An accomplished scholar, teacher, lawyer and administrator, Yemi is
one of the nation’s leading experts on the Law of Evidence, National and Regional Corporate Commercial Laws and Public Law.
In 1994, he became a Professor of Law following which he was
appointed Head of Department of Public Law, University of Lagos.
Between 1999 and 2007, Osinbajo was Member of Cabinet of the
Lagos State Government where he served as Attorney-General and
Commissioner for Justice.
In 2007, Osinbajo became Senior Partner at Simmons Cooper
Partners, Nigeria (a commercial law practice).
After the formation of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Prof. Yemi Osinbajo was tasked with other notable Nigerians in the party with the development of a manifesto for the new political party. The highlights of the Roadmap included a free meal school plan, and a conditional cash transfer to millions of the poorest Nigerians.
On 17 December 2014, the presidential candidate of the All
Progressives Congress, retired General Muhammadu Buhari,
announced Osinbajo as his running mate and vice-presidential
candidate for the 2015 general elections. The presidential ticket won the election and were both sworn in on the 29th of May 2015 for the first term. Again, in February 2019, the Buhari/ Osinbajo ticket won the Presidential Elections for a second term in office starting May 29, 2019.
Reform & Charity Work
While in public office as Attorney General, Lagos, Prof Osinbajo is
credited with undertaking far-reaching significant judicial reform in
Lagos State, addressing critical areas as judges' recruitment,
remuneration, training and discipline. In addition, he addressed
access to justice for the poor by establishing appropriate institutions in the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) and the Citizens Mediation Centre (CMC). Yemi founded the Orderly Society Trust (OST) involved in an Excel Literacy Programme that aims to provide children in public primary schools with the same level of training in English as is available to their counterparts in private schools.
He is an ordained Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
Dan Phipps is the Chief Executive Officer of Red River Foods, a leading global supplier of nuts, seeds and dried fruits. Through his leadership, Red River has experienced tremendous growth in its global infrastructure, CSR activities and contributions, product offerings and volume. Through 8 offices and 4 processing facilities, Red River Foods sources 50 products from more than 25 countries. Red River Foods supplies a world-wide customer base with high-quality, ethically sourced cashews, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, dried apricots and more.
Dan wholeheartedly believes that a successful business model means a commitment to responsible business practices that result in a sustainable supply chain: promoting human rights, protecting the environment, and supporting ethical business conduct. Since joining Red River, Dan has worked to share his strategic vision for the industry with all stakeholders in order to build a truly sustainable future of food. In line with Red River’s mission statement to provide expert market insights, Dan recognized the need to have direct access to cashew producers and the raw cashew nut trade in Africa and set up a company in Ghana in 2012. Since then, we have expanded our African operations to Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, and Tanzania; in these countries not only do we buy directly from cashew producers and communities, but we also work to help improve their productivity and thus incomes. In 2021, Red River was approved for a $50 million co-investment project with USAID’s West Africa Trade and Investment Hub, to, among other activities, construct a cutting-edge cashew processing unity in Cote d’Ivoire as a part of its West Africa Cashew Development Initiative. This initiative is also receiving support from Prosper Africa.
Gina M. Raimondo serves as the 40th U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris on March 3, 2021. As Secretary of Commerce, she is focused on a simple but vital mission — to spur good-paying jobs, empower entrepreneurs to innovate and grow, and help American workers and businesses compete. Secretary Raimondo was formerly the 75th Governor of Rhode Island and its first woman governor. She grew up in Smithfield in a tight-knit Italian-American family, the youngest of Joseph and Josephine Raimondo's three children. Her family history and her childhood experiences shaped her core beliefs in hard work, opportunity for all, and the importance of financial security. After arriving from Italy at age 14, Secretary Raimondo’s grandfather learned English studying in the Providence Public Library and later lived with her family. Her mother was a homemaker, who dedicated her life to teaching her children about the importance of hard work and determination. Her father was a World War II Navy veteran from a family of butchers and became the first in his family to attend college thanks to the GI Bill. After working for 26 years in manufacturing, Joseph lost his job along with hundreds of others when the factory moved overseas, and the Raimondo family lost their sense of financial security. As a teenager, Secretary Raimondo rode a public bus to LaSalle Academy in Providence, where she was valedictorian of her graduating class. She went on to graduate with honors from Harvard, where she was recognized as the top economics student in her class. She won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University where she earned a doctorate and met her future husband Andy Moffit. She later graduated from Yale Law School. Secretary Raimondo clerked for US District Judge Kimba Wood and served as founding employee and senior vice president at Village Ventures. Wanting to start her own business and be close to family, she returned home to Rhode Island and founded Point Judith Capital, a venture capital firm. In November 2010, Secretary Raimondo was elected to serve as General Treasurer of Rhode Island, receiving the largest number of votes of any statewide candidate. When she took office as General Treasurer, she tackled the state's $7 billion unfunded pension liability. Secretary Raimondo was sworn into office as Governor in January 2015 and won a second term in 2018. She also served as chair of the Democratic Governors’ Association in 2019. During her time as Governor, Secretary Raimondo kick-started the state’s economy and made record investments in infrastructure, education, and job training. She focused tirelessly on creating economic opportunities and good-paying jobs for all Rhode Islanders. Early in her administration, she launched an innovative workforce development program that develops business-led partnerships to address unique workforce challenges. Secretary Raimondo is married to Andy Moffit and they have two children, Ceci and Tommy, and a rescue dog, Sparky.
Jirair leads government and multilateral engagement for a portfolio that includes global health, Africa, Asia, Central America and Carribean. Prior to joining Gilead, he served as Legislative Director to Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), where he led the foreign policy and public health portfolio and advised on legislative issues that included Ryan White, the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). Jirair has extensive knowledge of global health financing, development policy, and multilateral donors, including the Global Fund and UN. Through his various positions, Jirair has extensive experience in negotiations with foreign governments, fundraising, and developing strategic partnerships and coalitions with a wide range of stakeholders including government, private sector, and civil society. Later, he held positions at amfAR, APHA, Center for Democracies in the Americas, and Physicians for Human Rights. Based in Washington, D.C., Jirair has a master’s degree in public health from Boston University School of Public Health. He is currently a doctoral student at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, with a specialization in health diplomacy and global health governance.
Camille Richardson is a tenured Senior Foreign Service officer with the U.S. Commercial Service. She began her career in government with the International Trade Administration (ITA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce in 1993. She became an accredited diplomat with the U.S. Commercial Service in 1998 and has served six successive tours of duty in Miami, FL; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Nairobi, Kenya; Mumbai, India, and Sao Paulo, Brazil facilitating commercial partnerships between U.S. and local companies. She was recently appointed as Commerce ITA’s new Deputy Assistant Secretary for MEA region.
A native of Washington, D.C., Camille earned a B.A. in International Relations from Brown University in 1989, and an M.A. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins/SAIS in 1993. She speaks Portuguese and Portunhol along with a bit of Hindi, Swahili and French.
Dr. David Ripin is the Executive Vice President of Infectious Diseases, and the Chief Science Officer at the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). In these roles, he oversees CHAI’s work on increasing access to medicines and diagnostics for HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and other disease areas through the use of sustainable market interventions. CHAI’s Access program has successfully implemented agreements with pharmaceutical companies to lower the price of key drugs and diagnostics by up to 80 percent, among other achievements. He also oversees the strategy and work of CHAI’s Malaria program.
Dr. Ripin joined CHAI in 2007. Prior to assuming his current role, he led CHAI’s Pharmaceutical Sciences Team, which conducts research and development work. These efforts focus on reducing the cost of key drugs through recommending formulation, manufacturing process, and sourcing improvements, as well as conducting the transfer of these processes to manufacturing partners.
Dr. Ripin is actively involved in setting international priorities for HIV drug optimization work, including organizing the Conference on Antiretroviral Drug Optimization in 2009. Before joining CHAI, he worked at Pfizer, Inc. for 10 years as part of the research and development group, focusing on the commercialization and manufacturing of drug candidates.
Dr. Ripin received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Asian Studies from Washington University in St. Louis and obtained his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Harvard University.
Director of the Gender, Poverty and Social Policy Division that leads United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)’s work on Poverty, Social Protection, Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, Employment, Youth Migration, Urbanization and various other aspects of Social Development. The Division leads the research and policy support to African member States in the above-mentioned areas of work, as well as in responding to COVID-19 and putting in place measures to build back better. The work of the ECA in gender equality and women’s empowerment falls under her stewardship. She has led the development of the ground breaking on the African Gender and Development Index, that measures African member States level of implementing the regional and Global agreements that they are signatory to.
Her areas of expertise include policy research, strategic planning, strategic partnerships advocacy, inter-governmental negotiations, organizational development and management administration. Thoko has over the last 40 years held leadership positions in various institutions. She is the former Board Chair of UNESCO International Institute for Capacity-Building in Africa and Akina Mama wa Afrika, and a member of the Union of International Associations. Prior to joining ECA, she worked as a consultant in gender equality and women’s empowerment, organisational development and social development, also as Executive Director/ Founder of the Zimbabwe Women’s Resource Centre and Network, a non-governmental organization. She worked at senior levels in the Government of Zimbabwe.
As a gender expert she has country, regional, continental and international experience. She works extensively on women’s rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment. Her work on the African Continent has made her aware of the critical dimensions around gender equality and women’s empowerment in different sectors.
Stephen is a founding shareholder of Aspen. His responsibilities include strategic positioning of Aspen as a leading multinational pharmaceutical company, global transactions, geographic expansion and product diversification of Aspen in developed and Emerging Markets.
Papa Amadou SARR is the Minister, General Delegate for Women and Youth Entrepreneurship at the Presidency of the Republic of Senegal.
Before his appointment as General Delegate in 2017, he served as the General Director for the Financial Sector and Competitiveness at the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Planning from April 2017 to October 2017. He also acted as Senior Technical Advisor to the Minister of Economy, Finance and Planning from August 2015 to March 2017.
Before his return to Senegal, Papa Amadou worked as Senior Program Manager for Africa at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, from April 2013 to July 2015. Papa Amadou was Advisor for Regional Cooperation for Africa and MENA regions and Research Associate for Africa at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development between 2008 and 2013.
Papa Amadou graduated from Sciences-Po Paris, Sorbonne University and the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences. He also holds a Certificate in Public Financial Management from the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Michele Schimpp is the Deputy Associate Administrator for the Office of International Trade where she is responsible for helping U.S. small businesses to grow by selling in the trillion-dollar global marketplace and reaching new customers, 95% of which live outside of the United States. Schimpp has extensive experience managing U.S. government organizations and start-up operations related to job creation, competitiveness, and economic growth.
Since joining the SBA in 2015, Schimpp served as Deputy Associate Administrator for Investment and Innovation, and as SBA’s Assistant Administrator for Diversity, Inclusion and Civil Rights.
Previously, with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. State Department, and the U.S. House of Representatives, Schimpp led programs and partnerships with the private sector, foundations, universities, federal and state agencies, as well as foreign legislatures and governments.
Schimpp has a M.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.A. in International Affairs from George Washington University.
Olaf Schmidt is Manager, Tourism, Real Estate, Retail, Manufacturing, Health, Education, Africa Region at IFC (International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group).
He has done investments across all continents over the past 15+ years. His previous responsibilities as Global Sector Lead for Tourism, Retail & Property and Hub Lead for MAS (Manufacturing, Agribusiness, Services) in Western Europe included helping build business with European sponsors across emerging markets and providing global coverage of investments with a variety of instruments including equity, mezzanine finance, and debt.
Before joining IFC in 2003, he worked in strategy consulting with A.T. Kearney in France and Germany and spent two years with OTF Group (formerly Monitor Country Competitiveness) in Africa.
Olaf holds a Business Administration degree from ESSEC, France and Mannheim University, Germany, and a MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Justin Siberell oversees Bechtel’s relations for the company’s Europe, Africa, and Middle East region. As regional president, he supports Bechtel’s four global business units in delivering projects, building partnerships, and pursuing new opportunities. He is based in the company’s London office.
Justin joined Bechtel in 2020 following a 27- year career in the U.S. Foreign Service, serving most recently as United States Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain. He served as Principal Officer of the U.S. Consulate General in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and completed earlier postings at U.S. diplomatic missions in Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, and Panama. He is a graduate of the State Department’s Arabic language field school in Tunisia.
In Washington, Justin held key roles in the State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism, including leading the bureau as Acting Coordinator for Counterterrorism. He also served in the State Department Executive Secretariat, the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, and on the staff of the National Security Council at the White House.
Justin was raised in California and holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of California at Berkeley. He and his wife Arnavaz have three children.
Dr. Jeff Sturchio is a global health thought leader and trusted counselor for senior leaders in the private sector, multilateral organizations, governments, NGOS and foundations. Jeff joined Rabin Martin in September 2011 as Senior Partner and became President and CEO in July 2014. He is former President and CEO of the Global Health Council. Before joining the Council in 2009, Dr. Sturchio was vice president of Corporate Responsibility at Merck & Co. Inc., and president of The Merck Company Foundation. He is currently also chairman of the U.S. Corporate Council on Africa, chairman of the BroadReach Institute for Training and Education and a member of the boards of ACHAP, Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, TB and Malaria and the Science History Institute.
Paul Sullivan, Acrow’s President – International Business, manages its business interests outside of the United States. Sullivan has enjoyed a long career working in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, focusing over the past two decades on bridge infrastructure projects, including those requiring complex structured finance. Sullivan currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) in Washington D.C., as well as on the Board of Princeton in Africa (PiAF). Mr. Sullivan is also the Vice Chair of the United States Trade Representative's Trade Advisory Committee on Africa (TACA) and is a member of the Export-Import Bank of the United States Sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee (SAAC).
Before joining Acrow, Sullivan practiced as a corporate attorney in the United States and Latin America and served as a judicial clerk for the appellate court in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and for Honorable Justice Hugh O’Flaherty of the Supreme Court of Ireland. He earned his Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Duquesne University in the State of Pennsylvania and his Master’s of Legal Letters (LL.M.) from King’s College London.
Admassu Tadesse is an international banker and business leader with experience at board and executive-levels globally and in Africa. Since he joined the Bank in 2012, Mr. Tadesse has launched new business operations, centres of excellence in risk management and treasury as well as critical institutional reforms which have led TDB to transform its ownership, geographical scope and organizational structure, achieve investment-grade ratings, grow its assets from USD 1bn to over USD 7.2bn, and drive higher impact in the 22 Member States it serves. Previously, he has served as Executive Vice President at the Development Bank of Southern Africa, and senior advisor and specialist with various funds and international organizations. Mr. Tadesse was recognized as ‘African Banker of the Year’ in 2019 at the African Bankers Awards. In 2020, TDB was honored as African Bank of the Year.
Mr Moses Tshetlhane is the Deputy Director Secretary in the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security. He holds a BSc degree in Physics and Environmental Sciences from the University of Botswana and MSc in Mineral and Energy Economics from Curtin University of Technology in Australia. He has worked for Government for 20 years and has been with the Ministry for 11 years. He has been Deputy Director since July 2018 and is responsible for Minerals Policy matters and Investment Promotion. He is a Board Member of Pelegano Village Industries, a non-profit Company Limited by Guarantee.
Jayashree Watal worked at the WTO in the area of intellectual property from 2001 to 2019, contributing inter alia to work on TRIPS and public health. She facilitated the negotiations that led up to the adoption of the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health and those that resulted in a new TRIPS article 31bis. Prior to joining the WTO, she represented the government of India in the TRIPS negotiations from 1989-90, contributing substantially to the development of the text. She has been a member of the Governance Board of the Medicines Patent Pool since 2015. She holds several part-time teaching and consulting positions to assist on TRIPS-related issues.
Christopher Whitfield works at Gilead Sciences, Inc as Executive Director and Regional General Manager of Africa in the Global Patient Solutions (GPS) organization. Prior to Gilead, Christopher founded several Healthcare related companies over a 13-year period. His entrepreneurial focus was dedicated to the Global expansion of the African market using innovative patient centered technologies and integrating global technologies for application on the continent. Past partners include Eli Lilly and Company, Amgen, General Electric, Hitachi, SOBI, and Thermo Fisher to name a few.
Prior to his entrepreneurial focus, Mr Whitfield was CEO and General Manager of Eli Lilly South Africa and held various leadership roles at the parent company of Eli Lilly and Company over his 17 year Eli Lilly and Company career. Christopher has developed a powerful understanding effective product commercialization and access of global products and brands supported by focused, actionable and strategic plans executed with an essential mandate that the patient is at the core of everything we do.
Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1966, Christopher received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Wabash College in 1988 and completed his MBA at Duke University, Fuqua School of Business, Durham, NC in 2000. In 2006 completed a fellowship at the University of Cape Town / Duke UNIVERSITY, Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy Centre for Leadership and Public Values. Christopher is a life-long learner and continues to immerse himself in educational opportunities most recently achieving Agile Professional Certification through the International Consortium for Agile (ICAgile) in December of 2019 and is a member of the IOD international Institute of Directors. Chris is a keen basketball player and golfer who enjoys cycling and reading in his spare time. Most importantly Christopher is the proud father of three adult children and celebrating 30 years with his wife and soulmate.
Marijke Wijnroks became Chief of Staff at the Global Fund in 2013. From June 2017 through February 2018, she served as Interim Executive Director. In her position she has a broad responsibility and a particular focus on gender and human rights and on engaging with all partners in the cause of global health. Before joining the Global Fund Marijke Wijnroks was Ambassador for HIV/AIDS and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, and also Deputy Director of the Social Development Department, in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands. In that position she has overseen policy and strategy development in areas related to HIV and AIDS, sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender, education and civil society. She earned a medical degree from Maastricht University in the Netherlands and a degree in tropical health and medicine from the Institute for Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium.
Mr. Yusufu is Founder, CEO, President and Chairman of the Board of Fayus, Inc., a California based premier specialty food manufacturing and distribution company for traditional African and Caribbean food products established in 1992. Using his business acumen and entrepreneurial skills, Mr. Yusufu transformed the company from a small business into a diversified global food distribution network serving clients worldwide. Its products are manufactured and packaged under strict quality standards, in accordance with FDA guidelines, in Sacramento, California and distributed under its Ola-Ola® brand to a diverse client base across 5 continents in the U.S and the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia.
Mr. Yusufu’s long term vision for overcoming short term setbacks has driven new product development and innovation through reliance on science and technology and entry into new markets, leading to double digit revenue growth annually and impressive bottom-line profits for the company while also stimulating local economies by creating employment and encouraging entrepreneurship for smallholder farmers, women and youth across the globe. Under the direction of Mr. Yusufu, the business continues to enjoy impressive growth and is currently one of the largest wholesalers of African and Caribbean food products in the United States.
As Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr. Yusufu ensures the company adheres to good corporate governance and best business practices. He provides strategic direction for the company and establishes measurable goals to ensure sustainable growth for the company.
Mr. Yusufu possesses a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration (Finance and Banking) from San Francisco State University (1980); a Master of Public Administration degree in Public Policy Analysis and Administration from Loyola Marymount (1984). He has also attended several executive management courses at Pepperdine, Texas A&M, and Harvard.
Patricia de Lille was appointed as the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure by President Cyril Ramaphosa in May 2019.
Minister de Lille is a seasoned politician and public servant and has served in all three spheres of government since the first democratic parliament in 1994.
She has been fighting injustice for more than 45 years and was part of the team which led the constitutional negotiations and the team who drafted South Africa’s Constitution.
De Lille served as the Mayor of Cape Town for seven years where accountability and clean governance were the cornerstones of her term. She spearheaded progressive projects such as using infrastructure investment as a lever to spur economic growth, developed the transit-orientated development strategy and many other redress projects such as restitution to reverse the legacy of apartheid spatial planning.
In her latest role as the Minister of DPWI, her focus is to drive spatial and environmental justice and equality, to clamp down on corruption and ensure that public land and public buildings are used for public good. Her focus is also to drive infrastructure implementation as part of government economic recovery plan in a manner that will create the conditions for the private sector to contribute to the economy growth and create much-needed jobs for the people of South Africa.