Dr Remi Duyile
Convener, Legacy Global Summit | Founder, Legacy Premier Foundation
Remi Duyile is a seasoned Mentor, global transformational leader, business owner and an influence strategist who is passionate about helping people maximize their potentials. Remi’s unique value proposition is her ability to excel in Corporate America to the pinnacle of her career and transition to a successful serial entrepreneur with intentional impact.
She enjoys the support of her loving husband and friend of 28 years plus and their adorable grown children of repute.
Remi is a certified trainer, speaker and Coach. She is also a Les Brown Platinum Speaker, an author of the book titled “Perseverance the winning key to your destiny”
She has invested in herself in the area of human capital and personal development from a successful corporate executive who was the cynosure of eyes due to her commitment to mentorship and career growth of others to better serve the needs of individuals and business leaders in quest of growth and sustainability in their life journey.
Remi is a certified human behavior consultant with specialization in the DISC personality profile assessments for individuals, professionals, businesses and religious organizations.
Remi sits on several local and international boards in influential capacities for impact. She is a Member of the National Coalition of 100 Black women and Notable association. As a serial entrepreneur with social impact, she doubles up as President and CEO of Image Consulting Group and Founder of Legacy Premier Foundation in the USA.
Remi’s passion, dynamism, energy, and the power in her story are evident in all her engagements with her clients. As an Ambassador of Peace, She is so fired up to helping develop leaders with succession and transformational leadership mindset so they can fulfil purpose, pay it forward, and leave a legacy.
Remi currently serves as a commissioner in the great state of Maryland. She is also a professor of Finance at one of the leading universities in the United States of America.
Ambassador Albert Mudenda Muchanga
African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry
Ambassador Albert Mudenda Muchanga is currently African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry.
He previously worked in the Zambian Civil Service at home and abroad and as Deputy Executive Secretary of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
In his current position, he has provided strategic leadership in facilitating negotiation, conclusion and ratification of the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which entered into force on 30th May 2019 and whose operation phase was launched on 7th July, 2019.
In addition, Ambassador Muchanga has provided similar leadership on matters of trade, industrialisation, mining and customs cooperation. He works with ease at technical, professional, management, leadership and political levels.
Arshi Ayub Mohamed Zaveri
CEO, TrustWithTrade Group | Senior Advisor, Royal Family Office, United Arab Emirates
Ms. Arshi Ayub Zaveri is dedicated to 12+ years of professional experience (Royal Family offices of Abu Dhabi & Dubai) in active partnerships that necessitate sub-structuring of strategic initiations, economic & political management, business & financial aid along with overall assistance for the MENA & Asia Pacific. Has completed academic credentials in Public Policy Economics from University of Oxford.
CEO of Trust with Trade Group LLC (A UAE Company with 40 years of local experience, focused upon sovereign sponsorships / company restructuring / Supplies of O&G equipment / onshore & offshore Chemical Manufacturing, Mining assets, healthcare supplies, waste management & general trading). The group holding Is also deploying business advisory (all domains), capital investment, start up incubation & early mentoring for young entrepreneurs.
Director at Royal Family Office, of Abu Dhabi, UAE to promote bilateral trade and investments across 149 countries for the companies in the group portfolio.
Senior Advisor Royal Family Office, of Dubai, UAE to investment across Central & southern Asia, EU & USA.
International Mentor & Jury to Being She Movement to promote women empowerment & women enablement. (Breast cancer awareness / holistic healing/ Sustainability / cerebral equality).
Board Advisor for Global Mental Health Association (GMHA) to focus upon normalizing and create a community to support mental well-being.
Jury Member at IWoman Global (“Care for Farmer” Initiative, Empower & excellence awards).
Expert Council for G.World MENA, an online platform to facilitate alternative investments in the region (English & Arabic content for investors, 30M$ up portfolio).
The experience is varied and awarded by globally accredited institutions within several initiatives of Real Estate debt & equity structuring / Infrastructure development / Oil & Gas / Energy / Fintech & Blockchain / Education in the MENA region. Passionate about encouraging ventures of Social entrepreneurship, impact investing & women led startups.
Prof. Mathilde Mukantabana
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Rwanda to the United States of America
Professor Mathilde Mukantabana serves as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Rwanda to the United States of America, as well as non-resident Ambassador to Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina. Her ambassadorial responsibilities include advancing Rwandan policies and priorities abroad, championing Rwanda’s culture, history and economy, and leading/engaging Rwanda’s residential and professional communities throughout the U.S. In service to this role, she regularly works with elected and appointed leaders at the highest levels of governments, parliaments, secretariats, multilateral bodies, and global funding organizations.
Prior to her diplomatic career, Ambassador Mukantabana served in higher education as a tenured professor of History and as a lecturer in Social Work. Concurrent to her academic work in the United States and in Rwanda, she co-founded Friends of Rwanda Association (F.O.R.A), a nonprofit American relief organization launched in the wake of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda. She also serves on the Sonoma State University board of Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Prior to academia, she worked as a social worker for the California State Department of Health. Her expertise includes philanthropy, nonprofit organizational development, community building, community organizing, advocacy, cross-cultural/cross-sector education, volunteer management, and mentorship/team leadership.
Ambassador Mukantabana has extensive experience in designing and leading international conferences and speaking on issues that include genocide/ethnic conflict, conflict resolution, gender equity, education, health, workforce development, and economic and financial inclusion. She has been honored to present to diverse audiences at Ivy League Schools, global fora, multilateral convenings, congressional and parliamentary hearings, think tanks, international service clubs, and international film and arts festivals. She is also a published writer on topics ranging from historical biographies to genocide to racial equality.
A recipient of numerous awards for her work in peace, justice and reconciliation, Ambassador Mukantabana holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work and a Master’s Degree in History.
John C. Wobensmith
Secretary of State of Maryland
Secretary John C. WobensmithJohn C. Wobensmith was appointed as the Secretary of State by Governor Hogan in January 2015 and confirmed by the Maryland State Senate in February 2015.
The Secretary of State is responsible for handling certain executive functions including Executive Orders, extraditions and requisitions, pardons and commutations, public disclosures with persons doing business with the State, certifying candidates for nomination by a principal political party on the presidential primary ballot. The Secretary of State chairs the Governor's Subcabinet on International Affairs, which is responsible for evaluating the State's international activity, devising a coordinated strategy that enhances Maryland's competitiveness in world markets, and overseeing protocol functions. The Maryland Sister States Program is also conducted under the auspices of the Office of Secretary of State.
A retired Senior Cryptologic Executive Service (SCES) IV, Secretary Wobensmith has over 45 years of experience in the national security field. He began his career at the National Security Agency from 1967 to 1993 with various critical assignments and served three different tours at the White House. From 1993 to 1997, he was the senior U.S. Department of Defense representative in Turkey. Secretary Wobensmith has also served as a Senior Advisor and Vice President for Development of the American Foreign Policy Council (2005-08), Vice President for External Affairs and Lecturer in Intelligence for the Institute of World Politics (1999-05), and Vice President for International Marketing for Sensys Technologies, Inc. (1997-98).
In addition, Secretary Wobensmith has served on numerous Maryland boards and commissions including: President, Board of Education, Anne Arundel County, 1983-87 (member, 1978-87); Member, Board of Trustees of the State Universities and Colleges, 1987-88; Governor's Advisory Board for Justice Assistance, 1987-91.
Secretary Wobensmith received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Pennsylvania, served in the U.S Navy, and is a graduate of the National War College. He is a recipient of the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award, and the National Security Agency Meritorious Civilian Service Award. In 2016, he was awarded the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of honor by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO). The Secretary resides in Annapolis and has been married to his wife, Judi, for 50 years. He has two children and four grandchildren.
HE Arikana Chihombori Quao
Permanent Representative to the African Union Mission in Washington DC
In her role as Permanent Representative to the African Union Mission in Washington DC, Her Excellency Arikana Chihombori Quao MD worked tirelessly towards fulfilling her mandate which was to undertake, develop and maintain relationships between the African Union and the Executive and Legislative branches of the US Government, the African Diplomatic Corps, the Africans in the Diaspora and the Bretton Woods Institutions. This was specifically in relation to the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and advancing the priority areas of Agenda 2063. In fulfilling this Mandate, she brought renewed energy to the AU Mission as well as new ideas and programs that were implemented since her appointment in 2016 to her departure in 2019. Her efforts at mobilizing the Diaspora as people of African descent and not as citizens of any single African country is unprecedented and exemplifies her ability to unify people around a common goal, speaking with one voice as one Africa and one Continent.
Additionally, H.E. Ambassador Arikana Chihombori Quao MD has been actively involved in various programs and projects of the African Union. In 2012, she became the Chair of the African Union-African Diaspora Health Initiative (AU-ADHI), where she was involved in mobilizing the African Diaspora health professionals to assist in addressing the healthcare needs of the African continent.
Even prior to her appointment as AU Ambassador, her contributions to the cause of Africa had earned H. E. Arikana Chihombori Quao MD many prestigious honors and awards. Two of her most cherished ones are an achievement award received in 1996 from the incumbent President at the time, H.E. the late President Nelson Mandela of the Republic of South Africa and the African Woman of Excellence Award in July 2015 during the AU Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. She received this award alongside 15 other prominent African Women including the former President of The Republic of Liberia,
Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the former President of The Republic of Malawi, Madam Joyce Banda, and Mrs. Winnie Mandela, former First Lady of the Republic of South Africa.
She has firmly established herself as an advocate for women. In 2012 at an international conference for women, H.E. Ambassador Arikana Chihombori Quao MD represented Africa in Mar-Del-Plata, Argentina where she delivered a rousing speech on Violence Against Women. During this meeting, she shared the stage with two Nobel Peace Prize Winners, Adolofo Perez Esquivel from Argentina and Rigoberta Menchu from Guatamala.
In addition to the above honors, during her 3-year tenure as AU Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Ambassador Arikana Chihombori Quao MD won over 70 awards and attestations from various organizations within the Americas including Ambassador of the Year from Howard University. She also received numerous recognitions from Members of Congress as well as Governors, Mayors and County Executives from across the United States. In January 2020, after being featured having “A Profile in Courage”; H.E. Ambassador Arikana Chihombori Quao MD was honored to be named 2019 Person of the Year by The Guardian Newspaper which is the largest Newspaper in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Nigeria is the largest country in Africa with a population of over 200.96 Million people.
Prior to her appointment, Her Excellency was a renowned Family Medicine Doctor in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where she practiced medicine for over 25 years. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and a member of the American Association of Family Physicians as well as the Tennessee Association of Family Physicians.
She is married and the proud mother of 5 children.
Congressman Anthony Brown
U.S. Representative for Maryland's 4th congressional district.
Anthony Brown was elected to his first term representing Maryland’s 4th Congressional District - encompassing parts of Anne Arundel and Prince George’s Counties - on November 8, 2016 and was sworn in on January 3, 2017. He is currently serving his second term in Congress.
Congressman Brown serves as the Vice Chair of the House Armed Services Committee, where he helps shape the policies to ensure we maintain the best-trained and best equipped military, make the right investments to fight 21st century threats, and keep our country strong and safe. Congressman Brown is also a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure as well as the Committee of Natural Resources, working to build 21st century transportation networks and ensure future generations of Marylanders enjoy a clean and healthy environment. He was also tapped by Democratic leaders to serve on the equally-divided House Committee on Ethics. The Ethics Committee interprets, investigates and enforces the House Code of Official Conduct and rules regarding gifts, financial disclosure and other activities of Members of Congress and employees. Congressman Brown is currently co-Chair of the New Democrat Coalition' National Security Task Force.
The son of immigrants and raised in a home where his father was the first in the family to ever attend college, Congressman Brown was taught the value of service at a young age. Through his military and public service, Anthony has devoted his life to serving his community and defending our nation.
A retired Colonel in the United States Army Reserve, Congressman Brown’s military record spanned more than a quarter century as an aviator and JAG officer, during which time he graduated first in his flight class and received both Airborne and Air Assault qualifications. Congressman Brown was awarded the Legion of Merit for his distinguished military service. In 2004, he was deployed to Iraq, where he earned a Bronze Star and became one of the nation’s highest-ranking elected officials at that time to serve a tour of duty in that conflict.
In 1998, Congressman Brown was first elected to the Maryland House of Delegates to represent Prince George’s County. Recognized by his colleagues for his leadership, Congressman Brown rose quickly, serving as Vice Chair of the powerful House Judiciary Committee and, later, as Majority Whip.
Congressman Brown made an even larger impact on Maryland during his eight years as Lt. Governor. He fought to increase investments in Maryland schools so that every child could receive a world-class education, protected victims of domestic violence, expanded health coverage to over 391,000 Marylanders, increased employment and health services to veterans, and spearheaded efforts to plan for and coordinate the arrival of 60,000 BRAC-related jobs to Maryland, including at Joint Base Andrews and Fort Meade.
Congressman Brown is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He and his wife Karmen are members of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Largo. They reside in Prince George’s County where they are raising their three children, Rebecca, Jonathan, and Anthony.
Aisha N. Braveboy
State's Attorney for Prince George's County
As State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy is the top law enforcement officer in the County, responsible for the safety and security of over 900,000 citizens. Her motto for the Office under her administration, is that “Crime is personal…personal to the victim, personal to the community and personal to the State’s Attorney’s Office.”
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic Ms. Braveboy has been at the forefront with effective solutions to prevent the spread of the virus and support the community. She was the first in the state and led the nation in implementing “Operation Safe Release”, which was a proactive way of reducing the spread of the coronavirus in the jail. Through this initiative her Office and criminal justice partners have safely and judiciously reduced the inmate population to prevent a public health crisis in the facility and community. In addition, Ms. Braveboy continues to work with non-profits and County agencies to ensure that victims of abuse and domestic violence receive the resources and support they need during the pandemic.
Earlier this year Ms. Braveboy and her team worked with lawmakers in Annapolis to ensure that two of her priority pieces of legislation were successfully passed. The 2nd Lt. Richard Collins III Law will ensure that individuals who commit a hate crime are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The Assault in the First Degree - Suffocation or Strangulation Law makes strangulation a first degree felony.
Since taking office Ms. Braveboy is ushering in significant changes in how individuals and cases are handled to ensure not only that justice is administered in Prince George’s County, but that it is done fairly.
During her first-ever State of Justice event, she announced that the County will no longer require cash bail as a requirement for pre-trial release in cases where the person isn’t a danger to society and doesn’t pose a flight risk. That is a major policy change, which will ensure that individuals who can’t afford bail will not languish in jail. She has also reorganized her juvenile justice unit and created community partnerships to end the school to prison pipeline, one of her major priorities. Ms. Braveboy has created a number of new units in her office to better address criminal justice needs. The Public Integrity Unit focuses on police misconduct, excessive use of force and corruption cases. The Conviction and Sentencing Integrity Unit, the only one of its kind in the state, reviews cases where there are questions or doubts about a sentence that has been handed down. In addition, Ms. Braveboy is expanding diversion opportunities. She has doubled the number of participants in the Back-On-Track program, which focuses on giving first-time felony drug offenders a second chance. She has also created the Drive Focused, Sober and Safe campaign and increased participation in the monthly Community In The Courthouse sessions.
Prior to being elected as State’s Attorney, Ms. Braveboy served as the Manager of Government Affairs for Children's National Health System. Ms. Braveboy was also Of Counsel with Gabriel J. Christian and Associates, where she represented clients in criminal and civil matters. In addition, Ms. Braveboy, for over 17 years, served as General Counsel for the Community Public Awareness Council (C-PAC), a community-based juvenile diversionary program that has successfully diverted over 4,000 students from the criminal justice system.
In 2006, Ms. Braveboy was elected to represent the 25th Legislative District in the Maryland General Assembly. As a Delegate, Ms. Braveboy was appointed by the Speaker of the House to serve as Chair of the Consumer Protection Subcommittee. She was elected by her peers to serve as Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland, where she guided the 44-member organization on a wide range of policy issues including parity for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, reducing mass incarceration, enhancing tools to prosecute rapists, increasing opportunities for women and minority-owned businesses and reducing health disparities in our State.
Ms. Braveboy graduated from the University of Maryland College Park, where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Government and Politics. She also received her Juris Doctorate from Howard University School of Law. Ms. Braveboy is a member of the Sanctuary at Kingdom Square and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
Honorable Darryl Barnes
Representative the 25th Legislative District in the Maryland House of Delegates
The Honorable Darryl Barnes proudly represents the 25th Legislative District in the Maryland House of Delegates. Delegate Barnes was raised in the Washington Metropolitan Area and planted his roots in Prince George’s County, Maryland after years of service in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army respectfully.
Serving his second term in Annapolis, Delegate Barnes has been trusted by his colleagues and constituents to take on key leadership positions while advancing legislation spanning across the state and impacting significant policy decisions.
His tenacious work ethic has enabled him to quickly become one of the highest ranking members in the House of Delegates serving as the Deputy Majority Whip (2017-Present), Assistant Speaker Pro Tem (2019), and 2nd Vice Chair of the Prince George’s County Delegation (2019-Present). Delegate Barnes is also a member of the Maryland Veterans Caucus and served on the Prince George's County School Construction Master Plan Workgroup in 2018.
Since his appointment to the Ways & Means Committee in 2015, Delegate Barnes has closely examined legislation that impacts education, election law, taxation, lottery and gaming, and funding of transportation programs. In that capacity, Delegate Barnes also serves as the Chair of the Local Revenues Subcommittee where he oversees local and state taxation matters (2019-Present). His leadership in the Local Revenues Committee has led to tax credits and incentives for veterans, nonprofits, small businesses, and educators.
In the Maryland General Assembly, Delegate Barnes has emerged as a fearless leader and trailblazer for African-American issues. In his first term, Delegate Barnes was unanimously selected as the Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus. As the Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, Delegate Barnes leads a membership of 58 legislators while championing issues affecting African-Americans across the state of Maryland such as Economic Development, Criminal Justice Reform, Healthcare, Law Enforcement, and Education. Under his direction, the Legislative Black Caucus’ unified support was pivotal in passing of the state’s $15 minimum wage, raising the tobacco consumption age to 21, reforming the Maryland’s Judiciary Case Search, and historic election of the first woman and African-American Speaker of the House.
Prior to his election, Delegate Barnes established himself as a successful businessman, community advocate, and veteran. With over 20 years of entrepreneurship experience in the Information Technology and Sports Agency space, Delegate Barnes coupled his passion for sports, business and desire to uplift youth by founding what is now one of the premier nonprofits in Prince George’s County. His grassroots organization, Men Aiming Higher (2009-present) mobilizes at-risk young men through educational tutoring, leadership training, mentoring programs and community service projects. To date, more than 700 mentees have benefited from the work of Men Aiming Higher.
Delegate Barnes launched the Bi-County Business Roundtable in 2019 to promote small business growth as well as help create wealth for a vibrant climate in the state of Maryland. He received his PMP Certification Training from George Washington University and attended Long Beach State College. Delegate Barnes resides in Prince George’s County with his wife, Makeba and their two sons Dylan & Drew and is also an active member of First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
Dr. Menna Demessie
Senior Vice President, Policy Analysis & Research; and the Leadership Institute
Dr. Menna Demessie is the Senior Vice President of Policy Analysis and Research at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. She leads the foundation’s research and policy initiatives that affect African Americans and the global black community in areas including education, criminal justice, economic opportunity, voting and environmental sustainability, among many others. In her capacity, Dr. Demessie has spearheaded several partnerships with the White House, Congress, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and other nonprofit stakeholders to advance strategic efforts to influence and inform public policy. Prior to joining the CBCF, Dr. Demessie was one of five scholars in the United States to receive the prestigious American Political Science Congressional Fellowship. For the fellowship, she joined Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s team to work on federal unemployment legislation, antipoverty initiatives, and foreign affairs in the 112th Congress.
She is the founder and co-managing editor of the CBCF’s Journal of the Center for Policy Analysis and Research, a multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal on public policy issues related to black politics in the United States and abroad. Dr. Demessie is also the founder of the CBCF’s first editorial board, an initiative she facilitated in honor of Dr. Ronald Walters’ legacy of advancing and engaging scholarship in the overall mission of the CBCF.
In Benin, Ethiopia, Liberia, and Nigeria, she has also worked on democratic governance and gender equality, and in August 2017 traveled to Kenya as an election observer. In 2016, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser recognized Dr. Demessie with the Community Advocacy Award for her successful efforts to help secure funding from the DC City Council for the District’s African communities. In August of 2018, Ethiopian Prime Minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed, appointed her as Secretary of the Ethiopian Diaspora Trust Fund Advisory Council.
Dr. Demessie has interviewed with NPR and other media outlets, presented to several universities and members of Congress on various policy issues, plays piano, and performs spoken word. Additionally, she has published on the critical importance of mobilization and representation of African Americans, black immigrants, and the need for the U.S. government to recognize the value of working in partnership with diaspora communities in addressing domestic and international policy.
She received her joint Ph.D. in political science and public policy from the University of Michigan where she conducted the first and only empirical and qualitative study of African congressional caucuses in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the significance of the Congressional Black Caucus’ influence on U.S.-Africa foreign policy. She earned a Master of Arts in political science, and a certificate in African American, African, and Black Transnational Studies from the University of Michigan. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Law and Society with honors from Oberlin College.
Dr. Demessie received the highly competitive Congressional Research Award from the Dirksen Congressional Center and is an adjunct professor for the University of Michigan and the University of California Washington Center.
Currently serving her second elected term on the Alumni Board for the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, Dr. Demessie, a proud Ohio native, also serves on the Board of Visitors for her alma mater at Western Reserve Academy and on the Congressional Fellowship Program Advisory Committee for the American Political Science Association.
President & CEO, World Trade Center Atlanta; Chairman, Board of Directors UBTS International, Inc.
Max Sutherland is the President and CEO of the World Trade Center Atlanta, the gateway to a vibrant and formidable international business community across the region and around the globe.
With headquarters in New York and connection to more than 330 centers around the world, the WTC Atlanta promotes and facilitates international trade and investments, providing the commercial environment, access, services, and programming that bring executives, entrepreneurs, governments, businesses, and markets together.
He joined the WTC Atlanta’s Board of Directors in October 2017 and has a seat on the World Trade Centers Association’s Global Agriculture Advisory Council. Complementing his commitment to the WTC Atlanta, Max is also Chairman of the Board for Universal Broadband & Technology Services International (UBTS International) and sits on the board of the American Nigerian International Chamber of Commerce.
Prior to joining the World Trade Center Atlanta, Mr. Sutherland has been the Managing Director of Anseri and worked over 25 years on Wall Street at Citicorp, The Chase Manhattan Bank, UBS and Bank of America and in Big 4 Consulting at KPMG and Deloitte, specializing in solving company executives’ most challenging issues: M&A due diligence and integrations, global growth strategies, enterprise-wide performance improvement, investment funding, and strategic international CEO initiatives. His global experience and responsibilities span six continents and multiple cultures and industries, including trade and investments, financial services, telecom, information technology, manufacturing, and agriculture, providing insights and alternative practices to broad business challenges and investments.
Max holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Economics from Indiana University. His concentration was in International North-South Relations and Sub-Saharan Africa. He earned his MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and sits on the Atlanta Business School Alliance Board representing Fuqua.
Max is a trained equestrian and loves all things horses. He also enjoys a relaxing baseball game and recently discovered the thrill of hockey games.
Business Dev Specialist, Export-Import Bank of the United States
Nicole Woods is a global business development specialist at the Export-Import Bank of the United States. EXIM provides U.S. businesses with competitive financing tools that mitigate the challenges and risks of selling goods and services abroad.
Ms. Woods specifically works with minority and women-owned businesses as well as veteran-owned enterprises to educate them on how to qualify for and access EXIM financing.
She also manages the Bank’s Client Care Unit which works with existing clients on maximizing the benefits of their policies for international business growth. Ms. Woods is a graduate of Hampton University and a former public affairs specialist for the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy, with an extensive background in strategic communications and media relations.
Nicole also holds a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) designation administered by NASBITE International, which is the leading authority and industry standard for global business education, trade credentialing and training.
Sheikha Abdulla AlNuaimi
Executive Director of Commercial Operations Ajman Free Zone
Sheikha Abdulla Al Nuaimi has worked across various departments within the Ajman Free Zone over the last years, prior to assuming her current position as Executive Director of Commercial Operations. Under her leadership, Sheikha is in charge of four key departments--Marketing & Communications; Sales; Customer Happiness and Developmental Services. Sheikha is responsible for defining and managing the Ajman Free Zone's brand. She is tasked with targeting potential customers and attracting them to be part of the free zone ecosystem. Sheikha ensures that that business service standards are met while AFZ community are given the required guidance and support. Lastly, Sheikha oversees the day-to-day affairs of the developmental services, which is tasked with collaborating with both the private and public sector to ensure customer happiness.
Sheikha has received many awards and recognition for her with the Ajman Free Zone. This includes the Project Manager Award (AJEP), which was awarded to her by H.H. Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ajman, last 2013. She has also been awarded with the Middle East Awards 'Future Leader in Free Zone Industry 2020. She is also an experienced assessor across a number of government and private awards in UAE.
Sheikha holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Ajman University and Master’s in Business Administration in HR and Development from The Canadian University of Dubai. She is also a graduate of the 2018 Ajman Leadership Program.
Dr. Richard Kaye
Author, Speaker & Entrepreneur
Dr. Richard Kaye received his Bachelors of Science Degree in business, from Long Island University in 1973. He went on to receive his Doctorate of Chiropractic from the Columbia Institute of Chiropractic in New York. After 30-years in private practice in San Diego, California, he retired to pursue the entrepreneurial life. Prior to entering the field of health care, he was an electronics engineer working in the field of communications.
His distinguished career includes being named Outstanding Doctor of the Year in 1981, as well as Doctor of The Year in 1983, by the San Diego County Chiropractic Society. He served as President of the San Diego County Chiropractic Society from 1981 through 198. Kaye was a founding member of the Board of Directors of The Association for Network Care, in 1994.
In addition to having appeared on numerous television and radio shows, he’s an internally acclaimed lecturer, having presented seminars and workshops in Australia, France, Japan, and Russia, as well as in the United States.
Richard sat on the Advisory Board of Brian Anderson Entertainment. He served as an Advisory Board Member for Pacific Rim Institute for Development and Education (PRIDE), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) member of the United Nations, and Excellerated Enterprises, a multi-national teaching organization. He served as a Founding Board Member for the Enchanted Circle (Taos, New Mexico) Sirolli Institute. He served as Vice President of Investor Relations for RacelandUSA, LLC (a 1,140 acre motocross complex in the desert, east of San Diego). He was a member of the board of directors of the Global Gateway Community, and was Secretary of the Board of Directors for Style for Life. He is a faculty member of CEO Space (a multi-national business development organization). He serves on the Board of Directors for the Taos Entrepreneurial Network.
Richard has been featured on KTLA television, Los Angeles, California, on several occasions, discussing two of his specialties: Team Building and Super Networking. He was also featured on PBS; an in-depth story about the leading-edge health care he practiced.
At the Chopra Center, in La Costa, California, where he shared the platform with Lisa Nichols; he spoke about: Consciousness, Cooperation, and Contribution – thriving in the developing recession.
He is the author of the highly acclaimed book: The Secrets of Creating Customers for Life.
He speaks around the nation about the Secrets of Empowering Negotiation.
Richard resides in Taos, New Mexico.
Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA)
Esther Dassanou manages the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) an initiative of the African Development Bank to reduce the USD 42 Billion access to finance gap for Women Empowered Businesses in Africa.
Prior to joining AfDB, Esther led the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) work on advancing women’s inclusion in the insurance sector as the head of the Women’s Insurance program. Esther worked with insurers across Africa and Asia to help insurers in de-risking women owned SMEs and providing better coverage for women’s daily risk.
Esther also led the mainstreaming of IFC’s women’s access to finance through the organization’s SME Banking program. As of the end of 2019 the program had reach $ 2 Billion in investments to Commercial Banks to be on-lent to women SMEs.
She has also managed the Secretariat of the Global Banking Alliance for Women, a consortium of financial institutions dedicated to promoting the growth of women-owned enterprises.
Esther is the co-author of SheforShield: Insure Women to Better Protect All a groundbreaking report articulating the business case for the insurance industry to address the needs of women as clients, employees, entrepreneurs and leaders.
Esther was also a lead author of the reports, G20 – Access to Finance for Women MSMEs and Women-owned SMEs: A Business Opportunity for Financial Institutions; which for the first time sized the access to finance gap for women SMEs in developing markets.
Dr. Kamaladevi Baskaran
Head of Industry Relations & Faculty, Department of Management & Commerce, Amity University, Dubai.
Dr. Kamaladevi Baskaran has over 14 years of International work experience in Industry, Applied Research & Academics. She is currently Head of Industry Relations and faculty in the Department of Management and Commerce at Amity University, Dubai, UAE. She holds an Executive Education in Business Analytics from Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, USA. She is a certified Trainer to teach Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Stanford University Program Ambassadors.
In the past, she worked as Director at Zelus Events, Dubai, UAE. Dr. Kamaladevi has vast skill & experience in creating, producing & executing large scale corporate & academic events. She has managed more than 120 large scale International professional events including business conferences & corporate incentive programs globally. Dr. Kamaladevi completed her Ph.D in Management at Bharathiar University, India and her graduate studies M.Phil & MBA at Dravidian University and Bharathidasan University respectively from India.
Dr. Kamaladevi’s research interests lie in the area of Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship, Business Research Methods and ecommerce ranging from theory to design to implementation. She has collaborated actively with researchers in several other disciplines of management & engineering in the areas of search engine optimization & digital transformational technologies in addressing real world problems at the process to root cause analysis level for the success of online stores.
In her areas of research, Dr. Kamaladevi has written three management books as single author. She also presented and published in more than 30 peer-reviewed International conferences and journal research articles. She has served as a Keynote Speaker at various International conferences and Forums held in France, Spain, Thailand, UAE, India & Malaysia. Dr. Kamaladevi also has substantial influence in professional, community, and outreach activities that is demonstrated by the various roles she has undertaken.
Otunba (Dr.) Olawanle Akinboboye
Founder, La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort
Otunba (Dr.) Olawanle Akinboboye was born 60years ago in Ondo state, Nigeria.
He had primary and secondary Education in Ondo state and OND in Mechanical Engineering from Kaduna polytechnic, Kaduna. He then proceeded to the USA where he had his first degree in Business Management at the Bowie state university and a master’s degree in Hospitality management at Florida international University. He has an honorary Doctorate degree from the European American University, USA.
Dr. Wanle Akinboboye is a lover of Africa who believes firmly that African culture, art, music and cuisine can bring prosperity to the continent if harnessed.
He founded the continent building initiative made up of Africans in the continent and in the Diaspora who are committed to the development of Africa.
Dr. Akinboboye has provided employment to thousands through organizations he founded in tourism, entertainment and security some of which are:
LA CAMPAGNE TROPICANA BEACH RESORT. www.lacampagnetropicana.com
The Resort founded in 1984 located in Lagos, Nigeria is the world’s African-themed Resort. It was designed to present African culture in a cosmopolitan manner.The resort which is a franchise is expanding to Cote d’ivoire, Ethiopia and Turkey.
CORPORATE GUARDS SECURITY: (www.corporateguardng.com )
Corporate Guards Limited, the premier security company in Nigeria established in 1992 focuses on providing security services at a global standard. Corporate Guards operates on a grade A license and is also registered in the USA.
ATUNDA ENTERTAINMENT (www.atunda.tv) : is a platform for talent discovery whose focus is to represent and reposition African culture, art, music and fashion from its original form to a more cosmopolitan presentation that will be presented to the world stage for a better appreciation and respect for African culture leveraging off of original African repertoire.
MOTHERLAND BECKONS (www.motherlandbeckons.org): the biggest movement to encourage people of African descent to visit and invest in the continent.
MOTHERLAND BECKONS DESTINATIONS(www.motherlandbeckons.com) was founded to encourage travels within Africa by creating destinations out of Africa’s numerous attraction sites.
AFRICA TURKEY TRADE CENTRE(ATTC): ATTC’s goal is to connect Turkey with the entire continent of Africa and also to create a platform in Turkey where the whole world can come to trade and exchange cultures with Africa. ATTC’s headquarter is in Konya Turkey with branch offices in Nigeria, Ghana, Cotedivoire, Sierra Leone Tanzania and Ethiopia.
Dr. Akinboboye is a writer, choreographer, producer and director who has written, produced and directed a number of plays.
Dr Akinboboye is an active sportsman whose leisure activities include Swimming, Scuba Diving, Football and Horse Riding.
Dr. Akinboboye firmly believes that,
‘’ It is not the wealth you leave for your children you worry about; it is the kind of society.’’
Jeannine B. Scott
Founder & Principal of America to Africa Consulting, LLC, (A2A)
Ms. Jeannine B. Scott has enjoyed a long-standing career of over 35 years in the field of international development, focused uniquely on the African continent, and spanning the private, non-profit, multi-lateral agency and US government sectors - domestically and globally. Presently she is the Founder & Principal of America to Africa Consulting, LLC, (A2A), focusing on brokering sound trade and investment linkages between companies in the USA and the African continent. In addition to A2A, Ms. Scott a Director in PetroAfrica, LLC and its affiliates, a diversified provider of oilfield supply and services; and Co-founder and Managing Principal in MineAfrica, LLC, which facilitates investments in the mining and related sectors.
Ms. Scott’s previous tenures include: President of the U.S.–Angola Chamber of Commerce (USACC), the oldest bilateral chamber that promotes trade and investment between the US and Angola; Senior Vice President of Africare, formerly the oldest and largest African-American NGO uniquely focused on executing economic development and humanitarian programs across the continent of Africa; Advisor and Alternate U.S. Executive Director to the Board of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), (a political appointment under the Clinton Administration); as well as earlier staff positions with both the AfDB and Africare.
A seasoned professional in the field of humanitarian and economic development work, Ms. Scott has been called to serve on a number of high-level working groups including: UNHCR (Co-Chair of the Inter-Action Working Group on refugee and humanitarian issues); the Center for Global Development, the African First Ladies Leadership Summits, among others. She twice served on the Obama Presidential Campaign Africa Policy Advisory Committees.
Ms. Scott serves on a number of boards notably including: Chairman of the Board of the Constituency for Africa (CFA), Howard University Law School - World Food Law Institute Advisory Board, African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA), Civil Society Network Advisory Board, and the African Union-Pan-African Diaspora Women’s Association (AU-PADWA) Board She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Africa Policy Group.
Ms. Scott holds an A.B. degree from Vassar College in Political Science and Africana Studies and a Master’s degree in International Relations from Yale University. She has also studied at the National Defense University, the Institute of Development Studies (UK), The Sorbonne, University of Paris I, the Institute of European Studies (France), and the University of Dakar (Senegal). Ms. Scott is fluent in French and knowledgeable of Portuguese.
CEO, Berkeley Middle East Holding
Khulood Shaban is the CEO of Berkeley Middle East Holding, she has transformed herself into a true leader forming an integral part of the top management and leading the organization vision as a credible voice in strategic decision making, finding strategic partners, and establishing governance boundaries, supporting executive teams extend their thinking to improve profitability and driving material business advantage. She inspires action while at the same time is stranded in financial information that leverages the business.
Khulood is a member of Institute of Management Accountant, USA, Chartered Institute of Management Accountant, UK, & CGMA, holds a Graduation of Accounting and Finance, Diploma in International Business Law from the United Kingdom.
She possesses dynamic skills a blend of strategic and corporate planning, financial and operations management, and global tax matters in different parts of the world including the USA, UK & UAE.
She is a comprehensive business leader and leading from the front. She is a Board of Director of Berkeleyme Global, UK, and is the CEO of Berkeley, Middle East holding.
Managing Director, Interlink Capital Strategies
Mr. Beard has over 30 years of international finance and business development experience. He currently leads Interlink Capital Strategies (www.interlinkdc.com), a management-consulting and private equity firm based in Washington, DC focusing on overseas business development and financing in emerging markets.
(The former COO of ExIm Bank and CEO of OPIC are part of the Interlink management team.)
Mr. Beard has personally led several structured/project financings in Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle East ranging in size from a few million dollars to over a billion euros using government risk mitigation from North America, Europe and Asia.
He has worked with many financial institutions and banks in the U.S. to service the international needs of their customers, including assisting OPIC create a public/private initiative focusing on small to medium sized business. He has co-founded three private equity funds, ExWorks Capital and FDI Capital, both specialty finance companies, which are approved ExIm Bank lenders.
He led the acquisition by ExWorks Capital of one of the largest SBA export working capital lenders, World Trade Finance of Burbank, California. Mr. Beard currently also heads the fund management of an early stage geothermal power development fund for Latin America backed by Germany’s Export Credit Agency (KfW), the European Union, and other Development Finance Institutions (www.gdflac.com).
He also sits on the boards of four overseas companies, including the U.S. operations of a large Turkish construction company (Yenigun) and the largest engineering company in the Middle East (Khatib & Alami). He is currently a member of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross’ Trade Finance Advisory Council.
Previously, Mr. Beard and another partner grew a consulting firm which arranged several billion dollars in government grants, equity, guarantees and loans for more than 700 companies and sold it to Banc One Capital Corporation (now JP Morgan Chase) where he became the head of merchant banking. He also served as an official in both ExIm Bank and the Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration.
He has been an adjunct professor at Georgetown University for undergraduate and graduate international business courses. (Through Interlink, he sponsors the annual international business scholar award for the McDonough School of Business.) He has edited and contributed to the writing of more than 20 books and is a frequent speaker on international finance issues. More recently, he co-authored and edited Trade Finance Handbook, Inside the World’s Export Credit Agencies, Inside the World’s Development Finance Institutions, and Terrorism & Personal Security, all published by Thomson Publishing.
Mr. Beard graduated from the University of Utah and received his MBA from George Washington University.
GCEO, Emerging Africa Capital Group and President CIIA
In 2017, Toyin was declared the All African Businesswoman of the Year at the CNBC/Forbes Africa AABLA Awards and the Nigerian CEO of the Year by the Pearl Awards Board.
She is an Investment Banker and Author with over 30 years’ experience. Prior to founding Emerging Africa, she was Group Chief Executive Officer at United Capital, Plc. She is a Fellow, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, Fellow, Chartered Institute of Secretaries, Fellow, IAPM, Member, Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments, UK and President, Association of Corporate & Individual Investment Advisers, Nigeria.
She holds a first Degree in Law from the University of Ife, a Master’s Degree in Law from the University of Lagos and has attended the CEO Program of the Lagos Business School, and Executive Programs of the New York Institute of Finance, the Wharton School and Harvard Business School.
Toyin is passionate about developing leaders and women and is the Founder, Women In Finance, Nigeria and WIFNG UK. She serves as Co-Lead / Ambassador for the Africa CEO Forum in Nigeria and on the Boards for Women Working for Change and Transcorp Plc, amongst other Boards.
Dr. Lawrence McNeil
College of Business Dean, Bowie State University
Dr. McNeil has traveled extensively as a scholar and administrator. He is a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow, former delegate to the International Achievement Summit in Budapest, Hungary, and a Fulbright Scholar who researched economic development through international trade in Accra, Ghana. He also organizes annual study abroad experiences for Prairie View students in South Africa and Australia.
He has secured significant grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education and the National Science Foundation to further his research and support program development within Prairie View’s College of Business. He also initiated and coordinated the university’s first Professional Development Program in the College of Business.
Before joining Prairie View, Dr. McNeil was an economist in the International Investment Division of the Bureau of Economic Analysis and bank examiner with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
He holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in economics, with a concentration in international economics and macroeconomics from Howard University, a Master of International Affairs degree, with a concentration in international finance and economic policy, from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in history from Morgan State University.
CEO of Boldly Digital Consult., Certified Human- Centered Design Thought Leader and Strategist for business acceleration
C-Level executive Thought Leader in global energy with history of driving growth and profitability through consult to execution approach. Establish and grow executive and other strategic partnerships. Senior-level people management experience. Skilled in launching new sites and ventures. Expert in leading through acquisitions and other transitions with strong change management aptitude. Specialities: human-centred Innovation, customer centricity, Certified executive leadership Assessor, Thought leadership speaker, Disruptive Strategist in Digital and Business Transformation. Fluent in Arabic, English, and French .
Hanan Darwish was the Cluster President of Gulf Countries Pakistan. Darwish oversees all of the company’s business operations within the region. Hanan Darwish brings outstanding leadership credentials with more than 17 years of experience in Schneider Electric.
Prior to her appointment, Hanan DARWISH was Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Human Resources for Energy Business in Schneider Electric; her scope covered over 29,000 employees worldwide. She was managing HR Business transformation and change management and coaching, assessing executive leaders to support the Group’s profitable Growth ambition while implementing best-in-class and Innovative solutions.
Prior to this role, Hanan was Vice President HR for North America where she was based in Chicago. In that role, she played a key role in driving Schneider Electric’s organizational effectiveness priorities within US, Mexico and Canada through reinforcing leadership development and succession planning, learning, career development, workforce management and Executive recruitment functions.
Certified by Russell Reynolds for assessing executive leaders and coaching them. Previously, she led Human Resources for Schneider Electric France from mid 2008 to early 2012 covering a scope of 22,000 employees. Where she was responsible of diversified and mutual functions in parallel as Diversity, Health and Social Strategy.
She also managed global Transformation Plan for French territory level by developing existing competencies to match future organization needs.
Hanan also held executive positions within Learning and Development program of Schneider Electric University. Earlier in her career, Hanan had also served as HR Director for other Schneider Electric regions covering North East Africa as well as Gulf Countries. Hanan is a Master certified Design Thinking by IDEO in Silicon Valley, Master in Organization Behavior from INSEAD and completed several Executive Management programs on Strategy and Innovation in Boston University and was certified by Russell Reynolds to lead executive leadership assessment programs.
She believes that her expertise and leadership style, as well as her high level of executive and governmental relationships are a key differentiator in serving purpose, and advising for a better clean Digital Energy world.
Special assistant to the Honorable Minister of Power on Mambila Hydro Electric Power Project, Nigeria
Idris is presently a special assistant to the Honorable Minister of Power on Mambila Hydro Electric Power Project, Nigeria.
He was the immediate past Managing Director and CEO of Kaduna Electricity distribution company. Idris has worked in several capacities, at different times as power infrastructure consultant and also with international investors who are currently engaged in various projects in Nigeria's power sector.
Idris is also a government lobbyist.
Otunba Bimbola Ashiru
Former Commissioner of Commerce and Industry, Director O’DUA Investment Company Limited
Otunba Bimbola Ashiru was the former Honorable Commissioner for Commerce and Industry in Ogun State, Nigeria.
Under his stewardship, the business scape of the state developed greatly with over 1, 279.84% increase in internally generated Revenue, and a cumulative investment profile of about N691.77 Billion in 2014.
During his tenure the World Bank Group, in its Doing Business in Nigeria 2014 Report, ranked Ogun State as one of the best 5/4 in term of ease of doing business.
He also facilitated the creation of a One-Stop Shop Investment Center (OSSIC) to assist potential investors. Otunba Bimbola Ashiru is currently the Director, O'dua Investment Limited, a conglomerate with substantial investment in leading sectors of the economy.
Ms. Thelma Ekiyor
Managing Partner SME.NG; Co-Founder/Chairperson, Afrigrants Resources
Ms. Thelma Ekiyor has over 20 years experience working in the development sector, as an Impact Investor, donor, philanthropic advisor, and social entrepreneur. She has experience working in 22 African countries
Ms. Ekiyor is the Managing Partner SME.NG – Nigeria’s Impact Investment Platform, which has set up two impact funds for women entrepreneurs.
She is the Co-Founder/Chairperson of Afrigrants Resources and also served as its pioneering CEO.
At Afrigrants, she led the establishment of “Market Women’s Quick Cash” – A financial inclusion solution to provide micro-loans to women in disadvantaged communities.
At Afrigrants she also Founded Afrigrants Foundation dedicated to the socioeconomic advancement to girls and women.
She also led the conceptualization of “The Ebi Fund” – an impact fund for women entrepreneurs.
Ms. Ekiyor is also is Founder & Co-Convener of The Funding Space – a mentoring and access to finance platform for social entrepreneurs in Africa.
Prior to establishing Afrigrants, Ms. Ekiyor was the pioneer CEO of TY Danjuma Foundation, and grew an endowment of $100 million.
Before that, She served as the Pioneering Executive Director of the West African Civil Society Institute (WACSI), which was established by the George Soros Foundation’s Open Society Institute for West Africa. She supervised investments and interventions in 15 countries across West Africa.
Ms. Ekiyor holds an MBA (Entrepreneurship & Innovation) from Imperial College London, UK; a Law Degree (LLB Honours) from University of Buckingham UK. She is also a Fellow of Stanford University, USA.
Ms. Ekiyor served as Strategic Policy Adviser to UN Women Nigeria (2017-2019).
She is currently a Board Member on ALL ON, the renewable energy impact fund in West Africa established by Shell.
Ms. Ekiyor is also the current Chairperson of the Micro, Small and Medium sized businesses & SDGs group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and
Agriculture (NACCIMA), overseeing a network of over 70,000 SMEs.
She sits on the Advisory Boards of Women Empowerment Centre (WEC) and Rising Leadership Foundations, both in the United States of America.
Ms. Ekiyor has received several awards and citations for her contributions to women’s economic empowerment and philanthropy in Africa.
Dr Musa Shaikh
Group CEO Berkeley Holding, Middle East & UK, Royal Advisor to His Excellency Khalifa Al Hamid in UAE
Musa Shaikh is studied from Kings College, London is a business leader, Group CEO Berkeley Holding, Middle East & UK, Royal Advisor to His Excellency Khalifa Al Hamid in UAE, and formerly Financial advisor to His Excellency Jassar Al Jassar in Kuwait For UAE Operations.
He has diversified roles held in the past, including Investment Strategist, Royal Family office Advisory, & Chief Investment Officer, CFO, and CEO based on a decade of experience.
His core expertise to select an investment project, either Greenfield or brownfield, through Merger or acquisition, study the fundamental and technical feasibility, evaluate the investment, credit, market and idiosyncratic risks by applying high-level risk management tools for stakeholders.
His successful projects include advising on setting up manufacturing plants, development of real estate portfolio, Hospitality, Retail, and huge construction projects.
Being on investment fronts He has developed incredible connections in government sectors, Private large NMC’s while facilitating the governments for getting FDI’s mainly for UAE, Pakistan and USA and contributing the investment industry by creating value-based relationships between various countries.
He is a member of several professional bodies. His educational background has a dynamic mix of Investments, Business, legal, tax, Management, Accounting, and finance which makes him very unique in terms of human capital.
He is considered as the most influential person in his region.
Dr Kavita Kapur
Assistant Professor at The College of Business, Bowie state University
She has more than 25 years of work experience, as a consultant, executive coach, trainer and faculty in Management and International Business. She has a wide range of practical experience and managerial skills with a global perspective having worked in India, Nepal, Cambodia and Chile. Research in deep level diversity and personal experience of living in different countries have further honed her skills of facilitating the development of multicultural bonds and leveraging diversity through building cultural competence.
Kavita has worked as an HR Manager in multi-national corporations and as a Management Trainer and Change Management Consultant in Organizational Development, Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion.Her varied experience of being a practitioner, consultant, trainer and researcher has given her a unique blend of skills and competencies as a Global management professional. She was the founder and Patron of the Indian Social Network, an association of Indian expats in Chile and was the President of the Diplomatic Spouses Association in Chile, She was awarded for “Empowerment of Women, 2013” for her social and professional work in Chile by Mujer Opina.
Global Manager, Upstream – Manufacturing, Agribusiness & Services, IFC
Femi Akinrebiyo is the Global Manager for Upstream in the Manufacturing, Agribusiness & Services Department of IFC based in Washington, DC.
In his current role, he is responsible for medium- to long-term business development using early stage project development, platforms and programmatic approaches, and sector & market interventions to strengthen the case for investment in the private sector in the Manufacturing, Agribusiness & Services sectors. He leads a core team of about 100 professionals that are focused on addressing the shortage of investment-ready / bankable projects in the Manufacturing, Agribusiness, Tourism, Property, and Health and Education Sectors by providing development capital and mobilizing World Bank Group expertise to support project developers under IFC’s Upstream agenda.
Prior to his current role, he played leading roles in structuring and investing over a billion dollars for IFC in Asia, Latin America and Africa in the Telecom, Energy and Infrastructure sectors. He has also played lead roles at the strategic level in major infrastructure companies, including representing IFC on the board of Lekela Power B.V., a pan-African renewable energy platform company with operations in Egypt, Ghana, Senegal and South Africa, Mainstream Renewable Power Africa Holding and Helios Towers Africa.
Femi’s background includes working for ExxonMobil as a Project Engineer and other multinational companies, including Philips Projects and Spar Aerospace. He holds an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, Illinois, USA and a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria.
Tisa J. D. Clark, LEED GA, PMP, AMP
President, J.D. Clark Professional Services, L.L.C. (JD Clark)
Tisa J.D. Clark is the President/Owner of J.D. Clark Professional Services, L.L.C. (JD Clark) and currently Board Chairwoman for the Prince George’s County Chamber of Commerce (PGCOC). JD Clark is an Environmentally Conscience and Energy Conservation savvy Construction and Maintenance Firm. JD Clark specializes in Facilities Maintenance, Grounds Management and Renovations.
JD Clark is a Section 3, a certified Baltimore City and Prince George’s County Based Small Business that is a Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) MBE/DBE/SBE Certified African American and Woman-Owned Construction and Maintenance firm with core services in Property Preservation, Property Maintenance and Improvements.
JD Clark is also Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and the District of Columbia Department of Transportation (DDOT) DBE, Virginia SWAM, Small, Micro, Women Owned, Minority Owned, DBE certified.
Established in 2008, located in both Upper Marlboro and Baltimore, MD, is a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program in Baltimore, MD, a graduate of the MDOT’s State Highway Administration’s Business Development Accelerator Program (BDAP), is a graduate of the first cohort of the Prince George’s County’s Business Development Reserve Program (BDRP), a program developed by the Prince George’s County, MD County Council to mirror the Federal Government’s 8(a) program. Ms. Clark graduated from the Small Business Administration’s Emerging Leaders Program 2016. JD Clark is also a graduate of the Prince George’s County Community College’s Center for Minority Business Development (CMBD) program and the Turner School for Construction. JD Clark serves Maryland and the District of Columbia. Her processes focus on responsiveness to client needs and reliability of services provided. JD Clark’s dedication to exceptional service has resulted in repeat client business, strong rapport with the communities in which we operate, and favorable referrals for work completed.
Ms. Clark is a native Washingtonian. For over thirty (30) years, Ms. Clark has built a solid reputation to "fix what is broken." Ms. Clark is committed to providing quality service. She believes that a reputation as an honest and reliable business is the recipe for success. While others seek to profit by cutting corners, or recommending unnecessary services to customers, Ms. Clark believes that a good reputation and consistent service will reap bigger profits in the long run. By being trustworthy, Ms. Clark believes that she will enjoy a long-term profitable business.
Ms. Clark has been solving and resolving client’s Business Engineering problems for over twenty-five (25) years. She is adept in taking programs and products from conception through delivery while cycling for reengineering. She is a visionary with strategic analytical skills, who is practical, articulate, and creative. She has proven ability to solve difficult business problems and has a history of consistently obtaining high performance in others through leadership and cohesive team building.
In celebrating over twelve (12) years, in a male dominate industry, JD Clark posted a double-digit average percentage of annual growth and is currently one of Prince George’s County’s fastest growing small businesses in the construction and maintenance services industry. In October 2019, Ms. Clark received the Top 100 MBE ® Award and the U.S. Commerce 2019 Minority Business Development Agency Business Center Award from Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council (CRMSDC). In October 2018, JD Clark received the Small Business of the Year award by the Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce. In July 2018, Ms. Clark received a Proclamation from the Prince George’s County Council. In March of 2018, Ms. Clark was honored with a State of Maryland Governor’s Citation and by the Washington Business Journal as one the 2018 Minority Business Leaders of the Year. In 2017, Ms. Clark was awarded the SmartCEO Magazine’s Brava Award for leadership and excellence. In 2016, JD Clark completed the Small Business Administration (SBA)’s Emerging Leaders Program. In 2013, Tisa Clark, was featured in the Journal of Property Management where she was recognized as one of the top Women Changing the World of Real Estate and Management. JD Clark won the 2012 Emerging Business of the Year Award by Prince George’s County Chamber of Commerce and the ranked 37th out of 53 in the 5th annual P&B 53 Exceptional Awards by The Gazette.
Ms. Clark has over twenty (20) years of experience in the primary and secondary mortgage industries spending five (5) years as a Director for Freddie Mac. She holds various degrees, licenses and certifications, a few to mention are a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Management; a Project Management Professional Certification (PMP) with the Project Management Institute (PMI); Contractor/Salesman License with the Maryland Home Improvement Commission of the State of Maryland, Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation; LEED Green Associate with U.S. Green Building Council, Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) with the Mortgage Bankers Association; Resident Producer Individual License with the Maryland Insurance Administration; and is a Notary Public of the State of Maryland. Ms. Clark is a former Executive Board member of The Arc of Prince George’s County; a board member of the Business Leadership Council of Prince George’s Community College; a member with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC); and a member PMI.
Ms. Clark also has a philanthropic presence. She supports many organizations, such as Another Chance Foundation and others. She has personally adopted Croom Vocational High School in Prince George’s County. Through this adoption, she provides supplies and monetary contribution as the needs arise. She has supported Croom Vocational High School since 2010. She has served as Principal for A Day with Prince George’s County Public Schools since 2011 and often serves as a motivational speaker during career day at several local schools. Most recently Ms. Clark serves as a mentor to three (3) young ladies who are matriculating in the Integral Prince George’s County Public School’s Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program. In September 2018, Ms. Clark was inducted into the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Prince George’s County, MD (NCBW 100). NCBW 100’s mission is to foster principles of equal rights and opportunities; promote the awareness of Black culture; provide a forum for Black women to address educational, political, social and health related issues; develop the potential for effective leadership and participation of its members in civic affairs and to cooperate with other organizations to achieve mutual goals. Ms. Clark accepted an invitation to The White House to address the Nation on Small Business Issues.
Being a woman, in a male dominated “construction industry” has been Ms. Clark’s greatest challenge. Ms. Clark had to use her program management expertise, her knowledge in the secondary mortgage and finance industries to master a new industry. Ms. Clark enrolled in various trade and construction related programs and classes. This allowed Ms. Clark to demonstrate business savvy, operational fortitude and political savviness. Networking is very essential to her continued growth and evolution. Ms. Clark has been able to stay ahead of what is coming. Ms. Clark attracts qualified and skilled craftsmen, which allows her to exceed her client’s expectations. Instead of letting greed drive her, she lets the vision of the community legacy drive, to slowly grow and maintain the quality of her Brand. She Transforms Communities Through Social Impact and will Manage Your Projects from Cradle to Grave.
Mr Don Lloyd Williams
President and CEO of Princeton Healthcare International
MR. DON LLOYD WILLIAMS is President and CEO of Princeton Healthcare International, a healthcare solutions provider, focusing on hospital development programs, providing management consulting services, integration of medical equipment and technologies and securing financing company for hospitals, clinics, international agencies and companies worldwide.
Mr. Williams has twenty plus years of international experience running major healthcare firms and technology organizations. While an executive at several major international corporations, including Daimler Benz (Dornier Medical), Hewlett Packard and Siemens Healthcare, Mr. Williams handled international healthcare management consulting and technology projects in Canada, Europe and Latin America, hospital development projects, and healthcare technology and services markets in a number of emerging market economies.
During Mr. Williams last corporate position, Mr. Williams had divisional responsibility for a major Healthcare Division with revenues in excess of over $500M USD, with over 5,000 employees covering, North and South America, and ten (10) international markets.
As CEO of Princeton, Mr. Williams engineered the first sale of healthcare equipment and technology and structured finance to the West African nation of Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) that was underwritten by the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
He has since completed numerous development, medical equipment and technology, management consulting services, and financing transactions in Latin America, West Africa and Asia, and is now regarded as a leading authority in the U.S., Healthcare development transactions, trade and financing for emerging markets economies.
Mr. Williams and the Princeton Team is currently involved in the development of a “State of the Art” Cancer Center, in a region outside of Sao Paulo, Brazil, integrating Proton Therapy Technology, a leading clinical technology for the treatment of Cancer.
In addition, Princeton is working on several Hospital Development and Expansion Projects within South and Central America. Mr. Williams development achievements in Africa and other key emerging markets has led Princeton to receive a special award from the U.S. Department of Commerce, prestigious awards including International Business of the Year, and the Globe Award.
Mr. Williams and the Princeton Team have worked with a number of leading global hospital systems, and healthcare firms. At the current time, Princeton is also currently managing several hospital and healthcare development projects within South America.
Mr. Williams has served as Vice-Chair and currently serves on the United States Department of Commerce’s Industry Sector/Advisory Council on international trade for Small/Medium-Sized Firms, the top governmental advisory group on small/medium sized businesses.
Mr. Williams is currently a Board Director for the World Trade Center of Atlanta, and Board Member of the Corporations Board for Northeastern University. Mr Williams was appointed and served as a Board Councilor to the President Jimmy Carter Foundation, Board Directors to the following organizations; the National Small Business Association, Chairman of the Small Business Exporters Association, the National Association of Healthcare Executives, and the Brazilian Chambers of Commerce of the Southeast.
Mr. Williams holds a Bachelors Degree from Boston University, a Master in Management from Northeastern University, and graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business, Executive Marketing & Business Program. Mr. Williams is a former Adjunct Professor of Finance, Health Systems Management, Marketing, Project Management and Business Policy.
Founder/CEO of Abeja International Development, Inc.
Kiesha Haughton is currently the Founder/CEO of Abeja International Development, Inc. an economic empowerment nonprofit, and the Owner of Bantu Village, LLC an e-commerce natural & organic hair and skincare business.
Prior to starting her own business and nonprofit, Kiesha Haughton worked as the Managing Director of the Maryland Women’s Business Center (MWBC) where she ran a successful program that provided business training and counseling services to women-owned enterprises to help them achieve scalable growth.
Before her MWBC leadership role she worked as Regional Director for the Maryland Small Business Development Center (MDSBDC) where she led her region to become one of the top performing regions in the State, and receive national recognition and a number of awards.
With over 15 years of experience providing economic development solutions to both the public and private sector, Kiesha developed and managed key strategic relationships with stakeholders on a local and national level that included, funders, legislators, community leaders, non-profit organizations, businesses, and government agencies.
She has testified before the U.S. Senate’s Small Business Committee to advocate for women entrepreneurs, and received citations from the MD Comptroller, Montgomery County Executive & County Council. Kiesha received her MBA and BA from the University of Maryland, and MA from the University of Denver.
Senior Advisor in the Africa Bureau at the U.S. Agency for International Development
Gregory Simpkins is a specialist in African policy development who currently is Senior Advisor in the Africa Bureau at the U.S. Agency for International Development, focusing in trade, especially the Presidential initiative Prosper Africa. He previously served as Staff Director for the U.S. House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations from 2011-2018, where he advised the Chairman on policy issues, arranged Congressional hearings, drafted legislation and led government oversight missions. He served in the same position from 1997-98 and from 2005-2006, during which time he helped pass the initial version of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and several subsequent versions. Mr. Simpkins also has served in a variety of positions in civil society, allowing him to help shape or implement U.S. policy on Africa. Such positions include Policy Director for the Corporate Council on Africa, where he developed policy positions for an association of more than 200 U.S. companies doing business in Africa.
A journalist who has worked in national and local radio since 1977, Mr. Simpkins hosted talk shows and sports programs. He has written for national and international magazines and newspapers, including the Christian Science Monitor, the Washington Times, Jane’s Terrorism and Security Monitor, the Nairobi (Kenya) Law Monthly and The Guardian (Nigeria). He has written and edited several books and four newsletters on Angola. He managed coverage and reported from the White House, the State Department and Capitol Hill for the Sheridan Broadcasting Network and also managed national and international news coverage for the network. From 2009-2011, Mr. Simpkins wrote the blog Africa Rising 2010 (later Africa Rising 21st Century) and conducted webinars.
Since 1987, Mr. Simpkins has been involved in foreign advocacy projects. He has designed and managed multi-level democratization, trade and capacity-building programs in Africa, beginning in 1992, with the International Republican Institute, the Institute for Democratic Strategies, the Foundation for Democracy in Africa and the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation. During his time in civil society and later in government, Mr. Simpkins organized and managed several international conferences. He has observed and reported on the election processes in Kenya, South Africa, Liberia, Guinea and Equatorial Guinea. He has trained election observers and political party officials from eastern, southern and western African nations. Mr. Simpkins has testified before the U.S. Senate and House on trade, human rights and elections in Africa and provided background information on the changing political situations in various countries to U.S. Government officials in the executive and legislative branches.
Mr. Simpkins also has conducted training on accessing AGOA and helped develop public-private partnerships to promote trade and commercial development under AGOA in Nigeria, Senegal, Mali and Benin. He helped to establish the African Democracy Network, an organization of more than 200 African democrats from 31 nations in 1994, and the AGOA Civil Society Network, a coalition of African NGOs concerned with the equitable implementation of AGOA. He also helped to create the Western Hemisphere African Diaspora Network, following a conference funded by the African Union, and organized the U.S. Civil Society Coalition for African Trade and Investment. He has managed eight of the first 11 AGOA Civil Society Forums in the United States, Mauritius and Kenya. In recent years, he has enabled USAID to co-sponsor two Diaspora trade conferences with the African Union Mission in Washington.
As a public speaker, Mr. Simpkins has given presentations on political and economic topics at the U.S. Foreign Service Institute, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the American Countertrade Association, the Heritage Foundation and the African Studies Departments at the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University and the University of California at Los Angeles. The Voice of America, the British Broadcasting Corporation and WorldNet’s “Africa Journal” program also have interviewed him on Africa issues.
He received his Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from George Washington University and his Masters of Business Administration, specializing in marketing, from the Keller Graduate School of Management.
H E Kayode Alabi
Deputy Governor of Kwara State, Nigeria
His Excellency, Kayode Alabi is the Deputy Governor of Kwara State, Nigeria. He is a graduate of London school of Accountancy and Business studies.
He lectured in the Marketing Department of Kaduna Polytechnic between 1988 and 1989. He is a seasoned Entreprenuer and investor with years of experience transforming businesses across Africa.
He is leading the efforts of Kwara State towards building resilience for businesses post Covid as well as building a new generation of entrepreneurs in the state towards job creation and poverty eradication.
He is a member of London Chartered Institute of Marketing.
Chief Commercial Officer, Mixta Africa
Recently recognized as one of Top 275 Female Executive Global Influencers of the UK’s Women Energy Council, Rolake is a leading infrastructure; finance executive, who has built a track record of helping to finance, invest in and successfully scale businesses across Africa. With over 15 years professional experience, she is adept at building strong partnerships with private and public clients Africa, and has extensive experience in strategy, deal origination and execution, investment appraisal, and mobilizing and coordinating multi-stakeholder teams. She currently provides strategic consulting services to infrastructure businesses seeking African growth and expansion as Managing Director at EnergyInc Advisors, and founded a non-profit social entreprise helping alternative energy SMEs scale and raise capital. She is also currently the Senior Africa Advisor to Development Finance Institution, IFU Danish Investment Fund, and previously sat on the global advisory board of Canadian Private Equity firm, Stonechair Capital advising on its $300mn #EnergyAfrica Fund for gas and renewables.
From 2014 – 2019 she was head of energy and infrastructure for FBNQuest Merchant Bank, investment and merchant banking arm of FBN Holdings PLC, Nigeria’s oldest financial services group, helping local and regional corporates raise and structure equity and debt capital. From 2017-19 she was a member of the private sector economic advisory group in the Office of the Vice President of Nigeria, working closely with the Chief Economic Adviser to the President on a range of national development policy issues. Before returning to Nigeria in 2014, she was the pioneer head of the energy research team at pan-African Ecobank Group in London, covering sub-Saharan Africa. A fluent French speaker, she has also previously worked for the Development Directorate of the European Commission in Brussels, political risk consultancy Eurasia Group, International Crisis Group in Senegal and the Foreign Policy Centre in London. Rolake was recognized in the United Nations’ Most Influential People of African (MIPAD) Top 100 Under 40, in the Business & Entrepreneurship Class of 2018, and was listed in the 2019, 2018 and 2017 Choiseul Institute’s (France) top 200 Under-40 Young Economic Leaders in Africa.
A highly-sought after thought-leader she is a regular reviewer of global business headlines on BBC World News TV, and has appeared on several local and global media platforms. She has a Bachelors and a Masters degree from the London School of Economics (LSE). She also holds an executive MBA degree from TRIUM (HEC School of Manager, NYU Stern Business School LSE), during which time she was also the recipient of the Jane M. Klausmann Women in Business Scholarship from Zonta International. She sits on several boards non-profit and corporate boards and is a WIMBIZ Associate.
Regional Manager - Middle East, Africa & India Office of International Investment and Trade
Brian Castleberry is the Regional Manager for Africa, the Middle East and India for the Maryland Department of Commerce.
He manages offices in Durban, Dubai and Delhi. Through his office in Baltimore, Brian assists Maryland companies with all aspects of trade, such as market assessment reports, relevant industry contacts or potential commercial partners, and market insight into opportunities and challenges for your business.
He holds degrees from the University of Maryland and University of Baltimore.
Wendy Brisley Ed. D.
Educator & Development Advocate
Email: email@example.com | 845-532-5072 (mobile) │ Alexandria, Virginia.
Education Professional – Executive Profile
Dedicated, proactive professional, with nearly 30 years of experience advancing education. Extensive experience working in diverse settings, including teaching and leadership administration roles, contributing across the educational lifespan. Expert in strategic planning, program and impact evaluation, and analysis to inform decision making and improve program effectiveness. Passionate about advancing organizational goals through creative, innovative approaches.
Core Leadership Areas
Partnership Development – Resource Mobilization (government funding and independent donors) – Educator engagement – Administration – Program/Curriculum design, execution and management – Community and volunteer management – Financial Operations and Budgetary Responsibility – Non-profit organizations – At-Risk Intervention – Diverse student populations.
Education and Qualifications
• Doctorate of Education – Northcentral University, Arizona, June 2018
• Masters of Arts in Teaching-Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages - University of Southern California, Rossier School of Education, December 2013
• Bachelor of Science – Elementary Education and Extension Secondary Social Studies, S.U.N.Y. College at Buffalo, May 1988.
• Study published November 2018; Copyright March 2019
• Spring 2016-Consulted on a task force with Marist College to develop a new Teaching English as a Second Language under-grad certification program; curricula-course requirements-state regulations
• Proactively mobilized $100,000 from external donors to ensure appropriate resource allocations for new program roll out and longevity of the programs for CultureConnect, NY
• Developed and implemented a summer program in 2012 for ELL students to prevent summer slide
• Secured $1M grant from US DOE to build a new Montessori Center for the Seneca Nation of Indians, NY
• Increased completion rates of the WIDA ACCESS Language Assessment for ELL students from 45% to 100%, Cesar Chavez School of Public Policy; Parkside and Capitol Hill Campuses, Washington, DC.
Eliances Sept. 2019-current
• Organize weekly meetings with entrepreneurs, start-ups, politicians, Corporate Presidents/CEOs and angel investors
• Responsible for room attendance of 40-50, daily communications
• Utilizing multi-media campaigns
• Continuous update of data analytics
Cesar Chavez School for Public Policy: Parkside and Capitol Hill Dec. 2018-July 2019
English Language Learner Teacher
• Pushed in and pulled out students for English language instruction
• Built a relationship with content-based teachers to develop a cooperative and co-teaching atmosphere
• Modified lesson plans of content-based teachers to accommodate, scaffold, and differentiate material for ELL students
• Developed training with teachers at Parkside/Capitol Hill campuses on scaffolding and differentiating lessons.
Culture Connect Life, Learning and Language Aug. 2009- July 2018
Program Coordinator-Independent Consultant
Chancellor Livingston Elementary School, RHINEBECK and Mill Road Elementary School, RED HOOK- New York
• Designed new English Language Learners program, building political support from Boards of Education and Superintendents, resulting in the roll out of the new extended day program
• Spearheaded all aspects of new program, leading robust recruitment and vetting process, on-boarding nearly 90 students from Bard College, Marist College and Dutchess Community College to carry the program forward
• Train volunteer tutors from the colleges on BICS, CALP, levels of proficiency and best practices
• Prepared and designed curriculum for the volunteers to use, monitored their work, and instruct on teaching techniques
• Developed and Expanded Family Advocacy Program
• Match volunteer advocate/translator with non-English speaking families
• Schedule parent/teacher conferences, child study teams, and Special Education meetings with the advocate and LLL family.
Partnership For Education, Saugerties, New York 2008- 2009
• Designed using the Excel spreadsheet a computerized system to monitor and track Early Intervention and Preschool Evaluations to ensure the center was within the state allotted timeframe
• Match Consultants with families and children to provide OT, PT, Special Instruction and Speech and Language Services, and Counseling
• Ensure all Consultants and Service Coordinators have all paperwork on families and children, IEP and IFPs
• Maintain clinical files on children to ensure the prescriptions are accurate and progress notes reflect goals from IFP and IEPs.
Red Hook Central School District, Red Hook, NY 2001-2008
• Taught in the elementary, middle and high school levels on an as needed basis
Seneca Nation of Indians, Allegany Reservation Salamanca, NY 1990-1994
Director of Montessori and Early Childhood Center
• Supervised 13 staff members -Responsible for daily operation, staffing, development of budget, collection of parent fee, New York State licensure of center
• Increased parent fee collection by 250%
• Responsible for obtaining grants to supplement funding of school through USDA, Department of Education- $50K
• Implemented staff training including sending staff to Montessori training for certification, CPR, and other areas of education
• Secured and maintained status as accredited Montessori Center
• Worked collaboratively with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) on the how to better educate Native American students.
• October 2019-Presenter at VIII International Congress Migration and Mental Health; Gender, Place, and Identity-NY
• Fall 2017-Presenter for Dr. Chilton Bard College, Sanctuary Class -Sanctuary in Three Areas: shelter, institutional, and humanitarian-NY
• Spring 2015-Presented to the Chancellor Livingston faculty on adding culture sensitivity and culture into everyday practices in the classroom-NY
• Fall 2013-Presenter at the New York State TESOL Conference on extended day programming for ELL students-NY
• Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society For Education, 2017-present
• 2008-2017-Past chairperson and board member of the Hudson Valley Foundation For Youth Health, Inc.
• Foundation awarded grants: $100k yearly to various organizations that supported activities and programs which focused on the many facets of youth health (mental, physical, and educational).
Permanent Board Member at Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board
Dayo Israel was named one of the 100 Most Influential People of African Descent (under 40) as part of the 2017 celebration of the UN Decade for people of Africa Descent at the One UN Plaza in New York.
A Henley Business School Young Leader, Dayo has twice been named in 2016 and 2017 as one of 50 UK’s brightest young leaders. He was recognised as one of the top 25 Promising Nigerian Youths under 35 To Serve Nigeria in 2016 and as one of Africa’s top 30 most inspirational young people of 2013.
Dayo is a member of the British Council Global Change makers Network and Alumnus of the US State Department International Visitors Leadership Program that has produced over 400 Heads of Government globally.
In recent times, Dayo’s United Nations engagement have included the management and coordination of the UNICEF Nigeria/Lagos State Government Launch of the Violence Against Children Campaign and the Visit of the Special Representative of the Secretary General to the Launch in Lagos.
Through his work at GLEEHD Foundation, Dayo helps drive trade and investment between Africa and the West (Europe and North America) through various activities including Trade Delegations, Business Roundtables, Investment Forums and Bilateral Meetings.
Prior to his role as Regional Director for Africa at GLEEHD Foundation, Dayo served as Special Assistant at the National Assembly of Nigeria, YTI Special Representative to the United Nations, and YGA Ambassador to the United Nations.
At the National Assembly of Nigeria (Office of Senator Omoworare – now Chairman Senate Committee on Rules and Business), Dayo was responsible for Strategy Development, Project Design and Implementation.
Specialties: Project Management, Operations Management, Fundraising, Training and Development, PR and Marketing, Leadership Development, Capacity Building, Preaching the Gospel, Public Speaking and Keynote Speeches.
Shavon J Smith
Principal, the SJS Law Firm
Ms. Smith is the principal of The SJS Law Firm, PLLC where she counsels business owners, start-ups, and entrepreneurs on a range of legal issues.
She serves a diverse client base across multiple industry segments including franchisees, government contractors, professional service organizations, and food & beverage retailers just to name a few. Her clients call on her for guidance on commercial real estate lease and acquisitions, business financing, international transactions, compliance, and end-to-end contract support. Additionally, she represents her clients on a range of employment issues.
Ms. Smith lectures and speaks regularly to business owners on topics such as: Performing a Legal Check Up; Ensuring Your Business is Legally Protected & Prime for Growth; Working With An Attorney For Your Small Business and Growing Your Business With Teaming Arrangements. Ms. Smith is the author of the e-book, “The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Hiring an Attorney.” She is also an instructor with the Prince George’s Center for Entrepreneurial Development. She volunteers with various organizations to provide pro bono assistance to community entrepreneurs. She sits on the board of a southeast DC non-profit - Wheeler Creek Community Development Corporation – as an extension of these efforts.
Shavon received her JD from Howard University School of Law and BA in Political Theory and International Relations from Michigan State University. Shavon was selected as a “Super Lawyers Rising Star” for 2013 & 2015-2016.
Business Administration and Management, General at USF
Rozina ("Rozy") Negusei is a serial entrepreneur, having previously founded successful ventures in the entertainment and fashion industries. With a drive to succeed and an ambitious personality, Rozy got her foot in the music industry at a very young age, first as a Casting Director then Producer for music videos, collaborating with well-known artists like Jay Z, Usher, P. Diddy, and many more.
After graduating from the University of South Florida with a BBA (Bachelor in Business Administration), Rozy decided to combine her passions for entertainment and business by founding her first company, Zanar Entertainment. Rozy has been running Zanar Ent. for over a decade now, producing several award-winning videos, TV shows, and even a full feature film (Chocolate City, 2015). Her eye for design and passion for fashion, particularly in hip hop culture, led her to co-founding Ras Judah Clothing in 2006. Manufacturing and selling a tangible product (both online and in stores) was a new experience for Rozy, but she mastered the skills needed to succeed very quickly. To give her music business its own path for growth, Rozy established Entreeg Records in 2009, with distribution through KonLive Universal.
And to further diversify her business interests, Rozy established Entreeg Investment Group in 2013, focusing on commodities trading and proving that she has the smarts to cross into unrelated industries seamlessly). As the "Ro" in "S&Ro," Rozy brings her entrepreneurial spirit, diverse skill sets in business, and first degree connections to various celebrities and prominent figureheads around the world (including top government officials) - all factors that are vital to the establishment and growth of a new global enterprise.
Founder of Chocolate City Group
Audu is a multi-award-winning entrepreneur, lawyer and creative industry expert. He is better known as the founder of Chocolate City Group- a media /entertainment company which is comprised of Chocolate City Media( Film ,TV and content production) , Chocolate City Kenya, CCX (live Music space) and Chocolate City Music record label -one of the biggest record labels in Africa- and home to
some of Africa’s most talented artistes including Grammy Nominated Femi Kuti, M.I Abaga, Dice Ailes, Ckay, Blaqbonez etc.
In March 2019, Chocolate City Group signed a landmark partnership deal with Warner Music Group (one of the biggest record labels in the world) to bring the Warner Catalogue to Africa and promote the Chocolate City catalogue and artists across 60 new markets globally.
In 2018, he was invited to join the board of Unanimous Games LLC - a 360 Esports digital company based in New York - that focuses on mobile game development, Esports activations, Content creation, STEM Education and talent management. As Executive Director and Partnerships lead, his portfolio includes companies like Rocnation, BET Networks, PUMA, AfroIsland Initiative and the Government of Barbados.
Born in Kaduna, Nigeria , he attended the prestigious King's College Lagos and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2001. He has served as legal counsel in several corporations including Chief Afe Babalola SAN & Co, Leasing Company of Nigeria (a subsidiary of Bank of Industry), Abuja Markets Management Limited and was Senior Legal consultant with CPCS Transcom International(a Canadian infrastructure advisory firm) where he was lead counsel for major Bureau for Public
Enterprises(BPE)/World Bank funded projects including the privatization of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria(PHCN), the Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA) reforms, Abuja Rail Mass Transit system and the Lagos Blue Line Rail Mass Transit project.
He is a passionate advocate for social justice and entrepreneurship as the key to economic empowerment. He has served on various entrepreneurial judging panels including – Microsoft’s Passion to Empire, Etisalat Prize for Innovation, She Leads Africa, Chivas The Venture Competition and served as judge on the M.I.T Inclusive Innovation Global competition in 2018 and 2019.
Audu sits on several boards including Recycle Points (a recycling and waste management company), Global Rights Africa (a human rights and advocacy NGO), Nigerian British Chamber of Commerce, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and is the Chairman of Beat Drone (a drone tech company).
He is an alumnus of the University of Jos, Pan African University, Lagos and Massachusetts Institute
of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management, Boston respectively.
Entrepreneur, Motivational speaker, Finance and Investments Adviser Founder, DCK GLOBAL (DCK Africa)
Denise Cortês-Keyser is a Mozambican Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Finance and Investments Adviser, former TV Macroeconomic Analyst and ex-Vice President of Mozambique Football Federation.
Denise is a Certified Accountant, with honors degree in Management and Post-graduated in Corporate Finance.
Denise founded DCK GLOBAL (DCK Africa), an online platform that empowers women and African entrepreneurs, by promoting intra-Africa trade and investments.
Denise managed and advised several businesses and organisations in different sectors of activity. Denise is an International Public and Motivational Speaker in subjects related to Local Content, Entrepreneurship, Women Empowerment and Leadership.
Since 2018, is a Speaker at Horasis Global Meeting (www.horasis.org), an independent think tank headquartered in Zürich, dedicated to the innovation and development of sustainable emerging markets.
She loves sports and football was her first love! It made her accept the challenge of being part of the Board of the Mozambique Soccer Federation from 2015 to 2019, as Vice-President for Studies, Projects and Marketing.
Denise is Board Member of New Faces New Voices in Mozambique. An organization chaired by Mrs. Graça Machel, aiming to empower women working in the Financial Sector and promote Financial Inclusion.
In her capacity of Business Adviser, from 2013 to 2015 Denise was the Executive Director of the Association of Commerce, Industry and Services of Mozambique (ACIS). By that time, ACIS was the major business association in Mozambique, with more than 300 members, representing a combined investment of USD 70 Billions, with a combined workforce of more than 75,000 employees, and working with more than 450,000 community out-growers.
• In 2014, under Denise's management, as Executive Director of the Association of Commerce, Industry and Services of Mozambique, ACIS was awarded as the Best Business Association in Mozambique;
• In 2017, Denise was awarded Maputo Top Leader in an event organised by Jason Associates in Mozambique.
Founder, TKC Incorporated
Angela Heath, popularly known as the Gig Income Guru, is the founder of TKC Incorporated, an idea studio dedicated to guiding individuals and businesses in leveraging the gig economy. She has been an entrepreneur most of her adult life.
For over 20 years, she was blessed to lead a successful consultancy, win national awards and create educational and behavioral change programs. She has traveled to every state except five, speaking and training. But then her life took a dramatic turn.
Her only child was diagnosed with cancer, not once, but twice. For about 3.5 years, she stopped working to be by his side during the grueling treatment. With her savings and investments exhausted, she came to the conclusion that she must find a way to stop trading time for dollars.
At the same time, she noticed dozens of valuable workers who were over 45 getting laid off and unable to find employment for months, sometimes years. Dead end positions making far less money was common among those who did find a new job. Others lost their homes while they were sitting on a fortune… their talents and skills.
She kept hearing the same story over and over and over. Professionals over 45 were stressed at work, underpaid and underappreciated. She started helping because it truly saddened her to see people living far beneath their God-given talents, gifts, skills and passions. She organized accountability groups and offered training to experienced workers. She taught how they can become happy hustlers whether in a corporate environment or working on their own.
She built online offerings and expanded the business to address the urgent needs that result from the gig economy. Today TKC Incorporated target corporations, career coaches, the employment industry as well as individuals guiding them to leverage the new world of work and help their clients and employees hustle happy!
Author, Serial entrepreneur, Coach, Inspirational speaker
Dipo Adesina is an author, serial entrepreneur, a coach, and an inspirational speaker.
The gift of being able to merge his business, academics, and life experiences to create a lasting impact on his audience has made Dipo an increasingly sought-after speaker.
He has given keynote speeches, training seminars, and workshops at high schools, universities, youth conferences, conventions, churches and organizations both nationally and internationally.
For over a decade, Dipo has been developing global businesses, and empowering millennials around the world on the importance of investing, and owning a business.
He is the founder of AgroAngels, a platform that enables Africans in diaspora to invest in one of the fastest growing sectors in Africa, Agriculture.
He is also the Co-Founder at GuraRide, a Bikeshare Share Company in Africa that is dedicated to reducing carbon emission by offering alternative means of transportation with Electric/Smart Bikes and Electric Scooter.
Business Development Specialist, US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC)
Ms. Rashanda Johnson is a Business Development Specialist in the Office of Development Credit at the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).
As Business Development Specialist, Rashanda focuses on counseling U.S. companies seeking financing, evaluating new project proposals and loan applications, and developing new business opportunities.
Prior to joining DFC, Ms. Johnson served at US Commercial Service and USAID. Her primary responsibilities were assisting in outreach to the U.S. business and trade communities, and facilitating new business opportunities.
Ms. Johnson holds an MPA with an emphasis on Policy and Management from Bowie State University and a Bachelor's degree in International Business from Wright State University. She also is alumna of a multi-country study abroad program which emphasizes global comparative study.
Gifty Oware Aboagye
Deputy Executive Director, National Service Scheme in Ghana
Gifty Oware Aboagye a Ghanaian politician/philanthropist and an Agriculture enthusiast. She is currently the Deputy Executive Director of the National Service Scheme in Ghana . She has responsibility for General Services, helping to manage an annual personnel pool of about 100,000. Gifty is a native of the Eastern Region, a fertile land that is the home for the third largest producer of cocoa in Ghana.
Gifty Oware-Aboagye though studies General Arts with literature/History and Economics option before continuing to KNUST always expressed interest in the farming lifestyles of her immediate surrounding like Akyem-Oda, Kwahu-Pepease, and Koforidua. Gifty also holds a postgraduate certificate in Management of Democratic Elections in Africa (MDeA) from the University of South Africa.
She also holds an MSc in Defense and International Politics at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC) Executive Development Certificate, Women in Leadership from Stellenbosch University, Executive Education in Digital Marketing from Yale University, Executive Certificate, Globalization from Oxford University, Business Management / Global Governance / Project Management | International Business Management Institute, Project Management | Swiss School of Business and Management.
Gifty began her career as the Events and Marketing Manager for Reflects Marketing Plus in Accra from 2011 to 2014. In 2014 she joined the Danquah Institute, a political think-thank named after one of Ghana's founding fathers, Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah, focused on making a courageous, imaginative and constructive contribution to nation-building and development, with the purpose of enhancing the life of every individual citizen. Prior to her appointment as the Deputy Executive Director of the National Service Scheme she was the Director of Research and Media Relations at the Institute. Gifty with the passion of Agriculture has made tremendous impact in that sector both in service to the nation and in her individual capacity.
As part of the mandate as Deputy Executive Director in charge of General Services at NSS, she had to look for sponsorships to revamp the defunct NSS Farms to internally generate funds. Through such relentless efforts, the NSS has all major farms back on track and acquiring new farmlands for cultivation. There is the Nungua Farms, the Papao Farms which deals with the animal husbandry, the Brenam cultivation, Dawhenya Cultivation, the Ejura mechanized Cultivation. The gestation period of Agriculture yields in the future and as part of the innovative plans being examined, the National Service is taking steps to add value to such cultivated items. This manifested in the introduction of the NSS Entrepreneurship Module, that led to the seed establishment of 20 National Service Personnel in Poultry.
Gifty consults for the Oware Fruit Juice Company as a financial and investment analyst. A Fruit Juice Processing company established ten years ago with a production capacity of 12,000 bottles a day from a sucker out grower cultivation farm.
As a forefront fighter for economic freedom, and financial independence, Gifty’s passion for the monetization of Agriculture has only sought to liberate the youths from unemployment and make them Agricultural Entrepreneurs.
In March 2010, she was appointed as the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs at the First Session of Ghana International Model of The United Nations.
Gifty is a recipient of an honorary PhD in Sociology and Social Work by the Day Spring Christian University College Lauredale Florida for her dedication to social activism and efforts aimed at changing society for the better. Gifty was named as a member of the Ghana Football Association's management committee for the Black Maidens (Under 17 female football team) this year, 2020.
Victory Yemi Oluwasegun
CIO of Jamborow and COO/co-founder of SpringPort Technologies
Mr. VictoryYemi Oluwasegun is an International businessman, serving today as the CIO of Jamborow and COO/co-founder of SpringPort Technologies. Whether in North America, Europe or Africa, this American-born Nigerian learned the value of cultural respect from both sides of the Atlantic.
Not being content with the status-quo, he started to engage the community by volunteering and mentoring other youths in his neighborhood to write computer programs.
Mr. Oluwasegun has attained degrees in computer information systems – Computer Networking, and Industry Certificates; CompTIA Network+, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and Microsoft Certified Trainer.
He has gone on to the work as a consultant for the World Bank, Microsoft, HP, Bell Atlantic (Verizon), NASA, Envision Healthcorp, Pediatric Associates, the Pentagon, the State Department and many more fortunes 500 companies.
He has over 20+ years of experience in IT which includes managing product development, software and hardware engineering, and directing technical integration and operations.
He has successfully managed organizations that have delivered technology solutions to the automotive, computer, engineering, manufacturing, financial services, retail industries, and all levels of Government.
In 2008, Mr. Oluwasegun received a commendation letter from the US State Department – Overseas Embassy Operation as one of the Best Contractors to serve the State with distinction. All the while, continuing to a small business coach to some and a mentor to others; assisting in community initiatives like the Daniel Institute for Youths. Victory enjoys running, biking, CrossFit and acting.
Director of Partnerships and Advancement, Baobab Consulting
Lara Abiona specializes in external relations, strategic partnerships, and digital communications strategy. Currently serving as the Director of Partnerships and Advancement at Baobab Consulting, Lara spearheads the strategy, goal setting, and execution of Baobab's strategic partnership development in alignment with the company's goals for business growth. She recently earned an MSc Development Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science, specializing in Applied Development Economics.
She wrote her MSc dissertation on gender barriers to access to finance for female micro-entrepreneurs in Ghana. Prior to working at Baobab, she led her own Africa focused communications consultancy based in Washington, D.C. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and International Studies (French minor) from Trinity College in Hartford, CT.
Kelsey Nicole Nelson
Award-winning professional broadcast journalist and radio personality
A trailblazer in sports media in the DMV, Kelsey Nicole Nelson continues to create her own lane.
The award-winning professional broadcast journalist and radio personality has covered some of the top sporting events on a local, state and national level for broadcast tv. Kelsey has covered some of the premier sporting events including the WNBA Finals, NBA Finals and the Super Bowl interviewing the world’s top athletes.
Before attending college, Kelsey was a standout student at Clarksburg High School in Clarksburg, Md. Kelsey was born and raised in Montgomery County, Md. She is a proud DMV native.
Growing up, Kelsey was always strong in academics, earning academic scholarships to attend college and spent a great deal of time participating in community service and in athletics. Currently, Kelsey works as a freelance sports reporter, where she has become a fixture in the Washington, D.C. sports scene. Currently, Kelsey is apart of the Washington Football Team's broadcast team where she serves as a digital host for the team's Unfiltered series, hosting "The Fit" and "The Life" shows. Kelsey is also the host of the Sports Smarts podcast series for the National Sports Media Association. She is also commonly seen and heard on Fox Sports Radio 1340 AM/96.9 FM where she hosts her own radio show/podcast, “Listen In With KNN,” the station's flagship show! For Fox Sports Radio, Kelsey covers all the professional teams throughout the Greater Washington Area including the Washington Redskins, Washington Wizards, Baltimore Orioles, Maryland Terrapins, Georgetown Hoyas and more. Last year, Kelsey was awarded by the Next Generation Entertainment Awards as the “Best On-Air Personality” for her work with her show. Her sports broadcasting work doesn’t end there as she also works as the Co-Host for “Inside the MFL,” on DC Radio 96.3 HD4, and serves as the league’s official sideline reporter. Most recently, Kelsey worked as the Arena Football League team reporter for the Washington Valor.
In addition to these responsibilities, Kelsey is a sideline reporter for the Big East Digital Network (BEDN) covering Georgetown University's women’s basketball team during college basketball season. Kelsey also works as a sports host/correspondent for the DKN Sports Network apart from the DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment. Kelsey also is a frequent contributor for various sports sites in the D.C. region and works as a reporter for Jeff Power TV productions. Kelsey has appeared on WHUR, 106.7 “The Fan,” “The Tony Perkins Show”, “The Butch McAdams Show,” “America Speaks,” "The Marketing Pulpit,” “The Wil Walker Show,” and other top shows across the country. Kelsey was recently featured in "The Legends of Texas Football" documentary that aired on Fox Sports Southwest. She also, is a common fixture as a host and analyst on “The Roundball Report” and “The Sideline Report.” Kelsey has covered premier sporting events such as the NBA Finals, the WNBA Finals, the Super Bowl, the Quicken Loans National Golf Tournament and team championship ceremonies at the White House. New this year, Kelsey began work as instructor for Doral College teaching an “Introduction to Radio and Podcasting” course.
Kelsey has been invited to numerous events to announce games/matches including the Citi Open tennis classic. When Kelsey is not reporting, Kelsey also speaks to youth about the importance of education through her community action project, "Books Breaking Borders: Books to End Educational Bankruptcy,” where her aim is eliminating illiteracy and closing the achievement gap in minority communities. For her work, Kelsey has received many leadership and community awards as well as citations. Earlier this year Kelsey was named “DMV Sports Media Person of the Year.”
In 2016, Kelsey was awarded as the 2016 Phenomenal Woman of the Year from “Be There Magazine," and in 2017 she was an honoree for the WKYS “Top 30 Under 30” 2017 class, for being a top sports reporter and advancing women and minorities in sports. In 2016, Kelsey completed her reign as Ms. African-American United, where her platform was improving the public education system, ending youth bullying and highlighting her “All Women Are Beautiful” campaign to improve self-esteem in young girls. Before her national reign, Kelsey was previously Ms. Maryland African-American United and Miss Teen Maryland African-American United. Today, Kelsey hosts many events and serves as a motivational speaker speaking at colleges across the country.
Kelsey continues to grow her brand as a journalist and has become a well-known personality in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Kelsey is a 2014 graduate of the Philip H. Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland-College Park. During her undergraduate career, she received her Certificate in African-American Studies and her Bachelors of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism. In August 2016, Kelsey received her MPS degree in Sports Industry Management (SIM), with a concentration in Strategic Marketing, Communications & Digital Media from Georgetown University.
Kelsey is very active in the community. She currently works as a capstone advisor for the Sports Industry management program at the Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies. She also currently works as a media mentor for Richard Wright Public Charter School for Journalism and Media Arts and the Urban Health Media Project as well as many other nonprofit organizations. Kelsey gives back to young journalists serving as the Co-Chair of the ambassador program for the National Association of Black Journalists Sports Task Force. She also was most recently appointed to the Most Valuable Kids (MVK) nonprofit board. In her spare time, Kelsey enjoys traveling, writing poetry and performing spoken word, spending time with family, volunteering with #HappyPeriod DC and giving back to the community.
Associate Editor, BUSINESSDAY MEDIA LTD
Kemi is an experienced Editor with a demonstrated history of working in the media industry for over 12 years. Passionate about health awareness, youth empowerment, women development, advocacy and advancement. Skilled in poetry, leadership, and public speaking.
She is an ASSOCIATE EDITOR of BusinessDay Media Limited.
Also, she edits the weekly magazine WOMEN'S HUB, in West Africa's leading financial daily, BusinessDay.
Kemi is the Host of her weekly Women's Talk Show on her Instagram page @Kemiajumobi, called Inspiring Woman Series With Kemi Ajumobi, where she has conversations with women of substance who have inspiring stories to share and motivate the womenfolk.
She is also in charge of the weekly back page column called Women In Business, where she profiles outstanding women in various fields of business and profession.
Kemi is a member of the Editorial Board in BusinessDay.
She is the initiator and coordinator of the annual Inspiring Woman Series Conference currently in its 10th year, where various distinguished women of substance come together to learn, network and share their experiences to inspire other women.
Ajumobi expanded her passion for womenfolk to radio, in order to reach more women by anchoring her own radio show called Inspiring Woman with Kemi. The show has been on 92.3 Inspiration FM and 99.3 Nigeria Info.
In 2013, Ajumobi produced and directed her first documentary on people living with HIV/AIDS titled Why HIV/AIDS Cannot Be Ignored.
She also featured in a film by the award-winning actress and producer, Stephanie Linus, titled DRY. The film focuses on Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) condition and under-aged marriage among young women.
She was a nominee for ‘Journalist of the Year Award’ in 2011 organized by The Future Awards Team.
In 2014, she was a recipient of the G.A.M.E. Award for her contribution to women’s development. She also won the Healthcare Media Excellence Award (Print category) in the same year.
Kemi hosts #THEEXCLUSIVEWITHKEMI show where she speaks with amazing leading men and women who share their exclusive stories like never before.
She is also a counsellor, music minister and anchor. She rendered the Nigerian National Anthem at The World Econonic Forum (Africa) when it took place in Nigeria and also at the Nigerian Centenary Pageant in Bayelsa State.
She was named one of 100 Most Inspiring Women in Nigeria by LEADING LADIES AFRICA, also named as one of MOGULETTES AFRICA'S 100 Most Inspiring Women in Nigeria and one of the ‘100 Women Creating A Better Africa’ by WEFORGOOD INTERNATIONAL. She is an ALI Fellow.
Model, TV presenter, businesswoman and socialite
Lerato Kganyago is a South African model, TV presenter, businesswoman and socialite who is known for hosting her own talk show on Soweto TV called The LKG Show.
She is also known for hosting the SABC1 lifestyle magazine show The Link.
Vice-Chairman, Interlink Capital Strategies
Dr. Watson was Chairman, President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) from May 2001 through February 2005.
Prior to this appointment, Dr. Watson served as Chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission for five years and served at the White House as Director of Asian Affairs at the National Security Council.
In 2007, Dr. Watson was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars Award for Public Service, and Auckland University’s Distinguished Alumni Award.
He was also appointed a member of the U.S. Department of State Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy. In 2002, Queen Elizabeth II awarded Dr. Watson with the decoration as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
He remains as Visiting Professor at St. Peter’s College, Oxford University; serves on the Board of Visitors for the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University; is a Distinguished Lecturer in the adjunct faculty of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and serves as an Advisory Board Member for Georgetown University’s Journal of International Law.
Dr. Watson holds L.L.M. and Doctoral degrees in International Economic Relations from McGill University, and an L.L.B. from Auckland University Law School. He also holds an MBA in International Business.
Climate justice and Sustainable Business Development Professional
Josephine Agbeko is a professional in climate justice and sustainable business development. She cherishes ideas that solve problems and create shared value for all. She has worked alongside civil society actors in Africa to design and implement initiatives that deliver inclusive positive outcomes that aim to build the resilience of the communities at the frontline of climate change.
She has worked with businesses in the private sector to improve their social and environmental impact. Her recent research interests include understanding the implications of voluntary standards for local producers.
She is currently working towards an MA in Development Studies, Public Policy and Management specialization from the Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Outside of work, Josephine loves to volunteer for causes she believes in.
First Counselor in charge of Political Affairs at the Embassy of Rwanda
Lawrence Manzi, is a First Counselor in charge of Political Affairs at the Embassy of Rwanda, a position he has held since May 2015. Before the current assignment, he worked for 2 years at the Mission of the Republic of Rwanda to the United Nations in New York, where he served as the Political Coordinator for Rwanda’s UN Security Council team. Mr. Manzi has over 8 years experience in public policy; development, analysis and advisory; hands on experience in Human Rights advocacy, training and assistance of victims of human rights violations. Mr. Manzi has acquired a wide range of experience in various disciplines, inter alia; Local Governance, Decentralization and Community Development Programming. He holds an LL.M in Public Policy and Law from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, CA.
Maurice A. Haynes Gatling, M.S., CPLC
Mentor, Life Coach, Educator, Leader
Maurice Haynes Gatling is a Student Affairs Professional and has worked in Higher Education for over 25 years. Some of the College and/or Universities he has served with includes, Tuskegee University, Michigan State University, Baker College, Albany State University, and more recently Prince George’s Community College. Currently Mr. Gatling is the Coordinator for Retention and Student Success for the College of Business at Bowie State University. He works within the Dean’s Office and he is responsible for the academic and personal welfare of the 1011 students in the College of Business. “It is an Honor to Serve” is Maurice’s philosophy and has mentored others for over 20 years. Mr. Gatling’s specialty is working with African American Males and has serve on and developed numerous male initiative programs.
Mr Gatling’s mission is to Inspire, Equip, Develop and Lead others. Maurice is a product of the HBCU family attending Alabama State University for two years before transferring to and obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in English from The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa), a Master’s in Counseling and Human Development from Troy University and he will complete his Doctorate in Religious Studies from Bethany Divinity College and Seminary in 2021. Maurice is a certified student success life coach and an active mentor to many.
Ambassador Pradeep K Kapur
Ambassador of India to Chile and Cambodia
Acknowledged as a "luminary diplomat”, Ambassador Kapur had a distinguished career working closely with leaders and policy makers in different continents of the world: Asia - South Asia and South East Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and South America. He brings with him years of intense on-the-ground experience in countries as diverse as Tanzania, Nepal, Cambodia, France, Spain, UK, USA and Chile, besides rising to the level of Secretary at the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India.
He was a Visiting Clinical Professor for Development Diplomacy and Leadership at the University of Maryland, College Park, School of Public Policy, Visiting Scholar at the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs, and Diplomatic Associate at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.
Brand Communications Professional / Founder Toby&Tye
Tobi Adesina is a brand communications professional. His 5 plus years of experience includes work with brands ranging from startups to large corporations. Tobi's career started out with his passion for creating artistic and unique designs. This led him down a path of increased proficiency in brand communications and identity design. He worked at Alder Consulting, a creative intelligence agency in Lagos Nigeria, where he collaborated with creative and technical teams to proffer branding solutions for companies on a national and global scale.
His work spans across developing and refining brand messaging, brand architecture, marketing strategy, visual and operational branding guidelines, and digital campaigns.
Tobi's strong passion for brands is deeply embedded in his philosophy.
He strongly believes "Brands will determine the economies of the future, and culture is the code. Consumers are demanding more. Now more than ever, brands have the potential to impact and improve upon our way of life. By creating remarkable experiences, through products and services, consumer behaviour is influenced; cultures are shaped at every level. Simply put, smart brands create smart societies. Forward-thinking brands boost an innovative culture, which results in advanced societies."
Tobi's experience with a range of brands enabled him to integrate customer behaviour, as well as cultural and market trends into his work process.
Tobi has an expert skill level in design. He also has high competence in brand strategy, abstract thinking, and product design. He actively consults for brands on different scales.