Our Team

OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
TWUM DJIN
Goodwater Capital

Twum is the Chief Technology Officer at Goodwater Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm focused exclusively on consumer tech companies. He heads the firm’s technology strategy, and works with Goodwater’s portfolio of companies. Prior to Goodwater, Djin was an engineer at Google for 8 years.

JOSH GHAIM, Ph.D.
Founder and Managing Partner – IgniteGB Inc.

Co-Founder and CEO - Small World Brands Inc

Josh Ghaim is the Founder and Managing Partner of Ignite Growth Brands (IgniteGB), a new brand and innovation accelerator focused in the Health and Beauty markets as well as investments and support of Women and Minority led start-ups.   Josh is also the Co-Founder and CEO of Small World Brands, the parent company of Nuria Beauty and Recharge Health brands. 

 

Ndeye Makalou
Commercial Director, Roche

Ndeye Makalou is a highly motivated, courageous global transformational leader with 20+years’ experience in the biopharma industry, with expertise in project management, quality control, clinical and commercial operations in developed and emerging markets. Makalou uses her expertise in effectively leading complex programs from late-stage discovery to commercialization and my skills in building and managing effective multidisciplinary teams. 

ALMAZ NEGASH
Founder of ADN & Executive Director

Almaz began ADN in 2010 to inform and engage Africans in the Diaspora and facilitate direct collaboration with social entrepreneurs, innovators, and business leaders to invest in Africa. For the last two decades, Negash has sought to improve the quality of life of our communities through both local and global partnerships.

INNOCENT SHUMBA
Partner, Ernst & Young, San Jose

Innocent Shumba is a member of EY’s Assurance practice and has diverse accounting and auditing experience. He is involved in several organizations, including the EY Black Professional Network, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Certified Fraud Examiners, Institute of Internal Auditors and the National Association of Black Accountants.

DUNCAN GOLDIE-SCOT
Musoni Kenya, Ltd

Duncan is the Chairman of Musoni Kenya, Ltd. As an entrepreneur and investo, he has been investing in startup companies in Africa for more than ten years and pioneered the use of mobile payments in micro-finance institutions (MFIs). He co-founded the first 100% cashless MFI and created a company to create credit profiles using mobile data.

AgniesZka Winkler
Founder, Winkler Group

Advertising has a profound impact on how people understand life, the world and themselves, especially in regard to their values and their ways of choosing and behaving. Very few have demonstrated an ability to navigate the significance of advertising and technology as she has. As founder of Winkler Advertising and then of the Winkler Group, Agnieszka has both directed marketing and advertising for companies such as Sony and Hewlett-Packard and taught companies to maximize their marketing potential. 

OUR ADN STAFF
Almaz Negash
Founder of ADN & Executive Director

Almaz began ADN in 2010 to inform and engage Africans in the Diaspora and facilitate direct collaboration with social entrepreneurs, innovators, and business leaders to invest in Africa. For the last two decades, Negash has sought to improve the quality of life of our communities through both local and global partnerships.

Daniel Hartz
Envoy, Inc

Dan is a Product Specialist at Envoy, Inc. He is a founding board member of African Diaspora Network and former Director of Finance and Operations. He now helps to develop and implement strategic initiatives. Prior to joining Envoy, Dan was senior manager of Golden Mean Capital Partners, a group focused on economic development in African agriculture.

DEBRA PACIO
Content Developer & Storyteller

Debra is a freelance writer and editor for nonprofit and cultural organizations. She has supported marketing, communications, and content development for ADN since 2015. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Education from Stanford University.

YINKA DJIN
Information Technology Associate

Yinka is the CEO and creative director for Blue Wave Media, a multi-media production company. Prior to that, she worked in Vancouver, British Columbia for fifteen years in various capacities: a freelance web developer and video editor as well as a media content specialist for Post Time Technologies.

Caroline Ocampo
Public Information Officer
Caroline will be leading African Diaspora Network public affairs and communications department.  She comes with more than thirty-year experience in developing marketing and media plans for NGOs, humanitarian agencies, higher education institutions, and corporations. Caroline has received several marketing awards including the prestigious International Retail marketing award for Philippine Tourism, Trade, and Duty Free.
 
Caroline is the founder of strategic multicultural communications consultancies CKO+ Media and Global MediaX. 
Habiiba Malingha
Habiiba Malingha
Social & Digital Media Intern

Ms. Habiiba Malingha, graduate from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. Originally from Uganda and lived in the Bay Area since 2012. Recently, she chaired a Model AU committee that discussed the Africa China Relationship and Africa’s path to financial independence. Ms. Malingha will work with our team to advance African Diaspora Network social and digital media presence. 

OUR EMERITUS BOARD
DR. MUSIMBI KANYORO
ADN Founding Board & Co-Chair, President & CEO of Global Fund for Women

Dr Kanyaro is a strategist for non-profit management and board leadership.

DR. LIESL RIDDLE
Associate Professor of Int’l Business and Int’l Affairs, George Washington University

Leisl is also the co-director of GWSB’s OntheBoard program, a fellowship program designed to promote women on  corporate boards. Dr. Riddle has written extensively about diasporas and development, international entrepreneurship, and trade and investment promotion.

Prof. Mammo Muchie
Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria

Professor Muchie holds a DPhil in Science, Technology, and Innovation for Development (STI4D) from the University of Sussex. He is currently a DST/NRF Research Professor of Innovation Studies at Tshwane University of Technology.

Chris Folayan
Founder MallforAfrica & MallfortheWorld

Chris runs an award-winning global e-commerce company that enables Africans and people in emerging markets purchase billions of products from over 200 of the best US and UK online retailers. Folayan also sits on several boards globally and previously served as Chairman of the Board of the African Diaspora Network from 2016-2018.

Laura Hubbard
PhD, Center for African Studies, Stanford University

Laura is an anthropologist of youth, media and popular culture. She has lived and worked in Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa focusing on questions of aesthetics and politics, temporality and youth culture, the links of longing and belonging among southern African cities, and the nexus of media and development.

HUGH MOLOTSI
Investor, Founder and CEO, Ujama

Hugh Molotsiis the founder and CEO ofUjama, a mobile platform to help parents form communities to help each other. Hugh also advises and invests in startups and is an active practitioner and teacher of Lean Startup Methodologies. In 2015, Hugh concluded a 22-year career at Intuit as Engineering Fellow and Vice President of Innovation.

OUR EXECUTIVE ADVISORY COUNCIL
Kedest Tesfagiorgis

Kedest Tesfagiorgis leads the Global Partnerships & Grand Challenges team within the Discovery & Translational Sciences group at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Kedest is deeply committed to building collaborative, inclusive, long-term partnerships that address the biggest challenges in health and development. Her career has been rooted in the conviction that, as a global community in pursuit of equity, we go faster and further by working together.

Born to Eritrean parents and raised in Ethiopia in a large family, she grew up in a time of civil war and famine—and launched her career in health and development as her country began making historic progress, achieving every single health-related Millennium Development Goal.

Kedest’s team is focused on ensuring that innovation champions closest to the problems that need solving are empowered to work on them. Over the past decade, her work has centered on facilitating partnerships with scientists and science funders, primarily through Grand Challenges, a program launched in 2003 to encourage innovators to take risks to solve the hardest health problems affecting those most in need. Kedest has helped grow Grand Challenges into a global network, supporting partners in India, across Africa, and elsewhere to create their own innovation programs. In addition to continuing to run the Grand Challenges platform together with a growing set of partners, she also convenes advocates, funders, policymakers, and thought leaders to create a global innovation ecosystem that consistently delivers impact.

Kedest is responsible for the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting, the foundation’s flagship platform for accelerating science for impact. She has attended all but one of the 16 annual meetings on five continents so far. Beyond her work within the foundation, she serves as an advisor to people seeking to build effective coalitions and networks, especially in low- and middle-income countries.

Dr. Martin Russel

Martin completed his PhD on Diaspora Engagement at the Clinton Institute where he remains an affiliate. He was previously a visiting fellow at UNU-MERIT and Associate Director of Diaspora Matters. He has trained, spoken, and written on diaspora engagement in Africa, Caribbean, Central Asia, Central and Latin America, Europe, Middle East, UK and the US.

Abbey Omokhodion
Senior Finance Director IOTG, Intel Corporation

Abbey Omokhodion runs a multi-billion dollar portfolio of P&Ls within the Internet of Things division at Intel, partnering with operations leaders to drive strategy, grow the business profitably, scale solutions, and activate new markets.

Dr. Michael Moscherosch
Dr. Michael Moscherosch
Director R&D, Fellow, Social Innovation, Johnson & Johnson
Consumer Inc.

Michael has 25 years of experience with Johnson & Johnson Consumer in Research, Development & Engineering as well as Sustainability, both in North America and Germany. In his current role his main focus is on social innovation, finding and incubating health related startup companies in sub-Saharan Africa. Michael holds a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Stuttgart, Germany.

Dr Josephine Fubara
Dr Josephine Fubara

She is head of R&D for Sanofi Consumer Health Care where she and her team are responsible for innovation for over a €5billion business. She is an R&D leader with over 22 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to Sanofi, Josephine was the Global R&D Head of all the OTC categories at Bayer Consumer HealthCare and spent 18+ years in various technical and business roles at Pfizer Consumer Healthcare leading innovation and development in key business categories like Pain, Respiratory and Digestive Health. Josephine has worked with global teams in various parts of the world, including North America, Europe and Asia.

Yohannes Assefa
Yohannes Assefa
Board of Directors, Ethiopia Diaspora Trust Fund

Yohannes Assefa is the Director of Agriculture and Agribusiness at the USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub. The Hub works to deepen regional integration, increasing the competitiveness of select regional agricultural value chains, promotes two-way trade with the U.S. under AGOA and facilitates investment and technology to increase regional integration and trade. As part of his work, Mr. Assefa helped to facilitate 1.4 million mt of grain in the EAC region for a total value of nearly $500 million. Prior to joining the Hub, Mr. Assefa was a Director at Stalwart, Knowledge, Innovation and Technology Ltd., a Dubai-based consulting firm focusing on the development of financial and agricultural markets in developing countries

Tewelde Stephanos
Tewelde Stephanos

Tewelde started his professional life in Silicon Valley. He moved to Eritrea in the 90s to start tFanus Enterprises — one of the first Internet Service Providers. Building technology-based services that did not exist in the country before, empowering employees to make decisions consistent with the company’s customer-centric culture, and profit-sharing were key innovations tFanus was recognized for.  Although he no longer has interest in tFanus, Tewelde remains optimistic that young entrepreneurs are the path forward to Africa’s revival. He supports ADN and is eager to help in advancing its vision.

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