African Leadership Foundation - Supporting African Leadership Academy and the next generation of African Leaders
U.S. Advisory Council Members


Support Us - You can support this vision for as little as $25!

Ambassador Don Gips, Chair
Partner, Albright Stonebridge Group and Senior Advisor Blackstone
Don Gips served as the United States Ambassador to South Africa 2009-2013. In recognition for his efforts in this role, the US State Department awarded him the 2010 Sue M. Cobb Award for Exemplary Diplomatic Service. Don's previous roles include: Assistant to the President, leader on the Presidential Transition Team, and running the office of Presidential Personnel, which involved overseeing the selection of several thousand political appointments for the Obama Administration. Don is dedicated to promoting a culture of service and helped launch the US's national service program, Americorps. Before entering government, he was a consultant at McKinsey & Company. Don received an MBA from the Yale School of Management, where he was honored as a Donaldson Fellow, and his BA from Harvard University, where he received the Ames Award and the Paul Revere Frothingham Prize.

Mimi Alemayehou
Executive Advisor

Mimi Alemayehou is Executive Advisor and Chair of Blackstone Africa Infrastructure LP. She also serves as Managing Director of Black Rhino, a Blackstone portfolio company. Previously she worked in President Obama's administration as the Executive Vice President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) the US Government's Development Finance Institution that manages over 16 billion in financing and insurance in support of private sector investment in emerging markets. Prior to that Ms. Alemayehou served as the United States Executive Director at the African Development Bank. In that role she served as the most senior US Treasury official in Africa. Her other roles prior to the African Development Bank include, Founder and Managing Partner of Trade Links, LLC, Director of International Regulatory Affairs at WorldSpace Corporation, and Legislative Staff in the United States Congress. Ms. Alemayehou holds a Masters degree in International Business and International Law and Development from Tufts University. Ms. Alemayehou currently serves on the United States Secretary of State John Kerry's Advisory Committee on Public Private Partnership.

Carroll Bogert
Deputy Executive Director for External Relations, Human Rights Watch

Carroll Bogert, Deputy Executive Director for External Relations, has worked at Human Rights Watch since 1998. She oversees the organization's external relations and works with the executive director on advocacy and fundraising. Carroll previously served as Human Rights Watch's communications director, publicizing the organization's work and drawing attention to human rights issues in more than 90 countries worldwide. Before joining Human Rights Watch, she spent more than a decade in international news reporting for Newsweek magazine, beginning as a stringer in China, then moving to the Southeast Asia bureau as correspondent, becoming bureau chief in Moscow, and finally working as an editor and international correspondent in the magazine's New York office. Carroll holds a Master's degree in East Asian Studies and a Bachelor's Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University. She speaks Russian, French, and Mandarin.

Amy Brakeman
President, Umsizi Fund

Amy Brakeman has spent the past 20 years advising educational and entrepreneurship programs as a consultant, board member, volunteer, funder and as the President of the Umsizi Fund. She has helped build the Kliptown Youth Program (KYP), a program serving vulnerable children living in an informal South African settlement. In 2012, Thulani Madondo, KYP's Executive Director, was honored as one of CNN's Top Ten Heroes. For most of her adult life, Amy worked for McKinsey & Company as a consultant and leader of professional development. She launched a global community of McKinsey alumni bridging the social and business sectors. Amy holds a BA from the University of California at Berkeley and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Ambassador John Campbell
Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

John Campbell is the Ralph Bunche senior fellow for Africa policy studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York. From 1975 to 2007, John served as a U.S. Department of State Foreign Service officer. He served twice in Nigeria as political counselor and as Ambassador from 2004 to 2007. John's additional overseas postings include Lyon, Paris, Geneva, and Pretoria. He also served as deputy assistant secretary for human resources, dean of the Foreign Service Institute's School of Language Studies, and director of the Office of UN Political Affairs. John received a BA and MA from the University of Virginia and a PhD in seventeenth century English history from the University of Wisconsin Madison. He is the author of Nigeria: Dancing on the Brink (2011, 2nd ed. 2013) and Morning in South Africa (2016). He is author of the blog Africa in Transition, and the editor of the Council on Foreign Relations' Nigeria Security Tracker and Sub-Sahara Africa Security Tracker.

Ambassador Johnnie Carson
Former US Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of African Affairs
Johnnie Carson is the Former US Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs. He has received several Superior Honor Awards from the Department of State, as well as a Meritorious Service Award from Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Prior to this role, he was the National Intelligence Officer for Africa at the National Intelligence Council, after serving as the Senior Vice President of the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. Johnnie's 37-year foreign service career includes ambassadorships to Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Portugal, Botswana, Mozambique, and Nigeria. His other roles include Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs, Desk Officer in the Africa section at State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Staff Officer for the Secretary of State, and Staff Director for the Africa Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives. Before joining the Foreign Service, Johnnie was a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Drake University and a Master of Arts in International Relations from the University of London.

Molly Cashin
Co-Chair, Global Education Initiative for Jesuit Refugee Services, USA
Molly Cashin, community activist, has a long career in writing, editing, development and policy for nonprofit organizations, with particular focus on Africa. In regard to immigration issues, she is the Co-Chair of the Global Education Initiative for Jesuit Refugee Services USA. In regard to African education, health and development, she has worked on manpower training for Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, community health development for Eastern Africa, integrated pest management in Eastern Africa, ophthalmology services throughout Africa and other efforts. In American education, she has worked with the Phelps Stokes Fund, New York University and the University of Hartford, and is deeply engaged as an alumni and parent with Georgetown University and Harvard College. Molly lived in Kenya for six years and travels frequently to numerous points in Africa, where she and her husband engage in philanthropic support of education and refugees. She is the published author of Sustaining the League of Women Voters in America, an examination of the foundation and prospects for continued civic engagement in the United States.

Wilfred Chilangwa
Portfolio Manager, Fidelity Investments

Wilfred Chilangwa is a portfolio manager at Fidelity Investments where he currently manages several international funds in the firm's Global Asset Allocation Group. Since 2009, Wilfred has also led the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund (CGF) investment effort. Before joining Fidelity in 1997, Wilfred was a senior research analyst at State Street. Born in Zambia and educated in Italy, Cyprus, Jordan and the US, Wilfred received his International Baccalaureate from St. Clare's Oxford, U.K., and holds both a BA in Physics and Economics and an MA in International Economics and Finance from Brandeis University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst charterholder, a member of the CFA Institute, the Boston Security Analysts Society and the Boston Committee on Foreign Relations.

Gary Cohen
Former Chairman IBM Africa & General Manager Global Communications Sector

Gary Cohen is Chairman of IBM Africa and General Manager of the Global Communications Sector for IBM. Gary joined IBM in 1978 as a systems engineer in the New York Retail branch and has held numerous positions since then. Among his many senior leadership roles are Vice President of Strategy, in which he served as the principal architect of IBM's business growth strategies and a member of the Chairman's Senior Leadership Team, General Manager of IBM Global Telecommunications Industry, Vice President of IBM Communications Sector - Asia Pacific, Vice President of the IBM Consulting Group, and Vice President of IBM Marketing of the Internet Division. Gary holds a B.S. from Union College and an MBA from New York University.

David Coleman
President & CEO, The College Board

David Coleman is the ninth president of the College Board.Prior joining the College Board, Coleman was a Founding Partner of Student Achievement Partners, the nonprofit education organization which he co-founded and which played a leading role the development of the Common Core State Standards in math and literacy. Coleman also co-founded the Grow Network - an organization committed to making assessment results truly useful for educators and families - which was acquired by McGraw-Hill Education in 2005.

A native of New York City, Coleman is a Rhodes Scholar and a graduate of Yale, Oxford and Cambridge Universities. David was named to the 2013 Time 100, the magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. He has been recognized as one of the POLITICO 50 for 2014, Time magazine's "11 Education Activists for 2011", and was one of the NewSchools Venture Fund Change Agents of the Year for 2012.

Michael Denning
Head of Upper School, Noble & Greenough School

Michael Denning is a faculty member and Head of the Upper School at Noble and Greenough School in Dedham, Massachusetts. In addition to his work as a history teacher and administrator, Michael has been a frequent presenter on college admissions at schools and community and professional organizations. Michael has also had the privilege of consulting with many wonderful schools, including African Leadership Academy, where he was Director of North American Partnerships during a sabbatical from Nobles. Michael has been a faculty member of the New England Association for College Admission Counseling's (NEACAC) Summer Institute and a representative to the Governing Assembly of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). Michael serves as a trustee of the Steppingstone Foundation and as a member City Year's Seven Generations Board. He has also served as a trustee of The Meadowbrook School. He earned a BA in history and government from Clark University and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He has been the recipient of fellowships from the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universit├Ąt Bonn and Columbia University's Klingenstein Center. Michael, his wife, Emily, and their son, Patrick, reside in Medfield, Massachusetts.

Ted Dintersmith
Venture Capitalist

Ted Dintersmith has nearly three decades of experience in early-stage venture investing focused on software and information services companies. Currently, he is Partner Emeritus at Charles River Ventures, where he helps support entrepreneurs taking on ambitious projects to change the world. Prior to his career in venture, Ted was General Manager of the Digital Signal Processing Division of Analog Devices. He has also served as a board member of the National Venture Capital Association, a member of the President's National Finance Committee in the 2008 Obama Campaign, and a delegate for the United States Department of State at the United Nations General Assembly. Ted earned a PhD in Engineering from Stanford University and a BA from the College of William and Mary, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa.

Cheryl Dorsey
President, Echoing Green

Cheryl Dorsey is president of Echoing Green, a pioneer in the social entrepreneurship movement. This global social venture fund has awarded over $33 million in start-up capital to nearly 600 next generation social entrepreneurs worldwide since 1987. Dorsey received an Echoing Green Fellowship in 1992 to help launch The Family Van, a community-based mobile health unit in Boston. Dorsey has served in two presidential administrations as a White House Fellow and Special Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Labor (1997-98); Special Assistant to the Director of the Women's Bureau of the U.S. Labor Department (1998-99); Transition Team Member of the Innovation and Civil Society subgroup of the Technology, Innovation, and Government Reform Policy Working Group (2008-09); and Vice Chair for the President's Commission on White House Fellowships (2009-present).

Dorsey serves on several boards including the Harvard Board of Overseers, the SEED Foundation, and Northeast Bank. In 2009, Dorsey was named one of "America's Best Leaders" by US News & World Report and the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School. For 2010 and 2011, she was named as one of The Nonprofit Times' "Power and Influence Top 50." Dorsey received her Bachelor's degree in History and Science magna cum laude with highest honors from Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges, her medical degree from Harvard Medical School, and her Master's in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School. She completed her pediatric residency at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC.

Kevin Efrusy
Partner, Accel Partners

Molly Efrusy
President, Efrusy Family Foundation

Together with her husband, Molly founded and serves as President of the Efrusy Family Foundation, which primarily focuses on youth leadership development and education in the US and Africa. Molly is a board member and co-chair of the Strategic Planning Committee for Firelight Foundation, an organization that identifies, funds, and strengthens promising community organizations that support the health, resilience, and education of children in Africa. She is also an active Partner at Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2), a Bay Area venture philanthropy organization. Molly has been serving as the informal Bay Area Chapter Leader and has enjoyed getting to know the ALA grads currently studying at Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley.

Prior to becoming involved in the nonprofit/philanthropy sector, Molly worked as a health care consultant for 15 years for several companies including McKesson Corporation. Her work focused on outcomes research where she managed prospective and economic modeling studies to determine the cost effectiveness and quality-of-life impacts of various drugs and diagnostic tests. Molly was also an early employee at the Institute for Global Health, a center of applied prevention and public health research at UCSF founded by Richard Feachem. Molly received an AB from Stanford University in Human Biology and an MPH from the University of California at Berkeley in maternal and child health. She currently serves on the Policy Advisory Council for the Dean of the Berkeley School of Public Health. Molly lives in Palo Alto, California with her husband and three sons.

Jim Fleming
Partner, Colombia Capital LLC

Jim Fleming joined Columbia Capital in 1994 and focuses on investments in communications services, primarily in the wireless, telecom, satellite, and media sectors. He is currently a director of AB Spectrum, NextNav, Digital Signal, Canara, Local Media, The Tennis Channel, TriStar and Extenet. He previously held board seats with Baja Broadband (acquired by TBS), Presidio, Nuvox Communications (acquired by Windstream), TVCC (acquired by Light Squared), CCTV (acquired by Light Squared), Mobile Satellite Ventures, XM Satellite Radio, ICG Communications (acquired by Level 3 Communications), Taqua (acquired by Tekelec), WCS Wireless (acquired by NextWave Wireless), and WNP Communications (acquired by XO Communications), and has worked closely with a number of former Columbia portfolio companies including Digital Television Services (acquired by Pegasus Communications) and NeoWorld (acquired by Nextel). Jim received his B.A. from Stanford University.

David Issroff
Private Investor & Founder, Issroff Family Foundation

David Issroff is a private investor residing in New York with his wife, Lisa, and three children. Born in South Africa, David was educated in the United Kingdom and the United States, where he graduated from Wesleyan University. Prior to moving to NYC in 2006, David was a Partner with Glencore International AG of Switzerland, where he was responsible for the global Ferro Alloys and Nickel Division of one of the world's largest suppliers of a wide range of commodities to industrial consumers. In this capacity, David served as a non-executive Director of various public corporations in South Africa, Switzerland and the U.K., including Xstrata Plc from 2002-2006. Together with his wife Lisa, David founded the Issroff Family Foundation, whose mission is to provide support for youth in Southern Africa, Israel and NYC David serves on the boards of various private portfolio investment companies and several non-profit organizations.

Lisa Issroff
Co-Founder and Executive Director, Issroff Family Foundation

Lisa Issroff and her husband, David, co-founded the Issroff Family Foundation in 2007 which partners with community based organizations in order improve outcomes for children, youth, and their communities. Serving as IFF's Executive Director, Lisa is particularly interested in providing funding, capacity, and advisory support to early stage organizations engaged with empowering youth in South and Eastern Africa, New York and Israel. Building on her experience working with these organizations, Lisa is also focused on helping to build networks in the New York area to support a vibrant and supportive funder community.Lisa serves on several of the boards of IFF's partner organizations. She is the current Chair of the Board for both Generation Citizen and Ongoza. Additionally, she serves on the boards of the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village, Educate!, the Advisory Board of Afrika Tikkun, and the Executive Advisors Circle of Echoing Green. She is also the New York Chapter Head for the African Leadership Academy. Lisa graduated from Wesleyan University (BA in English) and currently lives in New York City.

Anthony Marx
CEO, New York Public Library

Anthony Marx is President and CEO of the New York Library where he plays an essential role expanding the Library's ability to provide free educational opportunities to all New Yorkers. Previously, Anthony served as President of Amherst College, where he focused on realizing Amherst's aim to be both one of the most selective and diverse liberal arts colleges in the United States. Anthony has also been the recipient of multiple fellowships and is a prize-winning author of three books and various scholarly articles. Prior to leading Amherst, Anthony served as Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies of Political Science at Columbia University for thirteen years where his academic work focused on South Africa. In the 1980s, he participated in the anti-apartheid movement and helped found Khanya College, a South African secondary school that prepared more than 1,000 black students for University. He also serves on the Board of Teach for America. Anthony received a BA magna cum laude from Yale University and a MPA, MA, and PhD from Princeton University.

Dominique Mielle
Partner & Senior Portfolio Manager, Canyon Capital Advisors

Dominique Mielle is a Partner and Senior Portfolio Manager with Canyon Capital Partners. Ms. Mielle's primary focus is on the transportation, technology, retail and consumer sectors. She also specializes in corporate securitizations and select high yield municipal bonds, and she is responsible for all aspects of Canyon's CLO business. Prior to joining Canyon in 1998, Ms. Mielle worked as an Analyst with Lehman Brothers, Inc. in the Financial Institutions Group, where she focused on mergers and acquisitions. She also worked as an Associate at Libra Investments, Inc. in the Corporate Finance department where she covered middle market companies. Ms. Mielle graduated from Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales in France (B.S., International Management) and Stanford University Business School (M.B.A., Finance).

Sarah Brown O'Hagan

Sarah O'Hagan has worked for more than a decade as a board member, fund-raiser and advocate for non-profit institutions engaged in humanitarian relief, development and higher education. She is currently co-Chair of the International Rescue Committee, a global leader in humanitarian assistance and post-conflict development. Since 1996, Ms. O'Hagan has traveled frequently to visit IRC programs in countries across central Europe, Africa and Asia, and regularly speaks to IRC supporters and audiences about the organization's work on behalf of refugees and the displaced. In addition to IRC, she serves on the board of Johns Hopkins University, and chairs the Board of Advisors of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University. Sarah is a graduate of Wesleyan University, in the College of Letters; and received an MA from Johns Hopkins SAIS.

Margaret Raffin
Ishiyama Foundation

Nicholas Pianim
Managing Director, DAG Ventures

Prior to joining DAG Ventures in 2007, Nick was Vice President of Corporate Development at Juniper Networks where he was responsible for acquisitions, commercial transactions and venture investments. Previously he was CFO for Ensemble Communications where he oversaw corporate development, and CEO of iAsiaWorks, a NASDAQ listed datacenter and managed services company. He also worked with Enterprise Partners Venture Capital on a variety of development and investment assignments and with Morgan Stanley International. Nick received a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Julian Robertson
Founder, Tiger Management

Julian Robertson is the founder and Chairman of the renowned investment firm Tiger Management. Julian is now a pioneer in seeding and mentoring handpicked fund managers, known as Tiger Seeds. He has seeded over 40 such funds. Julian and his wife, Josie, founded the Robertson Foundation in 1996. Today, the foundation has about $850 million in assets and focuses its work in four areas: education, the environment, medical research and religion and spirituality. One flagship investment is the Robertson Scholars Program a four year merit scholarship and leadership development program that enables 36 new scholars each year to access the combined resources of Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Julian received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Sarah Robertson

Spencer Robertson
Founder & Executive Director, PAVE Academy

Margie Thorne
Managing Partner, Social Weavers

Margaret Yates Thorne is the Managing Partner of Sociable Weavers, providing seed investing to transformational start-ups in education and healthcare. She has worked for the last twenty years with a wide range of non-profits, providing support in start-up management, fundraising, and finance. Margie and her husband, Nate, are long-time supporters of African Leadership Academy. Margie earned a BA from Yale University and studied educational psychology at the Teacher's College of Columbia University in New York City.

Nate Thorne

Nathan Thorne is a life-long venture capitalist. Nate is the former Managing Director and Co-Head at BlackRock Global Private Equity. Nate was the co founder of Global Private Equity at BofA Merrill Lynch and served as its President from 2002. He started his career at Citibank in 1976.

Bruce Walker
Director of the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT & Harvard

Dr. Bruce Walker is the Director of the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. In addition to his clinical duties as a board-certified Infectious Disease specialist, his research focuses on cellular immune responses in chronic viral infections, and particularly on HIV. He leads an international research effort to understand rare cases in which people infected with HIV can fight the virus without treatment. Bruce is also an Adjunct Professor at the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine in Durban, South Africa. He is a member of the Steering Committee for the KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for TB and HIV, a 10-year initiative to build a state-of -the-art TB-HIV research facility in South Africa.

Mark Yusko
Founder & CEO Morgan Creek Capital Management

Mark Yusko is the founder, CIO, and CEO of Morgan Creek Capital Management, an investment management firm that advises pension funds, endowments, and private individuals. Prior to founding Morgan Creek, Mark served as the Senior Investment Director for the University of Notre Dame before taking up the same role for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Mark is also an active philanthropist. In 2005, he founded the Morgan Creek Foundation, which receives a portion of Morgan Creek Capital's profits each year. In 2009, Mark and his wife, Stacey, founded the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program, a four-year, merit scholarship and leadership development program, with a $35M gift to the University of Notre Dame. Mark received his BS, with honors, from the University of Notre Dame and his MBA from the University of Chicago.

Jide J Zeitlein

Jide J. Zeitlin is an investor with interests in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Mr. Zeitlin is also Chairman of Coach, Inc., a designer and marketer of premium handbags and accessories. Prior to 2006, Mr. Zeitlin was a Partner at The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., where he held senior management positions in the investment banking division, including that of global chief operating officer. He also served in the firm's executive office. Mr. Zeitlin is Chairman Emeritus of Amherst College. He is Chairman of the Investment Committee of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority and is, or has been, a member of the boards of Affiliated Managers Group, Inc., Milton Academy, the Harvard Business School Board of Dean's Advisors, Teach for America, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Montefiore Medical Center, Playwrights Horizons, Saint Ann's School, and Common Ground Community. Mr. Zeitlin holds an A.B. degree, magna cum laude, in Economics and English from Amherst College and an M.B.A. degree from Harvard University.

Mary Zients
Co-Founder & Board Chair Urban Alliance Foundation

Mary Zients co-founded the Urban Alliance Foundation (UA) in 1996 and currently serves as board chair. UA is an inner city high school jobs and mentoring program serving young people in D.C., Baltimore, and Chicago. Mary chaired the board of Women for Women International from 2005 -2012 and she continues to serve as Chair Emeritus. WfWI is a global NGO that has assisted over 400,000 victims of conflict in 8 war torn countries to rebuild their lives. She also chairs the committee of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund-USA, which mobilizes resources for the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital in Johannesburg, scheduled to open in 2016. Mary was nominated by President Obama to chair the Commission on White House Fellows in December 2013. She is the President of the board of Maret School. Originally from Johannesburg, Mary received a BA from Harvard College and a Masters of Science from the London School of Economics.