WEI Team of Experts

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP & ADVOCACY

 

Health of Women

 

Dr. Yonette Thomas – Board Member and Global Advisor for Health

Dr. Thomas is a globally acknowledged thought leader, urban health champion, and an advocate for valuing the health of women and girls as an economic imperative.  She founded Borjoner International and Strategic Transitions to influence the progress, health, and wellbeing of individuals and communities across the world.  As a founding board member of Women’s Economic Imperative (WEI), she leads the organization’s focus on the health of women and girls as an economic value. Her work as global advisor for Evidence for Sustainable Human Development Systems in Africa (EVIHDAF) and the Centre for Urban Health and Development within the Asian Institute of Poverty Alleviation (CUHD-AIPA) extends her focus on the global south and the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals in this last decade. She is the Associate Editor for Women and Girls for Cities & Health.
She is a founding board member of the International Society for Urban Health (ISUH) and recently led the organization into sustainability by serving as the inaugural executive director (as a volunteer) and has served as a science advisor for urban health to the New York Academy of Medicine.  She is a founding board member and former vice president of the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science (IAPHS) and served on the Steering Committee of the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse for more than a decade.   

Previously she served as the chief of the Epidemiology Research Branch and program director for the social epidemiology program at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health.  In addition, she was the Associate Vice President for Research Compliance at Howard University in Washington, DC and held faculty appointments in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and in the School of Pharmacy at Howard University. She is a member of theConsortium of Social Science Associations Advisory Committee and served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Revisions to the Common Rule for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research in the Behavioral and Social Sciences. Her primary research and publications have focused on the health of women and girls as an economic value, the social epidemiology of drug abuse and HIV/AIDS and the link with geography, including edited volumes: Geography and Drug Addiction, Crime, HIV, and Health: intersections of Criminal Justice and Public Health Concerns.

She has a Ph.D. in medical sociology and demography, with post graduate training in epidemiology. 

 

 

Lisa Jones – Global Lead, Health of Women

Lisa Jones is a proven clinical informaticist and leader with 20 years of strategy and health IT experience specializing in population health management and clinical transformation. Currently, Ms. Jones is the IT Director for a Clinically Integrated Network at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C.  

Previously, she served in multiple health related roles across several different countries around the world including – Qatar, Zambia, and Spain. 

Technical CV here.

 

 

 

 

Shatiea Blount

Shatiea Blount is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW-C) and Certified Professional Coach (CPC) with over a decade of experience in psychotherapy, management, and teaching. She has a background in life coaching, culturally humble curriculum development, intra-organizational advocacy, and public/private program management.  

Using a judgement-free approach while promoting self-care, her mission is simply to support individuals and organizations work toward goal achievement. 

Technical CV here.

 

 

 

Dr. Abi Fapohunda 

Dr. Fapohunda is a trained epidemiologist and health educator with over nineteen years of experience in public health and running her consulting company.  She teaches part-time at the Department of Africana Studies, University of Pittsburgh and has conducted several studies among African Americans, Africans in the Diaspora and on the African Continent.  

Centered around building a healthy community for Black immigrants, Dr. Fapohunda’s research is currently focused on the intersectionality of segregation, health disparities and COVID-19 pandemic.  

 

 

 

 

Dr. Omolade Femi-Ajao

Dr. Femi-Ajao is a Lecturer in Global Oral Health and Early Career Research, developing an international profile in global health services research with a specific focus on global women’s health. Her research interests focus on the intersection of SDG-5 on gender equality and women empowerment and SDG-3c on training the healthcare workforce.  

Through focused research, Dr. Femi-Ajao aims to influence policy for women and children across a range of global health issues, particularly domestic abuse and oral health issues. 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Mable Kipenda

Dr. Mable Kipenda has over 5 years of experience in the field of Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights and Women’s Empowerment in Zambia. She is a physician at the NDOLA Teaching Hospital and a co-founding member of Copper Rose Zambia focusing on menstrual hygiene health, family planning and maternal and child health.  

Mable is passionate about giving back to her community and is committed to working with young women to help make the world a better place through health and empowerment. 

Technical CV here.

 

 

 

Gertrude Morgan

Trudy Morgan is Policy Coordinator at the New York State Network for Youth Success, a non-profit organization working to strengthen the capacity and commitment of communities, programs and professionals to increase access to high-quality programs and services beyond the traditional classroom.  

Previously, she worked as a College Chapter Coordinator with Generation Citizen— an action-civics, non-profit organization that empowers young people with tools, skills and knowledge to become effective citizens.  

Technical CV here.

 

 

 

Dr. Alice Ojwang 

Alice Achieng Ojwang, is a nutrition and health professional. During her 20-year career as a nutrition and dietetic consultant, she has been instrumental in shaping the direction of nutrition and the dietetics profession in her native county of Kenya. 

She created the first mentoring program for young nutrition professionals in Kenya and  has also worked closely with stakeholders in the private sector to develop programs focused on improving the quality of life for employees.  

Technical CV here.

 

 

 

 

Hyasintha Ntuyeko

Hyasintha Ntuyeko is a telecom engineer, founder and managing director of Kasole Secrets, which develops organic made sanitary napkins to solve menstrual complications for women. 

Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she plans to expand education programs for the training of young women and girls and get support to take them across all of Tanzania by increasing the number of trainers able to drive the education.  

 

 

 

 

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

 

Enterprise Development

Dinah Bennett – Global Lead, Enterprise Development

Dinah has been a supporter of women’s economic empowerment for over twenty five years. Twenty years ago she initiated a UK best practice initiative for supporting women’s entrepreneurship based on the concept of developing and growing social capital. As the founder of International Consultants for Enterprise Entrepreneurship (ICE) Dinah designs and delivers business and entrepreneurial development programmes internationally. ICE’s aim, to help institutions and individuals understand the small business community in order to introduce effective enterprise strategies and polices. She is also Co-director of the Societal Innovation and Enterprise Forum (SIEF) at Durham University UK. Dinah is a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts and the Higher Education Academy. She is co-founder and Vice-Chair of the UK Women’s Enterprise Policy Group and an Honorary Fellow of the UK Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs. In 2005 Dinah won an individual Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion and in 2011 awarded an OBE for her work supporting women’s entrepreneurship

Technical CV here.

 

Huan (Helen) Ni – Enterprise Development

Ms. Ni has 19 years of experience in developing and managing international projects with multi-national corporations, international organizations and Chinese governmental agencies. Apart from having been professional project managers and fund-raising managers, she is also a communications expert in managing government relations and corporate relations. She has proven expertise to manage and deliver thematic projects on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate citizenship, public-private partnership, microfinance, socially responsible investment (SRI), green financing in China, environmental protection and climate change. A Graduate from Cambridge University, she is a passionate networker to bridge Chinese organizations with the rest of the world. She has profound network with Chinese civil society, international/native media and international organizations. Having published articles in newspapers and journals both in English and Chinese, Ni Huan is also a thinker and writer with strategic thinking and sound research skills.

Helen is also a practitioner of green consumption and green living. As China mainland’s first CIGS distributed solar plant user (2014), she has developed some educational programmes for her community and has founded a NGO called Green Light-Year from promoting green lifestyle in communities, schools and businesses in Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Shandong, to practising Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Eastern China.

In Jan 2018, Helen was on exclusive report by Women of China English Magazine, by All China Women’s Federation, and in April 2018, Helen won GGEF Women Eco Game Changer Awards- Asia Eco Innovator Award. The Awards is the first awards in Asia to give recognition to women who use innovation to create social and/or environmental impact.

Technical CV here.

 

Nailah Attar – Enterprise Development

Nailah’s work focuses on the economic development of Saudi women through business enterprise creation, career development, and leadership. As a consultant, trainer, & facilitator, during her 20 years she has educated on a variety of programs, such as home-based businesses, how to start small business SME, business skills, corporate social responsibility, volunteer management, social and civil advocacy campaigns, strategic planning and more within the public and private sectors.

She has also written and published research papers about women working in the KSA. As a columnist, she has also written multiple articles in national magazines and newspapers in her specialty subjects.

Nailah is a founder and board member of several different NGO’s.

Technical CV here.

 

Yolanda Gibb – Lead, Trade

Yolanda has over 30 years experience of working with individuals, educational institutions, MSME, members of the business support ecosystem, policymakers and international institutions. Her work and research interests primarily revolve around fostering entrepreneurship, internationalisation and SME competitiveness; the impact of digitalisation, leveraging intangible assets in companies and regions; and improving the investment climate. Understanding how creativity, social capital and digital inclusion can enhance individual and organisational learning is a key interest. Yolanda has designed and delivered programmes to facilitate women’s paths into enterprise, including start-up, growth and internationalisation; and had an active role in the management of local networks / associations for women entrepreneurs & professionals. Yolanda is co-founder and director of SIEF, a social enterprise spun out of Durham University, which celebrates the contribution of the independently owner managed business to local communities and society and engages with business and the wider community as well as the academic and student body to address some of today’s socio-economic challenges through innovation and enterprise. Yolanda works internationally and in a number of languages, including English, Spanish, German, French and Russian.

Technial CV here.

 

Noreen Cesareo – Trade

Noreen Cesareo MA BA is an experienced international specialist in marketing, brand and communications. She has over 30 years’ experience working with global brands and businesses across industries, including financial, technology, travel, supply chain and professional services. In 2007, she set up Market Accents, a WE Connect International Certified woman-owned business. A Masters in Marketing, she channels her knowledge and experience to provide big company expertise to businesses. Together with her team, Noreen helps them achieve sustainable growth using smart marketing strategies and effective branding and integrated communications. Noreen is passionate about new technologies, educating and empowering women in enterprise, collaboration and communities. She works across cultures and speaks a number of languages. She is actively involved in a number of international initiatives, boards and working groups. These include: Trustee, The Commonwealth Girls Education Fund (CGEF); Director, The Malta Business Network (MBN); Ambassador, Pink Shoe and TeamEB Lead, Marketing and Markets (Exports). TeamEB is building the first UK Economic Blueprint for SMEs and women-owned businesses. She also sits on the All Parliamentary Party Group (AAPG) for Women and Enterprise where she is a lead in the International Trade and Connections sub-group.

 

Nicole Pitter Patterson – Trade

A senior international development advisor with 20+ years of expertise in both the public and private sectors, Nicole has focused her career in the areas of communitybased entrepreneurship, SME growth and social enterprise development. Nicole has successfully designed and managed a combined portfolio of US$20 million, with agencies such as USAID and the United Nations working with public and private sector partners in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. She has undertaken significant work on the development of women-owned businesses and emerging SMEs in the creative industries, and facilitating business development through local, regional and international industry platforms. As an Independent Development Adviser and Co-Founder of SheLeadsIt a social enterprise focused on women’s economic empowerment since 2017, she has launched a Caribbean wide innovative initiative supported by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for young women and girls in tech, as part of a woman led consortium; serves as Adviser to Ghana National Board for Small Scale Industries developing a specialized program for women’s economic empowerment; serves as Speaker at international conferences and is an Advisory Board Member of INDEGO Africa a social enterprise for artisans; she is the Board VP – Partnerships at Overseas Women in International Trade (OWIT), Geneva; and is a Volunteer with Nations Ladies UK – a BAME charity supporting girls. Nicole has worked with international donor agencies – USAID Washington/Caribbean and the UN in Switzerland, with implementation in the Caribbean, Africa and Mongolia. She holds a B.A. in Economics at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica and an M.A. in Regional Economic Development at Northeastern University, U.S.A. with training in Residential Interior Design at the Art Institute, U.S.A.

Transformational Entrepreneurship

Mireille Toulekima – Co-Lead, Women in Non-Traditional Sectors

Mireille Toulekima is an Award-Winning Entrepreneur and Global Energy Adviser specialised in developing and emerging markets. A petroleum engineer who gains her experience working in Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia in a range of technical and leadership roles, she is the Managing Director of the independent oil and gas consulting company MT Energy Resources Ltd based in Perth (Australia), a board member, an Ambassador, a Global Executive Mentor and Partner to several global ventures and organisations.

Known globally for being an inspirational multi-skilled woman, Mireille is also a published author, international speaker, part time columnist, host of Global Online show “The Greatness Engineering” and the founder and ambassador of “The Greatness Engineering movement”. A woman who enjoys big challenges, she embodies authenticity, leadership, diversity, positivity, spiritual strength and real womanhood. She is part of the new wave of women who have embraced non-traditional industries, globalisation, innovation and digital disruption and who dare to risk high and dream big.

Mireille speaks several foreign languages of which Fluent English and French, conversational Spanish and Malay and basic Portuguese. She is a Global Tech Leader as part of the Global Tech Women project since 2015 and a champion for women working in non-traditional industries that are predominantly male dominated. She contributes to a number women leadership and technical groups around the world and has been identified and recognised as one of the women of influence in the energy sector and leadership sphere globally.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP – THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

 

Dr. Dina Nziku – Thought Leadership, Women’s Entrepreneurship

Dr Dina Nziku is a Lecturer and Deputy Director of Research and Publication – Centre for African Research on Enterprise and Economic Development (CAREED), in the School of Business and Enterprise at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS). She has extensive experience across a range of enterprise and business topics. She has a particular interest and expertise in female entrepreneurship and government policies/strategies for promoting enterprise and innovation in developing countries. She is a founding member of CAREED and is the first Director of Research and Publication – CAREED.

Dr. Nziku has a number of published papers in academic journals, book chapters, and has presented papers at various international and UK conferences including: the Institute of Small Business Enterprise (ISBE) conference, the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) conference, and the Diana International Research Conference of Women Entrepreneurship as well as annual CAREED conferences. In 2016, Dr. Dina was invited by United Nation-Geneva, March 2016 to talk about Sub-Sahara African women entrepreneurs where she also presented her own PhD research in the Multi-Year Expert Meeting. This was followed by another invitation from UNCTAD in June, 2019 at Multi-Year Expert Meeting on Investment, Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Productive Capacity-building and Sustainable Development. Dr. Nziku is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) after being nominates as an early career lecturer, researcher and gender activist. The nomination was together with her contribution in community workshops: Women in Business (WiB), women Entrepreneurship Scotland (WES), and Young entrepreneurship Scotland (YES) while encouraging ethnic minority women and young entrepreneurs within the community.

Dr. Nziku is currently working on the Global Women Entrepreneurship Project (WEP), and as a founding member and Tanzanian national she is the only researcher in the project working on Tanzanian policy and strategies on women entrepreneurship. Dr. Nziku is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and is involved in teaching, practical training and coordination of courses such as: Enterprise Creation, Entrepreneurial Opportunities, Business Creativity and Entrepreneurial Leadership. Dr. Nziku is also an Adjunct Professor in the University of South Africa (UNISA). She believes passionately that education plays a crucial role in the support of enterprise as a means of creating employment and strengthening economies, especially in Africa. In pursuit of this, she is also involved in assisting the African Diaspora (especially women and youth)who currently live in Scotland to overcome barriers to enterprise and to integrate fully within the host community.

Technical CV here.

 

 

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP & ADVOCACY

 

YOUTH

Bellow Jeremy Kusakana – Youth Coordinator

Kusakana is currently enrolled in Master in International Affairs program of Rockefeller College, State University of New York at Albany and concentrating in International Development. He researched the impact of joining the Economic Monetary Union of the European Union in the degree of the openness of the economy of the state members. He serves in the United States New York/Army National Guard since May 2017. His military occupational specialty code is 92F, Petroleum Specialist Supply. He is attached to G Company 427th, a Battalion Support Brigade Unit located at Glenville/ New York, where he serves as Logistician on petroleum product. He also worked in digitalization project of multiple archives at Albany County Hall of Records and Archives from January to December 2019.

Kusakana has a background in one of the vast African developing countries, the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he spent his four years as a Support Logistician at the Independent National Electoral Commission. Passionate of the education of children, he worked as Foreign Language Instructor at Future Leader’s Academy, teaching French and Spanish for one year. Kusakana is a Polyglot, speaking French, Spanish, English, Kikongo and Lingala.

 

Abigail Opong – Youth Member

‘Rather than standing or Speaking for Children, we need to stand with children speaking for themselves. We don’t need a political movement for children [ we need to] build environments and policies for our collective future’

 Abigail Oppong is a humanitarian young African lady who passionately work to impact life. She is a Young Speaker, Mentor, Changemaker, Younth Activist, Motivator and a Social Entrepreneur.

Abigail Oppong is the Youth Ambassador for Ariel Foundation International focusing on Africa and making the voices of African Voices heard. She has worked as the Young General Secretary for Young Africa Women in Leadership (YAWL), Ghana working as a secretary to help empower more women in Ghana and the world at large. Being a changemaker, she is passionate about social impacts project that seeks to empower women, children and youth. She is the Co-Founder for Universal Care for Africa, an initiative aiming to provide a free healthcare opportunity for the rural communities in Africa and the Ghana Ambassador for Global Success Society. She is part of the Board Members of Women Media and Change working hard to make sure young women’s voices are represented well in the media.

Passionate about engaging more women in Technology, she is part of an several women in TECH organisations working hard to make sure women are represented well in the STEM Industry.

 

Shatiea Blount – Mental Health, Health of Women

Shatiea Blount is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW-C) and Certified Professional Coach (CPC) with over a decade of experience in psychotherapy, management, and teaching. Often being described as a “Champion for Truth and Healing around Mental Health Topics in Communities of Color”, her experience includes social justice informed psychotherapy, life coaching, culturally humble curriculum development, intra-organizational advocacy, and public/private program management. Using a judgement-free approach while promoting selfcare, her mission is simply to support individuals and organizations toward goal achievement.

She began her career in 2006 working in group homes with vulnerable youth and in 2008, she continued her child welfare career as a social worker and life skills specialist, spearheading the effort at the National Center for Children and Families to help youth to develop social capital and interdependent skills necessary for their transition to adulthood.

Shatiea has held several middle management and clinical positions at various public and private entities within the Washington DC Metro Area. She designed, launched, implemented, and managed the DC Mandatory Review Program within the Guardianship Assistance Program in DC Superior Court ensuring the program met legislative mandates and programmatic objectives– monitoring to ensure adults do not receive unwarranted court intervention and remain adult guardianships.

In 2013, Shatiea launched her private practice Eye In Me– an empowerment organization that provides psychotherapy, life coaching, and other services that actively seeks to develop people, programs, and organizations. To date, Eye in Me has helped over 100 patients and 7 public, non-profit, and private organizations gain clarity on their purpose and make strides towards reaching their goals.

Technical CV here.

Mike Wamaya – Youth

Michael Wamaya teaches dance in Kenya’s Kibera and Mathare slums by combining arts skills with social skills.  He was a Top 10 Finalist for the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize for his unique and extraordinary approach to empowering slum children through ballet.

He is the founder of Project Elimu.  This non-profit organization champions quality education for children living in informal settlements by providing extra-curricular activities, demonstrating the importance of  arts inclusion to standardised curriculum, and equipping teachers with tools to develop and incorporate 21st-Century skills in classrooms. Being able to dance gives children he works with confidence, helps raise their aspirations, and increases motivation for school. For those who have different skills [and interests?] the organization is extending extra-curricular activities to include other arts, creative writing, theatre, voice, music poetry stagecraft and production.

Our program explores individual human potential and creativity in a much broader sense: who children are, what they think and believe, what they want for their futures.  Placing children at the center brings them confidence and self-esteem.

In Kibera, home to over 700,000 people, the most unlikely setting for a ballet school. But with the help of Michael’s dedicated teaching, under the tin roofs of community buildings students here have become accomplished dancers.

Technical CV here.

 

Nafula Wafula – Co-Lead, Youth

Nafula Wafula is a fierce advocate for gender equality and human rights and is passionate about Pan-Africanism, youth empowerment and social justice. She is currently the Vice Chairperson for Policy and Advocacy at the Commonwealth Youth Council. She is also the programs director at Brydges Centre,an organization that provides child rescue and protection services, education and economic empowerment to at-risk youth and out-of-school girls.  Nafula currently leads the centre’s skills development program which has successfully  trained 227 young people in vocational skills, tech, entrepreneurship and employability skills. She is also a consultant with a focus on gender mainstreaming, gender-based violence prevention and intervention, advocacy and effective campaigning and meaningful youth engagement. She currently serves on the board of International Youth Foundation (IYF) and is a board member of Siasa Place, a youth serving organization focused on meaningful youth engagement and participation in political leadership, as well as the Global Network of Women’s Shelters. She also serves on the board of Kenya’s National Employment Authority, which provides for a comprehensive institutional framework for: employment management; enhancement of employment promotion interventions; and increasing access to employment by the youth, minorities and marginalized groups and for connected purposes.

Nafula was selected for the prestigious 2019 Future Leaders Connect program and is a Laureate Global Fellow (2015),  an East Africa Acumen Fellow (2015), a Spark Kenya Changemaker (2015), and an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society. She is also a founding member of the Commonwealth Youth, Gender and Equality Network (CYGEN) on which she previously served as an executive member addressing early and child marriage, and a member of the committee addressing issues affecting youth transitioning from education to employment.

Nafula Wafula holds a law degree from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

 

 

Gerald Chirinda – Co-Lead, Youth

Gerald Chirinda an entrepreneur, is the Founder of Tapiwa Capital, an African focused Investment Holding and Advisory Company with a focus on start-up and early stage companies. Tapiwa Capital focuses on building sustainable enterprises and unlocking real value in Zimbabwe and the African continent. The company takes businesses from concept to market and believes in ideas and concepts that are scalable, impactful, innovative, and will generate good returns. Gerald is also the co-founder of Educate, which is a specialist education finance provider in Zimbabwe that partners with schools at home and abroad. The core goal of Educate is providing financial access through the issuing of loans within the education ecosystem. He recently founded Future Africa Forum, a community of young African thought-leaders and actors from across the world, convening to discuss our continents future, it’s most pressing challenges and offering solutions for the challenges. Gerald has worked in Financial Advisory where his responsibilities were but not limited to, Mergers & Acquisitions, Disposals & Carve outs, Financial Modelling, Valuation and Research. In his spare time, Gerald loves to travel, network and be involved in projects for social good.

 

Legal, Regulatory & Policy Frameworks

Dooter Malu – Legal, Regulatory & Policy Frameworks

Dooter Malu is an attorney with many years of experience in law reform, financial institutions, human rights and international humanitarian & criminal law. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he previously worked with the office of the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court and the United Nations Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia where he was involved in the prosecution of suspects responsible for the 2007 post-election violence in Kenya and the Srebrenica massacre in the former Yugoslavia respectively. Dooter also worked as a Principal Legal Officer with the Human Rights Commission in Nigeria and served as Head of the Freedom of Information Department. Dooter previously served as an in-house counsel for Keystone Bank in Lagos where he coordinated the legal work of 35 branches of the bank. He has served as a delegate at the Nigeria-Switzerland Political Dialogue on Human Rights and a reader for the Mandela Washington Fellowship 2015 & 2016. He is currently a Senior Manager with Kings & Goodman where he leads its strategic engagement in North America. He is a licensed attorney in New York and the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He currently resides in Washington DC.

 

Communities and Sustainable Development

Gabriel Nagy – Lead, Communities and Sustainable Development

With a background in architecture, urban planning & economics and management, Gabriel is a multifaceted developer and hands-on executive, with global experience in planning, structuring, managing and executing complex and large scale, profitable and successful public and/or private projects. His priorities include designing more attractive, economically and environmentally sustainable communities. He has pioneered alternative service-delivery (public-private partnership) and financing models (value capture) while incorporating project management rigor and best practices to deliver high quality, cost-effective and socially responsible for-profit and donor-funded real estate, infrastructure and community projects focusing on: poverty alleviation, planning, zoning, public housing, economic development, redevelopment, climate change adaptation, post-disaster/conflict aid and recovery assistance, municipal finance, land/property development project in LAC, Asia, Eastern Europe, USA and the Middle East. He is fluent in Spanish (native) and English. He is a member of the International Research Foundation for Development’s (IRFD) advisory council, member of the Colombian Builders Association (CAMACOL), member of Lupien Rosenberg et Associés professional network, certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) and lecturer at the Urban Management Program at Universidad del Rosario. He currently lives in Chicago.

 

Norms & Perceptions

Yemisi Akinbobola – Women in Media

Dr Yemisi Akinbobola is an award-winning journalist, academic, and media entrepreneur. A Nigerian living in the UK, her work is Africa focused, covering stories from rape culture in Nigeria, to an investigative and data story on the trafficking of young West African football hopefuls by fake agents. The latter won the CNN African Journalist Award 2016 (Sports Reporting). Yemisi holds a PhD in Media and Cultural Studies from Birmingham City University where she is the Award Leader for MA Global Media Management, and her research interest is in digital journalism and African feminism. She is the founder of Stringers Africa, which connects freelance journalists in African countries with newsrooms worldwide, and she runs the African Women in the Media group. Founder also of IQ4News, a multimedia production company, she has freelanced for publications including the UN Africa Renewal magazine. Yemisi has worked in the charity sector where she has several years’ experience in communication management.

 

WEI ASSOCIATES

 

Graciela Hijar Santibanez

Graciela Hijar Santibanez is a human rights lawyer and a women’s advocate. She holds a Bachelor of Law (Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru) and a Master of Public Administration (Syracuse University – De Sardon Glass Fellow). Currently, she works as a Consultant for the Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion, where she focuses on improving interventions towards rural women in Peru. She has work experience in Peru and the US, including with UN Women, the Ministry of Women of Peru and the Oil Trade Association. Throughout her career, Graciela has provided technical assistance to develop, coordinate and monitor policies to protect women from violence, empower rural women and promote women’s inclusion in the private sector. Among her academic work is her dissertation on the gender perspective of the Peruvian Reparations Plan for victims of sexual violence during the armed conflict, and the assessment of Conditional Cash Transfers in women’s economic empowerment. She is passionate about feminism, reproductive justice, sustainable development and education.

 

Ali Matalon

Ali is a second-year Masters candidate at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Ali studies Public Administration with a focus on Economic and Political Development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Prior to returning to school, Ali served as an Advocacy Support Specialist with the Secretariat for the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel for Women’s Economic Empowerment.Throughout her undergraduate career, Ali invested her time working in the social enterprise and microfinancing space to understand how business can be recommitted or repurposed to address societal needs more directly. In keeping with this, she strives to connect her work, in all fields, to Jamaica (her home country) and the Caribbean more broadly. She believes strongly in the need to break down barriers impeding women’s advancement in the region and the world. She is committed to serving as a Youth Champion for the Women’s Economic Imperative.

 

 

 

 

 

Emily Villalta

Emily is a college student studying international relations and communications. She is multilingual – fluent in Spanish and English and at an intermediate level in French and American Sign Language. She enjoys travel, reading, and music. She aspires to be a diplomat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angela Yang

Angela Yang is an incoming fourth year student at the University of Toronto, currently pursuing a B.S in Environmental Science and International Development Studies. In previous years she has served in various national parks around the United States with the Student Conservation Association, developing skills in environmental protection and advocacy. Her research interests include hydropolitics in the MENA and South Asia regions, as well as economies of public health in Latin America. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, English, and Spanish, and proficient in Modern Standard Arabic. She also has basic knowledge of Latin and Urdu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the blog...

International Conference Focuses on Women’s Economic Empowerment

International Conference Focuses on Women’s Economic Empowerment

January 24, 2020 - By WEI Media Team
Women's Economic Empowerment: Opportunities and Challenges for Equity, Inclusive Growth, and Sustainability were discussed during the first international Conference held in November in Scotland and presented by the Women’s Economic Imperative (WEI) in partnership with Women’s Enterprise Scotland (WES). The conference focussed on engaging participants in active dialog and catalysing concrete actions to help advance the global agenda
Read more