Our Team

OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

JOSH GHAIM, Ph.D.

Chairman of the Board
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.
Raj Aji

Raj Aji

General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, Bill.com

Raj Aji is the General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at Bill.com, a leading provider of cloud-based software that simplifies, digitizes, and automates complex, back-office financial operations for small and midsize businesses (NYSE: BILL). He is a legal and technology executive with experience living and working in Silicon Valley, Asia and the Middle East with financial technology, e-commerce, enterprise and media companies. He is passionate about using innovative technology solutions to provide financial services to consumers and small businesses. As a technology leader he has worked with banks and telecom companies to enable mobile payments and other financial services in East and West Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. Prior to Bill.com, Raj worked with Intuit, Cisco Systems and global law firms. Raj studied engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai and got his law degree at the University of California, Berkeley.

TWUM DJIN

Head of Engineering, Stripe Issuing

Twum Djin is a software executive with extensive experience in organizational leadership, large scale system architecture, and product management. Prior to Stripe, Twum was the Chief Technology Officer at Goodwater Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm focused exclusively on consumer tech companies. Twum served as the chairman of the ADN board from 2018 – 2021.
Dr Josephine Fubara

DR JOSEPHINE FUBARA

Chief Science Officer, Sanofi Consumer Healthcare

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.

Rick Levenson

CTO, Rippleworks

Rick is the CTO of Rippleworks, a nonprofit foundation that is relentlessly focused on the needs of social ventures, providing the practical support entrepreneurs and their teams need to improve more lives across the global south. Previously, he had spent his career as a technologist, starting in the early days of Silicon Valley, from research labs to nascent startups.

NDEYE MAKALOU

Senior Director - Product Strategy Leader, Global Supply Chain, Roche- Genentech

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

US-West EY Private Leader and Assurance Partner, Ernst & Young

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.

Kedest Tesfagiorgis

Deputy Director of Global Partnerships & Grand Challenges, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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. Kedest is a non-voting member of the board.

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.
Megan Hunsberger

MEGAN HUNSBERGER

Program and Digital Media Manager

Megan runs ADN’s African Diaspora Investment Symposium and Impact and Innovation Forums, ADN’s signature conference series, and shares the impact of ADN’s program through social and digital media. She believes digital media is a powerful tool in telling the narrative of changemakers making the world a better place each day.

DEBRA PACIO

Entrepreneurship and Community Engagement Manager

Debra manages ADN’s entrepreneurship programs, including Accelerating Black Leadership and Entrepreneurship (ABLE) and Builders of Africa’s Future (BAF). Previously as a freelance writer, she has contributed to the content and program development of the flagship African Diaspora Investment Symposium and the Impact and Innovation Forums since 2015. Debra has also served as a high school teacher in the Bay Area and holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Stanford University.

Hatim Chraibi

Executive-in-Residence, ADN Telehealth Pilot,

Hatim Chraibi is the co-founder and managing director at SPIRE Advisory Group, a virtual accelerator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He holds more than 20 years of experience in the medical device industry in upstream and downstream capacities globally. Hatim received a bachelor degree in finance from the University of San Francisco and an MBA from McGill University. He also participated in an exchange program at the Luigi Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Before co-founding SPIRE Advisory Group, Hatim has had tenures at Philips Medical Systems, Covidien and other medical device companies.

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.
Bennett Lacerte

Bennett Lacerte

Graphic Design Intern

Bennett Lacerte is currently a junior attending Crystal Springs Uplands School, using his Graphic Design skills to contribute to ADN’s social media. In his free time, he likes to read, spend time in nature, and go to the beach.
Muhammed Bah

Muhammed S. Bah

Telehealth Pilot Volunteer Intern

Muhammed S. Bah is a final year undergraduate student of Global Health and International Comparative Studies at Duke University. He is the recipient of the 2017 Ashinaga Africa Initiative Leadership Program Award from The Gambia, which is a prestigious award with the aim of contributing to Sub-Saharan Africa’s long-term development by empowering a generation of future leaders. In 2018, Muhammed also received the MasterCard Foundation (MCF) Scholarship from Duke University.
Godfrella Jonat-George

Godfrella Jonat-George

ADN Diaspora Leaders Research and Communications Volunteer Intern

Godfrella is an undergraduate student at the University of Richmond, graduating in 2023. She studies Economics and Psychology. Godfrella loves learning about people and their cultures and exploring the intersections between economic conditions and mental health to inform community development initiatives. She also enjoys good food, great films, and uplifting music. Godfrella believes interning with ADN is one of the ways she can help communities develop.
Delvin Marimo

Delvin Marimo

ADN Diaspora Leaders Research and Communications Volunteer Intern

Delvin is currently a sophomore at Union College studying Electrical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science. He is the recipient of the Clinton Global Initiative University(CGI U) award which brings young leaders together who are committed to developing innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges in their communities. In 2019, he was the only student to receive the Ashinaga Africa Initiative award from Zimbabwe. He is really passionate about using technology to solve problems in the underdeveloped communities in Africa.

OUR EXECUTIVE ADVISORY COUNCIL

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.
Ruma Bhagat

Ruma Bhagat

Senior Science Leader, Health Equity & Population Science, Product Development Medical Affairs Genentech, Inc.

Ruma Bhagat has over 20 years of experience in the Pharmaceutical industry working in various roles throughout her career. Ruma completed her Bachelors in Medicine and Bachelors in Science degree from Mumbai University and Masters in Public Health in International Health Systems from Tulane University.


Ruma is currently in the role of Senior science leader in the Health Equity and Population science team leading Strategic partnership pillar. In her role, Ruma is focused on Advancing Inclusive research by scientifically Driven inclusion of diverse and underrepresented patients in clinical trials. Ruma’s diverse and extensive experience in drug development, her passion for innovation and driving for results will bring significant value to her role at ADN.

Loksan Harley

Executive Director of Homelands Advisory

Loksan Harley is a UK-based British-Chinese Independent Migration and Diaspora Specialist, with extensive experience as a consultant to the United Nations, governments, and non-profits in research, policy development, capacity-building and technical assistance across Europe, Africa, and Asia-Pacific. In particular, he has conducted research and advised a number of countries on ways to engage their diasporas.
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.

ABBEY OMOKHODION

CFO for Intel PSG, Programmable Solutions Group

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.
Roland Pearson

Roland Pearson

Director, Economic Growth (Finance & Investment) at Palladium: Make It Possible

Roland Pearson is an internationally recognized senior executive, who over 30 years has built national and international, private and public institutions that deliver sustained social and economic impact and commercial value. He has raised, structured, or managed over USD 1 billion in debt and equity for small business, microfinance, affordable housing, infrastructure, and rural development initiatives. Over a nearly two-decade period while living and working in Africa, Roland started, grew, and successfully divested from two companies. He earned a BA with Honors in International Relations from Brown University and a MA with Honors in International Finance, Business, Economics, and Law from the Fletcher School.

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. Musimbi Kanyoro was President and CEO of Global Fund for Women from 2011 to 2019. During her time at Global Fund for Women, Dr. Kanyoro saw the organization surpass $140 million in grantmaking. She is globally recognized for her leadership of organizations and initiatives that advance women’s and girls’ human rights, and philanthropy for communities.

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.

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.