Kofi Appenteng, President and CEO
Kofi Appenteng is the President and CEO of the Africa-America Institute, a 63 year old organization with a mission of promoting enlightened engagement between Africa and America through education, training and dialogue. With more than 15,000 African alumni from more than 50 African countries, AAI has tremendous reach and is a trusted brand.
He has 30 years of domestic and international experience as a corporate lawyer, investment banker and board director. He previously served as Senior Counsel at Dentons, a global law firm with more than 75 offices in 50 countries; and is a Senior Advisor to The Rock Creek Group, a global investment and advisory firm.
Throughout his career, Appenteng has been active with numerous civil society organizations. Appenteng is currently the Chair of the Board of the Ford Foundation, a $12 billion global grant making foundation headquartered in New York City with 10 offices throughout Latin America, Asia and Africa. He is the first African to serve in this position. Additionally, Appenteng serves as Chairman of the Board of the International Center for Transitional Justice, a human rights organization that provides technical assistance to governments in Latin America, Asia and Africa. In recognition of his work in business and philanthropy, he was named a “Great American Immigrant” by the Carnegie Corporation in 2013.
Born in Ghana, West Africa, he began his education in England where he completed his primary and secondary education and the came to the USA to attend college at Wesleyan University. At Wesleyan, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree; was awarded the Butterfield Prize for character, leadership and intellectual commitment; and captained the Soccer and Athletic teams while earning recognition as a member of the All America soccer team. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia University where he was an International Fellow. He then began his career as a corporate lawyer and, in 1994, became the first Black African to become a partner at a major New York City law firm.
Steven Pfeiffer, Chair
Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright
Steven B. Pfeiffer is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Norton Rose Fulbright LLP. He served as the Chair of the Executive Committee of Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. from 2003 until 2013, having been elected by his partners on three occasions. Mr. Pfeiffer previously served as Partner-in-Charge of Fulbright & Jaworski’s Washington and London offices and as head of the firm-wide International Department. In his law practice, he has had principal responsibility for a wide variety of corporate and commercial transactions involving United Kingdom, African, Middle Eastern and European-based banks, corporations and individuals investing in the United States. Mr. Pfeiffer has been responsible for the firm’s representation of certain sovereign entities, including the U.K., Canada and several African governments.
From 1992 to 1994, he was Chairman of the Section on Energy and Natural Resources Law (SERL) of the International Bar Association. Mr. Pfeiffer is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London. He is a director of Barloworld Limited, a publicly traded company based in South Africa, a director of Iridium Communications, Inc., a publicly traded company based in Virginia, trustee emeritus of St. Andrew’s School in Middletown, Delaware, Chairman Emeritus of Wesleyan University, where he served as Chairman of the Board from 1987 to 1992. He was also a director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in New York and a director of Project HOPE in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Pfeiffer received a B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1969. He then studied at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, completing a B.A. in Jurisprudence at Oxford and an M.A. in Area Studies (Africa) at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. During this time he traveled widely in Africa on a Thomas J. Watson Foundation Travel Fellowship. He earned a J.D. in 1976 from Yale University.
Joseph Moodhe, Secretary
Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton
Joseph P. Moodhe is a litigation partner with Debevoise & Plimpton. His practice is focused on securities and insurance litigation and regulatory matters. He is admitted to appear before the First, Third, Eighth, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits, the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and the U.S. Tax Court. Mr. Moodhe has authored “Outline of Reporter’s Privilege,” Communications Law, Practicing Law Institute (1984-93) and “The Use of Prior Uncounseled Convictions in Gun Control Prosecutions,” 92 Harvard Law Review 1790 (1979). He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University and his Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School in 1980, where he was a Case Editor of the Harvard Law Review.
Prof. Ousseina Alidou
Chairman, Dannex Ltd/Omni Media Ltd
Nik Amarteifio is a co-founder and promoter of a host of business ventures spanning a cross-section of sectors in Ghana and across Africa. The sectors include mining, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, and agribusiness.
He was a member of the Ghana Investors Advisory Council (GIAC) from 2002 – 2008. It was an advisory board formed under the leadership of His Excellency Former President J. A. Kufour of the Republic of Ghana on investment strategies for the benefit of the nation. In addition, he was the Lead Director of the Governing Board of Ghana’s Central Bank from 2001 – 2008.
Mr. Amarteifio’s business portfolio has included being the local partner with Telenor Managing Partners which managed Ghana Telecom from 2002-2007; Chairman and Principal shareholder of Dannex Limited, a Ghanaian pharmaceutical manufacturing company; Principal Shareholder and Chairman of Omni Media, the owners of Citi Fm Radio station based in Accra; Vice Chairman of Ghana Agro Foods Company (GAFCO) in Ghana- a major food processor in flour and sea food. He is also invested for initial private placement of shares in Zenith Bank (Gh) Limited, presently one of the fastest growing banks in Ghana.
Through AAI’s African Scholarship Program of the American Universities (ASPAU), Nik Amarteifio received his BA in Economics from Wesleyan University and subsequently a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard University Business School. He received the AAI Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2012.
President and CEO, GE Nigeria
Lazarus has been a key member of the GE team driving Africa’s growth. He started with GE Commercial & Industrial Finance in 2004 as Managing Director and Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer, and held several positions within GE Commercial Finance where he was responsible for industry and commercial initiatives focused on driving business growth globally across 11 segments.
From 1997 to 2004, Lazarus worked for JP Morgan Chase, where he held senior positions in corporate mergers & acquisitions, strategic planning, and credit portfolio management. He is also active in government circles, and promotes governance, economic & infrastructure development through his board membership of Partners International, Inc. and Opportunity International, Inc.
Lazarus was born in 1962 in Keffi, Nasarawa State of Nigeria, and graduated from Ahmadu Bello University with a B.S. in Mathematics in 1982. He then earned an M.S. degree in 1985 in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from The University of Iowa, and a Ph.D. in 1993 in Corporate Finance from New York University. Between 1992 and 1997, Lazarus was Assistant Professor of Finance at Purdue University, and also served as Research Director at Fannie Mae in 1996.
Rebecca L. Edwards
Amb. Eugene-Richard Gasana
Robert E. McCarthy
Global Head of Communications, BlackRock’s iShares ETF Division
Peter McKillop is global head of communications for BlackRock’s iShares ETF division. Prior to joining BlackRock, McKillop held leadership roles on global communications and marketing at JP Morgan, UBS, KKR, and Bank of America. He has also served as a Managing Director of the Japan office of Burson-Marsteller and Regional Media Director for Burson-Marsteller’s Asia-Pacific operations, providing strategic marketing, public affairs, and crisis communications counsel to leading Fortune 500 companies
Prior to joining financial services, Mr. McKillop was a senior correspondent and bureau chief for Newsweek from 1983-1995 in New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong covering key social, political, cultural and financial events. Mr. McKillop helped start and continues to play an active role in the Harvard University Symposium for Building a 21st Century Financial System for Japan and the United States, which brings together senior government, finance, and academic experts to discuss significant financial issues between the United States and Japan.
Mr. Mckillop received his B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1981; Major: African Studies.
Peggy Dulany, Maurice Tempelsman
Past Board Members
William Asiko, Brian Atwood, Yvonne Burke, Lisa Opoku Busumbru, William Cotter, Alexander Cummings, Francis Deng, Dolly Desselle Adams, Linda Distlerath, Harold E. Doley, Thomas Donghoe, Helene Gayle, Nadine Hack, Jon Hagler, Bernard Harselton, William Hayden, Brian Henderson, Robert Hoen, Richard Holbrooke, Randolph Nugent, Clarence Jones, Blaise Judia-Sato, Rosalind Kainyah, Walter Kamba, Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, George Kirkland, Mathilde Krim, George Lindsay, Mary Lindsay, William Lucy, James Lowery, Carton Masters, Richard Matzke, Ambassador Donald F. McHenry, Harriet Michel, Olusegun Obasanjo, Esther Ocloo, Adebavo Ogunlesi, Gamaliel Onosode, Nancy Reynolds, William Rhodes, Peter Robertson, Loren Ross, Gayle Smith, Derek Smyth, Ted Smyth, John Spenser, George Strait, Carole Wainaina, Carl Ware, Roger Wilkins, Thomas Winship