Kofi Appenteng

President and CEO

Kofi Appenteng is the President of the Africa-America Institute (AAI). Founded in 1953, AAI is a premier U.S.-based organization dedicated to bridging Africa and America by educating people and connecting worlds. AAI has more than 23,000 graduate student alumni of its programs with leading universities and its School Services program currently supports schools with approximately 35,000 students in the United States. AAI alumni are at the forefront of Africa’s public, non-profit, and private sectors. 

Appenteng has 30 years of domestic and international experience as a corporate lawyer, investment banker and board director. He serves as a senior advisor to The Rock Creek Group. 

Throughout his career, Appenteng has been active with numerous civil society organizations. He serves on the Atlantic Institute Governing Board, the International Advisory Board of IE University, the Board of the Greentree Foundation, the Board of Poets and Writers, Inc., the Board of Harlem Village Academies, and the Honorary Council of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ). He is a member of the Bretton Woods Committee and sits on the Climate and Energy Transition Finance Team. He previously served as board chair of the Ford Foundation, the Community Service Society of New York and ICTJ. 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, Appenteng began his education in England where he completed his primary and secondary education and then came to the United States 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-American soccer team. 

He earned a Juris Doctor from Columbia University where he was an international fellow. Appenteng 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.