Media Contact: Debra Pacio P: 408-829-0526 [email protected]

SAN JOSE, CA, May 7, 2018 – African Diaspora Network (ADN) is delighted to announce new leadership that will guide the vision and direction of the organization into its ninth year. ADN proudly welcomes Twum Djin, Chief Technology Officer of Goodwater Capital, as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Leading the organization since its inception, Almaz Negash, Founder of African Diaspora Network, will continue to lead the organization.

The new leadership team seeks to build upon the momentum of the organization’s eight years of bringing together a global network of Africans and friends of Africa. The annual African Diaspora Investment Symposium has garnered the attendance of over 750 global leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators to date, with increasing local and global engagement. The organization’s tangible results have cemented ADN as a trusted partner that provides real value. As a result, ADN has reached a new trajectory toward creating programs on impact & innovation, mentorship, as well as exploring African impact investment with the support of highly accomplished and committed leaders.
Over the years, the African Diaspora Network has consistently attracted the brightest of Africa’s children, and advocates, with the singular purpose of building a community that supports development on the continent,  says Twum. I’m honored to be working with Almaz and the rejuvenated board to transform our nascent community’s vision into reality. I look forward to seeing many other Diasporans and Friends of Africa join us on this journey.
The vision of the African Diaspora Network is to coalesce and fuel a global community of Africans and friends of Africa connected by a common purpose: to accelerate economic growth and social welfare in Africa for the benefit of its inhabitants. Their mission is to harness and engage the intellectual, financial, philanthropic, and entrepreneurial capacity of Africans and friends of Africa in support of economic and social development across the Continent.

In the last eight years, African Diaspora Network has...
  • Hosted three African Diaspora Investment Symposiums (ADIS), averaging an annual attendance of 250+ global leaders from investment, entrepreneurship, academia, government, and nonprofit sectors;
  • Ignited entrepreneurial partnerships such as Gebeya through ADIS, networking opportunities, and the online African Diaspora Network platform; and
  • Launched the 2018 African Impact & Innovation Forums in partnership with the Frugal Innovation Hub at Santa Clara University, beginning with the April forum led by Ernst & Young on “Building Africa’s Future: Lessons from Growth Leaders.” 
The new ADN Board of Directors, Staff, and Executive Advisory Council consist of cross-sector leaders bringing forth a wide array of specialties, resources, and skill sets to further the momentum of the organization. The complete Board of Directors includes:
  • Twum Djin, Goodwater Capital (Chairman of the Board)
  • Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro (ADN Founding Board Member and Co-Chair)
  • Almaz Negash, Founder, and Executive Director
  • Joshua Ghaim, CTO, Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies
  • Hugh Molotsi, Investor
  • Dr. Liesl Riddle, Associate Professor of International Business and International Affairs, The George Washington University
  • Innocent Shumba, Partner, Ernst & Young, San Jose 
As a founding Chair, I am thrilled to move to co-chair in support of our new chair Twum Djin. More exciting are the amazing, enthusiastic, and talented colleagues who have joined the Board,  says Kanyoro. Since inception of ADN our founder Almaz Negash has provided vision and leadership. We will build on this vision, stretch it, and design new futures for the African Diaspora.
African Diaspora Network also presents the following members of the new Executive Advisory Council:
  • Kedest Tesfagiorgis, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Kamran Elahian, Global Innovation Catalyst, LLC
  • Mussie Haile, Moya Technologies, Inc.
  • Duncan Goldie-Scot, Musoni Kenya Ltd.
  • Ade Freeman, World Bank
  • Zekarias Amsalu, IBEX Frontier/Financial Consultancy Ltd.
  • Radhika Shah, Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs
  • Abbey Omokhodion, Intel Corporation
  • Martin Russell, Ph.D., Diaspora Matters
  • Serge Ouedraogo, Director of Special Projects
  • Jenna O’Brien, Watson Institute
The ADN team announces the addition of Stephanie Heckman as the Director of Finance and Operations, Ghirmai Tekeste as Technical Project Manager, and Debra Pacio, Content Developer, and Storyteller.

As ADN celebrates its new leadership and team, they honor the contributions of leaders who have supported ADN to its current state. The new Emeritus Board recognizes previous Chair Chris Folayan, Founder of MallforAfrica and MallforWorld; former Board of Directors members Professor Mammo Muchie of Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, and Laura Hubbard, Ph.D., of the Center for Africa Studies at Stanford University; and founding board member Daniel Hartz, previously Director of Finance and Operations.

Visit the African Diaspora Network website to learn more about the new leadership team and our upcoming projects. The fourth African Diaspora Investment Symposium is scheduled to take place in 2019 from Thursday, January 24, to Saturday, January 26. The signature convening brings together over 250 Diasporans and friends of Africa annually to inspire, inform, and foster collaboration and action that uplifts the Continent.
Read more on ADN’s ongoing and upcoming initiatives through the ADIS2018 Summary & Action Report.