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2019 Conference Speakers

Quick Links:   2019 Conference Agenda   Register for 2019 Annual Conference

Nicole Amarteifio is the creator of An African City, a popular web series that has been dubbed by CNN and BBC as Africa’s answer to Sex and the City. Born in Accra Ghana, Nicole studied African and Afro-American studies at Brandeis University in Massachusetts and earned a master’s degree in corporate communications and public relations from Georgetown University. She worked in the international development sector for many years before returning to Ghana to produce her web series. Nicole taught herself TV production and directing and has long-term dreams of putting out innovative projects that disrupt the single story of Africa. In 2015 The Financial Times selected Nicole as one of the “Top 25 Africans to Watch”. She is a TED Fellow and has been featured in the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Marie Claire, and CNN, as well as many other publications across Africa.

Moiyattu Banya-Keister is the founder and director of Girls Empowerment Sierra Leone (GESL) and has coordinated leadership programs to help young girls become social change agents in their communities. She is also the founder of Women|Change|Africa that profiles young African women leaders while connecting them to investor programs and her communications firm, WCA Creatives, provides communications solutions for women-owned start-up social enterprises. She consults for international organizations focusing on women’s and girl’s rights across Africa and has over a decade of experience working in entrepreneurship, education, gender, and youth development with organizations and companies in Africa and across the Diaspora.  Moiyattu teaches Social Entrepreneurship at Columbia University, is a coordinator for the African Youth Philanthropy Network, and a board member of the African Women’s Development Fund-USA. She earned a master’s degree in Social Entrepreneurship from Columbia University and spends her time between the United States and Sierra Leone. Read more at

Felicitas (Flanny) Chiganze is Chief Executive Officer at SRHR Africa Trust (SAT) based at the Regional Office in Johannesburg. She has worked with SAT for over two decades and is passionate about working with communities. She has extensive experience in community HIV and SRHR programming in Southern and East Africa. She has a strong gender and development background having spent many years working in the Zimbabwe Ministry of Women’s Affairs where she rose to the level of Under Secretary for Women’s Affairs. She also spent several years working in CIDA as a Development Officer

Jonathan Gunthorp is Executive Director at SRHR Africa Trust (SAT), an organization working in gender equality, SRHR (sexual reproductive health and rights) and HIV, and adolescent health in Eastern and Southern Africa. He oversees SAT’s strategy for gender equality and youth health, focusing on increasing the protectiveness of the environment for adolescents, meaningful youth participation in health, and adolescent access to health. For the past 13 years he has been consulting on and leading programs in health, HIV and SRHR. He has worked in cities from Cape Town to Asmara in 13 African countries. Jonathan grew up in the anti-apartheid movement and never got over being an activist.

Sean Jacobs is an Associate Professor of International Affairs at The New School in New York City. He is the founder of Africa is a Country, a site of criticism, analysis, and new writing which has become one of the leading intellectual voices in the African online media sphere. Writer and photographer Teju Cole stated: “I love Africa is a Country, because it is basically the inside of my head.” Sean earned a Ph.D. in Politics from the University of London and an MA in Political Science from Northwestern University. He was born in South Africa and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. 

Steven Lawrence is an independent consultant who partners with funders and nonprofits to develop the knowledge they need to strengthen the field and make well-informed decisions. Previously, Steven served as Director of Research for Foundation Center, which represents the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. In his more than 20 years at the Center, Steven led ground-breaking research on philanthropic support for priorities such as human rights, social justice, health policy, education reform, peace and security, and mission investing.

Mutisya Leonard is a Kenyan queer social justice activist, currently serving as Partnerships and Communication Officer at UHAI EASHRI, the first indigenous fund for and by LGBTQI people and sex workers across East and Central Africa. He manages UHAI’s philanthropic partnerships, advocacy within the philanthropic sector, and UHAI’s communication assets and strategies. Previously, Mutisya worked in Kenyan civil society organization on sexual health services delivery, legal and policy engagement and advocacy, and fundraising, He worked at  LVCT Health, (Kenya) National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights CommissionNyanza Reproductive Health Society, and Gay Kenya predominantly working with gay and bisexual men and sex workers, in urban and rural Kenya. Mutisya is passionate about and has contributed to writing and advocacy on participatory grantmaking for self-determining human rights movements.

Dr. Siphokazi Magadla is a Senior Lecturer in the Political and International Studies department at Rhodes University in South Africa. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political and International Studies and Journalism and Media Studies, Honors in Political and International Studies and a Ph.D. from Rhodes University and a master’s degree in International Affairs from Ohio University.  Her Ph.D. examined the state assisted integration of women ex-combatants into civilian life in post-apartheid South Africa. Siphokazi is a Fulbright Scholar and a Board member and Book Review Editor of the Journal of Contemporary African Studies.  She serves as a workshop facilitator of the Social Science Research Council’s Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Fellowship Program. In 2014, she co-edited with Leonhard Praeg, Ubuntu: Curating the archive. She has written for news platforms such as Mail and Guardian, Aljazeera, City Press, The Con Magazine and The South African Civil Society Information Service.

Elaine Martyn is Vice President and Managing Director for the Private Donor Group at Fidelity Charitable,® an independent public charity that has helped donors support more than 240,000 nonprofit organizations with over $35 billion in grants since inception in 1991. She is passionate about family philanthropy, impact investing, international grantmaking and values-based giving, and oversees a philanthropic strategies team who support donors make over $5 billion in annual grants. She has been a lifelong advocate for refugees, immigrants, medical education and women’s economic empowerment and rights, and has a passion for the arts.  Elaine previously served as vice president of development at Global Fund for Women. Elaine double majored in medical studies and English literature and communications at Gannon University and has a Master’s degree in Victorian literature from the University of Leeds.  In 2013, she was appointed as a special international advisor to the U.S. State Department’s Under Secretary of Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy.  She has published on topics including equal opportunities, medical education, mentorship, and philanthropy. She serves on the advisory boards of Prosperity Catalyst and New England International Donors.

Dr. Bhekinkosi Moyo is Director of the newly formed Africa Centre on Philanthropy and Social Investment at the University of Witwatersrand’s Business School in South Africa. He previously served as CEO of the Southern Africa Trust in South Africa and Program Director at TrustAfrica in Senegal. Bhekinkosi currently serves on the boards of several philanthropic organizations.


Paul Nwulu is Senior Program Officer at Ford Foundation’s West Africa office. His grantmaking has focused on the creation of high-quality content that increases awareness of key issues in governance and youth sexuality, reproductive health, and rights. His work has also promoted greater public engagement with the media to accelerate social change. Paul has more than 15 years of experience as a media content developer and lecturer in media production and theory. He founded TriCom Productions, an Abuja-based media production, and consulting company, and is actively involved in a number of innovative development media projects in Nigeria. Prior to joining the foundation, Paul was an associate professor of communication and multimedia design at the American University of Nigeria, Yola, Adamawa State.

Leon Wilson is the Chief of Digital Innovation & Chief Information Officer at the Cleveland Foundation. In this dual role, Leon is part of the executive committee leading the foundation’s Information & Technology Services department, focusing on strategic and transformational use of technology and data within the foundation and in the philanthropic sector. Additionally, as the Chief of Digital Innovation, Leon oversees the foundation’s Digital Excellence grant-making strategy geared toward “building a stronger, more equitable, and inclusive digital community”; along with elevating Greater Cleveland’s position as a major regional smart tech and technology innovation hub. Previously, Leon served as the Senior Director of Technology & Data Engagement for the Michigan Nonprofit Association where he assisted nonprofits with leveraging technology to support their social mission.  He is a frequent speaker at many nonprofit conferences and a former lecturer at the University of Michigan teaching information technology in the schools of business and public administration

Dr. Olajumoke Yacob-Haliso is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Acting Dean of the Veronica Adeleke School of Social Sciences at Babcock University in Nigeria. Her research has explored the positions of women in conflict and post-conflict situations in Africa, with a focus on refugee and displacement concerns. Olajumokehas conducted fieldwork in Liberia, Nigeria,  and Geneva and researched issues related to the comparative politics of African states. She is co-editor of four books including Gendering Knowledge in Africa and the African Diaspora: Contesting History and Power (Routledge 2017) and Africa’s Big Men: Predatory State-Society Relations in Africa (Routledge, 2018). She is editor of the Journal of International Politics and Development, and co-editor of the Journal of Contemporary African Studies. She earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.