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2018 Conference Speakers

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Dr. Mamka Anyona is Program Specialist for Open Society Foundations’ Public Health Program. She advises on issues related to global health financing and governance trends. Mamka has extensive experience work with health policy and service delivery subjects in developing countries both nationally and globally. She is a licensed dental surgeon and has worked in Kenya’s public healthcare system. She will complete a Doctor of Public Health degree from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in May 2018.


Nina Blackwell is Executive Director of the Firelight Foundation. Previously she was Senior Strategic Advisor and Head of External Affairs at Humanity United, Senior Director at Americas Communications, and Senior Director of Global Public Affairs at Yahoo!, Inc. where she led two global teams working on privacy, data governance, online safety, human rights and freedom of expression. She worked for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, first as Special Advisor and then as Press Secretary and Spokesperson for her 2016 campaign. 

Jeanne Elone is Program Director at TrustAfrica and Director of TrustAfrica’s International Criminal Justice Fund, a multi-donor collaboration to combat impunity and build African capacity to address atrocity crimes. Previously, she coordinated research on the political transformations in North African civil society in 2011 and analyzed the legal and regulatory environment. Jeanne studied at Columbia University in New York and Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris. She is completing her doctorate at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C. Jeanne is Cameroonian, French, and American.

Ese Emerhi is Project Director for the Kiisi Trust, a donor-advised fund to benefit the Ogoni people in South East Nigeria managed by TrustAfrica on behalf of the Kiisi Trust Fund trustees in Nigeria. Before joining TrustAfrica, Ese was Advocacy Program Manager at Foundation for Partner Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND). While at PIND she was instrumental in designing strategy and implementation NDLink, an online advocacy and communications platform in the Niger Delta. She has a B.A. in Political Science from Ohio State University.

Dr. Mosoka P. Fallah is Visiting Scientist at Harvard School of Public Health and serves as the Deputy Director for Technical Services a National Public Health Institute of Liberia. During the Ebola crisis, he was Head of Case Detection in the Montserrado Incident Management System administering critical aspects of the Ebola response. He was a member of the Harvard Global Health Institute and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Independent Panel on the Global Response to Ebola and named Time magazine Person of the Year in 2014 for his work on Ebola. 


Pierre Hauser is the Co-founder of the Daphne Foundation with his wife, Abigail Disney, which provides general operating support to grassroots organizations for advocacy and community organizing. He serves on the boards of the North Star Fund, Flawless Foundation, Roy and Patricia Disney Family Foundation and Peace is Loud. He invests in films through Impact Partners and serves on the documentary funding board of Fork Films. Pierre is a published author and photographer with several current projects including portraits of Ebola survivors and orphans in Liberia where he has been active as a philanthropist.

Dr. Alcinda Honwana is Inter-Regional Adviser on Social Development Policy at United Nations Department of Social and Economic Affairs. She is also a visiting professor of Anthropology and International Development at the Open University in the U.K. Dr. Honwana has conducted extensive research on political conflict and politics of culture, the impact of war on children and youth, and youth politics, social movements, and political protest.

Nyeleti Honwana is a Program Officer at the H.F. Guggenheim Foundation where she works on the Young African Scholars Program.  She is a self-proclaimed “suitcase kid,” originally from Mozambique and grew up in South Africa, Senegal, England and the United States. She received her M.A. in International Relations from Boston University and the Herman Eilts Thesis Award for best graduate thesis for her dissertation, “Social Movements in Africa: Mozambique and Civil Disorder,” which examined the role of the state in mitigating the effect of popular protests in Mozambique.  Nyeleti is a member of the AGAG Steering Committee.

Lisa Issroff is  Executive Director of the Issroff Family Foundation (IFF), co-founded with her husband David. IFF partners with community organizations working to improve outcomes for children and youth, and provides funding, capacity, and advisory support to early-stage organizations empowering youth in South and Eastern Africa, New York and Israel. She helps to build networks in the New York City area to support a vibrant funder community and serves on the boards of IFF’s partner organizations. She is Board Chair of Ongoza, former Chair for Generation Citizen. board member of  Agahozo of Shalom Youth Village, Educate! and an Advisory Board member of Afrika Tikkun, and Executive Advisors Circle of Echoing Green. She is New York Chapter Head of the African Leadership Academy.  Lisa graduated from Wesleyan University.

E.J. Jacobs is the Program Director of the Nduna Foundation. For EJ, the Nduna Foundation motto, “Make it Matter,” it is a guiding principle. Since 2010, he has embraced philanthropy beyond simple grantmaking. He and the Nduna Foundation have found success in often ignored and underserved areas by listening and amplifying the voices of those who lack access to the proper audience as well as  strengthening multilateral partnerships and embracing and offering fresh ideas in areas lacking innovation,  Before joining the Nduna Foundation, he was the Editor-in-Chief of Topcoat Magazine. EJ is  Author of The Conversation, a compilation of nearly two thousand conversations with donors and nonprofits that give candid perspectives and advice on how to engage better and raise funds.

Andrea Johnson is Program Officer at Carnegie Corporation of New York where she works with Higher Education and Research in Africa and Peacebuilding in Africa teams. She previously developed the strategy to enhance women’s opportunities and gender equity in African higher education, managed university-strengthening activities in Nigeria, and designed and implemented a capacity-building program for African universities. Through the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa, Andrea worked with colleagues at other foundations to improve access to internet connectivity for higher education and research. She earned a B.A. in Economics from the College of William and Mary and a Master of International Affairs degree in economic and political development from Columbia University’s  School of International and Public Affairs. Andrea is a member of the AGAG Steering Committee.

Amaha Kassa is Founder and Executive Director of African Communities Together (ACT), a membership organization with chapters in New York and Washington, DC. He is an Ethiopian immigrant with 22 years as a labor and community organizer, nonprofit director, and social entrepreneur. Amaha earned a law degree from University of California, Berkeley and a master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School. ACT, which he launched in 2012, has emerged as a key voice on African immigrant issues.

Faraaz Mahomed is a consultant with Open Society Foundations’ Public Health Program. Originally from South Africa, he is a clinical psychologist and human rights researcher focusing on the human rights challenges in global mental health care systems. He is a consultant with the Office of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health and a Researcher with the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University and the Harvard Law School Project on Disability. 


Evaristus Mainsah is General Manager, Global Asset Recovery Services at IBM Global Financing, and a Board Member of  King Baudouin Foundation US. He is an active member of his Westchester County community where he was honored for his support of the arts by the Taconic Opera. He is also actively involved with philanthropy through the Rosemary Educational Trust, which funds scholarships in his home country of Cameroon.

Tsitsi Masiyiwa is an African philanthropist and social entrepreneur. She began work in philanthropy in Zimbabwe’s telecomms sector in the 1990s with her husband, Strive. Together they founded Higherlife Foundation, one of the largest scholarship programs in Africa. Tsitsi co-founded Muzinda Hub, an entrepreneurship and innovation project in Zimbabwe that has with more than 1,000 coders. She is on the boards of PATH and ENDFund and is a founding member of the African Philanthropy Forum. She and her husband are members of the Giving Pledge.

Kimberly Middleton is an Advisor at Tides where she manages a diverse client portfolio that includes private foundations, donor-advised funds, and fiscally sponsored social ventures.  She collaborates with innovative partners and provides solutions related to domestic and international grantmaking, capacity building, operations, and events. Her interests include advancing equity for women and girls, human rights, and indigenous communities. Prior to Tides, Kimberly served as a program officer in the International Women’s Program at Open Society Foundations.

Bongiwe Mlangeni is Chief Executive Officer of the Social Justice Initiative (SJI), a South African nonprofit organization which promotes philanthropy in support of human rights and social justice work. Previously, she consulted as Communications Director at the Graca Machel Trust and was the founding Deputy Director of Corruption Watch. She has also worked as a journalist, covering socio-economic and women’s rights issues in Southern Africa. Bongiwe earned a Masters of Management degree from the Wits School of Governance and has completed postgraduate studies at the Wits Business School and London School of Economics.

Monica Nyiraguhabwa is Co-Founder and Executive Director of  Girl UP Initiative. She has more than ten years of experience in mentoring and empowering girls and young women in life skills for self-protection against sexual and gender-based violence. She is skilled in leading and organizing training and educational campaigns, community mobilization, human relations, and facilitation. Monica earned an Education, Gender and International Development MA from the University College of London and a BA in Adult and Community Education from Makerere University. She has been both a Cordes fellow and an African Visionary Fellow with the Segal Family Foundation. 

Yvonne Moore is the Principal Advisor at Moore Philanthropy. She has worked in the government, civil society, and philanthropic sectors. As a practitioner and a philanthropist, Yvonne brings a dual understanding to her work which includes advising donors funding in several African countries. Previously, she was Chief of Staff to Abigail E. Disney and served as the Executive Director of the Daphne Foundation. Yvonne is a trustee of the New York Women’s Foundation, Philanthropy New York, and Cause Effective. She earned a master’s degree in nonprofit management from the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and a master’s degree in urban policy from the New School.

Dr. Tendai Murisa is Visiting Fellow at the Kettering Foundation and Executive Director of the SIVIO Institute in Zimbabwe, a pan-African social enterprise to enhance Africa’s inclusive growth, pro-poor development and democracy. He is a development practitioner and researcher in philanthropy, social justice and pro-poor development more than 15 years of experience. Educated at Leeds and Rhodes Universities, Tendai worked at TrustAfrica (TA) from 2009 to 2017 as a Program Officer, Program Director and Executive Director. 

Bwesigye Bwa Mwesigire is a Ugandan lawyer and writer and Co-founder of the Kampala based Centre for African Cultural Excellence which runs the Writivism Initiative. He has taught human rights and legal theory at Makerere, Uganda Christian, and Uganda Martyrs universities. His commentary has appeared in This is Africa, Chimurenga Chronic, Africa in Words, Africa is a Country and African Arguments. In 2015, he was an H. F. Guggenheim Foundation Young African Scholar and African Leadership Centre Fellow in Peace, Security, and Development.

Hafeeza E. Rashed is the Senior Advisor, Communications and Outreach at the King Baudouin Foundation United States and responsible for outreach to individual donors and the development of partnerships with African nonprofit organizations. Prior to joining KBFUS in 2015, Hafeeza worked as Officer of Strategic Partnerships at the Gbowee Peace Foundation USA, working closely with Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee. She oversaw the establishment of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, a nonprofit based in Liberia, and coordinated its fundraising and donor cultivation platforms. Hafeeza earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Spelman College, and her JD from the University of Richmond.

Ash Lauren Rogers is Executive Director of the Lwala Community Alliance. Previously she served as Director of Operations at the Segal Family Foundation where she launched a social impact incubator in Burundi. She was also a GHC Fellow in Uganda and has worked with the U.S. State Department, Komo Learning Centers, and HELP International developing tools to support local social innovators. She earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brigham Young University.

Vuyiswa Sidzumo is Program Officer at Ford Foundation’s  Southern Africa Office. Prior to Ford, she was Director of C. S. Mott Foundation’s  South Office and Director at National Department of Provincial and Local Government (now Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs), where she was a liaison to the donor community. Between 1995 and 2002, she worked at the Sedibeng Centre for Organizational Effectiveness and the United Nations Development Programme. Vuyiswa earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in science from Wits University in South Africa. She is Chair of the AGAG Steering Committee. 

Erana M. Stennett is Director of  Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa, a pan-African program to advance business journalism. She joined Bloomberg LP in 2001 and managed its philanthropic initiatives in the Americas from 2001-2013. Before Bloomberg, Stennett served as Vice President for the Central Park Conservancy and spearheaded the development of the Frederick Douglass Circle. She held senior positions in New York City government and currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Central Park Conservancy and the Board of Directors for New York City Center. She is also Emeritus Director of the Public Art Fund.


Dr. Stigmata Tenga is the Executive Director of the Africa Philanthropy Network (APN). She is an anthropologist with a career in community development and process consulting in government and civil society sectors and has led efforts for civil society and philanthropy to become key catalysts for development processes in Africa. Dr. Tenga is also the President of the Foundation for Civil Society in Tanzania, a financing mechanism for civil society organizations. She served on the APN board, a board member of the Trust operating in the Southern Africa region as well as REPOA, a Think Tank in Tanzania.