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2018 Conference Speakers

Quick links: Registration Information    Agenda

Jeanne Elone is Officer in Charge 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 the 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. It is managed by TrustAfrica on behalf of the Kiisi Trust Fund trustees in Nigeria. Before joining TrustAfrica, Ese worked as the Advocacy Program Manager for the Foundation for Partner Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND). While at PIND she was instrumental in designing strategy and implementation for 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 the Harvard School of Public Health and serves as the Deputy Director for Technical Services in the 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 a 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 the Inter-Regional Adviser on Social Development Policy at the 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 UK. 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. She is from Mozambique.

E.J. Jacobs is the Program Director of the Nduna Foundation. For EJ, the motto of the Nduna Foundation, “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 through listening and amplifying the voices of those who don’t have access to the proper audience and strengthening multilateral partnerships while 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 the author of The Conversation, a compilation of nearly two thousand conversations with donors and nonprofits that provides candid perspectives and advice on how to engage better and raise funds.

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

Evaristus Mainsah is General Manager, Global Asset Recovery Services at IBM Global Financing, and Board Member, King Baudouin Foundation US. He is an active member of his Westchester County community where he has been honored for his support of the arts by the Taconic Opera. He is also actively involved in 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 started working in philanthropy in the 1990s through the work of her husband, Strive Masiyiwa, in the telecommunications business in Zimbabwe. 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.

Bongiwe Mlangeni is the Chief Executive Officer of the Social Justice Initiative (SJI), a South African non-profit 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. She holds 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.

Dr. Tendai Murisa is the Executive Director of the SIVIO Institute in Zimbabwe and Visiting Fellow at the Kettering Foundation.  He is a development practitioner and researcher in philanthropy, social justice and pro-poor development with over 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. After leaving TA he established the SIVIO Institute, a pan-African social enterprise to enhance Africa’s inclusive growth, pro-poor development and democracy.

Bwesigye Bwa Mwesigire is a Ugandan lawyer and writer and co-founder of the Kampala based Centre for African Cultural Excellence that 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.

Vuyiswa Sidzumo is a Program Officer in the Ford Foundation South Africa Office. Before joining Ford, she was the Director of the C. S. Mott Foundation Office in South Africa. Her prior positions include serving as a director at the National Department of Provincial and Local Government (now Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs), where she served as liaison to the donor community in South Africa. Between 1995 and 2002, she worked at the Sedibeng Centre for Organizational Effectiveness and the United Nations Development Programme. Vuyiswa holds a Bachelor and Masters degree in Science from Wits University in South Africa.

Erana M. Stennett is Director of the 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 an Emeritus Director of the Public Art Fund.