AFRILINK Leadership Council (USA)
Advisory members (no-governance responsibility)
DR. KOJO APPIAH (Chair of Council)
Dr. Kojo Appiah holds a PhD degree in Materials Science and Engineering with a sub-specialty in Management of Technology from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Kojo Appiah is a Co-founder and Chairman of The African Network, Inc. (TAN), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area that is dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship among all people of African descent. Among other programs, TAN holds annual conferences in Silicon Valley and Africa that bring various participants in the entrepreneurial ecosystem together to support the organization’s mission. Outside of TAN, Kojo is an Engineering Advisor at Analog Devices in San Jose, CA. Previously, he held technical leadership positions in new product development at Spansion, Inc, and prior to Spansion, he was with Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Inc., both in Sunnyvale, CA. Kojo has also been involved in a number of entrepreneurial and investment ventures in several areas. Currently, his entrepreneurial activities are in solar PV project development and renewable energy and market analysis.
An engineer by training, Julius has 20 years plus experience in operations in the cooperate sector. He is a highly respected as a leader in various community groups in Rhode Island. He has also spent 5 years teaching engineering to African students, in the University of Ilorin, Nigeria.
Rhoda Gathoga brings years of expertise in international development, with particular emphasis in research and program management. She has monitored and evaluated funded programs in more than 70 nations, ranging from HIV/AIDS to water and sanitation, migrants and refugee issues, trauma healing, Bible translation and engagement of minority Christian populations. She has worked for several prominent philanthropic organizations, including American Bible Society, Geneva Global Inc., American Red Cross, and MAP International in Eastern and Southern Africa. Rhoda has a master’s degree in communication from Wheaton College Graduate School, Wheaton, Ill.; abachelor of arts degree in communication from Messiah College, Grantham, Pa.; and a certificate in social work from Bryn Mawr College, Pa. She is the author of a poetry book, Burning Embers.
Morgan is a board member of Toniic,where she served as founding CEO from 2010-2013. Morgan Simon is also the Founder and Chair of Transform Finance, bridging impact investment and social justice. Leading their investor practice, she serves as Senior Adviser to Pi Investments, a single family office devoted to transformational impact, and as Director of Investments for The Working World, an evergreen fund for stakeholder-owned businesses in the US, Argentina and Nicaragua. Morgan has also worked with grassroots organizations and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Mexico, Honduras and Sierra Leone, and in domestic micro-finance with Women’s Initiative for Self Employment. She received a B.A with High Honors in Economics and Political Science from Swarthmore College.
KENNETH M. GUSTAVSEN
Ken Gustavsen is Executive Director, Global Public Policy at Merck and is responsible for supporting Merck’s emerging markets teams in the development and implementation of policies and advocacy related to pricing, reimbursement, trade and access. He also leads Merck’s efforts to engage with international and multilateral organizations on commercial and policy issues. In prior positions at Merck he oversaw the company’s philanthropic product donation programs, including the MECTIZAN Donation Program for river blindness elimination, and disaster relief and recovery partnerships in the developing world. He started at Merck in the Global Procurement department of the Merck Manufacturing Division.
Before joining Merck in 2000, Ken led a post-war relief and development program in Kosovo for the non-profit organization World Relief, with approximately 100 local and international team members engaged in housing reconstruction, microfinance development, and general commodity support. Prior to World Relief, Ken served for 6 years as a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy in a variety of domestic and overseas assignments.
Ken received an MBA in finance and global business from Rutgers University and a BS in oceanography from the United States Naval Academy. He and his wife Claudia, originally from Brazil, live in New Jersey and have three school-age children.
PROF. ANANI DZIDZIENYO
AMBASSADOR BILL TWADDELL
Bahiyah is the Executive Director of Appfrica (www.appfrica.com), an organization dedicated to strengthening ties within the technology and business communities in East and West Africa, and co-founder of Reaspora (www.reaspora.org), which engages the African Diaspora in discussions around culture, commerce, and association. Bahiyah has worked in the international development and entrepreneurship space since 1995 as a serial entrepreneur and marketing consultant. In addition to holding marketing and management positions at several NGOs, she managed memberships and member events at the Council on Foreign Relations.
PROF. PAUL ZELEZA
AFRILINK Leadership Council (Africa)
Advisory members (no-governance responsibility)
- Fred Ojiambo Esq.
- Mildred Owour
- Yaw Gyamfi Boateng
- Ahuma Adodoadji