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Title/Role: Executive Director, at the Charter Cities Institute
Relevant Educational Credentials: PhD Economics, George Mason University
Dr. Mark Lutter is Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Innovative Governance Research, a nonprofit creating the ecosystem for charter cities. He has a PhD in economics from George Mason University where he wrote his dissertation on charter cities. Prior to launching the Center for Innovative Governance Research, he was Lead Economist for NeWAY Capital, an asset management firm which made early stage investments in charter cities. During graduate school, he consulted on several new city projects and special economic zones. He has been published in several newspapers and magazines including CityAM, and Cato Unbound.
Title/Role: Communications Lead at the Charter Cities Institute
Relevant Educational Credentials: BS in Economics and BA in Public Policy from Southern Methodist University
Tamara Winter is the Communications Lead at the Center for Innovative Governance Research. Prior to joining the Center she worked as a Program Associate with the Project for the Study of American Capitalism at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. She holds a BS in Economics and BA in Public Policy from Southern Methodist University, where she also worked as a Niemi Fellow in the O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom. Her byline has appeared in Chicago Tribune and the Washington Times.
Title/Role: CEO of DoubleGDP
Relevant Educational Credentials: BA computer science from Harvard
Nolan Myers is the CEO of DoubleGDP, a relationship management platform that new cities in emerging markets use to connect residents with administration. He leads a team of product managers, engineers, and designers who believe software can help property developers to build more quickly, administrations to manage municipalities more efficiently and transparently, and residents to have better experiences in their new homes. Urban growth has the potential to double the world’s economic output through improved operations and greater choice in where to live. DoubleDGP aims to provide the software infrastructure that underlies this monumental productivity gain.
Nolan has 20 years of experience leading product, customer success, partnerships and operations teams at innovative software companies that have modernized operations in large enterprises and governments. He built and deployed a mobile-first training platform that improves workforce productivity for large frontline teams and shifts legacy workflows from print to digital. His efforts to improve the education system include building a reporting and data management platform for school systems that supported the Los Angeles Unified School District math instructional program. Outside DoubleGDP, he advises Silicon Valley startups on product and customer success strategy. Nolan holds a degree in computer science from Harvard.
Title/Role: Legal and Policy Consultant, CEO of Politas, Founder of Refugee Cities
Relevant Educational Credentials: Juris Doctor, American University, Washington College of Law, Summa Cum Laude MA, International Affairs / International Politics, American University, School of International Service
Michael is a legal and policy consultant who has helped develop special jurisdictions, including special economic zone programs, for over twenty countries in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Africa. He has helped governments and private companies to draft legislation and regulations, establish administrative agencies, introduce investment climate reforms, and structure public-private partnerships.
He is the CEO of Politas Consulting, which provides innovative legal and policy solutions to help cities and special jurisdictions achieve inclusive growth. He is also the Executive Director of Refugee Cities, an NGO applying special-jurisdiction frameworks to expand opportunities for migrants. Previously, Michael served as a consultant with the World Bank, Legal Vice Presidency, specializing in urban law and development issues.
Title/Role: Senior Fellow at Center for Global Development
Relevant Educational Credentials: Georgetown University
W. Gyude Moore is a visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development. He previously served as Liberia’s Minister of Public Works with oversight over the construction and maintenance of public infrastructure from December 2014 to January 2018.
Prior to that role, Moore served as Deputy Chief of Staff to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Head of the President’s Delivery Unit (PDU). As Head of the PDU, his team monitored progress and drove delivery of the Public Sector Investment Program of Liberia—a program of over $1 billion in road, power, port infrastructure, and social programs in Liberia after the civil war. As one of the President’s trusted advisors, he also played a crucial role in supporting President Sirleaf as Liberia responded to the West Africa Ebola outbreak and shaped its post-Ebola outlook.
At CGD, Moore’s research focus is around financing infrastructure in Africa and the changing landscape of development finance on the continent. His research tracks the channels of private sources of finance, the rise of China and its expanding role in Africa, and Africa’s response to these changes. He currently serves on the Board of Advisors of the Master of Science in Foreign Service Program at Georgetown University. He holds a BS in Political Science from Berea College and an MS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.
Title/Role: Vice president of the Adrianople Group
Thibault Serlet is the vice president of the Adrianople Group, a private intelligence provider that works with Special Economic Zones. He co-founded the Startup Societies Foundation, and has organized America's largest charter cities conference. He previously worked as an advisor and operations officer for several start-ups including ProudSource. Thibault also maintains a blog where he reviews a wide variety of history books, science fiction novels, and classics.
Title/Role: Author of Ghost Cities of China
Relevant Educational Credentials: Long Island University
Wade Shepard is an author and journalist who has been moving through the world since 1999, working in over 89 countries. He's the author of "Ghost Cities of China: The Story of Cities Without People in the World's Most Populated Country," which recounts the two and a half years he spent in China's sparsely populated new cities, and "On the New Silk Road" which is about the revival of the Silk Road as seen from the ground. He is a regular contributor at Forbes and The Guardian, covering cultural, political, and economic upheavals in emerging markets, with a special focus on new cities. He has been a guest on BBC World News, NPR 'Morning Edition,' CNBC 'Squawk Box,' CBC 'The Current,' VICE, among other top news programs.
Book: Ghost Cities of China
Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/wadeshepard/ , The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/profile/wade-shepard, South China Morning Post: http://www.scmp.com/author/wade-shepard
Citiscope: http://archive.citiscope.org/authors/wade-shepard, The Diplomat: http://thediplomat.com/authors/wade-shepard, Blog: https://www.vagabondjourney.com
Twitter: @WadeShepard, @VagabondJourney
Title/Role: Executive Vice President, Rendeavour
Relevant Educational Credentials: BA from Cornell University
Preston has more than 25 years' experience living and working in emerging markets, including six years at Rendeavour, Africa’s largest new city builder with more than 12,000 hectares of land under development in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia and DRC. Prior to Rendeavour, Preston was Vice President for Strategy of Russian Standard, Russia’s leading global consumer brand with interests in financial services and alcohol beverage production and distribution. From 1993-2006, Preston was a producer and correspondent for NBC News, covering global events in the Soviet successor states, Europe, Central and South Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Country: South Africa
Title/Role: Project Executive: Bojanala Special Economic Zone (SEZ)
Relevant Educational Credentials: TBA
I am passionate about Urban and Rural Development - the extent to which smart and sustainable people oriented living spaces of the future will provide for fast growing trends in creating high quality, vibrant, liveable, safe and efficient communities. I am fascinated by initiatives around the world that creation of compact, walkable, mixed use communities as well linkages from one town to the next. I am attracted to initiatives to shape new living space transformation and efforts to enhance liveability to cater for creation of new districts and integrated townships; spatial planning, place making, exciting neighbourhood developments, vertical cities and mixed use development.
Title/Role: Partner, Future Africa, co-Founder Andela, co-Founder Flutterwave
Relevant Educational Credentials: Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Studies from the University of Waterloo
Iyinoluwa Aboyeji is an entrepreneur in the public interest. He is passionate about partnering with missionary talent and capital to build an African future. He spent the last few years as the CEO of Flutterwave, a business building payments technology and infrastructure to connect Africa to the global economy.
Over those years, he led the company to become one of the fastest growing payments technology businesses of all-time processing over $2 billion across over 50 million transaction with annual revenues of millions of dollars a year. It also attracted significant investment from experienced players in the global payments arena such as Y Combinator (investors in Stripe), Greycroft (investors in Braintree), Greenvisor Capital (Led by the Former CEO of Visa), Mastercard amongst others.
Prior to helping to co-found and lead Flutterwave, Iyinoluwa co-founded Andela - Africa's largest engineering organization with over 1000 software engineers which has received investment from Mark Zuckerberg and Google Ventures amongst others
Iyinoluwa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Studies from the University of Waterloo; and sits on the board of several institutions including Paris’ Share Africa Project, Rainbow Educational Services Limited and Filmo Realty
He served as the Deputy Director General for Madam Oby Ezekwesili’s 2019 Presidential Campaign, he is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, a Forbes 30 under 30 honoree and a member of Nigeria's Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council.
Title/Role: Co-Managing Partner/Co-Founder/CEO Thebe
Relevant Educational Credentials: BA in Finance from Richmond the American International University in London and MSc in International Business Management from The University of Surrey.
Mwiya co-founded Thebe and has been responsible for taking the Nkwashi project from ideation level through to present development. Mr Musokotwane is responsible for planning encompassing marketing, financial management, investment operations, civil works and the creation of its innovative payment plan models. Prior to the formation of Nkwashi, Mwiya worked as an investment analyst at African Life Financial Services Zambia Ltd, a unit of South African Investment giant Sanlam (through its holdings in BIFM of Botswana). At African Life Mwiya was responsible for helping manage over US$400 million in assets under management, specifically the management of capital allocation across fixed income, equity, property and private equity asset classes. Whilst there, he developed new credit risk management systems and equity portfolio management tools. Mwiya has a BA in Finance from Richmond the American International University in London, as well as an MSc in International Business Management from The University of Surrey; both in the United Kingdom. Mwiya brings a firm understanding of African asset management as well as a discerning understanding of strategy, marketing and consumer behaviour.
Title/Role: Director of African Programs, SFL
Relevant Educational Credentials: Diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Nairobi
Linda is an International Trade and Free Market enthusiast, an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, a Frederic Bastiat Fellow at the Mercatus Center, George Mason University and an alumnus of the Atlas Network’s Smith Fellowship. She serves as the Africa Programs Manager at the worlds’ largest youth movement for human freedom, Students For Liberty International.
Linda has represented Students For Liberty in partner projects including Fostering Issue Based Political Dialogue Towards 2017 General Elections in Kenya, August 2016 to November 2017 with Liberal Alliance Denmark. She also hosted the 10-day Principles of Free Markets Colloquium in Abuja Nigeria, aimed at countering violent extremism, for 90 Fellows brought together by the North East Regional Initiative supported by Creative International in April 2018.
Linda has contributed her views on trade, free markets, property rights and human freedom published by the Telegraph, Africaliberty.org, Atlas Network’s Freedom Magazine, the Free Market Foundation and the Young IPA podcast. She has presented at several free market conferences and fora in Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Malawi, South Africa, Ghana and USA.
Linda holds a Diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Nairobi. She is also an alumnus of the Atlas Network’s Think Tank MBA class of 2018.
Title/Role: Lecturer and Researcher
Relevant Educational Credentials: Masters and PhD from University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Dr. Gilbert Siame is a lecturer and researcher in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Zambia. Dr. Siame is the convener of the MSc in Spatial Planning and directs the Centre for Urban Research and Planning at the same university. He has published widely in planning and urbanisation in Africa. He holds both masters and doctoral degrees in city and regional planning from University of Cape Town. He has done research and published on urban informality, urban sustainability, co-production of urban space, climate change and cities, urban governance, urban knowledge co-production and the interface of planning theory and practice. Dr Siame is a regular speaker at international conferences on African cities and planning in the global South.
Title/Role: Author of Belt and Road and The Dawn of Eurasia
Relevant Educational Credentials: Education PhD Harvard
Bruno Maçães was the Minister of European Affairs in Portugal from 2013 to 2015. He is a senior fellow at both the Hudson Institute in Washington and Renmin University in Beijing and the author of two recent books, The Dawn of Eurasia and Belt and Road. The Dawn of Eurasia was selected as a book of the year by both the Financial Times and Foreign Affairs. He holds a doctorate in political science from Harvard University
Title/Role: Lawyer and Public Policy Analyst
Relevant Educational Credentials:
Lawyer and public policy analyst based in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Currently serving as Managing Partner for Board Solutions Central America, a regional firm specialized in corporate governance and family office services. As legal counsel he has focused on commercial, administrative, and tax law practice, and has several years of experience in research, policy consulting, and political reform efforts. In 2016, he led a successful policy reform campaign where 15 of his 20 policy proposals were adopted by the Honduran Congress within the country’s new Tax Code, garnering Atlas Network’s Award for Free-Market Solutions to Poverty .
Title/Role: Alternate Secretary of the Committee for the Adoption of Best Practices (CAMP) for the Honduran Zones for Economic Development and Employment (ZEDE).
Relevant Educational Credentials:Global Executive MBA - IE Business School and LLM in Corporate Law - Central American Technological University and Attorney at Law (JD) - National Autonomous University of Honduras.
Country: South Africa
Title/Role: Senior Researcher, University of Cape Town
Relevant Educational Credentials:PhD
Liza Rose Cirolia is a researcher at the African Centre for Cities. Her work is largely focused on the social, political, technical and institutional dimensions of urban infrastructure, decentralization, and human settlements in African cities. Liza Rose received her PhD from University of Cape Town. She received a Master in City and Regional Planning from the University of Cape Town. She received her undergraduate degree in Development Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.
Liza Rose has worked extensively on housing and land in South African cities. She has conducted in-depth research and policy development on the Emergency Housing Programme and temporary relocation areas, the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme and the Gap Market, township residential market development, and the upgrading of informal settlements. In 2018, working with the Western Cape government, she co-wrote a guiding document for the Western Cape government entitled, ‘The Living Cape: A Human Settlements Framework’.
Title/Role: IPA - switxboard GmbH, Global Networking and Humanitarian Expertise
Kilian Kleinschmidt is an international networker, humanitarian and refugee expert with 30 years of experience in a wide range of countries, emergencies and refugee camps as United Nations official, Aid worker and Diplomat. He is the founder and Chairman of the start-up Innovation and Planning Agency (IPA) which aims at connecting the millions of poor and disadvantaged with relevant and under-utilized resources and modern technologies of the 21st century through its project SWITXBOARD http://www.switxboard.net. He is part of a number of initiatives and Projects which aim at global connectivity through better use of globalization. He is currently developing a number of ventures which aim at sustainable investment and social impact in very fragile environments.
He most recently became known as the “Mayor of Za'atari" when he managed the refugee camp of Za'atari in Northern Jordan from 2013-2014 on behalf of UNHCR. Za'atari has become a symbol for new and innovative approaches in refugee and humanitarian management under his leadership. He is now challenging the Humanitarian Aid Sector through a range of new and unorthodox partnerships, technologies and ways of financing building on networking and swarm intelligence rather than hierarchies and ineffective bureaucracies. His work on emerging cities, Special Development Zones and urbanization of refugee camps is widely recognized as the way forward dealing with mass migration, population shifts and transformation of society.
Previous senior roles included Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Deputy Special Envoy for Assistance to Pakistan, Director for Communities and Minorities in the UN administration in Kosovo, Executive Secretary for the Migration and Refugee Initiative (MARRI) in the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe and many field-based functions with UNHCR, UNDP and WFP. He worked extensively in Africa, South Eastern Europe, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and during the European refugee crisis advised the Austrian Minister of Interior on Refugee reception centres. Most recently he was a Special Advisor to the German Minister of Development on Refugee issues and innovative partnerships (2016). In 2017 he and a global IPA team developed a strategy on stabilisation of migration flows and development in Africa for the Chancellor of Austria. Currently his team and network are working on new approaches to the stabilisation of Libya through partnership acceleration for businesses and municipalities and the establishment of Special Development Zones.
He has published three books - “Weil es um die Menschen geht” (ECON 2015), “Beyond Survival” (Dumont-Mair 2016) and “Tod dem Helfer” (Dumont-Mair 2017) and authored a number of articles on refugee and migration issues. He is a renowned public speaker in conferences, TEDx and other events.
Title/Role:Senior Director, ASG Africa Practice
Relevant Educational Credentials:BA in Political Science, BA in Psychology from Stanford University; Masters in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School
Desirée M. Cormier is a Senior Director of ASG's Africa Practice, where she advises and assists clients on growth strategies across the African continent. Prior to joining ASG, Ms. Cormier was a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State. In this role, she served in Tijuana, Mexico; Pretoria, South Africa; and Washington, D.C. From 2014 to 2015, she was the African Union and Multilateral Affairs Officer in the Bureau of African Affairs, where she focused on facilitating engagement with partner countries and organizations on areas of mutual concern. From 2012 until 2014, Ms. Cormier served as Staff Assistant to the Ambassador and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa, where she coordinated various mission-wide priorities and strategic plans, including the U.S.-South Africa Strategic Dialogue, the annual Mission Resource Request, and the joint State-USAID Integrated Country Strategy. From 2010 until 2012, she was a Consular Officer at U.S. Consulate General Tijuana, Mexico where she adjudicated non-immigrant visas, assisted arrested American citizens and reported on their conditions, and organized various public diplomacy and cultural events on behalf of the Consulate. Ms. Cormier is the recipient of four Department of State Meritorious Honor Awards and the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Undergraduate Fellowship. She was chosen to participate in the 2015 International Career Advancement Program sponsored by the Aspen Institute and the University of Denver for highly promising mid-career professionals in foreign policy and is a member of the 2019 class of Next Generation National Security Leaders Fellowship at the Center for a New American Security. Ms. Cormier currently serves on the Advisory Council of Global Kids, an educational non-profit aimed to inspire underserved youth to pursue careers in public policy and global affairs, and on the Advisory Board of Shea Yeleen, a social enterprise dedicated to empowering women in West Africa and the U.S. Ms. Cormier is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Ms. Cormier holds a B.A. in Political Science and Psychology from Stanford University and a M.A. in Public Policy from John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She is proficient in Spanish and French. Ms. Cormier is based in Washington, DC.
Country: South Africa
Title/Role:Former Mayor, City of Johannesburg
Relevant Educational Credentials:Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from the Central University of Technology
Herman Mashaba grew up in a small village on the outskirts of Pretoria during the dark days of apartheid South Africa. Mashaba embraced independence early in life, having lost his father at the age of two. When his studies were interrupted by state security forces during the struggle against apartheid, Mashaba decided to pursue a career as an entrepreneur instead.
Over the ensuing decades he built a business empire that included companies in the cosmetics, construction, real estate, retail, energy and financial services fields. His success earned him an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from the Central University of Technology in 2013. During this time, Mashaba also chaired the Free Market Foundation – a public benefit organisation founded on classical liberal principles with the aim to promote and foster an open, democratic society based on the rule of law, personal liberty, and economic freedom.
In 2015, Mashaba decided that he was no longer satisfied with being an arm-chair critic and entered politics as the Mayoral Candidate for the City of Johannesburg for the DA, South Africa’s largest opposition party. In the historic election of 2016, Mashaba was elected as the Executive Mayor of a 7-party multi-party coalition government with a mandate for change. Mashaba stepped-back from corporate life in order to focus fulltime on leading the City government. He has received acclaim for his hands-on approach to service delivery, innovative partnerships with the private sector and zero-tolerance for corruption and maladministration. His corporate approach to municipal governance introduced a new era in the City as Mashaba worked to turn the corner on the decay and deterioration that had become associated with Johannesburg. In doing so he won the hearts and minds of the City’s residents, who recognised his desire to serve the residents of the City and to get Joburg working.
Title/Role:MD at Ingressive Capital
Relevant Educational Credentials:Cornell Prelaw Program and attending Pomona College
Maya Horgan Famodu is MD at Ingressive Capital, a $10 Million VC fund targeting early stage start-ups across Sub-Saharan Africa’s key tech markets. She also founded Ingressive for Good, a non-profit focused on cultivating technical talent and resources for the African start-up ecosystems; as well as Ingressive LLC, a market entry / market operations firm that has assisted more than 50 international companies to enter and operate across Africa, and they’ve done a collective 40+ deals on the continent. She is Forbes 30 under 30, and worked previously in private equity research and at JPMorgan after completing Cornell Prelaw Program and attending Pomona College.
Title/Role:Lawyer, legal advisor to Enyimba Economic City
Relevant Educational Credentials:MSC in Public Procurement Management for Sustainable Development, Certified PPP Practitioner, Post Graduate Diploma in corruption studies
Mr Ekwekwuo is a lawyer. He has had a broad law practice experience involving litigation at the early stages, regulatory advisory, transaction advisory work in project structuring, privatization, commercialization of public entities, public private partnerships, and public finance law reforms at national and sub-national levels. His experience has included assignments examining and improving system integrity in private and public organizations. A member of the expert team that developed the Model Access to Information law for the Africa for the African Human Rights Commission, which model law has influenced access to information reforms in over eleven African countries. He co-led Nigeria’s Port Sector integrity systems risk assessment in 2013 and development of Standard Operating Procedures and integrity policies for all Port Sector organizations in Nigeria 2014-2015. He holds a post graduate diploma in corruption studies from Hong Kong University, an MSC in Public Procurement Management for Sustainable Development from Turin University and is a Certified PPP practitioner. He is currently Company Secretary Legal Adviser at Enyimba Economic City Development Company Ltd.
Title/Role:Author of A History of Future Cities
Relevant Educational Credentials:Yale University, B.A. 2000
Daniel Brook is an American journalist and author whose work has appeared in publications including The New York Times Magazine, Harper's, and Architectural Record. His second book, A History of Future Cities, was named one of the ten "Favorite Books of 2013" by the Washington Post and was longlisted for the Lionel Gelber Award, given annually by the University of Toronto to the best book of the year on foreign affairs. Brook's writing and research have been supported by institutions including the Library of Congress and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and he is the winner of the 2010 Winterhouse Award for Design Writing and Criticism. Born in Brooklyn, raised on Long Island, and educated at Yale, Brook lives in New Orleans.
© CHRIS GRANGER/Times-Picayune | The Advocate
Title/Role:Founder, TRUE Africa
Relevant Educational Credentials: BSc, Financial Economics, University of London, MBA, MIT Sloan. Research Affiliate, MIT
Claude Grunitzky is the founder of TRACE, a fast-growing media company which was successfully sold to a French investor group in 2010, and TRUE Africa, a media tech platform championing young African voices all over the world. In 2017, TRUE Africa was funded by Google’s Digital News Initiative.
Grunitzky was raised between Lomé, Togo; Washington, DC; Paris and London. Growing up, Grunitzky was exposed to many different cultures. These foreign interactions shaped his transcultural philosophy and informed the creative energy of his media ventures.
A graduate of London University and MIT Sloan, where he received an MBA, Grunitzky is also a trustee at MASS MoCA, a contemporary art museum in Massachusetts, and at Humanity in Action, a foundation that works internationally to build global leadership, defend democracy, protect minorities and improve human rights.
Title/Role:Senior FDI Consultant
Relevant Educational Credentials: Master’s degree in economics and China studies from the University of Groningen and Peking University
Sebastian is an advisor working with special economic zones, investment promotion agencies and municipalities around the world to create successful strategies for FDI attraction. He started his career as an management consultant at A.T. Kearney and now works at a leading advisory related to foreign direct investment and investment promotion. Besides that he also has an academic interest in special economic zones, city states, charter cities and refugee cities and published academic articles on these topics. Sebastian holds master’s degrees in economics and China studies from the University of Groningen and Peking University.
Relevant Educational Credentials:B.Econs
Jason Willoughby possesses significant high-level experience in the property, construction and corporate finance sectors. Jason currently manages several business interests in property, funds management, construction, defence, space and infrastructure.
Jason established and managed a successful real estate development division for one of Australia’s largest construction groups. In this role Jason was responsible for conceptualisation and overseeing the development of numerous commercial office projects valued up to $150 million as well as residential land subdivisions, residential apartment projects, industrial land estates, industrial development and retail development comprising a portfolio in excess of $1.2B.
Prior to this Jason worked in the finance industry for over 10 years including as a Director of a boutique investment bank based in Mayfair, London and Director / CEO for a London Stock Exchange listed company. Jason started his career as a Stockbroker with one of WA’s most prominent stockbroking firms.
Jason is a passionate advocate for the advancement of economic and social development through the growth of Cities underpinned by liberal democratic principles and the rule of law.
Title/Role:Co-Founder and President of Explorer Academy
Relevant Educational Credentials:PhD in Economics and Management
Sepo is the Co-Founder and President of Explorer Academy; an Africa focused STEM-skills, work and tech start-up accelerator. Sepo has a PhD in Economics and Management and was previously Assistant Dean of the School of Business at one of Zambia’s leading private universities.
Title/Role:Journalist and a former civil servant for the Agency for Strategic Initiatives
Relevant Educational Credentials:Degree in China Studies and the Economics from the Peking University
Kamil is a journalist and a former civil servant for the Agency for Strategic Initiatives – a Russian agency which aims to improve the business climate in the country and promote investments to Russian regions. His academic interests include catching-up industrialization and the role of innovations in the economic development. Kamil holds a degree in China Studies and the Economics from the Peking University and currently pursues a Master in History at the University of St Andrews as a Chevening Scholar.
Title/Role:Left Tackle, Los Angeles Chargers
Relevant Educational Credentials:Bachelor degree in Business Marketing from Oklahoma State University
Russell Okung, is a Philanthropist, Entrepreneur and Super Bowl champion Left Tackle for the Los Angeles Chargers. On the field, Okung is a two-time Pro Bowl selection who, in 2017, self-negotiated the largest contract for a Left Tackle in the NFL. As the son of Nigerian immigrants, Okung is directing energy and resources towards creating impactful solutions in his Motherland and pursuing opportunities in agriculture, smart cities and special economic zones. Off-the-field, Okung is a passionate advocate for the mainstream adoption of Bitcoin, individual sovereignty and athlete empowerment.
Title/Role:Executive MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, an MA from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and BAs in economics, political science, and international relations from the University of Colorado.
Relevant Educational Credentials:Degree in China Studies and the Economics from the Peking University
Aubrey Hruby is a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center. Hruby is co-founder of Insider and the Africa Expert Network (AXN) and is the former managing director of the Whitaker Group, an Africa-focused advisory firm that has helped facilitate more than $2 billion in capital flows to Africa. Hruby has consulted extensively in over twenty-five African markets and routinely advises senior policymakers and Fortune 500 companies. She speaks and writes regularly on African business issues for the Financial Times and Axios, and has interviewed with outlets including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, Al Jazeera, Bloomberg Radio, and CNBC. Hruby sits on the board of Invest Africa USA, the private sector advisory board of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the boards of two dynamic Nigerian companies. She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is a Young Leader at the Milken Institute.
Hruby teaches at Georgetown University and is the co-author of award-winning The Next Africa: An Emerging Continent Becomes a Global Powerhouse (New York City: Macmillan, July 2015). She earned an Executive MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, an MA from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and BAs in economics, political science, and international relations from the University of Colorado.
Title/Role:Researcher at the Charter Cities Institute
Relevant Educational Credentials:PhD candidate in Political Science, Oxford University
Kurtis Lockhart is a Researcher at the Charter Cities Institute. He's also a PhD candidate in political science at the University of Oxford where his research examines the effect of institutional reforms on public goods provision with a regional focus on sub-Saharan Africa. At Oxford he's taught both quantitative methods and African politics. In the field, he has previously worked as a Research Manager for the International Growth Centre (IGC), for Warc Africa (both in Sierra Leone), and for the ELIMU Impact Evaluation Center in Kenya where he managed the implementation of several randomized control trials across many different sectors (health insurance, rural electrification, tax administration, and legal aid). Kurtis has also completed consulting projects with both Oxford Development Consultancy and with Warc Africa. He holds an MSc in Development Management from the London School of Economics where he graduated top of his class, as well as a BA in Economics and Development Studies from McGill University.
Title/Role:Research Associate at the Charter Cities Institute
Relevant Educational Credentials:MA Economics student, George Mason University
Jeffrey Mason is a second year MA student in the Department of Economics at George Mason University and an MA Fellow with the Mercatus Center. He is a research associate at the Charter Cities Institute. Jeffrey graduated from the University of Maryland with a BA in economics. He previously worked on immigration policy as an intern at the National Immigration Forum, the Niskanen Center, and the Bipartisan Policy Center. He has been published in Morning Consult, Exponents, and the Washington Examiner. You can find him on Twitter at @JeffJMason.
Title/Role:President and CEO of the U.S. African Development Foundation
C.D. Glin is the President and CEO of the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF), a public corporation established by Congress to support and invest in African owned and led enterprises, promote inclusive economic growth and create pathways to shared prosperity for underserved communities. Glin oversees approximately $75 million in philanthropic investments in more than 500 community and social enterprises. He champions the Foundation’s strategic partnerships and collaborations with non-profit, philanthropic, and private sector organizations, as well as academic institutions, federal agencies and foreign governments.
Prior to leading USADF, from 2011-2016, Glin served as Associate Director, Africa Region, with the Rockefeller Foundation. His responsibilities include shaping and scaling innovative solutions in promotion of the Foundation’s dual goals of building resilience and promoting inclusive economies. Glin contributed to several initiatives including Harnessing the Power of Impact Investing, Climate-Smart Rural Development, 100 Resilient Cities and led YieldWise, a $130 million-dollar effort to improve incomes and to create jobs for small holder farmers by reducing post-harvest crop loss and promoting sustainable sourcing in African agriculture value chains.
From 2009-2011, he was a White House appointee in the Obama Administration serving as the Peace Corps’ first Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Global Partnerships. Glin established the Office of Strategic Partnerships and developed and directed stakeholder engagements, thought leadership initiatives and internal and external communications and relationship management efforts.
Previously, as Vice President for Business Development with PYXERA Global, Glin established local content, skill-based volunteering, business advisory, employee engagement and corporate social responsibility programs for Fortune 100 companies. Earlier in his career he consulted for the State Department, USAID and the World Bank while living in Ghana and Nigeria.
Glin served as a volunteer in the first Peace Corps South Africa group, during the Presidency of Nelson Mandela. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from Howard University; a Master’s Level Diploma in Strategy and Innovation from University of Oxford’s Said Business School and completed the Venture Capital Executive Program at UC Berkeley. Glin is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the Board of Directors of Root Capital, a non-profit social investment fund. He is a past member of World Economic Forum’s Transformation Leaders Network and past participant in the Aspen Executive Seminar on Leadership, Values, and the Good Society. In 2011, Glin was designated by the White House as a “Champion of Change” for his commitment and contributions to international service and civic participation.