Advisory Board

PATRICK UTOMI (PATRON)

 

Patrick Okedinachi Utomi, popularly known as Prof. Pat Utomi, is the founder of Centre for Value in Leadership (CVL) and the African Democratic Congress party. He has served in senior positions in government, as an adviser to the president of Nigeria, the private sector, as Chief Operating Officer for Volkswagen of Nigeria and he has been a scholar-in-residence at the Harvard Business School and the American University in Washington, D.C. Prof. Pat Utomi, serves as Vice Chairman of Keystone Bank Ltd. He also serves as a Non-Executive Director of Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc and as a Member of Advisory Board of CBO Investment Management.

Prof. Utomi was candidate for President of Nigeria in 2007 and 2011. A fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants of Nigeria and founding Senior Faculty of the Lagos Business School- Pan African University, Prof. Utomi was Director of the Centre for Applied Economics at the Lagos Business School. He co-founded the Lagos Business School in 1994. He has also served as the Chairman of the Economic Commission for the Niger Delta. Prof. Utomi has served on the Council of key apex private sector associations including the Lagos Chamber of Commerce, The National Council of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and the Nigerian Consultative Association (NECA). Prof. Utomi is the author of several Management and Public Policy books.

His academic background covers a range from Policy Economics, Business, and Political Science to Mass communications. As an entrepreneur, Prof. Utomi founded and co-founded companies that are active in fields including financial services, ICT, and media.

NIKE DAVIES-OKUNDAYE

 

A professional textile artist and painter, Chief (Mrs) Nike Davies-Okundaye is one of the most respected internationally known female artists from Nigeria. She is a member of several professional bodies including Society of Nigerian Artists, ASA of USA and Canada, ACASA, Society of Nigerian Women Artists, Member of Osun Support Grove, Board member of the National Heritage Council of Nigeria, Member of the Board of Trustee of Osun State Centre For Black Culture and International understanding, amongst others.

Nike has been invited by Ivy League universities in America, England and Canada such as Harvard University to conduct workshops and give lectures on African batik, the technique of adire textile processing and African dyeing methods.

She has received several awards in recognition of her outstanding work,  one of which is the highest national award of merit by the government of the Italy. Nike's painting is permanently featured at The Smithsonian Museum as of 2012, and her work is also part of the collection of The Gallery of African Art and The British Library, in London.

GBENGA SESAN

 

Gbenga is the Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN). Originally trained as an Electronic & Electrical Engineer at Obafemi Awolowo University, he has completed Executive Education programs at Lagos Business School, New York Group for Technology Transfer, Oxford University, Harvard University, Stanford University, Santa Clara University and University of the Pacific. His consulting experience includes assignments completed for numerous institutions, including Microsoft, Harvard University and United Nations agencies, among others, in over 30 countries.

Gbenga was the Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year (2014) and former member of the United Nations Committee of eLeaders on Youth and ICT, CyberStewards Fellow, Crans Montana Forum Fellow, Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow, Ashoka Fellow, Our Common Future Fellow, Cordes Fellow and listed by CNN as one of the Top 10 'African Tech Voices on Twitter' and by Ventures Africa as one of '40 African Legends Under 40'.

AITUAJE "WAJE" IRUOBE

 

Aituaje Iruobe, popularly known as Waje, is a respected multiple award-winning Nigerian singer and song writer.

Waje was found singing in church as a young lady whose love for humanity led her to study social work at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN). In 2012, Waje became the founder of Waje Safe House. Through her non-profit organization, she teams up with other Non-Governmental Organizations quarterly to help fight for their cause. She supports NGOs with laudable causes and helps them achieve their goals and targets.The first project supported under Waje Safe House was the Mental and Environmental Development Initiative for Children (MEDIC), assisting Project HELP (Help Educate the Less Privileged) which aimed at raising funds for vulnerable children in Makoko (a disadvantaged community in Lagos) to continue their education.

Waje is a United Nations Ambassador for Peace and a ONE Ambassador. She is deeply concerned with women issues as well as the welfare of the disadvantaged in the society. She was a judge on The Voice Nigeria.

EDWIN DANIELS IKHUORIA

 

Edwin Ikhuoria is the Senior Advisor (Policy and Advocacy) to the Africa Executive Director for ONE Campaign, an international anti-poverty campaign organization co-founded by grammy award winner, Sonny Bono of U2. With over 15 years experience in the development sector, he previously managed the Transparency and Accountability portfolio for Africa and the Nigeria Country Programmed for ONE. Edwin also worked for the Development Impact Evaluation Unit of the World Bank as an Impact Evaluation and Advocacy Coordinator in the Nigeria Country Office.

 

He has worked across multiple sectors in the fight against poverty, using very innovative means to mobilize support for issues around poverty eradication and global development. He has worked with diverse groups including celebrities in Nigeria’s entertainment industry as well as motivated youths from across the country.

 

A part of his advocacy work has focused on agriculture, food security, trade and customs policies, where he successfully engaged the Nigerian executive and legislature. He holds two masters degrees - one in Development Management (Turin, Italy) and the other in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). In his private time he loves to work with young people as a life coach.

ROTIMI LAWRENCE OYEKANMI

 

Rotimi Lawrence Oyekanmi is the publisher/editor of The Intellectual Magazine. He worked for close to 20 years at The Guardian Newspaper rising to the position of Head, Features Desk before resigning in September 2014. He is presently employed as the Chief Press Secretary to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) national Chairman.

 

Rotimi has collaborated with several regional, national, international and non-governmental organisations, including but not limited to: UNESCO, UNICEF, UNDP, CSACEFA (Civil Society Action Coalition for Education for All), ACTIONAID, the British Council and Exam Ethics International (EEI) on all aspects of education. He is the first Nigerian journalist to interview the incumbent Director General of UNESCO, Mrs. Irina Bokova and the current Commonwealth Secretary General, Mr. Kamalesh Sharma.

 

Among other achievements, Oyekanmi spent five months (January to May 2000) at the Post Graduate Journalism School, University of California, Berkeley, under the auspices of the reputable Freedom Forum fellowship.

MENTOR DIDA

 

Mentor Dida is the founder of two non-governmental organizations (NGOs): Prosperity Initiative in Kosovo and The Path of Kindness. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering (Alternative Energy Technologies) and a Master’s in Global Technology and Entrepreneurship from Arizona State University.

Mentor lived half of his life in Kosovo and the other half in the United States. His experience of the 1999 Kosovo war gave him strength and inspired him to fight (non-violently) for a world of peace and understanding between people.

Mentor has devoted his life to framework change; primarily focusing on youth, education, social entrepreneurship and the cultivation of inner human values such as empathy, compassion and kindness. This commitment led him to Ashoka's Youth Venture, the world's pioneer network of system-changing social entrepreneurs. Its mission is to catalyze a future in which everyone has the necessary tools and knowledge to drive social change. At Ashoka’s Youth Venture, Mentor works as a Program Coordinator where he creates narratives for youth engagement aimed at youth- driven social change. Workshop facilitation, evaluating impact and creating new avenues for young people to take charge are some of the areas he focuses on.

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