Professor Ibrahim Gambari

Pro-Chancellor, Bayero University.  Former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Nigeria’s Minister of External Affairs.

Professor Ibrahim A. Gambari is the current Pro-Chancellor of Bayero University, Nigeria. Prior to joining the United Nations Secretariat as Under-Secretary-General in December 1999, Professor Ibrahim Gambari holds the record of being the longest serving Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations (January 1990 to October 1999). He was appointed Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs in October 1983, a position he held until his appointment as the Minister of External Affairs of Nigeria. As Nigeria’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Professor Gambari has been a senior member of the Nigerian Delegation to ten consecutive sessions of the General Assembly (44th to 54th); he also served as President of the Security Council on two occasions (May 1994 and October 1995).  He has chaired the UN Special Committee Against Apartheid, which successfully saw the demise of that long-standing social injustice and the establishment of democratic rule in South Africa.  He has led several United Nations Missions, including the Special Committee Against Apartheid Mission to South Africa and the Security Council Missions to South Africa, Burundi, Rwanda and Mozambique.  Professor Gambari chaired the UN Special Committee on Peace-Keeping Operations from 1990-1999.  He served as member, Board of Trustees of the United Nations Institute of Training and Research (UNITAR) from 1993 to 1999 and also President, Executive Board of UNICEF (January to December, 1999).


Professor Gambari has held professorial appointments at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, at Georgetown University, and Ahmadu Bello University amongst others; he is also the pioneer Chancellor of Kwara State University. Professor Gambari holds a B.Sc. form the London School of Economics, M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University. He is the founder of the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development, a non-governmental “think-tank” being established in Abuja, Nigeria, devoted to critical analyses of and solutions to the problems of conflict prevention, management and resolution; democratisation and sustainable development in Africa.

Dr. Amy Novak

President, Dakota Wesleyan University

Dr. Amy Novak became the 20th and first female president of Dakota Wesleyan University in June 2013. Under her leadership, DWU has experienced a radical transformation in a short period, showing growth across all critical indicators, including record enrollment, retention, and fundraising. Recently, the university’s commitment to innovation was featured in a new book, “Pivot: A Vision for the New University”.

The institution will break ground on a donor-funded School of Business Innovation and Leadership and recently opened a new residence hall in 2018; an alumni welcome center and performing arts space in August 2017; a 90,000-square-foot sport and wellness complex in February 2016; and a 50,000-square-foot science center in August 2013. Novak credits a dedicated team with a clear and bold vision and a committed group of alumni and friends for spearheading the momentum the university is now experiencing.

The university has raised nearly $50 million since 2013 during its Greater Wesleyan campaign, and faculty and staff annual giving reached 100 percent. In February 2018, DWU announced Digital DWU – a university-wide digital initiative is enhancing the learning experience on campus through a one-to-one program with iPads given to every full-time, on-campus student. DWU will become the first and only university in South Dakota to adopt a one-to-one program, which is done in part by working with Apple Education.

Dr. Novak has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in economics from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She earned her doctoral degree in interdisciplinary leadership at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

Dr. Kalu I. Kalu

Former Nigerian Minister of Finance. Past Chairman of the Board of Governors, African Development Bank.

Dr. Kalu has in the past served as the Chairman, Board of Governors, African Development Bank and has been a member of the Development Committee of the World Bank. His private sector interests include directorship positions in Intercontinental Freight Company Limited, Dakal Services Limited, Regency Financing Limited and Profit Publications Limited. Dr. Kalu’s public sector career in Nigeria commenced when he served as Commissioner of Finance and Economic Planning in Imo State.

At the federal level, Dr. Kalu served as the Minister of Finance on two occasions, from 1985 to 1986 and 1993 to 1994. He also served as the Minister of National Planning from 1986 to 1987 and thereafter the Minister of Transport from 1987 to 1989.

He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he was Research Fellow, and subsequently worked as “Country Economist” in the East Asia and Pacific Program Department of the World Bank.

John O. Ifediora

Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Wisconsin System. Director, Council on African Security and Development. Professor, American University, Washington, DC

John Ifediora is Professor of Economics Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin System, and currently a professor at American University, Washington, DC. He is an economist and attorney at law with special emphasis on law and Economics, public policy analysis, development economics, and international human rights law. He is Director and Editor-in-Chief at the Council on African Security and Development; and has lectured widely in his fields of specialty at various universities in the United States, Europe, and Africa; and has served as a consultant to governments in Africa, and to state governments in the United States. In recent years, he advised the Wisconsin Department of Revenue on its Tax Incidence Study, served as a special consultant to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and advised Illinois State Senate on the economic impact of the state lottery on the economy of Chicago, and was a member of the Board of Trustees of Dakota Wesleyan University.

Professor Ifediora has authored and co-authored six books, and published articles in economics, International law, and public policy, and is a frequent panelist and speaker at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and Constituency For Africa (CFA), both in Washington, DC. He remains very active in development programs in Africa, and has been featured in national and international media such as the BBC, National Public Radio (NPR), Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Channels Television, The Guardian, The Tribune, and The Daily Sun Newspapers.

He received a Ph.D. in Development Studies/Economics from University of Wisconsin-Madison; Ph.D. in Economics/Public Policy Analysis from University of Illinois at Chicago; M.A. from the University of Chicago; M.St. from Oxford; M.S. from Cambridge; Juris Doctor (JD), from University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School; B.A. from Dakota Wesleyan University; and did his post-graduates studies in economics at the London School of Economics.

Professor Chuckwuma CC Osakwe

Director, Centre for the Studies of Leadership, Nigerian Defence Academy.

Professor Chukwuma Osakwe is the Director of the Centre for the Studies of Leadership and Complex Military Operations at the Nigerian Defence Academy. A prolific author, and a member of numerous professional organizations, Osakwe has produced impactful research and publications in the areas of strategic leadership, national security, causes and effects of youth unemployment in Nigeria, Military history, options for food security sustainability. He received his Ph.D., from the Graduate Center, City University of New York.

Professor Chinwe Obaji

Former Nigerian Federal Minister of Education.

Professor Chinwe Obaji was appointed the Federal Minister of Education in 2005; since leaving office, she has been a very strog and active adovate for reforms in Nigeria’s higher education. She studied at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and at Queens College.

Professor Aboki Yakubu Ochefu

Secretary-General, Association of Nigerian Vice-Chancellors.

Dr. Ken Nnamani

Former President of Nigeria’s Senate.

Senator Ken Nnamani, who is currently the Chairman of the ICRC Governing Board, is an alumnus of the Ohio University, USA where he graduated consecutively with Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Business Administration. He was elected into the Senate in 2003 and became the Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria between 2005 – 2007.

Before going into politics and public service, he held many commanding positions in the private sector and worked variously as a consultant in Du Pont De Nemours International SA, Geneva and Nova Chemicals International SA, Canada. He also founded the Ken Nnamani Centre for Leadership and Development: a foundation that promotes the essential values of ethical leadership and good governance, particularly among Nigerian youth leaders. In recognition of his tremendous contributions to nation-building, the Federal Government of Nigeria conferred the second highest National Honour of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger, GCON, on Senator Ken Nnamani on December 21, 2006

Dr. Joseph Roidt

Vice President, Dakota Wesleyan University.

Prior to joining DWU, Roidt served as the vice president for academic affairs and chief academic officer at Davis & Elkins College (D&E) in Elkins, W.Va..  Roidt originally joined Davis & Elkins as a professor of sociology in 2001.  While at D&E, Roidt was awarded the Lois Latham Award for teaching excellence, coordinated the college’s honors program, and served as the first director of the college’s office of institutional effectiveness prior to being appointed associate provost.  In his role vice president for academic affairs, Roidt engaged the college in several national curricular initiatives that led to the overhaul of the college’s curriculum and the creation of a unique winter symposium for first-year students focused on civic knowledge and engagement.  Prior to joining D&E, Roidt served as an assistant professor of sociology at Wesleyan College in Macon, Ga., and as a replacement faculty member at Clark University in Worcester, Mass.

He earned his BA at Kent State University, and Ph.D at University of Pittsburgh.

Professor Azubuike S. Nwankwo

Provost Nigerian Defence Academy.

Azubuike S. Nwankwo, who took over as Academy Provost of NDA in February 2015, is Professor of Marketing & Entrepreneurship. He started his professional career in 1981 at Kaduna Polytechnic after obtaining a degree in Management Studies from the University of Jos and subsequently Masters Degree in Marketing from the University of Nigeria. He veered off to the ‘practical’ world of business and worked with the Nigeria External Telecommunications (NET, latterly NITEL) for 5 years as the Zonal Head of Commercial Operations before returning to the academia. Since completing a PhD in London in 1990, he held academic positions at different universities in the UK and a professorial chair in 2001.

Prior to the current role, he was the Director of the Noon Centre for Equality & Diversity in Business at the University of East London; previously Director of Research and Enterprise, founding Director of the Jura Ghostwriter – wer ist ein? Jura Ghostwriter Petchey Centre of Entrepreneurship (UEL), inaugural President of the International Academy of African Business and Development (IAABD) amongst others. He is widely published and his works have attracted several awards, including the ANBAR Citation of Excellence for Highest Quality Rating. Professor Nwankwo is on the Editorial Advisory Board and Review Committee of several academic journals. He is External Assessor and Visiting Professor at universities in the United Kingdom, Australasia and across Africa. He is also trained as a lay magistrate within the UK’s judicial system.

Professor Side Osho

Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Ogun State. Former Vice Chancellor, Afe Babalola University, Nigeria.

Professor Sidi Osho is the current Commissioner of Education, Science and technology for Ogun State, Nigeria. Prior to this appointment, she was the pioneering Vice Chancellor of Afe Babalola University. In her capacity as a scientist, she developed several food processing equipment for crops and conducted National and International trainings in collaboration with other scientists in Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Togo, Republic of Benin, Senegal, and Madagascar.  She is a member of over 17 professional societies that include both National and International societies, and has over 170 publications, some of which are published in learned journal proceedings, monographs, books chapters, and training manuals. She obtained her degrees from Michigan State University, and Ohio State university.

Valentine C. Ozigbo

President and CEO, Transcorp Corporation of Nigeria.

Valentine Chineto Ozigbo is President and Chief Executive Officer of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria, Plc (Transcorp), a diversified conglomerate with strategic investments and core interests in the hospitality, agribusiness and energy sectors. Prior to this appointment he was the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria-based hospitality company, Transcorp Hotels, Plc, the hospitality subsidiary of Nigerian conglomerate Transcorp. He also worked in the banking sector in various capacities for over 17 years in financial institutions such as NAL Merchant Bank, Diamond Bank, Continental Trust Bank, FSB International Bank, Standard Trust Bank, United Bank for Africa and Bank PHB.

Mr. Ozigbo is a fellow with certifications in three professional institutes, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, and the Institute of Credit Administration. From 2003-04 he was a British Chevening Scholar, and has remained an active participant in reputable international conferences that include the World Economic Forum at Davos (WEF) and the World Economic Forum on Africa (WEFA) in Nigeria; the African Development Bank annual meetings in China; the World Bank/ International Monetary Fund (IMF) annual meetings in Washington DC; Euromoney and Economist Conferences in London; Euromoney debates on Capital Flows to Africa in London; and SIBOS 2009.

BA, University of Nigeria, Nsukka
MBA, University of Nigeria, Nsukka
MSc. Lancaster University, UK

Dr. Kilemi Mwiria

Former Kenyan member of parliament and Assistant Minister of Education.

Dr. Mwiria has held several positions in Kenyan government, and in higher education. In 2013 he served as the Assistant Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology; from 2008 – 2013 he was a member of parliament representing Tiggnia West. Prior to his public service engagements, he held positions of Senior Research Fellow at the University of Witwatersrand, SA, and Research Fellow at Kenyatta University.

Stanford University Ph.D, 1984
University of Chicago MA, 1979
University of Nairobi BA, 1978

Dr. Esther Jenkins

Professor of Psychology Emeritus, Chicago State University.

Professor Esther J. Jenkins, a specialist in mental health and psychological trauma, is a graduate of Northwestern University and the University of Michigan. Her extensive research and teaching activity are primarily in trauma and grief among children and youth, and HIV risk behavior among African American women. She has published extensively in these areas of specialty.

B.A. Northwestern University
M.A., Ph.D. University of Michigan.

Professor Mark Skidmore

Michigan State University, David Morris Chair in State and Local Govt. & Policy.

Mark Skidmore is a professor in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics at the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the Betty and David Morris Chair in State and Local Government Finance and Policy. He also holds an appointment in the Department of Economics at the College of Social Science. His most current research interests include economics of the public sector, economic development, and the economics of natural disasters.

He has three degrees in economics: a BA from the University of Washington, and an MA and PhD from the University of Colorado. Prior to joining the faculty at Michigan State University in 2007, he held faculty appointments at Northern Illinois University and the University of Wisconsin. Skidmore was also a Fulbright Scholar at Nagoya City University and Nanzan University in Nagoya, Japan.

Skidmore has also served as a consultant on a range of issues, including economic development, government public finance and policy, and price determination. He is director of the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development.

He has published the results of his research in journals such as Economic Inquiry, Economics Letters, Journal of Urban Economics, National Tax Journal, and Public Choice. Much of Skidmore’s research and outreach focuses on public finance policy and the relationship between public finance policy and economic development.

Leonard Kaplan

Professor Emeritus of Law, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Professor Leonard Kaplan has taught in the areas of jurisprudence, legal process, law, theology and state, civil procedure, criminal law, criminal procedure and evidence, as well as offering seminars in such subjects as Child, Family and the State, Law and Psychiatry, and Law and Literature. He is also on the faculty of both Jewish and Religious Studies and is on the Steering Committee for Religious Studies.
Professor Kaplan has an international reputation in the law and mental health field and is regularly invited to conferences both in the United States and abroad. He has served on the organizing committee for International Congresses on Law and Psychiatry through the 1990s to date. Professor Kaplan was First Vice President, and a member of the Executive Board of Directors of the International Academy of Law and Mental Health since 1992. In 2009 he became President-elect of the organization. In 2002, Professor Kaplan received the Academy’s Michael Zeegers Lifetime Achievement Award for distinction in the pursuit of Scholarship, Pedagogy, and Human Rights Initiatives in the field of Law and Mental Health.
In 2008, Professor Kaplan was named the first Law Fellow of the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin.

Ph.D., University of Chicago
LL.M. Yale Law School
J.D., Temple University School of Law

Professor  George Gonpu

Deputy Minister of Budget, Liberia, and Professor of Economics.

Professor George Gonpu served as Deputy Minister of Budget in Liberia from 2009-2011. In a letter congratulating professor Gonpu, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Liberia’s president, welcomed Gonpu’s ability to make a “meaningful contribution as we strive to move our country forward in a process aimed at enhancing peace, reconciliation and development.” He has a deep and broad background in the areas of public policy analysis, monetary economics, macroeconomic modelling, and econometrics. He has lectured and published extensively in these areas of interest and remains active in policy-driven research.

Ph.D. University of Illinois
M.A. Northwestern University
B.Sc. University of Liberia

Dr. Tobias Nyumba (Ph.D., Cantab)

Research Fellow and Lecturer, University of Nairobi, Kenya.
Associate Director, DWU Nairobi.

Dr. Tobias Nyumba has done extensive work on conservation of protected areas and is a specialist on the impact of climate change. He continues to lecture and conduct impactful research in these areas of competence. He has also published widely on the methodologies of conservation and climate change. He is the Associate Director of DWU Nairobi.

Ph.D, University of Cambridge
MPhil, University of Cambridge
BA, Egerton University, Kenya.

Jake Effoduh (M.St. Oxford, Ph.D. Can. York Univ.)

Assistant Director, CASADE.

Jake Okechukwu Effoduh is a Vanier Scholar (recipient of Canada’s highest doctoral award) and a PhD candidate at Osgoode Hall Law School, Canada.  His research focuses on the impact of Artificial Intelligence on human rights in Anglophone Africa. He obtained his LL.B in Public and International Law (with Honours) from the University of Abuja (Nigeria) in 2010, and graduated from the Nigerian Law School (with Honours) in 2011, and was admitted to the Nigerian Bar. He is a Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. He attended the University of Oxford’s Masters in International Human Rights Law programme as a Commonwealth Scholar receiving the Vice Chancellor’s Award for his Masters which he obtained in 2016. He proceeded to obtain a second Masters degree (LLM) in 2017 from York University in Canada after conducting research on the socioeconomic and environmental justice causes brought before the Community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS Court). Effoduh has gained experience in litigation and human rights advocacy before superior courts in Nigeria, the sub-regional ECOWAS Court, the African human rights system (the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights), and the United Nation’s Human Rights Council. Effoduh also engaged in anti-corruption work as Legal Officer advising Nigeria’s president on the prosecution of corruption charges and criminal justice law reform in Nigeria in 2016. Prior to his legal advocacy, Effoduh anchored two of Nigeria’s most popular radio programmes for eleven (11) years, which aired on over 150 stations and earned him several national and international awards for his radio programming. He is currently an Assistant Director and a Fellow of the Council on African Security and Development (CASADE), and he is also the Production Editor of the Transnational Human Rights Review. Effoduh has taught human rights and human rights law, and has gained two years as a Teaching Assistant at York University tutoring on “Globalization and the Human Condition” at the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies.


Other recent fellowships and awards include:

Climate Reality Leader (2018); Harry Arthurs Fellow, Osgoode Hall Law School (2018); World Economic Forum Expert on Human Rights (2017); Library Innovation Lab Fellow, Harvard Law School (2017); International Law Research Scholar, Centre for International Governance Innovation, Canada (2016); Emerging Leaders Fellow, Mandela School of Governance, University of Cape Town (2016); Distinguished Hubert Humphrey Leadership Award, U.S. Department of State (2016); Distinguished Dutch Visitors Award, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands (2016); African Broadcaster of the Year Award (2016).