Mwĩhaki Mũragũri is a seasoned professional in development and philanthropy. Over the course of her career, she has worked in institutions dedicated to social change such as the Rockefeller Foundation, where she led the foundations work in health and philanthropy in Africa, and the KCB Foundation, one of Kenya’s first corporate social foundations working across East Africa. In addition, she spent several years in the area of HIV and AIDS service delivery with Amref Health Africa, Africa’s largest homegrown health NGO. She has been a keen supporter of the growth of the philanthropic sector in Africa through myriad platforms. Throughout her career, advancement of Africa has always been at the core.
A skilled speaker, writer, and project manager, Mwĩhaki’s passion for her continent led to the establishment of Paukwa House Limited in 2017. Paukwa – Swahili for the call of the storyteller – is a creative firm dedicated to bringing to using the art of storytelling to celebrate and spotlight the positive aspects of Kenyan history and contemporary life. Paukwa hosts a positive repository of online stories that showcases underappreciated aspects of everyday historical and contemporary Kenya and curates these stories for both children and adults. Paukwa works across the globe with organisations and individuals, helping them articulate the story of their impact through advisory support, documentation, and storytelling training.
A wordsmith at heart, Mwĩhaki is happily based in her hometown of Nairobi, Kenya where she plays house with her husband and three children.
Paulo Gomes has over 25 years of experience both in the public and private sectors. He has served at the very senior levels in multi-lateral development institutions, from the World Bank to the West African Development Bank (BOAD), and has worked with senior government ministers and heads of governments on key projects throughout the African continent. Within the private sector, he serves on the boards of major firms such as Ecobank, Asky Airline, and AFIG private equity fund. He also serves as an advisor to major CEOs and corporate boards. He played a critical leadership role in the development of several private sector initiatives such as the emerging West African Agricultural Development Corporation to be launched in 2012.
Paulo has developed a deep understanding of the political and economic issues facing Africa and the developing world in general, and has a good knowledge of macro-economic situations of the continent. He has extensive management skills and international experience. He has management experience in public sector, multilateral institutions and in the private sector as well. He also possesses strong technical and analytical skills having started his career in planning and management consulting. Paulo has coordinated and led major programs in addition to initiating several innovative competitiveness programs for his constituency as Executive Director for 24 African countries in the World Bank. Paulo has a keen passion for development and always makes a personal commitment to achieve set objectives and results.
He has advised several head of states, assisted a few of them to establish investment advisory bodies and served on international committees. Paulo has built an extensive network across Lusophone, Francophone, and Anglophone Africa as well as in Asia and Latin America. He is fluent in English, French, and Portuguese.
Associate Dean of Research and International Programs at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Indiana University
Una Osili is the Efrymson Chair in Philanthropy at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. Una Osili is also the Associate Dean of Research and International Programs at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, the world’s first school on philanthropy.
Dr. Osili has pioneered new approaches to using data to improving the understanding of trends in economic development and philanthropy. Her research is focused on household financial behavior across low-income and high-income environments. She has studied remittances from international migration, charitable giving, private transfers and education in both low and high income environment.
Osili leads the research and publication of Global Philanthropy Tracker and the Global Philanthropy Environment Index. The Global Philanthropy Indices are the leading source of global development and social innovation data trends and involve collaboration with more than 100 country and regional experts in 79 countries.
Osili has provided expert testimony at the Joint Economic Commission and United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee on philanthropy, international development and the role of the public sector. She has led collaborative research projects with global corporations and global institutions, and various governments entities. Dr. Osili is a consultant with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and has worked on cross-sector initiatives on financial inclusion.
Osili leads the research and publication of Giving USA, the annual report on American philanthropy. Dr. Osili is the Founder of Generosity for Life – a digital platform that provides new data tools for financial decision making in the area of philanthropy and social impact. She leads the School’s signature research project, the Philanthropy Panel Study (PPS). PPS is the most comprehensive study of the generosity of American families over time.
Una has significant governance experience and serves on the board of CARE, the Clowes Fund, the National Bank of Indianapolis, and the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) Board where she is a member of the Impact Investing committee.
Una received her bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard University and her Master’s and Ph.D. from Northwestern University. The NonProfit Times named Dr. Una Osili to its 2020 and 2021 “Power and Influence Top 50,” recognizing her leadership in the philanthropic sector. Indianapolis Business Journal named Una ‘Woman of Influence’ and Dr. Osili, was appointed as a fellow for the Institute of Labor (IZA) in Bonn, Germany.
Pierre Thiam is a chef, author, and social activist best known for bringing West African cuisine to the global fine-dining world. He is the Executive Chef of the award-winning restaurant Nok by Alara in Lagos, Nigeria and the Signature Chef of the five-star Pullman Hotel in Dakar, Senegal. He is also the executive chef and co-owner of Teranga, a fast-casual food chain from New York City. He is sitting on the board of directors of IDEO.org, SOS Sahel USA, Corps Africa and he is on the Advisory Council of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). His company Yolélé advocates for smallholder farmers in the Sahel by opening new markets for crops grown in Africa; its signature product, Yolélé Fonio, is found in Whole Foods, Amazon, and other retailers across America.
Selena Cuffe is the Founder of Vintner, Heritage Link Brands. In this position, she empowers critical, strategic initiatives that accelerate business outcomes and empower diversity and equity within the global wine industry. Her authority includes business transformation, digitization (AI & IoT), strategy, agile operations, change management, marketing, and corporate social responsibility. Ms. Cuffe is also President of SodexoMAGIC, a joint venture between U.S.-based Magic Johnson Enterprises and French food and facilities management company, Sodexo, Inc.
Ms. Cuffe leads the executive team of SodexoMAGIC, an industry leader in community-centric, Quality-of-Life services, serving 1.3 million consumers each day through facilities management, food, benefits, and rewards services. With $600M in annual revenues in the U.S. and Canada, SodexoMAGIC’s 5,000 employees in North America provide more than 100 unique services that improve performance at 1,400 client sites.
Prior to her current position, Ms. Cuffe was a Y-Combinator Top 100 leader, CEO of Heritage Link Brands, from 2007 to 2018, and instrumental in the commercialization of the South African Black Vintners Alliance, the House of Mandela, founded by Makaziwe and Tukwini Mandela, Nelson Mandela’s daughter, and granddaughter, and the acquisition of the Seven Sisters Vineyards, the only black, women-owned wine estate in South Africa. Ms. Cuffe led venture conceptualization, launch, and production of 70M liters of wine annually.
Prior to founding Heritage Link Brands, she was Director for the Council on International Educational Exchange, Assistant Brand Manager for the Procter & Gamble Company, where she managed the North America P&L and was responsible for $1B brand ringles’ U.S. multicultural and Latin America markets, Analyst for Merrill Lynch Asset Management, SEO Intern for Goldman Sachs, and INROADS Intern for Union Bank of California.
Ms. Cuffe is a passionate activist for local and global community. She is a Los Angeles County certified mediator, appointed by the Culver City Council to resolve landlord-tenant disputes. Selena sits on the Overseas Studies Advisory Council at Stanford University and is Vice President Emerita of the Global Alumni Board of Harvard Business School. Selena is a Director and serves on the audit committee for the Harvard Business School African American Alumni Association, Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee for the Harvard Business School Women Student Alumnae Board, and an incoming member of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank’s 12th District Economic Advisory Council (01/22).
Ms. Cuffe was recognized as Black Enterprise Magazine’s 2010 “Entrepreneur of the Year” and has been recognized by the Restaurant Association, Beverage Media, CNN, Crain’s New York, ELLE, Essence, Forbes, Los Angeles Times, PBS, Time Magazine, and Wine Spectator.
Ms. Cuffe holds an AB in International Relations from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School, with honors. She is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, fluent in Spanish, and conversant in Portuguese.
Lesego Serolong Holzapfel is CEO and founder of Bokamoso Impact Investments, a social enterprise company that connects rural South Africa through agriculture and ethical food production. Lesego is also the co-founder of Raise the Children International, an organisation that connects vulnerable orphans from rural communities with education opportunities, mentors, and career opportunities.
Ony Mgbeahurike is a Sr Brand Manager at Target, where he leads the strategy and commercialization of new owned brands in the Home business unit. Also, Ony is an adjunct instructor at WashU Olin Business School, where he lectures MBA students on Africa Business Landscape, a course he co-authored as a student and later brought on to teach. He founded Good Soul Company – an Afro-centric food and beverage company with operations in Nigeria and the US. Ony launched Good Soul Company due to his passion for increasing food supply in Africa & expanding market access of African farmers & processors. Good Soul Company source, package and distribute Tigernuts from West Africa to the U.S with plans to expand into other African foods.
Ony has several years of experience in global consumer goods and retail kickstarting his career at General Mills, where he held a variety of roles in supply chain and marketing. He later joined Danone North America as a Brand Manager with $100M P&L responsibility and launched new products in Foodservice, Export, and U.S Retail markets.
He has co-founded many organizations, including WashU Olin Africa Business Club in St Louis, National Society of Black Engineers’ Twin Cities Professional Chapter, and BOLD – a Black Employee Resource Group at Danone North America. Due to his leadership and involvement in wherever the community he finds himself, Ony has won many awards, and honors including Top MBAs to Watch from Poets & Quants, and Rising Star Washington University in St Louis, amongst others.
Ony obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities focusing on Manufacturing Operations and an MBA from WashU Olin Business School with a concentration in Marketing.
Ijeoma Dike-Young, MBA, is a certified Public Accountant (CPA) with over two decades of financial management experience in both the public and private sectors.
Ije is currently the Chief Financial Officer at the Indianapolis Public Library where she has led the Library in obtaining its first ever Distinguished Budget Presentation Award. In her professional life, she is been driven by integrity, process optimization and making a difference. While working with the City of Fishers, Ije was instrumental in the process which earned Fishers the distinction of being the only Indiana city with a AAA credit rating from Standard and Poor’s.
Ije, who started her finance career in the New York offices of Ernst & Young, has extensive financial management experience including long term financial and strategic planning, optimization of financial and internal control processes, bond financing, cash forecasting and investment management, regulatory compliance, SEC and public reporting, compensation analysis, capital planning, purchasing, insurance and employee benefit analysis.
Improving literacy and education in underserved communities is an area that Ije is passionate about. She is currently serving on the Audit Committee of the Indianapolis Public Schools and has volunteered her time on various projects and study committees with the MSD of Lawrence Township schools and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
Ije enjoys the loving chaos of family time. She is married with three amazing children who are the driving force in her life and is from a strong family who center her with strong values.