Category: People

Charles Rotimi | The NIH epidemiologist who worked to ensure genetic health and population genetics studies contain data from African populations.

By Anna Azvolinsky | The Scientist

Not long after starting a job as the head of a chemistry lab at a high school in Benin City, Nigeria, Charles Rotimi told his parents that he wanted to leave his native country to pursue a graduate degree abroad. He applied to a petrochemical engineering school in the UK and to the University of Mississippi for a health care administration degree, at the advice of a Nigerian friend working there. Rotimi chose the US school because of the cheaper tuition. His mother, who ran her own business, offered Rotimi $10,000, enough for a year in the States. “That was a huge amount of money for my family and a validation that she had confidence and trust in my succeeding,” says Rotimi, now director of the Center for Research on Genomics and Global Health at the US National Institutes of Health.  

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Rediet Abebe | The Ethiopian-born computer scientist who is using artificial intelligence for social good

By Ebimo Amungo

Rediet Abebe is an Ethiopian-born Computer Scientist who specializes in Artificial Intelligence. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and is a Junior Fellow (2019-22) at the Harvard Society of Fellows. Abebe became the first Black woman to earn a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell University in the United States in 2018. 

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Meet Akunna E. Cook | The  United States Deputy Assistant Secretary Bureau of African Affairs

By Ebimo Amungo with State Department þ

Akunna Cook serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in the Biden-Harris Administration. In this role, Ms. Cook oversees the development of U.S. foreign policy for Southern Africa, as well as economic and regional issues including trade, investment, climate, health, multilateral engagement, democracy, and human rights.

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Abraham Waya | Nigerian-born pastor awarded Boston University Best Part Time Faculty Award

By Ebimo Amungo

The University Boston Metropolitan College has awarded the 2021 Roger Deveau Part-Time Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching to Nigerian-born, Dr. Abraham Waya.

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Paschal Mbawuike | A Washington Lobbyist Building Powerful Global Relationships

By Tony Ailemen | Thisday Newspaper

Paschal Okechukwu Mbawuike a Nigerian-American fondly known as Mr. Wonderful by friends, has for several years attained global heights while having a strong presence in his home country. He could rightly be described as a key stakeholder among Nigerians in the Diaspora and a Washington power broker. Mbawuike sits on the crest of a leading corporate entity, Cohen and Woods International, a Washington-based Africa focused consulting firm,

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Sudan to Rochester: 8 questions with Elsamawal Ali

By Anne Halliwell | Post Bulletin

After winning the immigration lottery, Elsamawal Ali came to the United States in 2000. He was a trained doctor in Sudan, but knew he wanted to study for the U.S. medical license exam. However, he has also spent the past 20 years supporting his family in Africa, then his wife and five children in the states — responsibilities which slowed that process.

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Oluyinka O. Olutoye | Meet the Surgeon-in-Chief of Nationwide Children’s Hospital

By nationwidechildrens.org

Oluyinka O. Olutoye is a Nigerian-American who was appointed Surgeon-in-Chief of Nationwide Children’s Hospital in 2019. In his role as Surgeon-in-Chief, Dr. Olutoye leads one of the largest children’s hospital surgery departments in the world. Through his leadership of 11 surgical departments, Dr. Olutoye works to advance Nationwide Children’s common mission, philosophy and approach to excellence in patient care, dedication to outstanding clinical outcomes, commitment to academic excellence and education of the next generation of leaders in children’s surgery.

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Dr. Abraham Teklu: Meet the chairman of Richmond Ethiopian Community Services

By Richmond Free Press

As his native Ethiopia faces both the pandemic and a civil war with the ruling faction in the northern region of Tigray that has spawned a refugee crisis, Dr. Teklu is leading RECS in doing what it can to aid and enhance the lives of Ethiopians on two separate continents. Founded in October 2019, the goal of RECS is to create an integrated and sustainable Ethiopian community in Richmond that will positively contribute.

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Lama Mugabo | Community builder aims to avert famines while reshaping perceptions about Rwanda

The cofounder of Building Bridges with Rwanda hopes to leave a lasting mark on the East African country

by Charlie Smith  | Staight

Vancouver community development worker Lama Mugabo likes to say that hunger feeds his desire to find a cure for malnutrition.

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Yohannes Abraham | Meet the Ethiopian American who is the head of the Biden Transition team

By Ebimo Amungo

Ethiopian-American Yohannes Abraham currently serves as the Executive Director of the Biden-Harris Transition, overseeing preparation for the implementation of Biden-Harris policy, personnel, and management priorities. He has also been announced as the Chief of Staff and Executive Secretary of the White House National Security Council (NSC)

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