Judges

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Ford Foundation Regional Director, West Africa

Innocent Chukwuma

oversees all grants making in the sub-region from the Lagos office, whose mission is to ensure that all people have equal access to economic and social opportunities. In this position, Innocent manages the work on issues of democratic and accountable government, freedom of expression, and sexuality and reproductive health and rights issues. In addition, Innocent makes grants to support arts and culture. He is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Reebok International Human Rights Award.  He is a globally renowned advocate for human rights and good governance. He holds a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Leicester and a bachelor’s degree in   Religion from the University of Nigeria. Prior to joining the foundation in January 2013, he founded and led the CLEEN Foundation to promote public safety, security and accessible justice in West Africa. CLEEN was the first African NGO to receive the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Creative & Effective Institutions Award.  In addition, Innocent has held various posts within the Civil Liberties Organization, one of Nigeria’s first human rights organizations. He was also the chair of the Altus Alliance, a global network of nonprofits; Chair, Altus Global Alliance and visiting lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he designed and taught a course on management of nonprofits in the Global South.

 

Portia Gibbs
Technology Sector Lead, Edelman South Africa
Director, Edelman Kenya

Portia Gibbs

Technology Sector Lead, Edelman South Africa
Director, Edelman KenyaPortia is the Technology Sector Lead at Edelman South Africa and a Director of the Edelman Kenya office. In her role as Director of the Kenya office, Portia is responsible for building the Kenya Edelman business and ensuring client-service best practice. Simultaneously, Portia is responsible for the Technology Sector offering at Edelman South Africa providing oversight and strategic guidance across all technology sector clients in South Africa and Kenya, which include Telkom, ABB, Lenovo, SYSPRO, Intelsat and HP. Portia’s career to date spans 18 years and previously includes 8 years in the UK. Throughout this time, Portia has worked with many, highly complex, multi-national organisations and constantly worked to bring global communications strategy to life. Prior to joining Edelman Portia ran her own communications consultancy, advising on brand positioning and strategic marketing campaigns, where her clients included JSE listed technology company EOH, and several software engineering companies. Portia previously worked with GirlCode, a BBEEE Level 1 NPO designed to empower women in technology. The NPO works closely with technology industry leaders in South Africa to design and run skills development programmes to help support the tech talent pipeline of the future. At Edelman, Portia is a member of Edelman’s global steering committee for its Global Women’s Equality Network, and a member of Edelman’s Global Council for Diversity & Inclusion. She has an BA (dual Hons) degree from the University of Keele (UK), and an MBA from The Gordon Institute of Business Science (University of Pretoria), South Africa. Her passion in addressing gender representation across all industry sectors was behind the topic of her MBA thesis assessing the Career Advancement of Women in South Africa.

 

MAAME AFON YELBERT-SAI
Founder/Lead Trainer & Facilitator, MILT | Recording Artiste

MAAME AFON YELBERT-SAI

Founder/Lead Trainer & Facilitator, MILT | Recording ArtisteMaame Afon is an internationally recognized thought leader and passionate advocate for women and girls. She is also an activist, coach/mentor, and facilitator who has moderated numerous programs including with MILT, Opportunity Collaboration and MasterCard Foundation Baobab Summit.    In her capacity as board chair of the African Women’s Development Fund USA, she guides the overall strategy and direction of the organization. She has translated her passion for transformative coaching, mentoring, women’s rights and leadership into her career and board service with organizations including the Global Fund for Women, We Care Solar (Board Chair), Cocoa360 (Board Secretary), Ghana Bamboo Bikes (Vice Chair), Days for Girls, Ghana, Street Business School, Women Leaders for the World Program, Nurturing Minds/SEGA, African Women’s Entrepreneurship Cooperative and African Philanthropy Network among others.    As a recording artist, Maame Afon uses the power of music to promote philanthropy and social justice. She holds a B.A. in French and Spanish and an M.A. in human rights, gender and international development. She has been recognized as one of the 18 African Feminists to know by For Harriet (2015) and featured in AfroElle Magazine (June 2015 Edition). She is a 2019 Rise Up Leader, a 2016 Cordes Fellow, a 2017 Hive Global Leader, and a 2009 WLW Fellow (How Women Lead). Maame contributed her story to We Will Lead Africa -Volume Two: Women (African Everyday Leadership Stories) –32 stories by 36 contributors, available now on Amazon. Maame Afon is the founder and lead trainer/facilitator of MILT, where partners and clients get to “Experience the MILT Edge.” 

 

Contributors

Henrique Zanin

Henrique Zanin is a Brazilian lawyer, scholar, human rights speaker, advisor, writer and activist. Master of Laws student at the University of São Paulo Faculty of Law. Specialized in labor and employment law with the Brazilian Academy of Law and certified in human rights by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research – UNITAR. Lead Guest Editor for Human Rights of Social Sciences Journal, New York. Head of the Migration Group of the Brazilian Bar Association Commission of Diversity, São Paulo. Researcher and member of the Group of Studies on Migration and International Labor Law of the University of São Paulo. His work on human rights, ADRs, transitional justice and social inclusion has been published on national and international journals. He was so instrumental in creating the rubric for scoring the African Diversity and Inclusion Influential Lists.