My first experience in Africa was as a student in 2007 in Cameroon. I was fascinated by the vibrance of the culture, the beautiful landscape, and especially the people I met. I completed a study on how young people were using the internet for Cameroonian development, and was hooked. After continuing with a similar study on organizational email use in Yaounde in 2008, I was convinced of the possibilities to make real progress towards development through education.
Upon graduating with my Bachelor’s in Communications and International Studies from Northwestern University in 2009, I moved to Dakar, Senegal to teach 7th, 8th, and 11th grade English in an International Baccalaureate high school. It was during these three years that I began to see the intersection between appropriate communications strategies and education.
In 2012, I left Dakar for Cambridge, Massachusetts to get my Masters in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, graduating May 2013. Here, I took courses in Social Entrepreneurship, Comparative Education Policy, Management in Crisis Response and more, and I also planned the Harvard African Development Conference, featuring his Excellency President Macky Sall of Senegal. I also began to develop a business plan for my own educational organization called Cybraries which will teach students in Senegal how to use the internet to improve their 21st Century Skills. This experience helped me to gain a new perspective on the educational value in communications technology, particularly in the African context.
In November 2013, I went back to Dakar to test some ideas on internet education, presenting at Google Senegal’s Gdays conference, while doing some short-term consulting for UNESCO. I have worked with the Senegalese Ministry of Higher Education on the launch of the Virtual University of Senegal. I began working for Tostan in January 2014, beginning in the communications department, and moving to the Tostan Training Center to develop a revenue generating social enterprise to deliver human rights education training to people all over Africa.
I am currently based in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, NY. I am Co-Founder and Managing Director of Baobab Consulting, seeking to promote mutual understanding and equitable collaboration between the US and Africa. I have served as Community Manager at the Impact Hub NYC, Content Curator for SOCAP, and I volunteer as a mentor to a young South Sudanese social entrepreneur with the Resolution Project.
Notably, I consulted for the Wilson Center to research a policy toolkit “Advancing Women Leaders in Africa” with Former President of Malawi Dr. Joyce Banda. I organized the toolkit launch event, featuring a keynote speech and panel of experts, drawing a crowd nearly 200 people. I also support her at high level United Nations events, and work with her to build her branding as an expert in women’s leadership and girls education globally.
I have over 10 years of experience on the continent, and I have traveled to Senegal, Cameroon, Uganda, the Gambia, Cape Verde, and Ghana. I am interested in opportunities to collaborate with NGOs, businesses, schools, and other like minded individuals and organizations. I also speak on a variety of topics and host workshops relating to Africa, social entrepreneurship, intercultural communication, education, youth and women’s empowerment, etc. Please feel free to contact me and see how we can work together!