President Joe Biden of the United States has recently appointed two professionals of Nigerian descent as special advisers. Osagie Imasogie and Chineye Ogwumike were among the 12 members appointed to serve on the President’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement in the United States.
The announcement of these appointments was made in a statement issued by the State House. The council’s members, include Silvester Scott Beaman, who will assume the role of council chair, Mimi E. Alemayehou, Rosalind Brewer, Viola Davis, Helene D. Gayle, Patrick Hubert Gaspard, C.D. Glin, Osagie Imasogie, Almaz Negash, Chinenye Joy Ogwumike, Ham K. Serunjogi, and Kevin Young, will serve during the term of 2023-2025.
The establishment of this council aims to facilitate meaningful dialogue between U.S. officials and the African Diaspora. The statement highlights that the council’s members come from diverse backgrounds, including government, sports, creative industries, business, academia, social work, and faith-based activities.
These members are expected to provide valuable guidance to strengthen the cultural, social, political, and economic connections between the United States and Africa. Additionally, their role will involve promoting trade, investment, and educational exchanges between the United States and Africa, as articulated in the statement.
Antony J. Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State said these twelve leaders have all played important roles in strengthening United States-Africa relations and shaping United States foreign policy toward Africa. They reflect the diversity of the African diaspora from African American and African immigrant communities. In the words of the president, he will leverage the expertise of the council to boost ties with Africa.
“I will rely on their advice and counsel on how we can strengthen cultural, social, political, and economic ties between African communities and the African diaspora,” Biden said as quoted by the Department of State.
Chinenye “Chiney” Ogwumike is a 2-Time WNBA All-Star for the Los Angeles Sparks and a full-time, multi-platform ESPN host and NBA analyst. Chiney stars on ESPN daily on ESPN’s NBA Today and NBA Countdown, and also stars on the court as a forward for the Sparks. Chiney is a proud first generation Nigerian-American, born in Cypress, Texas. The 1st overall pick in the 2014 WNBA Draft, she graduated from Stanford University with an International Relations degree under the mentorship of Dr. Condoleezza Rice.
Chiney Ogwumike, who has always been passionate about her Nigerian heritage said it feels like a calling of a lifetime. In August 2020, Chiney became the first Black woman to host a national, daily sports-talk radio show. The 2021 Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree also holds the title of Executive Producer, producing an ESPN Films documentary “144” on the 2020 WNBA season. In 2018, Chiney became a full-time multi-platform ESPN NBA Analyst, becoming one of the youngest national sports studio analysts and one of the only full-time professional athletes to currently hold a regular national sports media position. She has made numerous trips to Nigeria, Rwanda, Kenya, and South Africa with NBA Africa and other nonprofits to help launch youth empowerment and education initiatives, using basketball as a tool for development.
Osagie Imasogie is Chairman of the Investment Bank and SEC/FINRA registered Broker-Dealer, Quoin Capital and Quoin Advisors. In addition, Osagie is a co-founder of PIPV Capital, a private equity firm that is focused on the life sciences vertical and has invested over $1 billion into that industry. Prior to co-founding PIPV Capital, he established GlaxoSmithKline Ventures and was its founding Vice President. Osagie has held senior commercial and R&D positions within pharmaceutical companies such as GSK, SmithKline Beecham, and DuPont Merck.
He has also been a Price Waterhouse Corporate Finance Partner as well as a practicing attorney with leading U.S. law firm, Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis. Osagie is a serial entrepreneur and investor who serves on the board of a number of financial institutions such as FS-KKR Capital Corp and Haverford Trust, institutions that cumulatively manage over $28 billion. He is an adviser to Brown Advisory, a firm that manages in excess of $140 billion. Osagie is the Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and a member of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Nominating & Governance Committee of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center.
In addition, Osagie is a Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania, a member of the Executive Committee of the University, and is also the Chairman of the Board of the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, where he is an Adjunct Professor of Intellectual Property. Osagie holds LLM degrees from the London School of Economics and the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, and is a member of the New York State Bar in addition to being admitted to practice in other jurisdictions.