UZOAMAKA AGYARE-KUMI JOINS ALA AS DEAN

November 11th, 2014

On Monday September 15, 2014, Mrs. Uzoamaka Agyare-Kumi was invested as the fourth Dean of African Leadership Academy, succeeding Chris Bradford who takes on the role of CEO. After a very extensive search, the Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Mrs. Agyare-Kumi, who was most recently Principal of one of Ghana’s leading schools, Tema International School.

Investiture of Uzoamaka Agyare-Kumi as Dean

A dual Nigerian and British citizen, Uzo spent her childhood in the United Kingdom (UK) and Nigeria before moving to eastern Nigeria for undergraduate studies at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1988. Upon graduating, she started her career as a teacher at a Catholic school in Calabar, Nigeria.

Uzo then transitioned to community organizing and social activism, an interest she pursued both as a volunteer and in successively challenging leadership positions within organizations in Nigeria and the UK. She spent four years with the Catholic Institute for Development, Justice and Peace (CIDJAP) in Nigeria; initially as a research assistant, collecting data for a project on female circumcision, and quickly gaining promotion to principal assistant to the head of the organization. She then moved to the UK in 1993 and volunteered with Oxfam while pursuing a number of roles in sales and customer service with Eurostar UK Ltd. In 2001, she was offered a full-time position as a community organizer with The East London Communities Organisation (TELCO), becoming the first black female community organizer in London. She eventually moved outside central London in 2002 and joined the Lambeth Borough Council in a role designed to bring together the different active volunteer groups in the community to enable more effective collaboration. In this role, she was responsible for coordinating funding, capacity building and strategy development programmes across several organizations.

In 2004, she was appointed National Director for the Catholic Association for Racial Justice (CARJ), thus stepping into a high-profile role which involved engaging with churches and schools across England and Wales to raise awareness about racial injustice. At CARJ, she developed and implemented several national projects; managed staff, consultants and volunteers; and authored a book, Fighters of Freedom, to commemorate the bicentenary of the Abolition of Slave Trade Act (1807-2007). After re-locating to Ghana with her family in 2006, she took on a project working as a consultant with the Government of Liberia to recruit professionals into key roles within the Civil Service before eventually returning to the education sector, initially working as a consultant with the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, on private sector programs targeted at improving schools in Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

In 2011, Uzo transitioned from advising schools to leading an independent school, becoming Principal at Tema International School (TIS) in Ghana. TIS is one of the leading independent secondary schools in West Africa, offering an International Baccalaureate Diploma Program.

Over the course of her career, her empathy, resilience and initiative have evolved into a unique leadership style which combines a grassroots/“roll-up-sleeves and do whatever it takes to make it happen” mindset, and a strategic ability to prioritize high impact areas and support teams to drive focused changes in those areas.

As a result of this transition, Fred Swaniker assumes the role of Executive Chairman, while Chris Bradford assumes the role of CEO.



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