Welcoming Distinguished Staffulty from Across Africa and Around the World

African Leadership Academy prides itself on attracting a diverse and highly-skilled staff and faculty (“staffulty”) members. These dedicated professionals and global change-makers create a world-class team that furthers our mission of transforming the African continent through a powerful network of young leaders. We are thrilled to welcome the following new members of our community in 2021:

Chris Summerhill (African Studies Faculty): Born in Hunstville, Alabama, Chris grew up across the United States due to his mother’s domestic military service. He attended Morehouse College where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and later received his Master of Education from the University of Massachusetts in Boston. His career as an educator has taken him from the US to Cameroon and Czechia. He is excited to be a member of the African Studies Faculty. His interest in the curriculum include but are not limited to decolonisation, the connection of African people across the diaspora (particularly in the Americas), African spirituality, and the roots of anarchist thought in Africa.  

Efua Adabie (Head of Department – Science): Efua joins ALA from Ghana with over 20 years’ experience as an educator, and was most recently the pioneering head teacher of a pan-African STEM NGO for girls. She has a degree in Chemistry and has led the science curriculum teams in schools in Ghana and the UK. Efua believes in the power of education for transformational change, and beyond the classroom has been involved in STEM Teacher training and a number of boards and committees with a focus on education. Efua is passionate about Africa’s scientific advancement, and she also holds a Master’s in Education, Gender and International development from University College London.  

Jarred Thompson (Creative Arts Consultants): Jarred Thompson graduated from Alabama State University (USA) while playing tennis for the Alabama State University Men’s Tennis Team. He returned home to South Africa, where he went on to complete his Masters in English Literature at the University of Johannesburg. He is a creative writer and has published various essays, short stories and poetry in a variety of publications. He is currently working on his debut novel. 

Kedumetse Mampane (Mathematics Faculty): Kedumetse is a proud African Black Woman with a passion for Mathematics teaching and learning. She hails from South Africa and holds a BSc (Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics) from Rhodes University and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) from University of South Africa (UNISA). Prior to ALA, Kedumetse was a Senior Mathematics Teacher  at Beijing Bacui Bilingual School. She is a leader and a mentor, and enjoys giving back to her community in any possible way.  

Keshav Singh (Physics Faculty): Keshav is an enthusiastic physicist and educator from South Africa who wants to bring physics to everyone and remove the stigma that science is difficult and not for everyone. He has recently completed a contract as an ESL teacher in Thailand, teaching high school English for Communication and Development (ECD). Before this Keshav was in the banking/financial services sector, gaining experience as a data analyst in one of the “big four” banks in South Africa. He is currently working towards a PhD in applied mathematics, with a speciality in higher dimensional gravity. 

Laurene Omukaga (ALforHealth Sector Lead): Laurene was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. She graduated with a Business Major, concentrating in Finance and Operations, from Minerva Schools at KGI. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she co-founded MamaTips, a maternal healthcare company catering to women in Kenya’s remote villages. She later joined Castlight Health to contribute to the mission of improving access to affordable and quality healthcare in the US. 

Lina Dosse (Computer Science & Mathematics Fellow): Joining ALA from Morocco, Lina recently graduated with a bachelor’s in Computing from African Leadership University in Mauritius. Prior to joining ALA as a CS fellow, she worked as a software engineer in a tech startup based in Mauritius where she worked on developing a web platform to track fast-moving consumer goods. She is passionate about creating solutions that have a positive impact on her. 

Maria Natalia Sikombe (Entrepreneurial Leadership Fellow ): Natalia was born in Tanzania and raised in Zambia. She graduated from African Leadership Academy in 2014 and decided to pursue a career as a freelance First Assistant Director in the Zambian film industry, while completing her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Public Relations at Cavendish University. She is passionate about the creative arts and most importantly wants to be a part of the ongoing development and innovation of the film industry in the continent. 

Mumbi Kanyogo (African Studies Fellow): Mumbi, studied Public Policy and Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies at Duke University, NC USA, after which she completed her masters in African Studies at the University of Oxford. She is a teaching fellow from Kenya with the department of African Studies at ALA, and enjoys cooking for loved ones, reading novels, and spending time in parks and art galleries. 

Sami Ayele (Princeton in Africa (PiAf) Fellow): Sami joins ALA from South Seattle, USA. He completed his Bachelor of Arts in the Natural Sciences and International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. Prior to joining African Leadership Academy, Sami has worked in Nigeria and Tanzania in the global health space. 

Valerie Wiggett (Director: Sector Programs): Val was born and raised in the Western Cape, South Africa. She studied at the University of South Africa, where she completed a Bachelor of Administration in Development and a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing Management. She subsequently completed her PGDIP and MBA through GIBS Business School. Val has lived and worked in 6 different countries, and worked in senior roles in the manufacturing, construction, F&B and technology industries. Her roles have been in Sales operations, Administration, HR and most recently, IT operations (with a 2 year stint as an English Teacher in Japan). She is passionate about the African continent, people development and tech. Besides loving music, dancing, theatre and the arts, she enjoys the outdoors, travel, hiking, running, yoga, movies, reading and much more. Val joined African Leadership Academy in August 2020 as Director of Sector programs. 

Vishal Aditya Sahoo (Chief of Staff to the Dean): Vishal pursued an under-graduation in business from SRCC, Delhi University in his home country of India. Vishal is very passionate about the education sector and has worked in the education space across the world. After graduating from college, Vishal joined Parthenon, a management consulting firm, in the firm’s ‘Global Education Practice’, where he worked with education clients across emerging markets. He also works as a pro-bono consultant to the Ministry of Education of his state to help them set up 300+ schools for the underprivileged. 

Zanele Mawane (Creative Arts Consultants): Born in the East of Johannesburg, South Africa, Zanele is part of the inaugural class of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls; where she discovered her love and passion for creative arts and events. She graduated at the Tshwane University of Technology, Arts Campus with a National Diploma in Performing Arts and Technology. Prior to joining ALA, she was an Entertainment Coordinator for Norwegian Cruise Lines, which afforded her the opportunity to explore the world. 


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