Mentors2019-07-09T23:02:00+00:00

The Global Youth Mentors are industry or academic experts with a passion for mentoring young leaders. They play a critical role by guiding, advising, and supporting the delegates through personal and professional development processes that may have long-term impact. They also support delegates in their delivery of a strong and compelling message to a global audience at the Summit.

Meet the 2019 Global Youth Mentors!

Michael Ajayi
Michael Ajayi
Michael Ajayi is the Country Director of Enactus Nigeria, a global non-profit organization dedicated to enabling human progress by providing undergraduates the training, linkages and other resources they need to become innovative, courageous, committed and values-driven business leaders with a head for business and a heart for the world. Enactus is a hands-on experiential leadership and entrepreneurship development program that empowers undergraduates with the leadership and entrepreneurial skills necessary to succeed in this dynamic world.
Sitou Akibode
Sitou Akibode
Sitou Akibode, founder of Global Expertise International (GEI), a consultancy on sustainable and inclusive investment and entrepreneurship promotion, has consulted for UNDP, UNCTAD, CGIAR, ECOWAS Bank, among others. GEIs “Inclusive Investment Index” and “Startups-Impacts” are tools for impact investing. Sitou is a Fulbright Scholar, PhD Candidate at Michigan State University, and Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, researching impact investing. He launched the “African Young Entrepreneur Forum” and served on the UN’s Development Panel of Togo.
Wenda K. Bauchspies
Wenda K. Bauchspies
Dr. Bauchspies is an interdisciplinary and international social scientist whose expertise lies in the integration of gender, social justice, and culture with agricultural research, science education and technological adaptation. She is the Co-Director of Michigan State University’s Center for Gender in Global Context where she works with faculty to broaden their gender and international research portfolio. Some of her research has appeared in FACETS, Subjectivity, Social Epistemology, and Journal of Asian and African Studies.
Angha Childress
Angha Childress
Angha Childress is Senior Director, International Development, International Studies & Programs at Michigan State University. She is an experienced fundraising professional with over $30 million in grants/gifts raised. She has expertise in management and administration, communications and marketing, as well as monitoring and evaluation. She is an inter-disciplinary thinker with strong analytical skills. Angha has lived and worked in Africa and Asia for over 15 years where she consulted with international NGOs focusing on education, human rights, and capacity building. Angha has also worked with US nonprofits and higher education institutions. Angha holds two graduate degrees (English, Public Administration) and a post-graduate degree (Languages/Linguistics) from Indian and US universities.
Tomi Daniel
Tomi Daniel
Tomi Daniel is a Purpose Coach, helping professionals hone their core purpose to accelerate their careers while creating lasting impact in their communities. With backgrounds in Law, International Development, and International Business, she has leveraged her skills and expertise to initiate and implement positive change in collaborations with individuals, organizations, and communities, specifically in African nations. Tomi is a global nomad passionate about reading, writing, and facilitating social change. She lives with her family in Nigeria and California.
Philip Effiong
Philip Effiong
Philip Effiong is an Associate Professor of Theatre Studies and English at Michigan State University. He holds a Ph.D. in Drama and a Master’s in Literature of the African Diaspora. Prior to joining MSU, Dr. Effiong taught in a number of universities in Nigeria, Ghana and the United States. In addition to a book on African American drama, he has published a number of articles covering a range of topics in the humanities.
Dan Garrison
Dan Garrison
Dan Garrison is one of Accenture’s master technology architects and international thought leader in Quantum computing, helping to start Accenture’s global drone practice. Presently, he serves as the Managing Director for Accenture’s Detroit-based office and oversees client delivery for Accenture Digital across North America. With over 21 years of experience with Accenture, Dan’s expertise spans numerous industries, including automotive, travel, retail, consumer products and utilities. He specializes in digital technologies, such as e-commerce, content analytics, loT, and mobile apps.
Pauline Gangla
Pauline Gangla
Pauline Gangla has 20 years of progressive experience in the design and delivery of donor funded education programmes in the international development sector. She manages large and diverse cross regional projects aimed at strengthening university systems in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, funded by United Kingdom Aid at the British Council. She holds a master’s degree in Public & Development Management from the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, and bachelor’s degree from Kenyatta University, Kenya.
Deborah Gulliver
Deborah Gulliver
For the past fifteen years, Deborah Gulliver has been Michigan State University’s Travel Manager overseeing a +$70 million budget. Her responsibilities have included travel policy and procedure evaluation and modernization, contracting travel partners, liaison representing university travelers, and administration of three credit card programs. Until this year, Deborah has also been the Executive Director of the Society for Collegiate Travel & Expense Management (SCTEM), a position she held for 10 Years.
Marcy Hessling O’Neil
Marcy Hessling O’Neil
Dr. Marcy Hessling O’Neil is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Core Faculty Member in African Studies Center at Michigan State University. She is also CEO and Co-Founder of Three Sisters : Trois Soeurs, L3C. She is an accomplished anthropologist and social entrepreneur who has conducted ethnographic research in Benin for 14 years. Her research focuses on the social impact of education on the family, and on the role of international development on the educational system. O’Neil is an alumna of the Fulbright and McNair Scholar programs, whose outreach volunteer work includes the Mentorship Task Force and the Mandela Washington Fellowship. Media appearances include BB24 Television and WDET Radio.
Jenny Hodbod
Jenny Hodbod
Jenny Hodbod is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Sustainability, studying the creation of resilient food systems, i.e. food systems that use environmentally sustainable methods, that ensure secure livelihoods, that can equitably feed a growing global population, and that can adapt to security threats such as climate change. Jenny uses environmental social science and political ecology methods to approach these complex issues from a holistic approach, often collaborating within large interdisciplinary teams.
Emily Holley
Emily Holley
Emily Holley, Associate Director of the Michigan State University’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, has over 25 years of experience in international education and program management, including grant project development, implementation and evaluation. She has directed education abroad programs, faculty and student exchanges, international conferences, and a variety of K-16 outreach programs. She also has mentored undergraduate students and graduate students in the Center’s minor and graduate certificate programs.
Rebecca Irvine
Rebecca Irvine
Rebecca Irvine is the Assistant Director of the Center for Gender in Global Context (GenCen) at Michigan State University. A keen advocate for social justice, Rebecca has worked on issues related to peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction, education, disability rights, and served as a consultant for the UN Development Program (UNDP), Northern Irish government departments and agencies, and various international NGOs. She holds a BA in International Relations (MSU), MA in Comparative Ethnic Conflict and PhD in Sociology and Social Policy (Queen’s University Belfast).
José Jackson-Malete
José Jackson-Malete
José Jackson-Malete is the Co-Director of the Alliance for African Partnership (AAP) at Michigan State University. She has over 25 years of experience in food science research, programming and capacity building of agrifood entrepreneurs in Africa and the Caribbean, and has served on the board for Market Matters Inc, South Africa and as the President of the Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association. Prior to joining MSU, she was the Director of Research and Partnerships at the Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation.
Connie James
Connie James
Connie James is the Business Manager for the BEACON Center, an NSF Science and Technology Center headquartered at Michigan State University. She has a broad range of financial and administrative experience, with expertise in diversity and inclusion, counseling and mentoring, leadership, human resources, and community outreach and development. She has a passion for supporting underrepresented students, particularly in the STEM fields.
Amy Jamison
Amy Jamison
Amy Jamison is Co-Director of the Alliance for African Partnership. She is an education, gender, and research specialist, and holds graduate degrees in educational policy, history, and African studies. Dr. Jamison’s research focuses on African higher education development, educational policy in Africa, and gender in higher education and international development. She’s been involved with several education and research projects in African countries, including Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Mali.
Ridwan Jimoh
Ridwan Jimoh
Ridwan Jimoh is a Digital Business Integration Consultant with Accenture Interactive in the Digital Product Management Practice. He graduated from Michigan State University with Bachelor of Arts in Supply Chain Management. Since joining Accenture, he’s had a plethora of delivery projects related to progressive web applications, mobile and desktop websites and eCommerce platforms. As the spring 2016 Eli Broad College of Business Commencement speaker, Ridwan is excited to work and give back to his alma mater.

Neil Kane
Neil Kane
Neil Kane, Director of Undergraduate Entrepreneurship at Michigan State University, is the quintessential serial entrepreneur and is a leading authority on entrepreneurship and innovation. He is the former co-Executive Director of the Illinois Technology Enterprise Center at Argonne National Laboratory and was Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Illinois. He has been the CEO of startup companies in areas as diverse as consumer packaged goods, toys, nanotechnology, Internet marketplaces, medical diagnostics and energy storage.
Thomas S. Lyons
Thomas S. Lyons
Thomas S. Lyons is Professor of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics and Director of the Product Center, Food-Ag-Bio at Michigan State University. His co-authored book, Understanding Social Entrepreneurship is the leading textbook on this subject, used at over 80 universities around the world. He was one of the pioneering scholars in developing the concept of “entrepreneurial communities,” or “entrepreneurial ecosystems,” and he continues to conduct research on this subject. He holds a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Michigan.
Loren Madden
Loren Madden
Loren Madden is an Executive in Accenture’s Commodity Trading and Risk Management practice specializing in helping clients implement effective Commodity Trading and Risk Management solutions. He has experience leading multiple cross-functional teams to solve complex problems and has worked across a variety of industries including; energy, financial services and high tech. Loren has his B.S. in Economics from the University of Michigan and an MBA in Finance and Strategy from Michigan State University.
Leps Malete
Leps Malete
Leps Malete is an Associate Professor of sport and exercise psychology at Michigan State University. Previously he was an Associate Professor and Director of International Programs at the University of Botswana. His teaching and research interests are youth psychosocial development through sport and physical activity, self-efficacy and athletic performance. He is a principal investigator of a project that uses sport to nurture life skills and entrepreneurship mindsets in youth in Botswana, Ghana and Tanzania.
Deborah Margolis
Deborah Margolis
Deborah Margolis, Middle East Studies Librarian/Area Studies Coordinator, Michigan State University (MSU) is passionate about developing the next generation of leaders in the field of arts and culture. She recently helped to facilitate an exchange between MSU student artist/designers and young artist/designers in Palestine, working with the Palestinian Association for Contemporary Art. Deborah is director of Muslim Journeys, a scholar-led campus-community book discussion series. She received MSU’s 2019 Charles A. Gliozzo Award for Public Diplomacy.
Laurie Medina
Laurie Medina
Laurie Medina, PhD, is the Director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Michigan State University. She has conducted field research in Belize for more than 30 years, publishing her findings in academic journals and books. She has presented her research to a wide range of audiences, and has also mentored graduate students in the preparation of public presentations of their work.
John Metzler
John Metzler
John Metzler, Ph.D. Assistant Director of the MSU African Studies Center and Adjunct in the MSU Department of Teacher Education has worked on educational policy in Southern Africa for over 40 years. He has coordinated and directed numerous Education Abroad programs in Africa for students and for K-16 educators. He is particularly interested in education for development in Africa. He is a regular presenter to the African Scholars Leadership for African Development program.
Nneka Okekearu
Nneka Okekearu
Nneka Okekearu is the Deputy Director of Enterprise Development Centre at Pan Atlantic University focused on developing the competencies of entrepreneurs in Nigeria. The Centre has created a network of over 50,000 entrepreneurial leaders through process improvement, capacity building, access to market and other suites of business development services. With over 20 years of experience in Oil & Gas, and Banking and Enterprise Development, Nneka has developed skills sets in business development, marketing, strategic and succession planning, coaching, mentoring, training and small business development.
Ramesh Pandurangan
Ramesh Pandurangan
Ramesh Pandurangan is a Project Management Professional with 20+ years of experience in the IT industry, managing large and complex software development projects. He is currently engaged as a Delivery Manager at the IBM Client Innovation Center, East Lansing, Michigan. He is responsible for managing talent for the QA & Testing practice at this center, as well as hiring and coaching young professionals in their IT consulting career.

Djelika Pare
Djelika Pare
Djelika Pare is the Chief Executive Officer of the Ouagadougou based management consulting firm, Xpertis Consulting, providing technical assistance and advisory services to organizations in the francophone West Africa region including Burkina Faso. She has 12 years of experience in Africa and developed her skills in project management at the World Bank in the US. She holds an MBA in Management from the International University, and a Graduate Certificate in Economic Development from Michigan State University.
Octavius Phukubye
Octavius Phukubye
Octavius Phukubye is currently a Hubert H. Humphrey fellow at Michigan State University focusing on entrepreneurship, finance and innovation. He is a management consulting and economic development professional with experience in process engineering, project management, venture creation, startup/small enterprise development, business model innovation and supplier development. He has worked in industries such as Utilities, Agriculture, FMCG and Financial Services. He is currently in his second year of Masters in Development Finance at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Nicole Pinage
Nicole Pinage
Nicole Pinage is a Technology Consultant with Accenture where she specializes in developing connected vehicle and user experiences in the automotive and travel industries. She received a B.S. in Agribusiness Management, with minors in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, as well as Food Industry Management from Michigan State University. Nicole is a Michigan native, avid potter, and serves on the Young Professional Executive Board for Covenant House Michigan.
Theodore Ransaw
Theodore Ransaw
Dr. Ransaw is an Outreach Specialist for James Madison College and Core Faculty in African American and African Studies at Michigan State University. His research focuses on fatherhood identity, Black male identity and literacy identity educational outcomes. Ransaw is the co-author of The Handbook of Research on Black Males, the author of The Art of Being Cool: The Pursuit of Black Masculinity, and co-author of the book series International Race and Education by MSU Press.
Kurt Richter
Kurt Richter
Dr. Kurt Richter is the Deputy Director for the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation. Kurt has worked in numerous countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America and has held long-term leadership roles in Guatemala, Colombia, Afghanistan and the Republic of Georgia. Dr. Richter was the founding Study Abroad Director for the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at the University of Missouri. Kurt holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Missouri and Ph.D. in Economic Geography from the University of California, Davis.
Hugo Romero Ruiz
Hugo Romero Ruiz
Dr. Hugo Romero Ruiz is a Professor of Research & Systems Engineering at the César Vallejo University in Trujillo, Peru. He holds bachelor’s degrees in Systems Engineering from the Private of the North University; master’s degree in Public Management, and doctorate in Public Management and Governance from the César Vallejo University, Peru. He is passionate about research, with interests and publications related to developing scientific and technological innovation projects within education, environment and information, and communication technologies that involve working with multidisciplinary teams.
Aibi Sasore
Aibi Sasore
Aibi Sasore is a lawyer and international development professional. She has worked with vulnerable young women to provide them with access to reproductive health education and services, vocational training, business start-up resources, mentoring and psychosocial support. She builds the capacity of community activists and organizations to address social challenges effectively and efficiently. She is also an entrepreneur and the found of Aebe Inc, which produces African inspired women’s clothing.
AnnMarie Schneider
AnnMarie Schneider
AnnMarie Schneider, Director for Program Planning & Policy Education at the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR); Director of the Canadian Studies Center at MSU creates information networks that focus on looming issues in our neighborhoods and our world. She facilitates discussion and research directed at problem solving and engaging the university, policy and business community. She has co-founded as well as advised numerous policy-directed leadership programs. Her work reflects her interest in linking issue experts, advancing civil discourse, and securing opportunities for faculty research, student learning, and community understanding.
Funke Shonekan
Funke Shonekan
Funke Shonekan is the Executive Director of The Chris Ogunbanjo Foundation; a family foundation managed by the third generation family members. She is the founder of Young Adult Professionals and Entrepreneurs (YAP&E), a professional networking platform that is focused on linking professionals and entrepreneurs from all industries. In June 2017, she was appointed the Nigeria Outreach Ambassador for Nexus Global, and in July 2018 appointed the Regional Director for NEXUS Africa.
Adriana Sofía Sinche Gutiérrez
Adriana Sofía Sinche Gutiérrez
Adriana Sofía Sinche Gutiérrez is an Industrial Engineer (B.Sc.) from the National University of Trujillo in Peru. Her professional experience is based in developing scientific and technological innovation projects within education, environment and information, and communication technologies that involve working with multidisciplinary teams. Her experiences working for small companies has helped her gain skills ranging from new business development to spin off activities, and presentation of projects to seed capital funds.
Won Song
Won Song
Dr. Song teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Michigan State University. Dr. Song’s research focus has been in improving food situation, nutritional status and health conditions in socially and economically disadvantaged communities in domestic and international settings. Dr. Song has worked with many international graduate students whose research topics have been in diverse areas of maternal and child nutrition and health, particularly in African nations.
Isabella Tirtowalujo
Isabella Tirtowalujo
Isabella Tirtowalujo has been engaging in educational consulting work in Indonesia on projects involving international development institutions, such as with UNICEF and the Asian Development Bank. She provides technical assistance and capacity development to both central and district government bodies in the areas of policy-making and implementation, strategic planning, and knowledge management. She is passionate about understanding approaches to education that best serves all children and youth. She received her PhD in Education from Michigan State University.
Chinenye Uwanaka
Chinenye Uwanaka
Chinenye Uwanaka is a lawyer and social entrepreneur. She is the founder of The Firma Advisory – a boutique law and consulting firm in Nigeria with clients in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the USA. She is passionate about technology, human rights, public interest law, public policy and advocacy. Chinenye is a recipient of the ‘Social Impact Award’ from the Vice President of Nigeria for her efforts in improving access to justice and pro-bono legal aid in Nigeria.
Mary Anne Walker
Mary Anne Walker
Mary Anne Walker is the Director of Global STEM Engineering Programs at Michigan State University, also serving as a Co-Director of the Academy for Global Engagement, MSU’s international research faculty development program. In previous academic roles, she directed MSUGlobal’s R&D and was the founding director of the first international research office at MSU in 2000. Mary Anne joined Michigan State after serving with USAID as a Senior Democracy Officer in eastern Europe in the 1990s.
F. Kwame Yeboah
F. Kwame Yeboah
F. Kwame Yeboah is a Senior Program Officer at International Studies and Programs, with primary oversight responsibility for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars at Michigan State University. For the past decade, he has provided critical analysis and consultation on a range of social policies including agrifood systems transformation and youth livelihood issues. Recently, he served as the lead author for the 2018 Global Food Security Report commissioned by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.