African Leadership Foundation is led by an independent, seven-member US-based Board of Directors that reviews and administers all grants.
Elizabeth Berry Gips
Executive Chair of the Board, African Leadership Foundation
Elizabeth Berry Gips has more than 2 decades of experience in the education sector, with a focus on international development and non-profit management. Currently, Liz is the Executive Chair of the African Leadership Foundation, which supports transformative change in Africa by developing and connecting the continent's next generation of leaders.
From 2010-2014, she served in leadership capacities at USAID. Most recently, she coordinated President Obama's Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), a legacy initiative to support leadership development in youth across Africa. Prior, she was a Senior Education Advisor to USAID in South Africa where she designed and implemented innovative education programs to build teacher capacity, working in partnership with the South African government and the private sector.
From 2004-2009, she served as the Program Director and the Executive Director for Global Education Fund, which improves the lives of children living in poverty around the world through education. She established multiple programs, including a youth leadership and scholarship program in Kenya and community libraries in Sri Lanka.
Previously, Liz was one of the founding staff members at New American Schools, a $100 million initiative to identify and scale bold ideas for comprehensive school reform in the US. She has served on numerous boards for schools, education foundations, and non-profits. She received a BA from Williams College and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.
President, African Leadership Foundation; Founder and CEO, African Leadership Academy
Chris Bradford is the founding president of the Foundation and co-founder and CEO at African Leadership Academy. Chris previously worked in brand management with the Procter and Gamble Company, as a teaching fellow at Oundle School in the UK, and as a Consultant with the Boston Consulting Group. He has a BA summa cum laude from Yale University and an MBA and MA in education from Stanford University.
Managing Director, Bain Capital
Ed Brakeman joined Bain Capital in 1988 with an initial focus on private equity investments. Beginning in 1996, Ed was a co-founder and co-head of Bain Capital’s public equity investment business, Brookside Capital. He retired from his full-time responsibilities as a Managing Director in 2005. Today, he continues to participate in several firm initiatives on a part-time basis. He and his wife, Amy, are engaged in other education and youth development initiatives in Africa including the Kliptown Youth Program. Ed has an MBA from Stanford University and a BS from the University of California Berkeley.
Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Coca-Cola Company
Alex Cummings joined the Coca-Cola Company in 1997 as regional manager in Nigeria. Alex has served as the president of Coca Cola’s North and West Africa division as well as the president and COO of the Africa group, responsible for all operations in Africa. Alex was born in Liberia and previously served on the Advisory Board of the African Presidential Archives and Research Center, the Corporate Council on Africa, the African-America Institute, and the Center for Global Development's Commission on US Policy Toward Low-Income Poorly Performing States. Alex holds a BS in finance and economics from Northern Illinois University and an MBA in finance from Atlanta University.
Director, McKinsey & Company
Jon Cummings is a Director at McKinsey & Company and has been with the Firm since 1987. Jon began his career in Chicago and was in South Africa from 1994 to 2002, where he co-founded the Johannesburg Office and was the office manager for seven years. Jon currently is the leader of McKinsey’s Americas Packaged Goods practice and is based in New Jersey. Prior to joining McKinsey, Jon received his BA from Yale University and an MS from the London School of Economics.
Vice President, African Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Scott Eisner is vice president of African Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He represents the Chamber’s interests in Africa through its Africa Business Initiative (ABI), the business community’s leading advocacy group aimed at strengthening U.S.-Africa trade relations. Eisner directs the strategic activities of the ABI as it engages with senior-level U.S. government officials, international business leaders, and African governments. He also heads the Chamber’s U.S.-South Africa Business Council and the U.S.-Cote d’Ivoire Business Council. Previously, Eisner was head of operations for the Chamber’s International Affairs
Division while holding the position of vice president, African Affairs. Before that, he was deputy chief of staff at the Chamber where he oversaw the Executive Office and was the senior staffer to the Chamber’s president and CEO.
Education Entrepreneur, Acton Academy
Keller is an education entrepreneur on a Hero’s Journey to build quality, affordable, 21st century, K-12 education models for American students and families. He is currently planning a school and/or direct-to-consumer K-12 education concept focused on serving aspirational middle-income families while simultaneously serving as an independent consultant for Acton Academy. Keller is the former managing director of Innovations for Learning, as well as the founder, former president and chairman of Resources for Indispensable Schools and Educators (RISE), where he was awarded the Ashoka Fellowship in 2004 — one of 150 social entrepreneurs in the United States to be “recognized for innovative, entrepreneurial solutions to some of the world's most pressing social problems.” Prior to RISE, he taught fifth grade at the East Palo Alto Charter School in East Palo Alto, CA. Keller received his BA in politics from Princeton University and an MBA from the University of Chicago. Keller, his wife Kerry and baby daughter Kendall live in Austin, Texas
Head of School, Hewitt School
Joan Lonergan is the head of school at the Hewitt School, an independent k-12 girls school in New York City. For nearly two decades prior to joining Hewitt, she was head of school at Castilleja, one of the most highly regarded schools for girls in the United States. Joan has also served on the NAIS Technology Task Force and was a director on the board of KIPP Bay Area Schools. Joan taught mathematics in public and parochial schools, has been a dorm master, administrator and served as director of the Advanced Studies Program at St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire. She was also elected to three consecutive terms on the only fiscally autonomous public school board in New Hampshire. She co-founded and taught at Project Second Start in New Hampshire and has served as a director of the National Coalition of Girls Schools, St. Matthew’s School in California, and the Harvard University Alumni Association. Joan holds a BA from Vassar College and EdM from Harvard University.
Alan Main, President
Bayer Medical Care
Alan Main has responsibility for the Bayer HealthCare (BHC) family of medical device companies that includes Bayer Diabetes Care and MEDRAD, Inc. He was appointed President, Bayer Medical Care; President, Bayer Diabetes Care; Executive Vice President, Bayer HealthCare and to the BHC Executive Committee in July 2010. He also chairs the BHC Marketing Excellence Council, a crossbusiness initiative to improve marketing effectiveness, and is an executive sponsor for the Women's Leadership Initiative which aims to increase female representation in top management as part of BHC's goal to increase diversity. Alan is also on the Board of AdvaMed, a global trade group comprised of leaders of medical device companies.
Principal, Makena Capital Managment
Richard Okello is a principal at Makena Capital Management, a US$12bn private endowment managing assets for sophisticated global institutional clients. At Makena, Okello is responsible for investing the firm’s fixed income allocation as well as for global tactical asset allocation across various asset classes. In addition, Okello is a member of the firm’s investment committee that oversees all investment decisions across all private and public asset classes. Prior to joining Makena Capital, Okello was a partner at Bridgewater Associates, one of the largest global hedge funds. In his nine years at Bridgewater, Okello held various positions. As a member of both the currency research and emerging markets debt research teams, he worked with the co-chief investment officers to improve upon existing trade ideas, and helped develop new research ideas for inclusion in the firm’s portfolio. Okello graduated from Swarthmore College in 1998 with an AB in economics with honors and a minor in public policy in three years. He earned an MBA from the Lubin School of Business at Pace University in 2003, cum laude. He currently serves on the board of the Human Horizons Foundation, USA.
International Growth Manager, Facebook
Angela Zaeh is working on spreading Facebook around the world. As International Growth Manager, she has been taking Facebook to new markets starting with Germany in 2008, followed by Poland, Russia and more recently Korea and Japan. As a Product Manager, she is now focused on mobile and Facebook growth in emerging markets. Before Facebook, Angela spent time in Johannesburg with the African Leadership Academy founders to create the outreach and selection strategy, process and tools to selecte the first class of students. Previously, she was a consultant at Boston Consulting Group working on projects in Germany, the US and Korea and spent time in Uganda and Tanzania working on price risk management for coffee farmers with the German Organization for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and the World Bank. Angela holds a degree from Passau University in Germany and an MBA from Stanford University.