Yaw Nyarko, a native of Ghana, is a Professor of Economics at New York University (NYU) and the founding Director of NYU’s Africa House. He is the Director of the NYU Center for Technology and Economic Development, and also the co-Director of the Development Research Institute. He is the 2009 winner of the BBVA Frontiers in Knowledge Award on Economic Development Cooperation. His research interests are in the area of Economic Development and Theoretical Economics. He has worked on models of human capital as engines of economic growth, as well as on the Brain Drain and skills acquisition in the growth process, and is currently engaged in research on Technology and Economic Development.
Professor Nyarko is the author of many published research papers and is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, and has served as Editor/Associate Editor on a number of academic economics journals. He is the current president of the African Econometric Society and has served as a consultant to many organizations including the World Bank, the United Nations, and the Social Science Research Council. He is the immediate past Vice Provost of New York University with a portfolio which included the oversight and establishment of campuses of NYU in Africa and around the world. Yaw Nyarko received a B.A. from the University of Ghana, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Cornell University.
Lakshminarayanan Subramanian, Associate Professor at Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, NYU
Lakshminarayanan Subramanian is an Associate Professor in the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU. His research interests are in the areas of networks, distributed systems, and computing for development. He leads the Networks and Wide-Area Systems (NeWS) research group, and the CATER Lab at NYU. He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award (2009), IBM Faculty Awards (2009, 2010), Google Faculty Award (2013), C.V. Ramamoorthy Award at UC Berkeley and Microsoft Research Challenge Award on “Cellphones for Healthcare” (2008).
Jay Chen is an Assistant Professor at NYU Abu Dhabi and a research scientist at CTED. He received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from New York University (NYU) where his dissertation was awarded the Janet Fabri Prize for Most Outstanding Dissertation in Computer Science. His research interests stem from a background in networking and distributed systems, but in order to solve real-world problems of information access in developing regions, his work has evolved to be increasingly inter-disciplinary. Most recently Professor Chen has been focusing his research efforts on learning technologies, security and privacy, and human-computer interaction.
Africa House Visiting Scholar
His Excellency Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania (2005 to 2015), Africa House Visiting Scholar in Residence (Spring 2018)
Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete is a Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania (2005 to 2015). He previously held various key positions as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Finance and Minister of Energy and Minerals from 1994 to 2005. During and after his presidency, he continued to be active and instrumental in championing development agenda with a special focus on women and children. Dr. Kikwete has served as the Co-Chair of the UN Commission on Information and Accountability on Women’s and Children’s Health, Chairperson of the United Nations High-Level Panel on the Global Response to Health Crisis, and Chairperson of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA). After his retirement, Dr. Kikwete assumed leadership roles in different capacities as Co-Chair of the UN High-Level Advisory Group on Every Woman Every Child; Member of the UN Lead Group on Scaling Up Nutrition, the Global Ambassador for Immunization, Member of the World Malaria Council; Commissioner of the International Education Commission for Financing Global Education Opportunity; Co-Chair of the World Refugee Council; African Union High Level Representative on Libya and; Chairman of the Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete Foundation.
Professor Benno J Ndulu, Former Governor of the Bank of Tanzania, the county’s central bank, since 2008. (Summer 2018)
Professor Benno J. Ndulu, who has just completed a 10 years term as Governor, Bank of Tanzania, now occupies the Mwalimu Nyerere Professorial Chair on Development at the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. He is best known for having served as one of the pioneers for the most effective Research and Training Network in economics in Africa, the African Economic Research Consortium, where he served first as its research Director and then as its Executive Director. Having begun in academia at the University of Dar-es Salaam, he later served also in the World Bank as a Research Manager in Development Economics (DEC) and Advisor to Vice President Africa Region. He has published widely on Growth, Governance, and Trade. He is currently co-directing the Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development anchored at Blavatnik School of Government
Andrea Papitto, Program Director, Africa House/Center for Technology and Economic Development
Andrea Papitto has worked on development projects in Africa since 2005 when she studied at the New York University Accra campus and worked at Habitat for Humanity Ghana. Since then, she has worked on numerous projects related to Africa tourism, rural tourism development, community-led development, and ICT education in Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Senegal, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. In 2011, she produced The Last Song Before the War, a documentary chronicling the Festival au Desert in Timbuktu, Mali and its role in sustaining peace, cultural preservation, and economic development. The film has played at Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and international film festivals around the world. Before joining Africa House, Andrea was the Director of Trade Relations and Communications at the Africa Travel Association (ATA), the leading travel trade organization promoting the sustainable development of tourism in Africa. At ATA, she managed programming; research initiatives such as the Africa Tourism Monitor produced in conjunction with NYU Africa House and the African Development Bank; communications; and media relations for the organization. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master’s in Tourism Management with a focus on African destinations from New York University.
Kingsley Essegbey, Assistant Director/Assistant Research Scientist
Kingsley Essegbey joined Africa House/CTED as a Graduate Research Assistant in December 2014. Kingsley received a Master’s degree in Bioethics from New York University that has enhanced his integrative thinking skills and positioned him to assist with the team’s research projects related to bioeconomics and local governance, environmental ethics and policy all focusing on sustainable rural development. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environment and Development Studies from Central University, Ghana. The program sparked his interest in how Ghana could effectively integrate the natural environment into the development agenda. He enjoys cooking vegetarian dishes and engaging in lively conversations.
Delphine Demmerle Yaghmaian, Grants Manager
Delphine Demmerle Yaghmaian has over 5 years of professional experience in grants management and program coordination for projects conducted across Africa. As a Senior Grants Manager at ICAP at Columbia University, she managed a portfolio of grants of an average value of sixty million dollars. The projects funded through these grants were implemented in countries including Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe. She also conducted award management trainings, in French, in field offices in Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Prior to that, she was responsible for the coordination of the HIV/AIDS program at the Population Council. The program included projects implemented in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal, and Zambia. Delphine received a Master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from the New School for Social Research. As a graduate student, she conducted field research among the Senegalese Murid community in Harlem. Delphine obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Ramapo College of New Jersey, where she focused on economic development.
Benjamin is a graduate student in the NYU Journalism Department with a specialization in Broadcast Media. He has experience working in radio and television in Ghana, Senegal, and his work has taken him to several countries across Africa. Before joining NYU in Fall 2018, Benjamin was the English Producer at Dakar-based West Africa Democracy Radio, established by the Open Society. He has also worked with Joy News, Ghana’s biggest private media outlet, where he produced documentaries and features. His last assignment at Joy News was as Producer for the National Science and Maths Quiz. Benjamin has produced documentaries and features on various topics ranging from human rights, climate change, and technology. In 2014, he won the Ghana Business Reporter of the Year (Broadcast Category) at the Annual Business and Economic Reporters’ Awards. He was a finalist in the African Investigative Journalists Award (2011) and the African Story Challenge Competition (2014).
Takako Sakamoto, Student Program Assistant – Art Programs
Takako Sakamoto is a first-year M.A. student in Africana Studies with a concentration in Museum Studies. After receiving a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology/ Archaeology from San Francisco State University, she worked at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles as a volunteer gallery guide, research library assistant, and administration staff. Her passion to promote and support artists of color had led her to work with prominent assemblage artists and to help archiving of immense black cinema poster collection for a private collector in to preserve the legacy of black entertainers of the 20th century. In 2015 and 2016, she co-curated two photography exhibitions, Breaking the Color Line and Beyond: African Americans in Sports and Entertainment at the El Tranquilo Gallery and African American Civil Rights Movement in L.A. at the Museum of Social Justice in Downtown, Los Angeles. Through her studies, she will examine the role which institutionalized racism plays in major art museums and how the inclusion of works by artists of color will impact the diverse communities domestically and globally.
Lian Wairimu Kariuki, Student Program Assistant
Lian Wairimu Kariuki is a passionate advocate for youth empowerment, equal rights for women and quality education. She hails from Nairobi, Kenya and is currently enrolled at NYU Wagner pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA), specializing in International Policy and Management. Currently serving as a Global Youth Ambassador (GYA) for Theirworld, an organization that advocates for global access to quality education, Lian presented the International Finance Facility for Education (IFFed) petition to the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres and was chosen to represent more than 1.5 million children and young people worldwide during the initiative’s launch. Lian has previously worked and volunteered for many international organizations including UNICEF and UNDP. Additionally, she has represented Kenya as a youth ambassador at numerous international events and conferences, and as a teenager, founded Adopted Dreams Organization, a non-profit organization that focuses on youth development and women’s empowerment. Lian was recently honored to be named the GYA Education Financing S/Hero Award and U.S. Fund for UNICEF Member of the Year in 2015. She is enthusiastic about the prospect of working with NYU Africa House to support all of the organization’s events, research projects and initiatives that contribute to the social integrity, economic development, and historical appreciation of all things African.
Nolan Lee, Student Program Assistant
Nolan Lee is a second-year M.A. candidate in Economics with a concentration in economic development and econometrics. Nolan received his B.S. in Business Economics from Miami University in 2017, where he focused on econometrics and received the Gerald E. Flueckiger Award for his studies in microeconomics. As an undergraduate, Nolan also studied economics and business at Korea University and the Vienna University of Economics and Business. Before attending NYU, Nolan worked in corporate accounting in Ohio. In his final year and after graduation, Nolan aspires to design and conduct economic research in the developing world. His experience working and studying in several countries has inspired him to strive towards people-driven solutions, with a focus on markets and political mobilization.