Michael E. Thoyer
Michael E. Thoyer is a retired partner of Morgan Lewis LLP in New York City. He and his wife, Judith R. Thoyer, are founding members of Friends of the University of Ghana and the first contributors to Africa House. They have also generously supported the Thoyer Fellowship for African students and junior researchers.
Robert Van Lierop
Robert Van Lierop has a long and noteworthy career as a political activist and diplomat. He was the United Nations representative of Vanuatu for over a decade and served as the chairman of the Alliance of Small Island States from 1990-1994, as well as the chairman of the UN Special Committee on Decolonization. He has worked as a lawyer, filmmaker, writer, and photojournalist.
Judith Aidoo began her career as an investment banker at Goldman, Sachs, & Co. in the late 1980s. Currently, she is the Chief Executive of both Caswell Communications, Inc. in Charleston, SC, and the Aidoo Group Ltd. in New York City. She holds degrees from Rutgers College and Harvard Law School.
Edward Bergman is the President of Innovative Development Services Inc., Executive Director of the Africa Travel Association, and Co-CEO of E&E Grill House, all headquartered in New York City. He is an adjunct professor of tourism at NYU and currently serves as President of the Board of Miracle Corners of the World. He received both his Bachelors and Masters degrees from NYU.
Robert Holmes is the founder of the Robert Holmes Travel and Research Award for African Scholarship. Through this scholarship, doctoral students studying the humanities and social sciences have been able to study abroad in Africa and visit important research sites. Robert E. Holmes earned a B.A. from Washington Square College in 1966, and a J.D. from NYU School of Law in 1969, prior to practicing law in the entertainment department of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison. Most recently, he was Executive Vice President of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Music Group and President of its music publishing companies. Prior to his twenty-five years at Sony, Mr. Holmes was Vice President of the Arista Music Publishing Group and General Counsel of Motown Records and Filmworks.
Mr. Holmes was a recipient of NYU’s Alumni Achievement Award in 1998, and Washington Square College’s Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 1992. He is also the past President of the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association and is an original co-founder of the Black American Law Students Association. Presently on the board of NYU’s Africa House, Mr. Holmes also served on the boards of the Constitutional Rights Foundation and the Liberace Foundation in Las Vegas.