Tony Elumelu Foundation Appoints New CEO

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The Board of Trustees of the Tony Elumelu Foundation has announced the appointment of Professor Reid E. Whitlock as chief executive officer (CEO) of the Foundation.

The appointment of Prof. Whitlock was announced last Sunday while Dr. Wiebe Boer, was similarly appointed the Inaugural Chief Executive of the Foundation; a position which puts him as director of Strategy at Heirs Holdings, Mr. Elumelu’s pan-African Proprietary Investment Company.

Professor Whitlock brings 30 years of experience as a business school rector, diplomat, entrepreneur, strategy consultant and advisor to leaders in Africa, Asia and the Middle East on economic development, according to a statement issue by the United Bank for Africa (UBA)-Liberia yesterday.

He obtained his Ph.D. and law degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in America. He also holds a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and is a cum laude graduate of Princeton University.

Commenting on Prof. Whitlock’s appointment, founding Patron of the institution, Prof. Michael Porter said, “Tony’s commitment to African entrepreneurship is unshakeable and therefore saluted his appointment as CEO of his Foundation. He has an experience in driving competitiveness and entrepreneurship growth in Africa, including Rwanda that has achieved remarkable progress. I look forward to continuing to support Tony, as he furthers Africa’s revival through the great work of the Foundation.”

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda was also quoted as saying, “I am delighted to hear of Reid Whitlock’s appointment as the CEO of Tony’s Foundation. Reid’s work was instrumental in improving Rwanda’s Public Sector Service Delivery, Competitiveness, and Business Education. As CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, he now has a unique platform to ensure this work continues across Africa.”

“As Dr. Boer becomes Director of Strategy for Heirs Holdings, I want to thank him for the leadership he has provided, helping transform the foundation from just an idea into a preeminent global philanthropic institution. I welcome Professor Whitlock, who brings considerable global experience in the private, public, and academic sectors, which will significantly assist in realizing the mission of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, in empowering Africa’s next generation of entrepreneurs and driving the continent’s economic and social transformation,” The founder and chairman of the Board of Trustees, Tony Elumelu said.

Prof. Whitlock said, he was honored by the opportunity the Board of Trustees had given him and was excited to join a dynamic institution, with a truly pan-African focus and an ambitious agenda.

 “I look forward to leveraging my extensive experience and networks to further help the Foundation achieve its important goals.”

His responsibility as new CEO of the foundation will focus on supervising the Foundation’s four key projects and programs, including the US$100 million pan-African Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program–Africa’s largest direct intervention in support of entrepreneurship, the Africapitalism Institute, the Foundation’s policy and research arm, which provides a rigorous program of research and advocacy in support of the Foundation’s goals.

Others activities are: the Elumelu Nigeria Empowerment Fund, directly assisting, through private sector strategies, conflict affected and disadvantaged communities across Nigeria, the Tony & Awele Elumelu Prize, which champion’s academic excellence on the African continent and will support the Foundation’s senior leadership team.

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