AITA Forum 2014



US-Africa Trade Policy Forum

Washington Marriott, 775 12th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20005

Thursday, May 1, 2014


5:30 pm- Registration

Room- Washington Marriott, Salon E Foyer

6:00 pm- Introductory Remarks & Panel Discussion

Room- Washington Marriott, Salon E

Moderator, Dr. Carl LeVan, Advisory Board Member, Advancing Investments & Trade in Africa; Assistant Professor, American University

Panelist, Nicole Johnson, Senior Trade and Investment Officer, United States Department of State

Panelist, Nicole Lee, Esq., President, TransAfrica

Panelist, Ngozi Nmezi, Director, District of Columbia Executive Office of the Mayor, Office on African Affairs

Panelist, Oren Whyche-Shaw, Africa Bureau Trade Coordinator, United States  Agency for International Development

7:30 pm- Questions & Answers

Room- Washington Marriott, Salon E

Moderated by Dr. Carl LeVan, Advisory Board Member, Advancing Investments &  Trade in Africa; Assistant Professor, American University

8:00 pm- Refreshments & Networking

Room- Washington Marriott, London I and II

8:45 pm- Closing Remarks

Room- Washington Marriott, London I and II

Dr. Naaborle Sackeyfio, Advisory Board Member, Advancing Investments & Trade in Africa;  Assistant Professor, Seton Hall University


 Speakers Biography


Ms. Nicole Johnson is the Senior Trade and Investment Officer in the Africa Economic Policy office at the Department of State.  In this capacity, she coordinates trade policy initiatives for the continent, including work on AGOA and Trade Africa.  Prior to this assignment, Ms. Johnson served as Economic Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam and as Consular Officer in Accra, Ghana.  Ms. Johnson holds degrees from Georgetown University and the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies.

Ms. Ngozi Nmezi is the Executive Director of the Office on African Affairs, District of Columbia Mayor’s Office.  Prior to her appointment, Ms. Nmezi served as a risk-management specialist for the Department of Real Estate Services.  Ms. Nmezi received her Bachelor’s degree in biology at Howard University where she conducted botanical research on the medicinal value of plants in Edo State, Nigeria via the Minority Health International Research Training program.  She received a Master of Public Health degree from Howard University. 

Ms. Nicole Lee is a human rights expert and the first female President of TransAfrica.  Ms. Lee has testified before Congress and served as a resource for the Obama Administration and members of the media on international policy issues affecting Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and racial minorities worldwide.  Before joining TransAfrica, Ms. Lee worked as a lawyer and field researcher in Haiti, where she documented claims of human rights abuses.  As an expert on Africa and the African Diaspora, Ms. Lee has authored numerous opinion pieces and appeared on ABC, NBC, CNN, BBC, NPR, Democracy Now, and Voice of America.

Ms. Oren Whyche-Shaw is the Africa Bureau Trade Coordinator at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).  Ms. Whyche-Shaw’s professional experience includes, but is not limited to, working as Senior Advisor, Office of African Nations, U.S. Department of the Treasury; Regional Director for Africa, Technoserve, Inc.; Division Manager, Private Sector Investment Operations, African Development Bank; and West and Central Africa Private Sector Development Advisor, USAID.  Ms. Whyche-Shaw received a Master of Business Administration in Finance, International Business, and Money and Financial Markets from Columbia University School of Business and a B.S. in Theoretical Mathematics and French from Capital University in Columbus, OH.  Ms. Whyche-Shaw was the first Citibank Fellow at Columbia University and was a White House Fellow, 1983 – 1984.

Dr. Carl LeVan is an Assistant Professor at the School of International Service at American University.  Dr. LeVan focuses on comparative political institutions, democratization, and African security.  His book, “Dictators, Democracy and African Development: The Political Economy of Good Governance in Nigeria” (Cambridge University Press, 2015) explains two categories of public policy performance over fifty years, challenging conventional explanations that blame ethnicity, oil, foreign debt, and other factors.  Prior to joining academia, he worked for U.S. Representative John Conyers (D-MI) and then as the National Democratic Institute’s country director in Nigeria.  Dr. LeVan has a PhD in political science from the University of California; a Master’s degree in political science from American University and Bachelor’s degree in political science from George Washington University.

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