Ford Foundation Appoints Catherine Chinedum Aniagolu-Okoye Regional Director for West Africa


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Aniagolu-Okoye will head the foundation’s office in West Africa and oversee the awarding of grants, external relations and local operations based in Lagos

LAGOS, Nigeria, October 7, 2021.- / African Media Agency (AMA) / – The Ford Foundation announced today the appointment of Catherine Chinedum (‘ChiChi’) Aniagolu-Okoye as its new regional director for the West Africa office. Aniagolu-Okoye began the role in September with headquarters in Lagos.

Aniagolu-Okoye succeeded the late Innocent Chukwumu who was regional director from 2013 to 2021 and helped the foundation build its brand in the region and establish strong partnerships with donors, civil society, public and private sector leaders.

With more than 20 years in the social change sector, Aniagolu-Okoye is a respected leader on the African continent and brings many years of rich experience leading various international development organizations, managing country programs, donor projects and country strategies in West Africa and across Africa.

As regional director, she will oversee the foundation’s local team, external relations and administrative operations in West Africa. It will also guide the development and implementation of a program strategy in the region, with a focus on advancing democracy, human rights and social inclusion for all, especially young people, women and people with disabilities.

Catherine Chinedum (‘ChiChi’) Aniagolu-Okoye, Regional Director, Ford Foundation for West Africa

“I am delighted to welcome ChiChi to the foundation. Her international experience and leadership, as well as her expertise in managing civil society circles, will be invaluable as our work in West Africa grows, ”said Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation. “Chichi’s reputation as a strong operational leader and African feminist will bring a critical perspective to our work to help address some of the most pressing opportunities and challenges in the region.”

Throughout her career, Aniagolu-Okoye has designed and implemented strategies in regional and global organizations on key societal issues, such as improving governance, reducing poverty, improving transparency in the mining sector and strengthening women and girls — all through the involvement of civil society as public and private. sector.

Prior to Ford, Aniagolu-Okoye was recently the state director of Technoserve, an international NGO that provides business solutions to poverty with women at the center of the business. Formerly Director of State of WaterAid in Nigeria, where she provided grants to civil society organizations advocating for improved access to water, sanitation and hygiene and strengthening civil society networks, including one aimed at journalists dedicated to telling more accurate water, sanitation and hygiene stories ( WASH). Prior to WaterAid, ChiChi ran Girl Effect, a Nike Foundation initiative focused on empowering girls, and was also state director for Oxfam / Nigeria. At Oxfam, she has led strategies to reduce inequalities through tax and gender justice initiatives, including the VOICE program, which addresses gender-based violence and transparency in the mining sector. Earlier in her career, Aniagolu-Okoye was the Deputy Program Director of a European Union project focused on public service delivery reform with more efficient public financial management, budget reform and accountability in six Nigerian states. Prior to that, she was the Director for West Africa for ASHOKA Public Innovators, focusing on the advancement of social entrepreneurs in Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Mali.

“I am very excited to join a team and foundation that is so passionately focused on building a world where everyone has the power to shape their own lives and live with dignity,” says Aniagolu-Okoye. “The Ford Foundation is successfully promoting social justice and reducing inequality in West Africa – a vision with which I am fully aligned and honored to help the pastor and grow in the regional office.”

She will take over from Dabesaki Mac-Ikemenjima, who has been interim regional director since January, continuing his primary role as program officer leading the foundation’s cross-sectoral work in the West African region.

Aniagolu-Okoye holds a PhD in Sociology from Cork University in Ireland, specializing in Gender and Development, and a Bachelor of Sociology and Anthropology from Nsukka University in Nigeria. She is the founder of the Southern Sahara Social Development Organization (SSDO), a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Legislative Advocacy of Civil Society (CISLAC) and a member of the Advisory Board for African Policy in The One Campaign.

To learn more about the Ford Foundation Office in West Africa, visit our website.

Distributed byAfrican Media Agencyfor the Ford Foundation.

About the Ford Foundation
The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant organization. For more than 80 years, he has worked with courageous people on the front lines of social change around the world, guided by his mission of strengthening democratic values, reducing poverty and injustice, promoting international cooperation and advancing human achievement. Headquartered in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Media contact
Nicole Okai
[email protected]
Tel (+1) 212-573-5126

The Ford Foundation job appoints Catherine Chinedum Aniagolu-Okoye as regional director for West Africa first appeared in the African Media Agency.

Source: African Media Agency (AMA)

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