Two young Nigerians, Tokunboh Ishmael, an impact investment pioneer; andLai Yahaya, an oil sector transparency advocate; have been named the 2013 Yale University World Fellows for their enterprise and industry, Yale UniversityPresident, Richard Levin, said on Thursday.
Ms. Ishmael and Mr. Yahaya are among 16 World Fellows selected this year from a pool of about 2,500 applicants from the institution acknowledged as one of world’s leading citadels of knowledge, business and enterprise.
Ms. Ishmael is an investment professional with over 20 years experience spanning investment banking, private equity investing, technology and new business development.
She is co-founder and Managing Director of Abuja-based Alitheia Capital, a fund management and investment firm that channels private equity investments into businesses that broaden access to finance, energy, and housing for small and medium enterprises, SMEs and low-income households.
Her previous roles include Country Partner for Aureos West Africa, and Mergers and Acquisition banker at Salomon Smith Barney.
Mr. Levin describes Ms. Ishmael as a personality who is “passionate about transforming lives through meaningful investments that drive job and wealth creation.”
Mr. Yahaya, a policy entrepreneur, is currently Team Leader of the Abuja-based Facility for Oil Sector Transparency and Reform, FOSTER, a donor-funded programme that supports government and civil society in a bid to push for greater transparency, accountability and reform in the Nigerian oil sector.
Previously, he was a technical advisor on the Nigerian Presidential Taskforce on Power and worked on the Roadmap for Nigeria’s Power Sector Reform.
“Yahaya is an ardent activist for probity, efficiency and best practice in government and the private sector,” Mr. Levin said of Yahaya.
This year’s cohort brings the total number of Yale World Fellows since the programme’s inception in 2002 to 238 Fellows, representing 81 countries.
The Yale University World Fellows Programme is the University’s signature global leadership development initiative and a core element of Yale University’s ongoing commitment to internationalization.
Each year, the University invites a group of exemplary mid-career professionals from a wide range of fields and countries for an intensive four-month period of academic enrichment and leadership training.
Four previous Yale World Fellows hailed from Nigeria:
Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, Co-founder and Publishing Director, Cassava Republic Press; Hauwa Ibrahim, Research Associate and Visiting Lecturer, Harvard Divinity School; Ibidapo Oyewole, Technical Advisor, National Planning Commission, NPC; and Philomena Chinwe Uwandu, Legal Advisor, Federal Government of Nigeria.
“The Yale University World Fellows Programme consistently attracts outstanding talents,” said World Fellows programme director, Michael Cappello, professor of paediatrics at Yale School of Medicine.
“The 16 individuals selected this year are each poised to become even more effective change-makers in their societies and around the world. This unique leadership training opportunity will no doubt inspire their many future contributions to the global community,” Mr. Cappello said.
The mission of the Yale University World Fellows Programme is to cultivate and empower a community of globally engaged leaders committed to positive change through cross-disciplinary dialogue and action. It has at its core three main goals: to provide advanced training to emerging leaders from diverse disciplines and countries, to link this network of world leaders to each other and to Yale, and to expand and deepen international understanding at Yale.