Director of GSP 2012
Veda Sunassee joined African Leadership Academy (ALA) in 2010 as a Princeton-in-Africa fellow. He majored with a degree in Political Science and Political Economy from Princeton University though he spent his first two years of college studying Mechanical & Aerospace engineering. Veda also has a deep passion for entrepreneurship, a field that he explored during a sabbatical from Princeton following his sophomore year when he journeyed back to his village, St. Julien D’Hotman, on the tiny Indian Ocean island of Mauritius.
There, he was inspired to form the Young Volunteers Association (YVA) in an effort to promote civic engagement. Veda also spent a summer at Ashoka (one of the world’s leading social entrepreneur organization)’s global office in Washington D.C., where he helped supervise a Baltimore-based project that converted some of the city’s most troubled alleys from crime scenes into green community spaces. At Princeton, Veda co-founded the Princeton Social Entrepreneurship Initiative (SEI), which seeks to create an environment where every student can become a catalyst for social change by weaving leadership, entrepreneurship, design, and transformative thinking into the fabric of the Princeton experience. Through SEI, Veda created the first ever social entrepreneurship track for TigerLaunch, an annual business plan competition organized by the student-run Princeton Entrepreneurship Club. Veda also co-founded the I3 Award that recognizes inspirational, innovative and impactful entrepreneurs.
At ALA, Veda is a faculty member of the Entrepreneurial Leadership department. He considers it a real privilege and treat to coach some of the most brilliant minds from all across Africa.
Quote from Veda: “I do not teach, I only facilitate my students’ learning.”
Assistant Director of GSP 2012
Mr. Olagunju is a graduate of the Kenan-Flagler School of Business and the Leadership Development Program for BB&T, one of the ten largest bank holding groups in America. This along with his experience as a national fellow for Campus Crusade for Christ International have shaped in him a life-long commitment to practice value-focused, sustainable leadership. In his previous post, Mr. O, as he is often known on campus, executed the turn-around of Operation HOPE’s Banking on Our Future financial education program in Washington, DC – a 300-person volunteer organization that now trains over 5,000 young people each year. While in D.C. he also helped found the Greater Washington Jump$tart Coalition a group devoted to the collaborative effort of making every young person in D.C. financially literate.
As Head of Leadership, Segun directs all the student-facing programs of the Leadership & Entrepreneurship curriculum. He also relishes the privilege of teaching our future leaders. He is adept and skilled in his role as an educator in the field of leadership development. He brings to his work an appreciation and understanding of the experiential nature of learning leadership as well as the value of individual coaching. Drawing on his experience in the nonprofit sector as well as his business school education, Segun has helped solidify and advance the leadership curriculum to the 200 students at ALA.
Mr. O is driven to leverage his corporate and non-profit management experience to drive win-win relationships that improve the quality of life for as many as possible; this is accomplished by creating, communicating and executing purpose-driven strategies.
Quote from Mr. O: “We are not here to be comfortable, We are here to be challenged to change.”
Director of GSP Community Service Project
Sheila Agiti is from Ghana. After completing primary and secondary school, she left to pursue further studies in the United States of America. First stop was the United World College of the American West where she earned an International Baccalaureate diploma. From there, she went to Princeton University and majored in Economics with a certificate in Political Economy.
She recalls her experience in Ventures to Address Global Challenges, a course that highlighted the immense untapped market potential in developing countries. She began viewing issues of developing countries as mere challenges that CAN be combated with the right approach- focus on solutions that address the root causes and not symptoms. Much as the classroom was informative, Sheila was shaped mostly by the extracurricular activities she engaged in. As the Freshman Representative and later the President of the African Students’ Association, she learnt the growth potential that comes from engaging in different aspects of an organization. As a member of Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance, she began appreciating the contributions of young Africans as instruments of change in their respective countries.
In 2010, Sheila Agiti interned at the National Malaria Control Program in Liberia. She helped write a proposal to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. This experience motivated her senior thesis, Value for Money: Evaluating the Efficiency of Malaria Prevention and Control Interventions in Liberia where she explored the role of various intervention programs on Liberia’s malaria mortality and morbidity. One lesson she learnt was that in as much as significant progress has been made, there is a lot more that needs to be done.
All these experiences are motivations for joining African Leadership Academy. Sheila Agiti coordinates ALA’s Internship Program, the Executive Seminar and the Community Service Program. She is also a Hall Mistress. Her conversations with students always confirm her hope for the African continent. Yes these students are young but yet so knowledgeable. They are full of energy and vision. Sheila sees herself as a minute factor in what will propel these young leaders to greater heights.
Quote from Ms. Sheila: “There’s something unparalleled about young people seeking knowledge about themselves and others.”
Director of GSP Seminal Reading & Seminal Viewing Program
Mopati hails from Botswana, but as child he lived in Sweden and the United States before moving to Hong Kong to study at Li Po Chun United World College. He is a proud alumnus of Williams College, where he graduated with a BA in Political Science, concentrating in International Relations.
While at Williams, Mopati was deeply involved in community building, and served as a Junior Advisor to mentor first year students. He was guided by the belief the relationships, conversations, and interactions one has with a diverse community provide a tremendous and invaluable opportunity for learning and growth. He pursued his passion for equity in education with summer internships at the Maru-a-Pula School in Botswana and Ditshwanelo – the Botswana Center for Human Rights. In 2010, he was granted a travel and research fellowship to study education equity and the politics of school reform in France. He also played ultimate frisbee for Williams, and sang in the concert choir. At his graduation, Mopati was awarded the Francis Sessions Hutchins Class of 1900 Memorial Fellowship Prize, given to a senior who shows promise of becoming a “useful, worthy and loveable citizen.”
Mopati brings a passion for social change through education to ALA. He teaches English, is a member of the residential faculty team as hall master of one of the boys’ halls, lovingly nicknamed “The Office.” He also coaches basketball and supervises the Emthonjeni Community Service Project site.
Quote from Mr. Morake: “It’s becoming increasingly apparent to me that the conversations shared, and relationships built in truly diverse places of learning will have a profound and transformative impact on our societies. ”
Director of GSP off-campus Program
Claudia Masemola is an ALA graduate ( class ’11) who is currently studying Economics at Bucknell University and joins the GSP team as an intern seeking to practice all the leadership and entrepreneurship lessons she learned while at ALA. Having spent time at the Academy, and experiencing life after ALA she returns back home with a growing concern about the legacy of today’s youth. When History speaks of us, what would it say? She believes that in building this generations’ story, its legacy, we can start by changing the types of conversations that the youth are having which can possibly lead to innovative solutions that writes words into the memoirs that captures this generations’ story. To her GSP represents an opportunity to continue learning from the Leadership Department (as well as the GSP students) and also a chance to empower young people to start thinking about (Dialoguing and implementing) solutions that will make a difference in society . As she will direct contact with the GSP students (as a facilitator and logistics leader) she will be able to achieve this goal and perhaps one day, when History does speak of this generation, it will have a memoir to refer to.
Quote from Ms. Claudia: “…”
Director of GSP Residential Life
Clare Korir was born and raised in Kenya. After graduating high school, she was recruited as the first ever Kenyan to attend Barnard College of Columbia University, where she studied Economics and History.
Prior to ALA, through Columbia University’s Community Impact Programs, Clare taught at the Frederick Douglas Academy in Harlem and headed the African Students Association, for which she was awarded the Student Leadership Award. Clare was selected as one of six Global Symposium Fellows, where she helped plan the Women Changing Africa conference and conducted leadership workshops for high school girls in Johannesburg. Following this symposium, in collaboration with the Athena Leadership Center, Clare founded a women’s leadership initiative at Barnard that brought together motivated African students across the US, and women leaders across Africa to promote innovation and entrepreneurship as a means of nurturing responsible citizenship.
These experiences have continued to nurture and enrich Clare’s passion for women’s empowerment and African development and she is excited to share her experiences and work with the Global Scholars Program. She joins African Leadership Academy to teach in the African Studies department.
Quote from Ms. Clare: “Be keen and inquisitive!”
Director of GSP Admissions
Tonya has 14 years of recruiting and admissions experience working with students from Africa, Australia, Asia, and North and South America. Most recently, Tonya was the Associate Director of Admission at Bennington College, which is home to two ALA graduates: Chernoh Jalloh (ALA’09) and Ousseynou Diome (ALA ’08). She brings with her a deep commitment to working with high school students and a passion for the African continent.
Tonya has a BA from Wesleyan University, where she studied African-American Studies and English. Tonya unfortunately could not join us on campus during GSP but is fully supporting us from the US.