*Not all members included.

Layla Amarir currently serves as a Program Associate with the Congressional Hunger Center supporting the Mickey Leland International Hunger Program. Her interests focus on global food and nutrition security, community development, and inclusive policy.

Layla holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations from Virginia Commonwealth University. She also has experience working in government relations, Moroccan research studies, and with the U.S. Government. In her free time, she enjoys attending art galleries, exploring the food scene around the DMV, and playing soccer.

Paulo Araújo is currently an International Relations Analyst at the Department of Labor’s International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB). His portfolio focuses on child labor in several countries in the Sahel, West and Southern Africa. He was previously at the Department of Defense’s Africa Center for Strategic Studies where he was responsible for engaging with and managing the alumni network of countries around the continent. Paulo has a BA in International Studies from American University, and is a native speaker of Portuguese. He has also written about the ongoing extremist threat in Northern Mozambique.

Maryam Bugaje is a journalist and content creator based in Washington DC. She started her career as a multimedia journalist at Voice Of America. She hosted a daily radio, and a weekly TV show focused on countering violent extremism in Hausa speaking areas of Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Ghana and Sudan.

Maryam founded ”Hausa Quotes” an indigenous online community focused on improving how young Hausa speakers perceive themselves and their relationship to the world.

Katia Cavigelli works as a Program Assistant at the U.S. Institute of Peace, supporting a program working to reduce violent extremism in East Africa and the Sahel by amplifying women in peacebuilding. In and outside of work, Katia seeks to deepen her understanding of the complexities of both the African continent and U.S. policy towards Africa. Previously, this has led her to opportunities at the National Democratic Institute, House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressional Research Service, and Wilson Center Africa Program, and most recently, the APA. She received a B.A. in international relations and French from the University of Maryland.

Jesse Corradi is Managing Director of Africa at the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC). As such, Jesse oversees DFC investments in underserved markets across sub-Saharan Africa. Jesse has led transactions in over 35 countries and oversees a portfolio of over $1.4 billion across the financial services, infrastructure, agriculture, energy, and healthcare sectors. Previously, Jesse held positions in government, impact investing, and private equity. He also served as a Presidential Management Fellow and a U.S. Fulbright Fellow in Hong Kong. Jesse earned his master’s degree from Columbia University and bachelor’s degree from Amherst College.

Pamela Faber is a national security analyst and research scientist at CNA. Her analysis focuses on US-African relations, terrorism and counterterrorism, insurgency and counterinsurgency, failed and fragile states, non-state armed groups, maritime security, and external actors in Africa. Ms. Faber has authored dozens of reports and articles on security issues in Africa and has conducted extensive fieldwork including in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Kenya, Senegal, Cameroon, Benin, and Ghana. Ms. Faber holds degrees from the University of Oxford, the London School of Economics, Columbia University, and the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Andrew Friedman serves as a Democracy Officer with USAID’s Africa Bureau. Prior to joining USAID he served as a consultant, working with various UN agencies and UNDP Country Offices on constitutional and legal reform projects, as well as on good governance and human rights. He holds a JD from the University of Illinois and an LLM in International Law and Development from the University of Nottingham and is a licensed attorney in Illinois. Outside of work Andrew loves spending time outdoors, watching the Cubs, reading and playing chess, all with the world's laziest dog (Penny) in tow.

Betsy Henderson (@betshenders) manages Weims Corporation LLC, where she advises U.S. companies investing in Africa. Betsy recently served as the 2020 YPFP Africa Fellow, and writes for How we made it in Africa.

Betsy has worked in Sub-Saharan Africa for over 12 years, from volunteering with NGOs in Kenya to serving as an Analyst at the Whitaker Group (TWG), where she worked in Lesotho, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Betsy holds a B.A. in Foreign Affairs and English from the University of Virginia and an M.A. in International Relations from American University, and is interested in private sector solutions to economic development in Africa.

Lukogho is the Senior Manager of Government Relations for the US Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC). Before joining USGLC, she worked for several years as a Legislative Staffer and Press Assistant for former U.S. Representative José E. Serrano (D-NY), a member of the Appropriations Committee. After her Hill tenure, Lukogho worked in business development and on grants and policy for firms in Nairobi and Accra before joining Raytheon Technologies in 2019.

Lukogho has an MBA in International Business from Howard University and a BA in Political Science from San José State University. She is a 2018 Africa Business Fellowship alum, a member of Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security, and cofounder of the Congolese Diaspora Impact Summit.

Joy Li works in the State Department’s Office of Peacekeeping Operations on Mali, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Sudan. She previously worked at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan and in the Bureau of African Affairs on China in Africa. Prior to joining the Department, Joy was a research assistant for former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and a consultant in Monitor Deloitte's emerging markets practice advising the African Union, Gates Foundation, White House, and other clients. Joy graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University and received a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Alex Macdonald is Director of Data and Quantitative Research at Just Results, an international development firm which provides developing countries, international donors, and businesses with technical assistance and economic analysis. At Just Results, Alex works primarily in the areas of investment climate, trade facilitation, and employment. Prior to joining Just Results, Alex worked with S&P Global Ratings’ US public finance division and has earlier experience consulting in the energy industry. Alex graduated with an M.A. in Economics and an M.A. in International Relations from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. He received his B.A. from the University of Dallas.

Jacob McCarty is a Fellow in Africa Studies at the American Foreign Policy Council. He previously served as the Managing Editor of the Council’s World Almanac of Islamism. He is the founder and editor of the Africa Political Monitor, AFPC’s in-house bulletin that provides a review of politics in both North and Sub-Saharan Africa.

He completed a Masters of Science in Defense & Strategic Studies in August 2019, focusing on the role of global cities and African politics and their impact on U.S. foreign policy and international institutions. He has lived in Morocco & Fiji and is proficient in French.

Tebo Molosiwa has worked at multilateral organizations and a Pan-African private equity fund in Washington D.C. She received her Master’s in International Economics and Finance from Johns Hopkins SAIS. She sits on the Board of Directors for American Friends of Maru-a-Pula and in 2018 was named one of the African Union Representational’s 100 African Diaspora Youth Leaders, and a United Nations Winter Youth Delegate.

Kevwe Pela is an Economist working with the Jobs Group at the World Bank. She first joined the World Bank in 2018 as a WB-UNHCR young fellow where she worked on developing research papers to inform policy on the labor market impact of refugee education. She completed her PhD in Development Policy and Management from the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester UK. She also holds a master’s degree in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship from the University of Manchester where she graduated with a distinction.


Nolan Quinn is a graduate of the University of Maryland, where he received a BA in Government & Politics and a Master of Public Policy degree. After completing his studies, Nolan completed a Boren Fellowship, studying Swahili in Tanzania for seven months. He is currently the research associate for Africa Policy Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations; he has also interned at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies. He has wide-ranging interests as it pertains to Africa policy, including wildlife and environmental protection, private sector-led growth strategies, countering terrorism and illicit economies, and conflict transformation.

Afua Riverson serves as the Digital Media Advisor for the Bureau of African Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, where she provides expert training in digital media, regional policies and trends to public diplomacy practitioners at U.S. Embassies across Africa. Prior to this role Afua has spent 7+ years at the Department advancing communications and science & technology policy. Afua is the daughter of Ghanaian immigrants and proudly celebrates her heritage. She obtained her bachelor's degree in Political Science from Virginia State University and her Master's degree from George Mason University in Public Policy.

James Rogers is currently an associate with the Risk Advisory Group’s Business Intelligence and Investigations team. He previously worked as a Graduate Fellow in McLarty Associates’ Africa Practice and interned in the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center. His interest in Africa policy began when he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mozambique from 2013 to 2015. He has undergraduate degrees in Government & Politics as well as Economics from the University of Maryland, and a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. He is fluent in Portuguese.

Alaina Rudnick is a Senior Program Associate at Freedom House working on programs in Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and a regional program focused on the African Growth and Opportunity Act. Within her programs she is fortunate enough to collaborate with colleagues around the world on issues including data-driven advocacy, capacity building, civil space and labor rights. She came to Freedom House from World Learning, where she focused on public diplomacy and capacity building programs focused on religion, journalism, and cross-cultural exchange. She holds a BA in International Studies and a MA in Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs from American University.

Jordan Schermerhorn is a Senior Research Associate at Georgetown University. Her research interests center on infectious disease detection and response, with a geographic emphasis on the Sahel and Horn of Africa. Ms. Schermerhorn has held long-term residential field postings in Northeast Nigeria, researching health and conflict indicators in areas inaccessible to humanitarian actors under Boko Haram control; Djibouti, where she managed a biological research laboratory in support of AFRICOM; and Chad, managing national disease surveillance data with the Guinea Worm Eradication Program. She holds an M.Sc. in Global Health from Duke University and a B.S. in Bioengineering from Rice University.

Rachel Sullivan is a Program Specialist in the United States Institute of Peace Africa Center, where she coordinates peacebuilding initiatives in the Central African Republic and the Sahel to respond to armed conflict. Rachel holds a Master's Degree in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University, a Graduate Certificate in Terrorism Analysis from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), and a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Chicago in Political Science and French Language & Literature.

Kyle Uhlmann is a Country Desk Officer at Peace Corps, focusing on the programs in Ethiopia, Namibia and Rwanda. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia and has also worked in Georgia (the country) and India. He has a dual bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Spanish from Depauw University and a master’s in International Conflict and Security from the University of Kent. Other interests include security, GIS, and modern African history.

Liz Wangu is a global citizen who grew up in Kenya, England and the United States in a multicultural, multilingual and international learning environment.

Liz currently works as an associate attorney in the Washington DC office of the global law firm, Clifford Chance LLP. Her practice focuses on international project and corporate finance and other cross-border development finance transactions. Liz previously worked at a social change consulting firm where she managed the launch of a new social venture serving communities of color. Before becoming an attorney, Liz worked in Johannesburg through the Princeton in Africa fellowship program – which she continues to support as the chair of the Alumni Community Committee of the Alumni Board of Directors, and prior to that, Liz worked at an anti-Apartheid firm in Cape Town championing legal advocacy and human rights campaigns.

Liz holds a J.D. from Duke University, with a term at the University of Hong Kong, a B.A. in African History from UNC-Chapel Hill, and a B.A. from the Hussman School of Media and Journalism within UNC-Chapel Hill. Liz also pursued an undergraduate independent study at the University of Cape Town, South Africa to learn about economic empowerment policies.

Paul Wasserman is a stabilization advisor in the Bureau of Conflict Stabilization Operations at the U.S. Department of State. His work advances the Global Fragility Act and the bureau’s response to great power competition. Within Africa, his portfolio includes Cameroon, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, and Sudan. Wasserman previously worked as a Presidential Management Fellow as a regional director for African affairs policy at the Department of Defense and at the U.S. African Development Foundation as an advisor for strategic initiatives in Francophone Africa. Previously, he worked as the research associate for Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski at CSIS. A recipient of the Schwarzman Scholarship, Wasserman received his master’s degree in global affairs from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. Mr. Wasserman graduated from Yale University with a B.A. with honors in history and a focus on Russian and East European studies. He speaks French, Mandarin, and Russian.