Board Chair

A distinguished economist and public policy expert, Dr. Fred Olayele’s diverse career spans academia, government, finance, and international development. His research and practice focus on trade policy, innovation, FDI, urban policy, and inclusive development. He has published and shared best practices in these areas at numerous conferences and institutions around the world. He has consulted widely and advised many public and private organizations in Canada, United States, and Africa. A passionate teacher and public intellectual, Professor Olayele serves on various non-profit boards and supports many social causes.



With 20+ years of experience throughout the African continent, Ms. Dara Erck is a global health strategy specialist who believes in the strength of partnerships and innovative thinking for maximum impact. She was previously a consultant to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Global Health R&D Advocacy, and a Senior Advisor to Panorama, focusing on vaccines and implementation strategies. Ms. Erck is also a Senior Advisor to Made By Dyslexia (MBD), a nonprofit launched by Richard Branson. Prior to MBD, she served as Vice President, External Affairs at Aeras, a product development partnership focused on developing a tuberculosis vaccine. A graduate of Columbia University in New York, in addition to working in global health, she is passionate about government reform and democratization.



Modibo Toure has extensive experience in high-level government relations, development diplomacy, sensitive and complex negotiations and dialogue with national and regional entities, and building partnerships with both public and private sector institutions. In October 2018, Mr. Toure was appointed as Special Envoy of the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in charge of Shareholder Relations. From May 2016 to May 2018, he worked as UnderSecretaryGeneral and Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General, and Head of the UN Integrated Mission in Guinea Bissau. Mr. Toure was Minister in the Government of the Republic of Mali in charge of New Technologies, Telecommunications, and Post Office. In this capacity, he designed the policy, institutional, regulatory, and legal blueprint for the country’s digital agenda. He also successfully coordinated the restructuring and modernization of the telecoms sector and laid the foundation for universal access of Mali’s rural communities to new technologies.



Joshua Soloway draws on his experience and expertise as an entrepreneur, investment banker, and corporate finance attorney to provide clients with a multifaceted perspective. His practice focuses on advising middle-market, growth stage, and multinational companies and investors across a wide range of industries. He was formerly a partner at New York-based law firms Moses & Singer LLP, Barton LLP, and CKR Law. He began his legal career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP (PwC), where he advised institutional asset managers, financial institutions, and strategic investors on international tax, fund structuring, and investment transactions, as well as regulatory and compliance matters. Earlier in his career, Mr. Soloway founded a boutique Wall Street law firm that represented international investors and issuers on US capital markets activities. He is a frequent speaker on international business, startup and venture finance, energy, and impact investing.



Professor Ed Mabaya is a Research Professor in the Department of Global Development at Cornell University where his teaching, research, and outreach work focuses on economic development in Africa. He is a scholar and development practitioner with more than two decades of experience working on development, agribusiness value chains, and food security issues with a regional focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. From 2018 through June 2020, he was the Division Manager of Agribusiness Development at the African Development Bank where he managed continent-wide investments, partnerships, and research in support of the Feed Africa strategy. He is a public speaker who has presented several keynote talks.