Who We Are

Founders

 

Yvonne Mburu, PhD

Co-Founder & CEO

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Yvonne is a scientist with over 10 years of experience in immunology and oncology. She is also a healthcare consultant with strong interests in evidence-based policymaking and strategic planning. A proud alumna of Precious Blood High School, Riruta, Yvonne started her university career as a Biology and Chemistry double major on a partial scholarship at York University in Toronto, Canada before moving to the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for her doctoral studies. Here, she studied the mechanisms of cancer metastasis and the role of chronic inflammation in tumor progression. At the completion of her PhD research, she won the inaugural Lloyd J. Old Memorial Award and a CRI-Irvington Fellowship from the Cancer Research Institute (New York) to undertake her post-doctoral studies at the Curie Institute in Paris, France on the immunotherapy of bladder cancer. Over her scientific career, Yvonne has extensively explored the immune system with respect to its dysfunction in diseases such as cancer.

Yvonne is passionate about advancing scientific innovations, optimizing healthcare resources, and promoting medical and science education. She founded this initiative to help bridge the gap between the vast professional resource in the diaspora and the enormous need for their skills and resources back on the African continent. Above all, she remains stubbornly optimistic that African expertise can and will solve Africa’s challenges.  

In her free time, she is an avid reader, loves running and dancing. She is fluent in English, French and Swahili, and is a self-confessed and unashamed nerd. @YMScientist

 

Elian Carsenat

Co-Founder & CTO

Elian Carsenat is a French computer scientist, engineer and entrepreneur. Elian is also founder of NamSor and co-founder of Gender Gap Grader, applying sociolinguistics to scientometrics@ElianCarsenat

 

Board & Advisory Committee

 

Liesl Riddle

Liesl Riddle is an associate professor of international business and international affairs at the George Washington University School of Business. She also is the co-director of GWSB’s OntheBoard program, a fellowship program designed to promote women on corporate boards.

Dr. Riddle has written extensively about diasporas and development, international entrepreneurship, and trade and investment promotion. Having examined diaspora investment and entrepreneurship for over 20 years, Dr. Riddle has conducted research among 16 different diaspora communities in the USA and Europe originating from countries of origin in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Middle East. She was a founding member and director of the university’s Diaspora Research Program. Dr. Riddle is a frequent guest speaker at the US Foreign Service Institute in the Near East North Africa Area Studies Program. @LieslRiddle

 

Kingsley Aikins

CEO, DiasporaMatters

Economics and Politics graduate of Trinity College, Dublin. Kingsley has spent over 30 years working in 6 countries in the areas of trade and investment, philanthropy, education, culture, tourism and sport. As CEO of a major international non-profit organisation for 17 years, he raised over a quarter of a billion dollars in 12 countries. Kingsley and his colleagues are now focusing on online / offline training in Networking, Philanthropy and Diaspora with corporations, governments and non profit organisations. @KingsleyAikins

 

Scientific & Ethics Committee

Harun Otieno

Cardiologue

Solomon Ofori-Acquah

Scientist

Sarah Lawan Gana

Member of Ethics Committee. Advisor on Health and post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). @SarahLawan

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