U.S. African Development Foundation Announces New Board Members

WASHINGTON, DC - June 7, 2016 – The U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) is pleased to announce the confirmations of three Members to the Board of Directors, including Board Chairman Jack Leslie, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Assistant Secretary of State (A/S) for African Affairs, and Linda Etim, USAID Assistant Administrator for Africa.


Mr. Leslie was sworn in as the U.S. African Development Foundation’s Chairman of the Board of Directors on Friday, June 3, 2016 at the U.S. Department of State by A/S Thomas-Greenfield, another recently confirmed Board member. Ms. Etim was also sworn in for a first term. Dr. John Agwunobi currently serves as Vice Chair, and Edward Brehm, Morgan Davis and Iqbal Paroo remain as members on the Board of Directors.


Mr. Leslie will continue to serve as Chairman, a position he has held since 2009, for a term expiring September 22, 2019. Mr. Leslie was confirmed by the Senate by unanimous consent on May 17, 2016. Under Mr. Leslie’s leadership, USADF has expanded its reach to serving the most marginalized populations in Africa, including hard to reach areas such as Lake Turkana in Kenya and the Sahel region of West Africa. “As we commemorate USADF’s 35th anniversary year, I am proud to lead an agency that truly promotes innovative, African-led solutions to end poverty. Africa is on the move, and we are proud to play a small part of Africa’s growth story,” Mr. Leslie said. As USADF Chairman, Mr. Leslie continues to highlight how Africa is on the rise.


From 2003-2008, Mr. Leslie served as a member and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors. He was appointed by President Obama in 2009 to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors of USADF. He is Chairman of Weber Shandwick, as well as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Chairman of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid, Chairman of the Ron Brown Scholar Program, former Chairman of the Board of USA for UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and a member of the Board of Advisors of the Duke Global Health Institute and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.


Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a member of the Career Foreign Service, has served as the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs since 2013. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield directs the Department of State’s Africa agenda on all U.S. policy toward sub-Saharan Africa. Thomas-Greenfield’s 34-year Foreign Service career includes an ambassadorship to Liberia (2008-2012), and foreign postings in Switzerland (at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations), Pakistan, Kenya, The Gambia, Nigeria and Jamaica.


Ms. Etim was sworn in as USAID’s Assistant Administrator for Africa in December 2015. Etim oversees more than $7 billion of assistance funding to 46 countries, in 29 regional and bilateral missions across sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to leading USAID’s Africa Bureau, Ms. Etim served as the deputy Assistant Administrator overseeing the United States’ development agenda in stabilizing fragile African states and promoting transformational development through various economic growth, democracy and transition initiatives. This includes promoting peace and security, democracy, good governance, agricultural development, free markets and economic integration, a sustainable environment, improved human health, education and the delivery of humanitarian assistance in times of need.