NEW YORK – The Rockefeller Foundation today announced that William Asiko, former Executive Director of Grow Africa, has joined the Foundation as the Managing Director of the Africa regional office. In this role, William will oversee all Africa regional operations for the Foundation from the Nairobi office. William brings over three decades of international development experience spanning the private and public sectors.
“William’s expertise and deep relationships with civil society, private and public sector leaders across Africa make him an ideal person to lead our work in the Africa region,” said Steve VanRoekel, Chief Operating Officer at The Rockefeller Foundation. “He has also proven himself a results-oriented leader of international development through a number of high-impact public service roles. I am confident that he will be instrumental in helping us scale our impact from the Nairobi office.”
“I am honored to be leading The Rockefeller Foundation’s Africa regional office,” said William Asiko, Managing Director of The Rockefeller Foundation’s Africa Regional Office. “Many of the Foundation’s core programs, from health to food, have been instrumental in bettering the lives of communities across sub-Saharan Africa. I look forward to strengthening our existing partnerships in the region and unearthing new opportunities to grow the Foundation’s impact in Africa.”
William was previously Executive Director of Grow Africa, an innovative agricultural development partnership between the World Economic Forum, the African Union and NEPAD that works to accelerate private sector investment into African agriculture. Under his leadership, Grow Africa ran over 40 programs across 12 countries in Africa with an ambitious growth plan to take the Grow Africa model across all countries in Africa.
“William possesses strong managerial and diplomatic skills. He is an able, visionary and pragmatic leader and was a very effective spokesperson for Grow Africa. I wish him well in his new role at the Foundation.” said Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, CEO of the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD).
Prior to this role, William spent 20 years with The Coca-Cola Company working in several positions in the United States, United Kingdom, Kenya, Morocco and South Africa. In 2007, William was appointed President of The Coca- Cola Africa Foundation based in Johannesburg, South Africa, managing programs in more than 30 countries across Africa until May 2013.
“William is an effective leader and strategic thinker. He also has a practical approach to problem-solving and his broad network of relationships across Africa and beyond made him an insightful ambassador for The Coca-Cola Company and the Investment Climate Facility for Africa. I have no doubt that he will immediately position Rockefeller Foundation as a leading force in economic development activities around the continent and a critical partner of Governments and other development stakeholders.” said E. Neville Isdell Former Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company and former Co-Chair, Investment Climate Facility for Africa Board of Trustees.
William served in Tanzania as Chief Executive Officer of The Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF), a pan African development organization that works with African Governments to remove barriers to greater private sector investment in their countries. He spent five years as State Counsel in the Office of the Attorney General for Kenya, and was appointed by the President of the Republic of Togo to the International Investment Advisory Council of Togo to advise the Togolese Cabinet on investment and development matters.
William earned a law degree from the University of Nairobi in 1987 and an MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School in the United States in 2005.
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