Obama Foundation hires Adewale, son of Nigerian immigrant, as president

Barack Obama
Barack Obama

Adewale “Wally” Adeyemo, son of a Nigerian immigrant, has been hired as the first president of the Obama Foundation.

Mr Adeyemo’s hire was announced on Thursday in Chicago, U.S. by the Obama Foundation.

Mr Adeyemo, whose parents migrated from Nigeria to the U.S in search of a better life, served the U.S government in 2015, under President Barack Obama, as the Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics and deputy director of the National Economic Council.

The foundation said Mr Adeyemo will manage its day-to-day operations, and help to implement its overall strategic goals and vision.

He will be working with the chairman of the board, Martin Nesbitt, and the CEO, David Simas.

“Wally is the ideal person to help lead the Foundation team as we continue to grow the impact of our global civic engagement programs and advance the Obama Presidential Center,” said Mr Nesbitt, in a statement announcing Mr Adeyemo’s hire.

“Given his executive experience in both the public and private sectors and previous service with President Obama, Wally is well positioned to help us continue to translate our sky-high ambitions into operational reality through daily leadership of our talented staff.”

Mr Simas said, also in the statement, that he is thrilled that Mr Adeyemo is joining the foundation and that he looks forward to working with him “to execute our mission to inspire, empower, and connect people to change their world”.

“Wally has led diverse teams at the highest levels of government, and the Foundation will benefit from his perspective and experience standing up new organizations,” he said.

The Obama Foundation, with nearly 200 staff, runs fellowship, scholarship, and leadership programmes in the U.S and in South Africa. It hopes to expand its programmes this year.

The foundation also runs the Obama Presidential Centre, Chicago, which is planned for opening in 2020.

Mr Adeyemo is a senior advisor to an American investment management corporation, BlackRock, with assets management worth 6.52 trillion USD and also to a U.S-based think tank, Center for Strategic and International Studies.

He is said to have “spent the majority of his career convening companies, governments, and organizations to move together toward achieving common goals”.

Mr Adeyemo’s hire is coming a few days after a British-Nigerian was appointed a minister in the United Kingdom.

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