The Board of Trustees of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has announced the appointment of Somachi Chris-Asoluka as the Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective March 1, 2023.
Chris-Asoluka, who was until her appointment the Director of Partnerships and Communications of the leading philanthropy that is empowering young African entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries, is stepping into the shoes of Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, who is retiring as CEO.
She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Saint Mary’s College of California with a BSc. in Economics and minor in Mathematics and received the Adam Smith award given to the highest performing graduating student in Economics.
Chris-Asoluka, who joined TEF in 2014, also has a Master’s Degree in International and Development Economics from Yale University and is a Deputy Champion of the World Economic Forum (WEF) EDISON Alliance.
Speaking on the appointment, Tony O. Elumelu, CFR, Chairman, TEF, stated: “This is an important time for the Foundation and Africa. Our work is ever more important, and our platform is demonstrating our ability to truly catalyse change. We are increasingly working with partners, to magnify our impact. Somachi’s experience in partnership development will be particularly relevant. Somachi, as Director of Partnerships & Communications, has demonstrated strong leadership, commitment, and strategic thinking, in delivering the Foundation’s mission to transform Africa. She is the perfect candidate to build on Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu’s impactful contribution.”
Somachi, who held several other leadership positions before her latest elevation said: “I am honoured to be appointed to lead the Foundation, particularly at a time when we will be launching a new Coalition for African Entrepreneurship. This Coalition will bring together global and African partners to significantly increase the impact created by TEF’s unique platform for identifying, mentoring, training and funding young African entrepreneurs. I look forward to working with the team, our partners, and all stakeholders to achieve our common goal of a strong, confident, self-reliant Africa. I am honoured to build on Ifeyinwa’s legacy and launch the Tony Elumelu Foundation into its next phase of impact.”
A stickler for excellence, she had worked with the Corporate Governance and Finance Division of Phillips Consulting Limited, served as a research assistant at the Lagos Business School (LBS) in 2013 and interned as a columnist with BusinessDay newspaper.
A woman of impact, Somachi is a member of the Financial Women’s Association, San Francisco, the Omicron Delta Epsilon (National Economics Honor Society, USA) and a fellow of the Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa – a programme that annually identifies and engages the top 25 most promising young women leaders on the continent.
All eyes are now on the Imo State, Nigeria born lady as she gets set to pilot the affairs of the iconic, trend setting, history making, continent transforming Tony Elumelu Foundation.