Twenty-three creative global professionals from five distinct fields of innovation have been selected as the 2018 Eisenhower Innovation Fellows. These ascendant leaders from around the world will embark on a seven-week journey across the United States to engage in transformative exchanges of ideas with leading innovators in their fields.
The fellows include participants from Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda. Brigitha Faustin is founder and managing director of an agro-industrial business that processes cooking oil made from sunflower seeds in a manner that lowers the cost to consumers by eliminating middleman profits, and reducing post-harvest waste. Established in 2015; her company is currently partnering with ECOSTAR, an Italian virtual research-enterprise hub, and FLEDGE, a conscious company accelerator based in Seattle, to provide market and social supports to more than 610 local farmers while serving millions of low and middle-income consumers across Tanzania, a country of 55 million people.
Welcome to our 2018 Innovation Fellows. 23 Eisenhower Fellows from 21 countries representing the fields of education, design, energy/environment, health/life sciences and the future of work. Brigitha Faustin Chuwa (Tanzania '18) welcome to your #efjourney @BriFaustin pic.twitter.com/CqO0gG6Jds
— EisenhowerFellowship (@EF_Fellows) September 20, 2018
Rogito Nyangeri is the founder of Alterfina Limited, a receivables trading platform that provides on-demand financing to green companies as well as those operating in the healthcare and education industries. Prior to starting Alterfina, he was the Head of Strategy and Research at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), the sixth-largest stock exchange in Africa. While at the NSE, Nyangeri created the M-Akiba mobile bond in Kenya, a first-of-its kind financial instrument that enables retail investors to lend money directly to the government, bypassing the banks that have traditionally dominated public financing.
Emery Rubagenga is founder and CEO of Ishango Consulting, a Kigali-based firm that provides guidance to investors who want to navigate East Africa’s business ecosystem and regulatory requirements. Before he created Ishango, Rubagenga co-founded ROKA, one of Rwanda’s largest ore mining, processing and exporting companies.
During their fellowships, these mid-career international leaders develop concrete projects to create positive and sustainable change across professional disciplines, national borders and cultures after they return home. The 2018 Innovation Fellows will focus their projects in five areas: the future of work, education, health and life sciences, energy and the environment and design–the 21st Century design of new systems that ties together all the other fields.
The 23 Innovation Fellows are creative visionaries and disruptors who are working to make the world a better place.
Eisenhower Fellowships Chairman Robert M. Gates said the Innovation Fellows will apply what they learn from their peers and in their meetings with experts in their respective fields to maximize their potential and produce sustained impact long after their fellowships are completed.
“We welcome these exceptional leaders into the dynamic global network of Eisenhower Fellows around the world who are working to enhance international understanding and generate a positive impact in their countries,” said Gates, former U.S. Secretary of Defense.
“This remarkable group of change agents is committed to solving some of the most pressing global issues of our day,” said George de Lama, president of Eisenhower Fellowships. “Their Eisenhower fellowships will allow them to exchange ideas and best practices with leading American innovators and bring action-oriented solutions back to their communities.”
Now in its 65th year, Eisenhower Fellowships (EF) was founded as a birthday present to President Dwight Eisenhower from four Philadelphia business leaders his first year in the White House.