By Charles Ajunwa, 09.26.2010
The Tony Elumelu Foundation, established to promote and celebrate excellence in business management, entrepreneurship and leadership across Africa, has selected Dr. Wiebe Boer as its inaugural Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Boer’s role as the first CEO of the Foundation started on October 25, 2010.
He was recruited from the Rockefeller Foundation, one of the world’s leading charitable foundations with over 90 years of commitment to Africa, and with previous experience at McKinsey.
Boer brings both global and African experience to this inaugural role. He has an intimidating record, having joined the Rockefeller Foundation in early 2008 after three years as a consultant with McKinsey & Company Atlanta Office.
He had in addition to numerous engagements in the private sector in the United States, been in the team that worked with the government of Kenya to develop the economic pillar of Vision 2030, the country’s ambitious long term development strategy.
Prior to joining McKinsey, Boer spent two years in Mauritania managing a USAID funded food aid development project for World Vision.
As an Associate Director with the Rockefeller Foundations Africa Regional Office based in Nairobi, Kenya, the focus of Boer’s work has been across a broad portfolio including climate change, agricultural development, impact investing, China’s engagement with Africa, and impact outsourcing.
Born and raised in Jos, Nigeria to Dutch missionary parents, Boer earned a PhD in African History from Yale University and an undergraduate degree from Calvin College. While carrying out his dissertation research in Nigeria on the role of football in the construction of a Nigerian national identity Boer and a group of partners set up the first major ISP in central Nigeria. He is married to Joanna Bachew, a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, and together they have three young sons.
A statement from the foundation partly read: “We considered many extraordinary candidates from around the world during the search for the CEO,” said the Founder Tony Elumelu. “Wiebe brings with him very relevant institutional experience. Equally important, he shares our passion for the development of the continent and its people. Wiebe is the right CEO to lead the strategies we are developing to ensure that African business is represented and professionally equipped to compete in the global mainstream and contribute to Africa’s prosperity.
On his new appointment, Boer said: “Joining The Tony Elumelu Foundation is an honour and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help harness the economic and human potential of Africans to improve their lives,” adding “Tony Elumelu is a remarkable leader and entrepreneur who has served as a role model for a generation of Africans. I am thrilled to join Tony Elumelu and this team because I’m convinced that through this commitment to business leadership and entrepreneurial development, we can equip African business communities to radically transform the performance and efficiency of our economies. Our vision is for this foundation to be a benchmark for 21st century African philanthropy.”
The work of the Foundation, according to the former CEO of United Bank of Africa (UBA) Elumelu, is a significant opportunity for the future of Africa. In Wiebe we have chosen a leader who embodies the spirit of excellence, entrepreneurship and execution that The Tony Elumelu Foundation exemplifies,”, he said.