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Adewale “Wally” Adeyemo, who was deputy assistant to President Obama and deputy national security advisor for international economics under the Obama Presidency. He has been appointed as the first president of the Obama Foundation / Photo: Peterson Institute for International Economics

Obama Foundation appoints Nigerian-American as its first President

Adewale  “Wally” Adeyemo, who served the US government under President Barack Obama as the Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics, has been hired as the first president of the Obama Foundation.

Mr Adeyemo’s hire was announced last Thursday in Chicago by the Obama Foundation.

Adeyemo, whose parents migrated from Nigeria to the US in search of a better life, also served the US government as deputy director of the National Economic Council.

The foundation said Adeyemo would 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 Centre,” said Mr Nesbitt, in a statement announcing Adeyemo’s appointment.

“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.”

“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 US 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.

Adeyemo is a senior advisor to an American investment management corporation, Black Rock, with assets management worth 6.52 trillion USD, and also to a US-based think tank, Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

Collins Obi

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