From its inception, beginning in October 2007, Museum Africa has sought out people of diverse backgrounds from throughout the world to serve on its Board of Directors. The people below reflect that kind of diversity. This includes volunteers, who come from places like Mumbai, India; San Francisco, California; Barcelona, Spain; and Kampala, Uganda.

Earl Smith - Chairman of the Board/Interim President

Earl founded Museum Africa in 2007 after researching and discovering that there were no institutions or organizations dedicated exclusively to bringing to light the immense achievements of ancient African civilizations.

Now retired, Earl formerly was a newsman at the Associated Press; assistant editor, JET magazine; and a columnist and copy editor for the Chicago Defender. An avid traveler, Earl was editor and publisher of Today's Traveler magazine. He co-authored the book "Only the Strong Survive: Memoirs of a Soul Survivor," which chronicles the life and times of legendary singer-turned-politician Jerry Butler. The book was published by Indiana University Press in October 2000, prompting one reviewer to write: "(The book) ...is the best celebrity book of the last five years."

Earl holds a BA degree in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago, a MA in Media Communications from Governors State University, and a MA in History from Chicago State University.

Sylvester Love - Board Member/Treasurer

Sylvester has more than fifteen years of experience in the snack and beverage industry, serving as controller and senior accountant, converting systems from manual to computerized, performing monthly closings of journals, reconciling bank accounts, making financial analyses, budgeting, and preparing corporate tax returns.

Aude Mathey - Board Member

Aude, a New Media and arts enthusiast, recently moved to Montreal, Canada, after living and working in Paris, France, for several years as a marketing and business development professional. Among other things, Aude participated in public relations and marketing campaigns for the city of Strasbourg’s application for the 2013 European Capital of Culture program. In 2008, she assisted in developing digital strategy in the foreshadowing of Soulages museum in Rodez as well as for the Festival de la Musique.

As Key Accounts Advertising Manager for the French regional newspaper Le Progrès, Aude further developed her skills in both business development and marketing. In January 2012, she joined Getty Images, the first photo agency and image bank, as an Account Manager.

Since 2007, Aude has been writing a blog on the best practices for cultural and PR professionals. In addition, she has written two books on virtual museums published by Le Manuscrit Editions in France.

Jeff Peltier - Board Member/Vice President

Jeff (pictured left with his wife Tracey) is the founder and owner of the TEaM Design family of companies including TEaM Residential, TEaM Commercial, TEaM Development and TEaM Property management. He is an architect licensed in Michigan, Arizona and Illinois, and also serves as an adjunct professor at Baker College in Flint and Owosso, Michigan. In addition, Jeff, who designed Museum Africa's future home, is also a licensed building inspector for the State of Michigan and serves on several panels for the city of Owosso including the planning and historic commissions.

Jeff holds a Masters degree in Architecture from Lawrence Technological University and has always had an interest in "reducing our footprint on the earth." He is accredited by the worlds largest sustainable design group, the USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council).

Lisa Smith - Board Member

Lisa currently is Head of Fundraising at People In Aid, a nonprofit organization based in London, United Kingdom. Prior to that, Lisa was Head of Fundraising for the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, also located in the U.K.

Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Lisa worked as a fundraiser for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra before moving to the U.K., where she has resided for the past four years. Prior to moving overseas, she was a Program Officer at CARE USA, handling Humanitarian Relief for CARE in Atlanta, GA.

Lisa holds a MSc in International Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. Lisa, who speaks fluent French, also holds a B.A. in French from Middlebury College in Vermont.

Shoshi Nerson Norman – Board Member

is the founder and director of Art with Dialogue in Yuvalim, Israel, where, among other things, she initiates, curates and organizes art exhibitions in public places to help others understand Israeli culture.

Since February 2008, Shoshi has been the Director of the Centre of Middle East and Religions Studies at the Galilee International Management Institute (GIMI) in Nahalal, Israel, preparing scheduled and tailor-made programs and study tours on the subjects of Middle East and Religions studies. In addition, she leads marketing strategies, keeps in contact with the center's graduates and potential clients, while instructing and guiding three other employees.

From February 2004 - January 2008, she was Program Director in the International Department at GIMI, as well as Assistant to the Director of the International Department.

Shoshi, the mother of four, has a curator diploma in Museum Studies from Tel Aviv University, Israel, and a B.A. in Art History from Haifa University, Israel.

Moussa Diallo – Board Member

Bass player, singer and composer, was born in Paris, France, brought up in Bamako, Mali, and currently resides in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is respected and admired worldwide not only for his achievements as a musician, but also for the warmth and gentleness that he projects.

In 1974, Moussa left Mali to seek opportunities in Copenhagen. The oldest son of a Danish mother and a Malian father had already earned his first musical experiences playing in various bands in Mali.

On his arrival in Denmark, the young bass player immediately captured the attention of the established Danish rock scene with his fierce, grooving and always convincing approach to his instrument. Throughout the '70s, '80s and '90s Moussa set fire to prominent Danish rock/fusion bands like Skunk Funk, Sneakers, and Savage Rose. He was also the leading rhythmical force behind famed singer Anne Linnet's revolutionary band Marquis de Sade in 1983. For fifteen years he was an indispensable member of renowned Danish singer/composer Hanne Boel’s group on stage as well as in the studio.

Moussa has released a number of solo albums -- all of them showing his diversified approach to music, such as "Diallo" (1992) and "Amora" (1997), where you can clearly sense his African roots. Since 1998 Moussa Diallo has concentrated on performing and recording his own compositions with a stronger focus on the African sounds, culminating in "The Kinkéliba Project," which brought together some of the best West African artists in Denmark with some of the country’s top musicians.

A live version of the Kinkèliba Project was released as Live at Copenhagen Jazzhouse (2001) and the album "Chiwara" in 2002. Chiwara earned Moussa a Danish World Music Award for best CD.

In 2001 Moussa made a documentary film about going back to his roots in Mali, together with filmmaker Robert Grant Larsen. The film is a musical meeting between Moussa and Malian musicians like Toumani Diabaté, Habib Koite, Amadou & Mariam and many more. The film "Kinkéliba - A Musical Journey" has been shown on both Danish and French TV. An English version of the film is also available.

The songs on "Chiwara" were inspired by the African story-telling tradition and the stories of Moussa's father. Moussa is also a great story teller who especially enjoys the young audience. When it is built, Museum Africa's main theater will be named the Moussa Diallo Children's Theater in his honor.

Emmanuel Ande Ivorgba – Board Member

Scholar, entrepreneur, social innovator and author, Emmanuel has made several contributions in the fields of philosophy, religion, education, youth empowerment, and interfaith dialogue.

Included among the many projects he coordinates from his home in Jos, Nigeria are:

  • Creative Minds International Academy, a Jos-based, government–approved Nursery, Primary and Secondary School facilitating values-based education, academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development;
  • Executive Director of the New Era Educational and Charitable Support Foundation (NEECS;
  • Global Study Circle Coordinator for The Dalai Lama Foundation;
  • Africa Program Director for Project Happiness, and
  • West Africa liaison for United Religions Initiative (URI).

Emmanuel had his primary, secondary and early tertiary education in Nigeria and later earned a Ph.D in Philosophy and Religion, specializing in Metaphysics and Comparative Religion at the University of Sedona. Emmanuel also studied and obtained a Certificate in Principles and Guidelines for UN Peacekeeping Operations from the Peace Operations Training Institute (POTI) as well a Certificate in Conflict Analysis at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Washington DC.

Emmanuel has written and published several articles, including “The Impact of HIV/AIDS on National Development” and “The Role of Private Educational Institutions in Contemporary Nigeria”, which appeared in the Inside Nigeria Magazine in 2005. He also presented a paper titled “Christian Religious Education for a Culture of Peace in Nigeria” at the April 2006 National Days of Interfaith Youth Program in Nigeria.

Ekua Andrea Agha – Board Member

Ekua was born in London to parents of Nigerian and Ghanaian heritage. A graduate of Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, she moved to New York City in 1989 and worked in the Public and Media Relations Department of multinational corporations American Telephone and Telegraph Company ( AT&T) and France Telecom, NY. She eventually wound up at Universal Television, where she worked as a researcher for the award-winning television series Law and Order.

Ekua returned to London in 2000 to pursue a Masters degree in French and Francophone Studies at the University of Westminster, London. Her passion for African history, film and literature is reflected in the themes of her doctoral thesis, which she is currently writing at The School of the Arts, Birkbeck College, University of London. Her research focuses on the works of the award-winning Senegalese playwright and filmmaker, Sembène Ousmane.

Ekua has given talks at various seminars and conferences relating to African development including, in 2009, presenting a paper at a conference on Neo-Imperialism in Post- Independence Africa: Definitions, Case Studies and Human Impacts organized by Yale University’s Council on African Studies. In 2011, she presented a paper at the conference on Women and Film in Africa: Overcoming Social Barriers organised by the Africa Media Centre, University of Westminster.

Ekua currently lectures at various colleges of higher education in London. She has a Post-graduate Certificate in Education from Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent, and recently incorporated Wednesday66Productions, a community film production company that aims to make socially useful films that focus on local communities and their histories. Ekua's passion for African art and illustrations can be seen in her illustrations in Tony Marinho’s book The Laterite Road: An African Travel Odyssey.

Kwasi Frimpong – Board Member

Kwasi is currently Vice President in the Corporate & Investment Banking Division of Citigroup in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In this role he is responsible for covering prominent multi-national corporations that are local affiliates of clients of Citi Corporate and Investment Banking Division, providing them access to the Bank’s broad spectrum of products and services.

Kwasi joined Citi in New York as part of the Global Engagement Management Associate Program. While there he spent a year on assignment in the Electronic Banking team in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Prior to joining Citi, Kwasi worked in the Financial Institutions Investment Banking group of Goldman Sachs & Co in New York, where he was awarded the prestigious Goldman Sachs MBA Fellowship in 2008. He also worked in Ghana for The Trust Bank Ghana Limited (now part of Ecobank) as an Account Manager covering corporate clients and as an Investment Officer managing Treasury securities at CDH Securities Limited.

Kwasi holds a B.A. in Economics from University of Ghana and an MBA Finance from Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, USA. He is married with a son.

Stéphanie Moutaque Osséni – Board Member

Stéphanie has a Post-graduate certificate in Islamic art history and archaeology at the University of Paris IV Sorbonne, where she also studied Arabic language, literature and civilization. She has participated in several excavations and archaeological surveys in Morocco and Syria.

After working with an expert in Islamic arts, she inventoried Islamic ceramics from North Africa in the Sèvres Museum (France). She joined museum section and creativity at UNESCO in July 2012 and worked in the Culture and Development section. She is currently a Board member of the NGO Heritage without Borders.

Dana Thomas – General Counsel

Dana, a Chicago native, recently moved to Los Angeles to practice law. She holds a Doctor of Law degree (JD) from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She is a graduate of Spelman College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Economics/Management and Organization.

More to come