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Nigeria’s Paul Ojajuni, 23 others selected for AILA Fellowship Program


Paul Ojajuni, the Co-founder and Director of research and development at HACEY Health Initiative has been selected with 23 other individuals for the Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy (AILA) fellowship at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC, USA.

A group of 24 fellows are usually selected each year to address the intellectual, ethical, cultural and policy issues with the influence of their diversity. These questions are always central to effective leadership in the current world. Each fellow is given the opportunity to increase the significance of their professional skills and leadership potentials in a multicultural, cooperative and cross-sector environment.

Ojajuni currently leads the implementation of “Project Agbebi,” which is a maternal health project aimed at reducing pregnancy-related deaths in rural communities of the South-Western part of Nigeria. Preceding this, he had designed and led several development interventions funded by major international development organizations towards improving the health and productivity of underserved populations in Nigeria and Africa.


Ojajuni, who holds a M.P.H. (International) from the University of Leeds, UK is a certified programme manager and also an Obama Foundation Leader (Africa).

The AILA international fellows meet up and engage in an intensive and interactive week of seminars and experiential learning, with the aim of gaining a deeper understanding of the complex global dynamics and the moral restrictions they are faced with as leaders.

Reacting to his selection, Ojajuni said, “I am excited to join other development experts and policy makers from around the world as an Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy (AILA) fellow. This is a great opportunity for me to share my knowledge and experience, improve my strategic leadership skills as well as build strong relationships with other fellows.”

CSIS has accommodated over 210 AILA International Fellows from 49 countries since 2003. It has created a network of proactive and supportive alumni who continue to interact with one another on leadership strategies and contemporary issues.

Some of the professionals selected together with Ojajuni for the 2020 Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy include Dr. Elie Abouaoun, a director at the U.S. Institute for Peace (USIP), Tunisia and Dr. David Callaway, a professor of medicine at Atrium Health in Charlotte, North Carolina and member of the senior executive team for veterans and military affairs.

The other selected fellows are John Carlson, a government affairs and strategy professional in Japan; Jonathan Carter, a policy professional with a focus in national security; Polly Cegielski, a senior principal analyst in Tampa; Emily Follett, a counsellor for trade at the Australian Embassy in Washington, D.C. and Lauren Hershey who serves as a stabilization advisor with the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations at the Department of State.

The list also comprises individuals such as Koshi Igari, the senior Japan campaign manager at Bell; Dr. Ticora V. Jones, the director for the Center for Development Research in USAID; Atul Narayan, a senior investor at Bridgewater Associates and Karla Streegan Cruz who is a public policy strategist.


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