Advisory Board

Dr. David Owusu Ansah is Professor of History and Executive Director for Faculty Access and Inclusion at James Madison University in the United States where he also serves as a board member of the University’s Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Global Nonviolence. With undergraduate training at the University of Cape Coast, and graduate degree from McGill University in Canada and a Ph.D from Northwestern University in the United States, Dr. Owusu Ansah spent a year of post-graduate fellowship at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He has written extensively on Islam in Africa and also on the history of Ghana. Dr. Owusu- Ansah is the author of Islamic Talismanic Tradition in 19th Century Asante (1991), Islamic Learning, the State and Challenges of Education (with Abdulai Iddrisu and Mark Sey in 2013), and “ A Contested Half- Century : A Historical Overview of Ghana Since Independence, “ in Ivor Agyeman-Duah’s Pilgrims of the Night: Development Challenges and Opportunities in Africa (2011). Past president of the Ghana Studies Association, Dr. Owusu- Ansah is also the author of the widely referenced editions of the Ghana Historical Dictionary.

Gus Casely-Hayford

Currently a Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London and also at King’s College, London, Casely-Hayford a British curator and cultural historian lectures on world art at Sotheby’s, Goldsmith College and the University of Westminster and has been consultant to the United Nations, advised the Council for Culture of the Dutch and Norwegian Art Councils and was commissioned to develop the future audience vision for the galleries’ of the Tate family. He is also a Clore Fellow. He presented the BBC 2 and the BBC4 Lost Kingdoms of Africa, William Hogarth for Channel 4 in London as part of the TV Series, The Genius of British Art and hosted Cultural Show for BBC 2 in 2012.

A former Director of Arts Strategy for the Arts Council of England, he was also the Director of the largest Arts Season Africa 05 and in 2012 was a Jury of the National Open Art Competition of the UK and the National Portrait Gallery BP Portrait Award. In 2013 he was chair of the Caine Prize Judges and currently sits on the National Portrait Gallery Board of Trustees of UK.

Auma Obama

Born in post-colonial Kenya where she grew up and also had her early education, Auma served as Patron of the Storymoja Festival , East Africa’s biggest literary event in 2014. She is the author of : And Then Life Happens- A Memoir first published in German and later translated into English by Ross Benjamin in which she details growing up with her brother Barrack who would become the President of the United States. Auma previously taught at the University of Nairobi and at the Goethe-Institut having had most of her university education in Saarbrucken, Bayreuth and Berlin , Germany where she studied sociology and German and holds a PhD. Apart from promoting literary causes and adult education in East Africa and parts of the world, Auma who travels extensively around the world, also worked in development and was with CARE International in Kenya, an organization specializing in worldwide humanitarian work.

Ivor Agyeman-Duah

The Secretary to the Advisory Board.