Amini Kajunju is currently the executive director of the International University of Grand Bassam (IUGB) Foundation. The foundation is dedicated to empowering students and helping to procure the necessary financial, operational and academic resources to make IUGB, located in Cote d’Ivoire, a center of excellence for higher education in Africa.
Kajunju joins the foundation from Africa Integras, where she served as director of strategic partnerships. Africa Integras, a New York-based firm, invests in the development of education infrastructure, including academic facilities, student hostels and faculty housing at African universities including the University of Ghana and Kenyatta University.
Prior to her role with Africa Integras, Kajunju was the president and CEO of the Africa-America Institute (AAI), a New York-based non-profit dedicated to strengthening human capacity in Africa. She is the first African to serve at the helm of the oldest non-profit organization of its kind in the United States.
With 20 years of experience in entrepreneurial and economic development, she joined AAI from the Workshop in Business Opportunities (WIBO), a New York-based non-profit small business development service provider serving entrepreneurs in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, where she was executive director for 10 years.
Kajunju previously served in program positions at the International Executive Service Corps (IESC) and Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and conducted field research at the Center for Humanitarian Outreach & Intercultural Exchange and spent a summer at The Carter Presidential Center.
She was honored as “Advocate of the Year” at Applause Africa’s African Diaspora Awards 2013 and was named Forbes’ 20 Young Power Women in Africa 2013. She was on the Economics of Innovation Council of the World Economic Forum between 2015 to 2016. In 2013, she was featured on CNN’s African Voices. She sits on the board of Education Congo and Junior Achievement (JA) Africa.
In 2020, she was awarded WorldRemit Top 10 Influential Migrant Africans in the USA. In 2021, she completed a certificate from Harvard Edx, Africa Live: Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies. She was featured on BBC World Service Radio, Focus on Africa, 2021 analysis on US-Africa foreign policy.
She is a frequent international guest lecturer and panelist with engagements in Africa and in the USA that include Enterprise Development Center in Lagos at the Pan-Atlantic University, Global Education Skills Forum, African Diaspora Investment Symposium, Dartmouth, Yale, BYU, NYU, Harvard, Georgetown University, Columbia University, and U.S. International University-Africa (USIU) to name a few.
She holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in International Relations with an emphasis on economic development from Brigham Young University and a Masters degree in Public Administration with a concentration in finance and management from New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Amini speaks French and has a basic understanding of Kiswahili and Lingala.