Innocent Chukwuma, a globally-renowned advocate for human rights and good governance, as well as a leading scholar on police and criminal justice reform in West Africa, has been appointed to oversee all the work of the Ford Foundation in West Africa.
Specifically, he will oversee Ford’s work in Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, The Gambia, Mali, Guinea and Sierra Leone. The office is based in Lagos.
“Innocent is an absolutely ideal leader to continue the Ford Foundation’s long legacy of support for democratic participation, equal opportunity, and transparency throughout West Africa,” said Darren Walker, vice president for Education, Creativity and Free Expression at the foundation. “We couldn’t be more excited for him to assume this important leadership position at this moment of incredible potential for the region.”
Chukwuma will begin his new position in January 2013. He was selected after a broad international search.
Among his many credits, Chukwuma founded and led the CLEEN Foundation, a civil society group that promotes public safety, security and accessible justice in West Africa. He has also held various posts with the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), one of Nigeria’s first human rights organisations. He is the CEO and Chair of the Altus Alliance, a global network of nonprofits, and is a member of the International Society for Criminology.
He is on the board of many nonprofits and initiatives against crime and violence around the world. These include the International Centre for the Prevention of Crime (ICPC), African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF), Open Society Global Criminal Justice Fund and a member of the Africa Advisory Council of Human Rights Watch.
Ford said of the appointment: “Today, as West Africa is on the verge of a new era of peace and prosperity, the foundation is working with visionary leaders in civil society and government who are expanding participation in the democratic process and accelerating the pace of social change. We support efforts to engage government on behalf of the marginalized and underrepresented, and help civil society empower these communities.”
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