A Conversation with the African Diaspora
In what ways can businesses better leverage the diasporic professional expertise and knowledge?
TRUE Africa reports in a recent article that there are over 30 million Africans spread across various countries around the world.
How do we bridge geography, context and shared ancestry to maximize this under-utilized human capital to empower Africa’s continued progress.
Elizabeth is an international speaker, executive coach, educator and consultant, leveraging her
distinguished 20-year career to help leaders and entrepreneurs increase their impact and reach their
During her career, she had been the turnaround CEO of an international nonprofit (one of only four
Nelson Mandela-endorsed organizations in the world); founded and run a boutique consulting firm;
and excelled in various corporate roles.
A member of the U.S. Speaker Program at the U.S. Department of State, she is also an international
public speaker who frequently addresses audiences about entrepreneurship, leadership,
philanthropy, digital storytelling and innovations facilitating social impact. Elizabeth is a career
change coach for those looking to pivot to create more impact; new executive leaders needing to
create results immediately; and aspiring entrepreneurs and founders seeking to more effectively
define and realize their purpose and that of their venture. She is also a facilitator for online
professional certificate courses in the Bank of America Institute for Women’s Entrepreneurship at
Cornell, that support women’s leaders and entrepreneurs.
As an adjunct faculty member at The Center for Global Affairs at NYU, she develops courses for
nonprofit leaders that enable them to leverage digital storytelling and platforms to more effectively
engage with their stakeholders. As a trainer, she has developed seminars, webinars and
masterclasses for organizations such as America Needs You; BNY Mellon; Business Women
Association of South Africa; Candid (formerly The Foundation Center); Cornell Black Entrepreneurs in
Training; ISOBRO; Kenya Association of Fundraising Professionals; McGraw-Hill Financial; Uganda
Women Entrepreneurs Association, Ltd.; Vital Voices Global Partnerships; UNICEF; WeWork; and
Women in Business Nigeria.
Organizations whose leaders she has advised, include: AMREF Health USA; Communities in Schools
of New Jersey; Cornell University School of Hotel Administration; Strathmore University; The North
Jersey Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure; United Nations International School; and United
Nations Development Programme.
As an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Cornell University, she helped aspiring entrepreneurs identify
and demonstrate their unique value propositions to prospective funders. She have also served as
Communications Chair of the invitation-only President’s Council of Cornell Women; a member of the
Advisory Board to the Cornell Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship; and was a founding
member of the United Nations International School Alumni Council.
Jackie Cureton is co-founder and Principal Consultant at Bright Insights Global (B.I.G), a boutique
women-owned consultancy formed out of a passion to partner with purpose driven organizations to
optimize business performance through the prism of inclusion, innovation and impact. B.I.G services
include, talent and inclusion strategies, innovation initiatives, organizational effectiveness and
business leadership and executive training and coaching as well as special projects. She has a
background in Human Capital Management, Organizational Effectiveness and Business Operations.
Prior to Bright Insights Global she worked at Thomson Reuters, for 20+ years where she enjoyed an
extensive corporate career and held leadership roles in Human resources as well as Business
Operations. Before leaving she was the Global Heard of HR, Go to Market Transformation for the
Global Growth Organization where she focused on Sales Effectiveness and Enablement for the
emerging markets and prior to that she was the Directory of People Strategy and Planning reporting
to the Chief People Officer where she worked closely with the People Leadership team and members
of the Executive Committee to ensure the talent strategy and annual goals were aligned with overall
company strategy. She has deep expertise in talent and inclusion Strategy, organizational
effectiveness, business strategy as well as program and project management. She is passionate
about Diversity Equity and Inclusion and served as Global Co-Chair for the company’s Black
Ms. Cureton was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya and started her working career at Barclays Bank
of Kenya before migrating to the US in the mid 90’s and speaks fluent Swahili. She is passionate
about Africa and maintains a strong network and connection to the continent. She believes that
Africa’s time is now and is passionate about being an enabler, partnering with forward thinking
progressive organizations in doing better business in Africa. She believes that culture, equity and
business are levers for profit and progress in business and in society.
Jackie is a board member of the Valhalla United Methodist Church serving on the Staff Parish
Committee. She also served on the national board of Generation Citizen an organization that works
to ensure that every student in the United States receives an effective action civics education, and
Twana Twitu a non-profit whose mission is to provide support and empowerment to Orphaned and
Vulnerable children in rural Kenya.
She lives in Westchester County, NY with her daughter, Tyra and holds an Executive MBA from
Melanie V. Eusebe
Director, Strategy & Consulting at Accenture and Founder Chair of the Black British Business Awards
Melanie is a management consultant with over 20 years experience leading in strategic transformation initiatives for global brands. While working at IBM and EY, Melanie specialised in organisational and operational strategy, working with companies to identify strategic priorities for revenue generation and the delivery of products and services for profitable growth.
Passionate about uncovering role models and inspiring a new generation of exceptional business leaders, Melanie Eusebe started the Black British Business Awards Awards in 2012 to reflect the outstanding achievements and contributions of black business people to the UK economy. For her, these awards will challenge outdated stereotypes and most importantly, be a vehicle for economic empowerment and community partnership.
After graduating from University of Toronto, Melanie gained a Masters in Philosophy (Ethics) from Birkbeck College at the University of London. Alongside being the Chair of the BBBAs, Melanie is currently a Professor at Hult International Business School with a focus on Leadership and Management Skills.
She is a regular speaker and facilitator known for her contribution to promoting business leadership skills, harnessing business talent and economic empowerment. She has delivered and participated in sessions for organisations such as BT, GE, IBM, EY, Virgin UCL and Cambridge and has featured in broadcast and publications such as Sky, BBC, Elle, The Telegraph, Red Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Forbes, The Times and the CBC.
Partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates, Leverage Finance, Cross Border, Africa, Results Driven
Mr. Turman primarily advises clients in connection with syndicated loans, out-of-court and Chapter 11 reorganizations, acquisition financings, leveraged buyouts, bridge loans, asset-backed loans, subscription facilities, receivables facilities, project financings, and other types of complex and traditional transactions. Also, Mr. Turman is providing leadership in the firm’s efforts to expand its capacity to service clients engaged in cross-border transactions involving the African continent.
His work with corporate clients has included representations of Aflac, El Pollo Loco, Norfolk Southern Corp., Pfizer and Spectra Energy. Institutional clients have included BlackRock, Credit Suisse and Wells Fargo. Additionally, Mr. Turman has been involved in a number of reorganizations and restructurings.
His work in Africa includes advising public and private entities, governments, parastatals, NGOs and individual investors. He has been involved in transactions in the retail, infrastructure, energy, oil and gas, mining, agribusiness, technology and banking spaces. Mr. Turman also has actively supported several charities on the African continent for over two decades.
Mr. Turman serves on the board of the United Way of New York City. He is a trustee for Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights. Mr. Turman has provided pro bono services for economic development activities. In 2013, he was named “Private Practitioner of the Year” by the Metropolitan Black Bar Association of New York City. In 2015, he was listed in Savoy Magazine as one of the “Most Influential Black Lawyers” in the United States. Mr. Turman remains very active in training and mentoring associates in the firm and attorneys of color across the legal profession.
Saidah Nash Carter
Saidah Nash Carter is a digital business native with a passion for value creation and the use of
technology to create new opportunity for business and for humanity. She began her career with
Reuters NewMedia during a period of profound digital transformation and went on to build and
launch some of the first online news services for early internet sensations like Yahoo! and AOL.
She thrives pushing the boundaries of corporate thinking and business development through
emerging technology, co-creation, and a focus on sustainability. She has an eye for identifying
opportunities to stretch businesses to new frontiers while remaining connected the company’s core
DNA and value proposition. This strength led her to design one of the first customer co-creation
programs in Thomson Reuters resulting in a new way of approaching partnership and IP ownership
and creating a pathway for richer collaboration with both customer and partner ecosystems.
As SVP- Africa Innovation, she launched Thomson Reuters data science and innovation lab in Cape
Town, one of seven innovation Labs globally and the only one in an emerging market. She is
particularly proud of her team’s work delivering Thomson Reuters successful Africa Startup
Challenge, Africa's first Intrapreneurship Conference, and her flagship initiative to bring financial
inclusion to Africa’s small scale farmers – Bankable Farmer.
Today she leads Bright Insights Global (BIG), a boutique consultancy and expert network committed
to helping companies do better business in Africa. BIG’s network expertise spans financial services,
media, private equity, law, talent management, digital product and business development. BIG was
formed out of a desire to design and accelerate forward thinking, purpose driven, globally
competitive organizations that will drive sustainable economic development across Africa.
She is also passionate about Africa’s Intrapraneur ecosystem and works to identify, connect and
empower these thought leaders inside large corporations who are working to leverage innovation,
inclusion and impact to make their companies more sustainable. She works in partnership with the
global League of Intrapreneurs (https://www.leagueofintrapreneurs.com/), as League Catalyst for
Most Recent Awards & Recognition: 2017 Inspiring 50 Women in Tech, United Nations 2018 Voices
of African Mothers Innovation Award, League of Intrapreneurs Global Fellow – 2019
VP, PM / BA at BNP Paribas
Seasoned Business Analyst with over a decade experience in the financial services industry; Proven track record of successful implementation of projects across wide range of trading-related business domain; Expert in soliciting requirements, translating them into the Use Cases and Functional Specifications, preparing test cases and conducting the UAT.