President, Joe Biden, has appointed the co-founder and CEO of African fintech giant, Chipper Cash, Ham Serunjogi, as a member of the President’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement in the United States.
According to a statement released by the White House on Tuesday, Serunjogi is among the 12 inaugural members of the Council.
The establishment of the Council was a significant commitment announced by Vice President Harris on behalf of the Biden-Harris Administration during the 2022 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, aimed at enhancing dialogue between United States officials and the African Diaspora.
According to the statement, the African Diaspora in the United States, a rich and diverse community of African Americans and African immigrants, is foundational to the country’s 21st-century partnership with Africa.
It added that the community, which includes descendants of enslaved Black Americans, has long advocated for the prosperity of the African continent and its people, and strengthened the unique relationship between the United States and Africa.
The Council’s composition
Highlighting the criteria for the selection of the Council’s members, the White House in the statement said:
“In accordance with Executive Order 14089, the Advisory Council comprises up to 12 members appointed by the Secretary of State and represents the diversity of the African Diaspora from African American communities around the United States and African immigrant communities across the continent and the Caribbean.
“The Council’s members include individuals who have distinguished themselves in government, sports, creative industries, business, academia, social work, and faith-based activities. They will provide invaluable guidance to reinforce cultural, social, political, and economic ties between the U.S. and Africa, and promote trade, investment, and educational exchanges between the United States and Africa.”
Ham Serunjogi reacts
Reacting to the appointment via a post on his X handle, the Chipper Cash CEO, said:
“I am deeply moved and humbled to share that I have been appointed by Secretary of State Blinken, along with a very distinguished group of 11 other leaders, to serve on the Inaugural President’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement in the United States. I look forward to advising President Biden on a range of issues, including how to strengthen relations between Africa and the United States, promoting trade and investment, and building educational exchanges, among other issues.
“Serving in the Biden-Harris administration as a representative of the African Diaspora is a unique opportunity to give back to a country that has been so generous to me (a sentiment I know many others share) by working to strengthen the ties between the United States and African communities here in the US and in Africa. I look forward to working closely with President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Secretary Blinken. This is a responsibility and an honor I will deeply cherish forever.”
Other members of the Council as announced by the White House include Silvester Scott Beaman of Delaware (Chair) Mimi E. Alemayehou of Washington, D.C., (Member) Rosalind Brewer of Georgia, Viola Davis of Rhode Island, Helene D. Gayle of Georgia, Patrick Hubert Gaspard of New York, C.D. Glin of Connecticut, Osagie Imasogie of Pennsylvania, Almaz Negash of California, Chinenye Joy Ogwumike of Texas, and Kevin Young of Washington, D.C.