Alumni Directory

Akua Agyen website photoAkua Agyen 2014-2015 Fellow with International Rescue Committee (IRC), Tanzania Yale University Class of 2014

Akua’s academic interests include conflict studies, migration, and identity politics. At Yale, these interests led Akua to co-found Yale’s first African development conference and serve as Secretary General and later President of the organization. She also volunteered with the Yale Refugee Project to support a local refugee family in New Haven. Her passion for refugee work (and for travel) took Akua to Geneva, Switzerland where she researched the impact of conflict on refugee communities. During her semester abroad, Akua worked in Paris for the Human Rights League as a legal intern. While in Paris, Akua also interned with U.R.A.C.A, to provide social services to African immigrants in the city. Akua enjoys singing, trying new foods, and reading. She is so thankful for the opportunity to work, live, and learn in Tanzania; while there, she can’t wait to learn some Swahili and pick up some Tanzanian dance moves.

Ahmed_Nafees_WebsiteNafees Ahmed 2015-2016 Fellow with Village Enterprise, Kenya/Uganda Georgetown University Class of 2012

Nafees graduated from Georgetown University in 2012 with a degree in Government focusing on International Relations, a minor in French, and a certificate in Muslim-Christian Relations. She studied abroad in Turkey, Egypt, and France. While at Georgetown, she was a Manager at The Corp, the largest student-run business in the US, and hosted a radio show called Riot on the Radio. In the north of Pakistan, she interviewed micro-entrepreneurs for Sarhad Rural Support Program’s monitoring and evaluations team. She helped start-up Swat Relief Initiative, an NGO that helps victims of Taliban occupation of Swat, Pakistan. Upon graduation, Nafees worked as a Fellow at the United Nations Information Center. She then worked as a Senior Associate at Chemonics International, where she managed the last USAID project in Mongolia, which worked to increase the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises. She is excited about spending the year in rural Kenya and Uganda where she’ll be working in micro-grants.

Cynthia Akatugba 2004-2005 Fellow with Foundation for Sustainable Development, Uganda Princeton University Class of 2006

Alumni Update:

After graduating from Princeton University in 2006, Cynthia taught middle school math at YES Prep Public Schools in Houston, Texas for four years. In 2013, she graduated from The University of Texas School of Law. She is currently clerking for the Honorable Elaine D. Kaplan of The United States Court of Federal Claims.

Loriade Akin-Olugbade 2017-2018 Fellow with Population Services International, Senegal Wellesley College Class of 2014

Born in Washington DC to Nigerian and Cameroonian parents, Loriade has lived and/or worked in twelve countries on three continents, loves traveling, and speaks French fluently. At Wellesley College, she was a Davis United World College Scholar and Albright Fellow who shadowed physicians at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Ghana and joined the inaugural cohort of the CDC Undergraduate Public Health Scholar Program. She graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and French Cultural Studies then enrolled in the Health Systems program at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Public Health. After contributing to the final evaluation of the AIM-Health program in Tanzania for her mandatory practicum in early 2016, Loriade interviewed government officials and development partners for health in Kenya and Liberia for the WHO’s review of the Harmonization for Health in Africa initiative last summer. She is currently working for the WHO’s Regional Office for Africa as a Temporary Advisor. Ecstatic about this opportunity to gain more experience in Africa, Loriade looks forward to developing her technical and leadership skills as a member of PSI’s West and Central Africa team, discovering Senegal and learning Wollof during her PiAf fellowship.

Folakemi Akinola 2020-2021 Fellow with International Rescue Committee (IRC), Somalia (based in Kenya) University of Georgia Class of 2019

Folakemi was born and raised in Nigeria. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2019 with degrees in international affairs and French, subsequently working with the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Washington D.C. As the program assistant on NDI’s Cote d’Ivoire programs, she supported the development and in-country implementation of democratic governance and social cohesion programs. Before her time at NDI, she monitored the implementation of the cluster munition treaty as an intern with the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch; conducted research on food security policy in the Sahel as a Carl Vinson Institute Undergraduate Fellow; and studied abroad at Sciences Po, Paris. Building upon her academic and professional experiences, she hopes to further her understanding of the scope and challenges of sustainable humanitarian and development programs during her fellowship with IRC Somalia. In her free time, Folakemi enjoys experimental cooking and exploring new literary works.

Temi Akinola 2021-2022 Fellow with African School of Economics, Benin University of Virginia Class of 2020

Born and raised in Charlottesville, Virginia to Nigerian parents, Temi developed a unique insight on the transnational incidents that affect the African continent. As such, she devoted her personal and academic career toward addressing these circumstances especially as they relate to education and post-conflict reform. She sees the implementation of effective educational policy as the backbone for ensuring peace amongst Africa’s next generation. Temi holds a B.A. in global security and justice as well as French from the University of Virginia. While at UVa, Temi galvanized support for advocacy campaigns centered on girls’ education in Sub-Saharan Africa by working as Vice President of the University’s ONE campaign where she encouraged students to write petitions in support of international initiatives to local senators. During university, Temi worked with adult language learners as an ESL tutor through the International Rescue Committee. As a part of her studies, she conducted qualitative research on the relationship between international bodies like the ICC and their effect on human rights abuses on the continent. For her capstone thesis, she compiled data from over 100 different African news sources to assess the public response to international criminal intervention. Temi completed an internship in the U.S State Department’s Bureau of Human Rights, Labor, and Democracy where she conducted legal analysis on International Human Rights cases within several African nations. Temi is a 2020-2021 recipient of a Fulbright Grant to Côte d’Ivoire where she teaches English at an all-girls high school and conducts peer-tutoring programs for prospective university students. She looks forward to gaining a more holistic view on the educational needs within the region while supporting the mission of The African School of Economics.

Akornefa Akyea 2012-2013 Fellow with Olam International, Gabon Columbia University Class of 2012

Alumni Update:

Akornefa began working at Bates College as an Admission Counselor in 2014. She has had the opportunity to travel across the country for Bates and she is also the geoDean for Africa.

Fellow Bio:

Akornefa is from Madison, WI and studied Music while completing the premed track. At Columbia, she was a coordinator for the Multicultural Recruitment Committee and worked as an intern at the Undergraduate Admissions office at Columbia. She is also an accomplished flutist and performed with the Music Performance Program for students in Music Humanities classes, campus recitals and at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. As a member of the African Students Association, she wrote original songs for their annual showcase and also performed and choreographed for Orisha, a Pan- African Dance group. While in Gabon next year, Akornefa looks forward to perfecting her French speaking skills, having the opportunity to travel around Africa and starting a blog.

Esther Alaran 2022-2023 Fellow with African Leadership Academy, South Africa St. John's University Class of 2019

Esther Alaran is a first-generation Nigerian American born and raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Esther graduated from St. John’s University, Peter J. Tobin College of Business, with a degree in marketing and a double minor in finance and international studies. During her time at St. John’s University, she studied abroad in Italy, Spain, and France. In France, she took a “poverty and economic inequalities” course that educated her about the complexity of the global poverty issue which ignited a spark and desire for international development. Inspired by her experience abroad, she participated in St. John’s GLOBE program, a student-led global microfinance loan program, aimed to eliminate property one borrower at a time. She worked on the finance team where her team analyzed the borrower’s needs, ability to repay, and advocated for the approval of the loans. In 2019, she was selected as a GLOBE Fellow where she traveled to Guatemala with three other scholars to learn from local NGOs, volunteer, and meet potential borrowers. Upon graduation, she began her career working in the financial industry working with PNC Financial Bank in the Asset Management Developmental Program, a three year rotational program providing exposure to credit and cash management, estate planning and investments. During her last year of the program she worked in the PNC Private Bank COO office where she learned more about the strategies and initiatives driving the success of the business. Esther plans on utilizing her love of business and finance to work with African leaders to develop innovative solutions to transform the continent and its future leaders. 

Our History

In 1999, a group of Princeton alumni, faculty, and staff launched Princeton in Africa as an independent affiliate of Princeton University inspired by the University’s informal motto, “Princeton in the Nation’s Service and in the Service of All Nations.” In 2010, the program opened up to include graduates of any US accredited university in order to meet the growing demand from host organizations and allow more young professionals access to the unique opportunities afforded by PiAf. During the past 20 years, we have placed over 600 Fellows with more than 100 organizations in 36 countries, while developing more strategic partnerships across Africa and creating more opportunities for our alumni community to engage with the continent and with one another.


The International Rescue Committee has been so fortunate to have had a longstanding relationship with Princeton in Africa since our very first Fellows landed in Rwanda in 1999.  Whether it was Emily or Renee in 1999 or the 110 Fellows across 14 IRC countries over the years, we have been blessed by the relationship, the quality of the Fellows and the impact on what IRC does on the ground every single day.

Brian Johnson
Chief Human Resources Officer
International Rescue Committee

My fellowship has been the most impactful personal and professional development opportunity of my life. I wanted a post-college experience that would push my limits, expand my comfort zone, and help me discern the next steps in my career journey. And this has been the case.

Ryan Elliott
2014-15 Fellow
Baylor Pediatric AIDS Initiative in Lesotho

I can honestly say that this year has changed my life and my view of what’s possible for the future. Princeton in Africa isn’t just a one-year fellowship, it’s an introduction to a particular way of life and a new way of thinking about the world. I feel like so many doors are open now that I never would have considered before.

Katie Fackler
2010-11 Fellow
UN World Food Programme

My Princeton in Africa fellowship was everything I could have hoped for and much more. The myriad of experiences makes my head swim, and it has strengthened my desire to help underserved populations worldwide.

David Bartels
2006-2007 Fellow
Baylor Pediatric AIDS Initiative

Princeton in Africa was an invaluable experience for me. I learned an infinite amount through my work and through living in Uganda. I also realized that I want to continue working on African issues as long as I can.

Alexis Okeowo
2006-2007 Fellow
The New Vision

The International Rescue Committee’s experience with Princeton in Africa has been exceptional. Each Fellow brings excellent writing and analytical skills as well as unique interests and passions that enrich the program and the field office environment. We were so pleased we expanded the program to more field offices.

Susan Riehl
Human Resources, IRC

The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has been working in Africa for over 11 years through its Secure the Future program.  One common theme in all aspects of program implementation is having passionate, energetic individuals on the ground who can think outside the box and then transfer the skills for sustainability.  The Princeton In Africa Fellows have been a huge asset in this regard and our programs and patients have been better for it.

John Damonti
President, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation