Uzodinma Iweala To Step Down As CEO Of The Africa Center In December 2024

The Africa Center today announced that Dr. Uzodinma Iweala will step down from his role of CEO in December 2024, after seven transformative years at the helm of the institution. Under Dr. Iweala’s leadership, The Africa Center evolved from a visual arts museum into an interdisciplinary center with an expanded mission that includes culture and policy programming that aims to change narratives and create new opportunities for Africa and the Diaspora.

With its newly expanded mission, The Africa Center at Aliko Dangote Hall first opened its doors to the public in 2019, swiftly becoming a thriving cultural hub in Harlem. The Center has since has produced more than 280 programs across its thematic areas of culture, policy, and business related to contemporary African life. The Center has welcomed more than 177,000 visitors to contemporary cultural exhibitions, art installations, performances, film screenings, author talks, policy forums, and a myriad of special events, including Harlem-Day celebrations. 

“After seven years of dedicated service to The Africa Center, I have decided that it is time to turn the page and write my next chapter,” Dr. Iweala said of his departure. “My journey at The Africa Center has been incredibly rewarding, not just professionally but personally, as our team has worked tirelessly to fulfill and expand our mission. I am proud of what we have accomplished together, from opening our doors to hosting programs and exhibitions centered on African people and the African Diaspora that may not have happened anywhere else but here. We’ve built a resilient and supportive community around our mission. I am confident that the Center is in a strong position to welcome new leadership to carry the institution to even greater heights.”

“The Board of Trustees is immensely grateful to Uzodinma Iweala for his visionary leadership, passion, and unwavering commitment to The Africa Center,” said Board Co-Chair Chelsea Clinton. Board Co-Chair Jendayi Frazer added that, “Uzodinma leaves behind a legacy of growth, innovation, and community engagement that will continue to inspire our work for years to come. We are committed to finding a successor who will build on his achievements and who will guide The Africa Center into its next phase of development as an institution and center for the exploration of contemporary African issues in New York City and across the globe.” 

Iweala’s notable accomplishments include creation of the Future Africa Forum, which initiated The Africa Center’s interdisciplinary approach to policy programming. That signature forum convenes heads of state, senior political officials, industry leaders, philanthropists, and luminaries in culture for discussions during the United Nations General Assembly. Iweala also brought The Africa Center into a trailblazing partnership with Africa No Filter and the University of Cape Town to develop the Global Media Index that provides a benchmark for the way Africa is covered in the media. Among the curatorial highlights, Iweala’s team partnered with Museum of Food and Drink to co-present the landmark exhibition African/American: Making the Nations Table and with Independent Curators International to co-present the exhibition States of Becoming that featured cutting-edge 17 African artists from the continent and Diaspora. 

Iweala worked closely with the Board of Trustees to negotiate a retirement of the museum’s debt, reinvigorate fundraising, jumpstart construction of its flagship Aliko Dangote Hall, and grow relations with its neighbors. Iweala established a solid foundation of support for the Center within Harlem, the greater New York City area, on the African continent, and within African Diasporic communities throughout the world.

Isaacson, Miller will conduct the search for The Africa Center’s next leader in concert with the organization’s Transition Committee that includes Trustees Temi Adeniji, Jim Bildner, Jamie Cooper, Jendayi Frazer, Meredith Marshall, and Ben Stein.

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