President and Chief Executive Officer
Stephen Hayes is president and CEO of The Corporate Council on Africa. In his 15-year tenure as president, he has led CCA to become fully engaged in the most political and economic issues affecting commerce between the U.S. and Africa. These complex issues range from intricate trade legislation and small business development to workplace AIDS concerns. He promotes CCA’s mandate “to increase and support U.S.-Africa economic engagement,” while creating an organization that recognizes a “one world” concept through ongoing international forums. For his work at CCA, Hayes was awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce its highest award in 2008, The Ron Brown Award for International Leadership.
The international leadership qualifications of Hayes are lifelong, beginning with a 1968 volunteer stint in a Middle East refugee camp. Before coming to CCA, he was engaged in the international non-profit sector, including key positions in some of the world’s largest international non-profit organizations, including the World Alliance of YMCAs in Geneva, Switzerland, and the world’s largest student exchange organization, AFS International. Hayes founded in 1985 the American Center for International Leadership, which was funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, Ford Foundation and others.
A tireless advocate of U.S.-Africa trade, he has assembled a stellar multi-cultural, multinational staff at CCA. Hayes has traveled to more than 120 nations, underscoring his innate respect for peoples and cultures around the world. He has received other numerous awards for his international work and leadership ability. In 2008, the Africa Chamber of Commerce of the U.S. honored Hayes with its award for outstanding contribution to U.S.-Africa relations, following then U.S. Sen. Barack Obama as the previous recipient. In 2004, the Transnet Foundation, South Africa’s largest foundation, chaired by Bishop Tutu, presented him the coveted Phelophepa Humanitarian Award for his organization’s contributions to economic development in South Africa. Hayes was a principal founder of the Infant Formula Campaign, often popularly known as the “Nestle’s Boycott” the only successful global citizens’ campaign.
Vice President for International Programs
Ambassador Perry is vice president at The Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) where he manages CCA’s conferences and programs to foster understanding of business opportunities in Africa and to build relationships for future partnerships. He also served as managing editor of CCA’s March 2009 report The United States and Africa – Policy Recommendations from the American Private Sector for the Obama Administration. Ambassador Perry joined CCA in 2003 after a career in the U.S. Foreign Service at the Department of State, where he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of African Affairs (July 2001 – December 2002) following an assignment as U.S. Ambassador to the Central African Republic. Ambassador Perry is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Foreign Service Association, and has served on several NGO boards. He earned a B.A. in Political Science from Wittenberg University and a M.A. in International Relations from American University.
Director, U.S.-Africa Business Summit 2015
Carla Battle serves as Director of the U.S.-Africa Business Summit 2015 which will take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on November 2-5. Carla has more than 20 years of experience in executing conferences across multiple sectors, including managing events in east and southern Africa. Carla attended Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA.
Assistant to the CFO
Kelly serves as the assistant to the CFO and has provided CCA with accounting support services since April 2011. She has a proven track record of managing special accounting systems, including CCA's current USAID grant system and chart of accounts. She has managed the financial and regulatory compliance aspects and helped the program achieve successful monitoring of costs and financial progress. Kelly also assists with daily accounting tasks and helps interprets financial reports for the CFO. She earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 2010 from Virginia Commonwealth University and is well-versed in USAID cost accounting guidelines and financial and cash management.
Michaela serves as the Marketing Manager at CCA. She graduated Cum Laude from Loyola University Chicago with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Journalism and Political Science, and a minor in French Language. She also studied in Beijing, China at the University of International Business and Economics. Before joining CCA, Michaela worked in Marketing and Public Relations in Washington D.C., and as a journalist in Nigeria, West Africa.
Morayor Essieh serves as the Tourism Program Manager at CCA. Previously, she worked under the Power Africa/Trade Africa grant funded by USAID and before that, she held a position in CCA’s Special Events and Marketing Department. Morayor graduated from Loyola University New Orleans where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Relations, and a minor in Sociology. Prior to CCA, Morayor served as a social media and web strategist.
Biova Kabine leads CCA's Finance Program. A graduate of Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense in Paris, France with a B.A. in Foreign Languages and International Business, Biova also holds a Masters in International Affairs from Penn State University with a focus on economic development policies, South-South cooperation, and Africa as a regional specialization. He has conducted in-depth research into the role of African security forces in economic development and democracy building, Chinese oil policy in Africa, and how the Asian Tigers’ economies can serve as a blueprint for African nations. He is fluent in French, Spanish, Ewe and Fon.
Director, Human Resources & Executive Assistant to the President
Hillary Lucas serves as the Director of Human Resources and Executive Assistant to the CCA president. These positions showcase her wide-ranging experience from Senior Sales Manager for Kimpton hotels to Protocol Officer for the Clinton White House Administration. At the White House, she gained a seasoned ability to work with diverse people, coordinate complex activities, plan, develop and execute sensitive programs. A graduate of the University of Central Florida, Hillary brings a proven track record of managerial leadership and a commitment to the CCA cooperative U.S.-Africa bi-lateral efforts. Hillary's cross-cultural sensitivity uniquely qualifies her to work with CCA's African membership and support its president as a management team member.
Program Manager, East Africa
Sonia Mfasoni serves as small/ medium business linkages program manager for CCA’s USAID-funded U.S.-Africa Business Center. She first joined CCA as an intern in 2008, working closely with the human resources director. In her current role with the USABC, she works closely with American small and medium size enterprises eager to explore business opportunities in Africa. She holds a Bachelors of Science degree in psychology, with an international relations minor, from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. After a temporary stint working in human resources at Erickson Living, she received a dual graduate degree Human Resources Management and Organizational Behavior from the University of Maryland.
Priscilla serves as the Director for CCA’s ICT Program and Working Group. She is also the CCA contact person for relations with African Embassies in Washington. Priscilla holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Systems Engineering from the University of Warwick (UK) as well as an MBA from Wits Business School (South Africa). She is also a Chartered Management Accountant.
Akaego serves as CCA’s Director of Membership providing member services to the organization’s member companies.
Before taking on the membership role, Akaego served as head of Legal and Corporate Affairs at EAN Aviation, a business aviation company which operates the first full service FBO and jet maintenance facility in Lagos, Nigeria. In helping to build the business, she served in various capacities including client relationship management, business development, event and conference management, and all legal aspects of the business.
Akaego obtained an LLB in Law from the University of Kent and LLM in International Commercial Law from University College London and is qualified to practice law in Nigeria and the United Kingdom.
Chief Financial Officer
Ray joined CCA in January 2013 and represents the organization on financial matters. He serves on the senior management team and provides financial support to the Board of Directors and related committees. He also provides leadership and technical guidance to staff on accounting, budgetary and treasury functions. His background includes more than thirty years of solid experience working with governmental and non-profit organizations as well as major corporations in the private sector. He graduated from University of New Haven, Connecticut receiving a BS degree in Accounting and a MBA in Finance. He also has a certificate in Academy for Excellence in Local Governance from the University of Maryland Institute for Governmental Service.
Vivienne Sequeira serves as Director of CCA's Infrastructure Program and Working Group. She also manages the Democratic Republic of the Congo working group started in 2009. Vivienne’s expertise includes infrastructure and security in the Great Lakes region and she has more than 10 years' experience in African related issues. Vivienne's expertise also includes Francophone prose and poetry from the Caribbean, Quebec and Africa. She holds Master’s degrees from Auburn and Princeton Universities and a Bachelor’s from Rollins College.
Patricia Sheikh leads CCA's Agribusiness program, providing leadership for the agribusiness community. Pat served as Deputy Administrator for the Office of Capacity Building and Development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service. In that capacity, she oversaw all global agricultural development and trade programs. She was also responsible for directing U.S. foreign policy objectives as they related to foreign assistance, including food aid.