Staff

President and CEO

Florizelle (Florie) Liser is the third President and CEO of CCA. Ms. Liser brings expertise and an extensive network on trade and Africa to her new role, along with a strong track record of working with the private sector to translate policy into action. She is the first woman to lead the Council since its founding in 1993.

Ms. Liser joined CCA from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), where she was the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa since 2003. At USTR, she led trade and investment policy towards 49 sub-Saharan African nations and oversaw implementation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Previously, Ms. Liser served as Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Industry, Market Access, and Telecommunications from 2000-2003. She also served as Senior Trade Policy Advisor in the Office of International Transportation and Trade at the Department of Transportation from 1987-2000; worked as a Director in USTR’s Office of GATT Affairs, and served as an Associate Fellow at the Overseas Development Council (ODC) from 1975-1980.

Currently, Ms. Liser is a co-chair of the Advisory Council for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). Previously, she was a member of the Sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee for the Export-Import Bank (EXIM) from 2019-2021 and served as a Board member for the Women in International Trade (WIIT). Ms. Liser holds a M.A. in International Economics from Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a B.A. in International Relations and Political Science from Dickinson College.

Ms. Liser brings expertise and an extensive network on trade and Africa to her role, along with a strong track record of working with the private sector to translate policy into action.

Human Resources & Chief of Staff to the President

A dynamic and highly regarded, culturally sensitive team leader, with exceptional skills in strategic planning, organizational development, and human resource management, Ms. Lucas has spent the past 20 years managing complex interactions and engagements. Ms. Lucas is currently the Human Resources Director and Chief of Staff for the President of the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) where her responsibilities include, but are not limited to, recruiting and staffing, performance management and improvement systems, regulatory compliance, employee orientation, development, and training, and compensation and benefits administration, in addition to employee safety, welfare, wellness health, and counseling services. Ms. Lucas develops and manages Human Resources policies and programs for the CCA. 

Native of Washington, D.C., Ms. Lucas received her B.S. from the University of Central Florida. She has earned a number of honors and awards and holds membership in several service and civic organizations.

Email: hlucas@corporatecouncilonafrica.com

Director, Member Relations

Melton brings over a decade of expert knowledge on business development, aligning membership strategies and priorities. With an extensive background in the banking and finance industries, Melton has led numerous campaigns that have yielded positive results. 

In his current role, Melton serves as the Director of Member Relations as the initial point of contact for current and future members of the Corporate Council on Africa. Responsible for assessing and creating valued opportunities for growth for Corporate Council on Africa and its members.

Melton, has leveraged his education in business management and finance to generate strong relationships with Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) member companies, government partners, and strategic partners to create successful long-lasting outcomes.

Email: mrembert@corporatecouncilonafrica.com

Program Director

Biova has over a decade experience as a creative and expert program manager with Corporate Council on Africa. During this period, Biova has worked on or led trade missions to Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Kenya, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Mauritius and Madagascar. Biova has a proven track record of planning and executing multi-sectoral conferences convening senior U.S. and African government and private sector officials such as the U.S.-Africa Infrastructure Conference in South Africa, the African Finance Forum in Washington DC and New York, and CCA’s signature event, the U.S.-Africa Business Summit, in Ethiopia, Washington, DC and Mozambique. Biova also serves as the key CCA point of contact for African government officials including African diplomatic corps in Washington, DC and offices of Minsters in capitals.  His Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Languages and International Business from Nanterre University, and his Master of International Affairs from Pennsylvania State have helped him develop his communication skills.  

Email: bkabine@corporatecouncilonafrica.com 

Director, Conferences & Events

Jo Melissa is a Certified Meeting Professional with over fifteen years of experience in the Hospitality and Meetings Industry. She started her meeting planning career in 2006 when she migrated to the United States from the Philippines. She has worked for top luxury hotels in the DC Metro Region, such as The Hay-Adams Hotel, The St. Regis Hotel and W Hotel. Prior to joining CCA, Jo Melissa worked at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) where she had eleven years of experience in planning high-level events (Heads of States, Foreign Ministers and Senior government officials) and has an in-depth knowledge of Meeting Protocol.

Jo Melissa is also a Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP), a member of Society of Government Meeting Professionals and Meeting Professionals International Potomac Chapter.

Email: jmgonzalez@corporatecouncilonafrica.com

Program Manager

Morayor is a dedicated strategic relationship management professional with exceptional communication, planning and implementation skills. She is proficient in event management and coalition building and has a passion for establishing and cultivating stakeholder relationships and strategic partnerships. In her current role, Morayor serves as the Corporate Council on Africa’s Program Manager, responsible for the strategic direction, planning and implementation of CCA’s health focused activities. Morayor has 7+ years of experience in facilitating connections between business leaders, government officials and strategic partners interested in investing in emerging markets. Morayor has leveraged her education in Mass Communications to establish strong relationships with CCA member companies, government partners and other strategic partners to deliver innovative, informative, and high-profile activations including special events, trade missions, conferences and high-level dialogues in the US and Africa.   

She has been at the forefront of connecting and matchmaking country needs and objectives with private sector and/or public sector solutions and investment. Examples of this include her leadership in CCA’s cooperative agreement on Power Africa and Trade Africa where she created and managed CCA’s web portal that engaged 10,000+ users to facilitate transactions related to the U.S. Governments Power Africa and Trade Africa initiatives. Morayor is currently leading CCA’s US-Africa Health Security and Resilience Initiative which is a two-year initiative funded by Pfizer and Gilead to convene industry leaders and government representatives to collaborate on solutions that improve health outcomes in Africa through increased private sector engagements.   

Email: messieh@corporatecouncilonafrica.com

Senior Accountant

Kelly has been working at Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) as the Senior Accountant since May 2017 and with CCA since April 2010 in the Accounting department. Kelly received her bachelor’s degree in accounting in December 2010 from Virginia Commonwealth University. 

Kelly keeps track of the organization’s financials and accounting reports.  

Email: kburton@corporatecouncilonafrica.com

Marketing Director

Stacey fully understands the nature of marketing and how it can support and drive a business forward. She is a creative minded marketer with over 16 years of experience, who can drive and execute complex marketing campaigns that will increase a products visibility across a wide audience.  

Stacey’s diverse skills has provided her with the opportunity to work in multiple industries such as education, hospitality, health and wellness and architecture. Throughout that time, she has developed and lead teams to define and deliver differentiated brand experiences that grow market share and build customer loyalty.  

A proud graduate of Duquesne University and the University of Maryland Global Campus, Stacey holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and International Business and a M.B.A.  

Email: spompey@corporatecouncilonafrica.com 

Program Director, Ethiopia and African Union

Asfaw, the East Africa Director at the Corporate Council on Africa, is a creative business development professional with over 18 years of senior-level business development experience in the U.S. and East Africa.   Asfaw provides investment promotions and facilitations events, government relations, market-entry, and business development services for clients in Ethiopia and East Africa.  He has done extensive work on the Ethiopian industry park, energy, consumer goods, and telecommunication infrastructure sector. In addition, he has designed and implemented successful market entry projects for his clients.

Prior to moving to Ethiopia in 2009, Asfaw was a Director of Member Services at the Corporate Council on Africa in Washington D.C. From 2005 - 2009 Asfaw was a member of the senior management team of the U.S. - Africa Business Summit. Among other responsibilities, Asfaw co-created Corporate Social Responsibility in Africa initiative to identify and forge a relationship with multinational companies for Public-Private Partnership in Africa.

Asfaw is highly skilled in international strategic business planning with demonstrated success in business development with specialized insights into the business, cultural, economic, and political conditions necessary to achieve success in East Africa. Asfaw’s success derives from its deep understanding of how to get things done in Ethiopia.

Asfaw has significant U.S. - Africa trade policy and investment promotion experience. Over the years, Asfaw has organized senior-level investment events, including President Barack Obama’s 2013 Presidential address to African CEO’s in Tanzania.

Email: aalemayehu@corporatecouncilonafrica.com

Program Director, West Africa

Ekenem Isichei is currently a director with the Corporate Council on Africa He has distinctively served different local and international clients such as BG Group, BP North America, and Marathon oil, Accenture, Chevron, Procter and Gamble, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Chemonics, Unilever, ABT Associates, Palladium etc. He has lived and worked in Europe, Nigeria, United States, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago serving in various key management and leadership roles.  

He has a proven track record of delivering outstanding results and advisory services in the areas of Government relations (Public Affairs), strategy, trade and Investments, compliance, business performance, turnaround management, gap analysis, risk and project management across different sectors.   

He consistently interfaces with several key stakeholders in the public and private sector with the aim of improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria and across West Africa. He is currently a member of the Presidential council on ICT and creativity.  

Ekenem has facilitated several trade missions to Nigeria in the finance, health, infrastructure, security, Avaition sectors. These led to stronger working relationships and deals between the US and Nigeria. Ekenem has also facilitated reverse trade mission for Nigerian key stakeholders which included platforms for the Vice President of Nigeria, Nigerian Governors, ministers, Nigerian Investment Promotion council and private sector stakeholders. Ekenem also organized and facilitated meetings, investment forums, seminars and programs designed to build technical capacity, encourage supply chain opportunities and improve the trade and investment business climate. He has spoken on several panels in Nigeria and across Africa on topics around the economic development, ICT, Trade, Investments, Health, Agriculture, etc. 

Email: eisichei@corporatecouncilonafrica.com

Senior Advisor

Richard “Carl” Paschall, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, joined the Corporate Council on Africa in May 2022 as Senior Advisor. Mr. Paschall recently concluded an assignment as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of The Gambia, where he led efforts to expanded U.S. government and private sector support to The Gambia’s democratic reform efforts launched in 2017. This included negotiation and conclusion of a Millennium Challenge Corporation Threshold Program Agreement and USAID Development Objectives Agreement, and expansion of other bilateral programs aimed at supporting economic revitalization and entrepreneurialism, justice and security sector reform, and other elements of democratic governance.  Mr. Paschall has also held senior leadership positions in the Department of State’s Africa Bureau and Counterterrorism Bureau, as a senior diplomatic advisor to a U.S. military command, and in overseas posts in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.  

A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Mr. Paschall is a die-hard Tar Heel fan, and enjoys cycling, hiking, hunting, traveling, and global gastronomy. He is married to Jane Ellen Miller Paschall, a retired Colonel in the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps and former USAID Foreign Service Legal Advisor. 

Email: cpaschall@corporatecouncilonafrica.com 

Senior Advisor

Laird Treiber is a recognized leader and active consultant on international trade and investment issues.  He was previously a career member of the Senior Foreign Service in the State Department, where he worked as an Economic Officer for more than 30 years on the full range of international economic and commercial issues, with a specific focus on identifying and resolving trade and investment barriers.  Laird has extensive experience in promoting trade and investment ties with Africa, including successfully resolving AGOA related trade disputes and engaging U.S. companies on the opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.  He worked most recently as the State Department’s Senior Liaison for Prosper Africa, the Administration’s program to promote trade and investment between the U.S. and Africa. Laird previously served as the Economic Minister Counselor at the U.S. Embassies in South Africa, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, as well as earlier tours in Poland, Mexico and Washington. From 2018-19, the State Department detailed Laird as the Senior Adviser to the President of the Corporate Council on Africa, where he helped hold two major international events bringing U.S. and African companies together with senior government leaders. Laird has worked extensively on issues related to energy, environment and climate change, finance, trade, Intellectual Property Rights and aviation. Laird is proficient in Turkish, Spanish and some Polish. Laird received a BS from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, an MIA from Columbia and a Masters of Security Studies from National Defense University.  Laird is also a senior associate (non-resident) in the CSIS Africa Program. 

Email: ltreiber@corporaratecouncilonafrica.com

Senior Advisor

Aruna Amirthanayagam is a senior Foreign Service Officer, rank of Minister Counselor, with 32 years of experience in the State Department. Since October 2021 he has been detailed to the Corporate Council on Africa as a Senior Advisor. He has served in Washington as well as overseas in Haiti, the Philippines, India, Ethiopia, Kenya, Singapore, Bolivia, Barbados and Nigeria. His leadership roles, as Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) in Barbados, Charge d’Affaires and Acting DCM in Bolivia and Counselor for Public Affairs in Nigeria and Singapore has given him extensive management experience. His tours as an Econ/Commercial Officer in Haiti, the Philippines, Washington (at USTR) and India have given him strong reporting and advocacy skills as well as excellent background on economic and development issues. 18 years of public diplomacy experience has sharpened his skills in managing people and programs. Aruna has a BA in International Relations from Stanford and an MBA from Cornell, along with seven years of private sector experience with IBM, Bank of America and the International Executive Service Corps. 

Email: aruna@corporatecouncilonafrica.com 

CCA'S TEAM ON-THE-GROUND

One primary way we support members is by providing 'on-the-ground' support on the continent.

Program Director, Ethiopia and African Union
Program Director, West Africa