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Andrea A. Richter

Chief of Staff, Bureau of Energy Resources, U.S. Department of State

Andrea Richter serves as chief of staff to the special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs in the Bureau of Energy Resources (ENR) at the U.S. Department of State. 

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In this capacity, she oversees the day-to-day activities of the special envoy as ENR seeks to shape foreign policy engagement at the critical nexus of energy and national security. Richter has held numerous roles at the Department of State, including covering the United Nations and G8 portfolios for the under secretary for economic growth, energy, and the environment. She completed her bachelor’s at Hamline University and received her master’s in European studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

Ilham Ait Bouazza

Head of Partnerships, National Institute of Posts and Telecommunications, Morocco

Ilham Ait Bouazza is head of the partnerships department at the National Institute of Posts and Telecommunications in Rabat, Morocco.

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Previously, she worked as a program associate at the Multi Country Office of UN Women in Morocco, and as a trade advisor to the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Trade. She holds a master’s degree in customer relationship management from the National School of Business and Management of Settat in Morocco and a master’s degree in international development studies from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul. She is a board member of the Moroccan Association of Trade Advisers and the recipient of 2013 KOICA Global Leadership Award.

Teocah Arieal Ainka Dove

Director of Donors and Partnerships, Caribbean Youth Policy Institute

Teocah Dove’s work and research focuses on at-risk and vulnerable youth, women, and communities through designing and leading youth intervention, inclusion, and leadership programs.

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She serves as Trinidad and Tobago’s representative in the United Nations Development Program’s Caribbean Youth Think Tank, and as director of donors and partnerships with the Caribbean Youth Policy Institute. A Chevening Scholar, Dove holds degrees in media and communications from the University of Greenwich, and gender and international relations from the University of Bristol. In 2015, she received the Queen’s Young Leaders Award from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for 10 years of substantial commitment as a leader in youth and community development.

Felizia Bacall

Consultant, Bridgespan

Felizia Bacall is a consultant in Bridgespan’s Boston office. Before joining Bridgespan, she worked as research analyst for the Finance Department of the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC.

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She has also worked at the Millennium Challenge Corporation on their monitoring and evaluation team, and as a financial services associate at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Her most recent work was for Partners in Food Solutions in Kenya conducting the due diligence and ground work to open a lending facility for food producers in Africa. Bacall earned her MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and her bachelor’s in economics, politics, and global studies from Brandeis University. While at Tuck, Bacall was a fellow for the Center for Global Business and Government.

Linda Benkaiouche

Border Services Officer, Canada Border Services Agency

Linda Benkaiouche is a border services officer at the Canada Border Services Agency in Toronto, where she performs both immigration and customs functions.

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Prior to becoming a civil servant, she worked as a project manager focusing on innovative technology and market research. Her previous professional experience includes being a writer for a Minister’s Cabinet and conducting extensive research on maritime piracy while working for the Ministry of Defence. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and has a master’s degree in international affairs from Sciences Po Paris.

Julie Bleeker

Consultant, Private Investors for Africa

Julie Bleeker is a consultant for Private Investors for Africa (PIA), a business coalition of ethically like-minded companies aiming to tangibly contribute to the African continent’s inclusive economic and social development

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In this role, she leads missions to understand and improve the business climate in select African countries. Prior to this, Bleeker worked in Heineken International’s Africa/Middle East Department. Previous experience also includes work with Cape Town’s Institute for Justice and Reconciliation and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Good Governance Division. She holds a bachelor’s in social psychology from Utrecht University and a masters in political science from the University of Amsterdam.

Prince Boadu

CEO/Co-founder, MapTech Logistics Limited

Prince Boadu is CEO and co-founder of MapTech Logistics Limited, a company that uses the power of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to solve business problems by developing and deploying GIS based applications.

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He also founded EVOLV.Africa, a non-profit that empowers youth with entrepreneurship and leadership skills through seminars, conferences, and workshops. Boadu holds an master’s of business administration in logistics & supply chain management from KNUST-Kumasi and has worked as logistics and supply chain analyst for Clean Team Ghana. He is founding curator of TEDxKNUST, has been named a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, and was recently named as one of 30 under 30 emerging Ghanaians to watch by Future of Ghana Magazine.

Felipe Cala Buendía

Global Advocacy and Policy Advisor, ChildFund Alliance

Felipe Cala Buendía is currently the global advocacy and policy advisor for ChildFund Alliance, a worldwide child-focused development organization with $600 million in investments in programs for children in 58 countries.

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Prior to this, he was engaged in advocacy, communications, and policy work with different civil society organizations and the Colombian government. Cala Buendía has a Ph.D. in Latin American studies from Princeton University. His book Cultural Producers and Social Change in Latin America was launched by Palgrave Macmillan in 2014. His research has also been published by several academic journals, and by the United Nations, for which he co-authored a report on youth engagement and human rights.

Alexandru Cosmin Buteica

Operations Analyst, World Bank

Alexandru Cosmin Buteica is the operations analyst for the World Bank office in Romania, part of the Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice for Europe and Central Asia, focusing on climate change and sector investment lending programs.

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Prior to this, he worked in corporate banking for ING in Amsterdam as well as in Romania, focusing on corporate social responsibility, financial markets, and wealth management. Buteica received his master’s in global business and stakeholder management from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. He also studied in Santiago at the MBA program of Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile.

Eliot D. Pence

Director for Africa, McLarty Associates

Prior to joining McLarty Associates, Eliot Pence served as a director for the Whitaker Group, where he advised multinational companies on their strategies in over 20 markets throughout sub-Saharan Africa. 

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He was recognized by Diplomatic Courier as a Top 99 foreign policy leader and was selected by the Global Public Policy Institute as a Global Governance 2022 Fellow. Pence is also the founder of the software start-up Upstream Analytics and the Africa Expert Network (AXN). He is on the boards of the Africa Leadership Network, Market Atlas, and the Pan-African Network. He holds a master’s in international relations from Yale University and a bachelor’s from the University of Victoria.

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