1. Home
  2. Media centre
  3. ONE Campaign Announces Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli as New CEO

ONE Campaign Announces Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli as New CEO

WASHINGTON – After an extensive global search, the Board of The ONE Campaign has named Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli as its President and CEO. Nwuneli brings more than 25 years of international development experience, including deep expertise in agriculture and nutrition, social innovation, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and youth development in Africa. Nwuneli, a Nigerian/American citizen, succeeds Gayle Smith as CEO and will start with the organization on April 2, 2024. 

Nwuneli joins ONE, a non-partisan global advocacy organization, as the organization enters its 20th year and is making transformational strategic shifts to modernize its work to better address the interwoven complexities of economic crises, climate, and conflict which further exacerbate the poverty and health challenges in Africa. She will lead ONE’s efforts to better connect African countries to the sources of financing they need to develop and thrive as well as doubling down on efforts to develop policies to support their agency, build political champions and galvanize activists. 

ONE’s Board Chair Tom Freston said:

“I’m most thrilled to welcome Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli to The ONE Campaign. Ndidi is an incredibly accomplished professional, a passionate and successful leader with over 25 years of international development and advocacy experience. Throughout her life and career, Ndidi has been a steadfast advocate for the world’s poor, bringing great passion and expertise to everything she’s done. Her powerful communication skills, broad global experience and strong personal network make her a perfect leader for ONE at this pivotal moment. With Ndidi at the helm, I couldn’t be more confident that ONE will be leading the way in innovative new approaches to tackle the complex issues behind extreme poverty today.” 

ONE’s co-founder Bono said:

“ONE could not be getting a better present for its 20th birthday than Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli taking charge as its next President and CEO. An organization that focuses on Africa should be led by an African, that’s always been our dream, and Ndidi is the right person to take ONE into the future. She’s multilingual in the broadest sense; it’s not just languages she speaks across, but geographies and sectors too. She’s an entrepreneur and a policy wonk, an activist and a business leader who knows governments and business need to work together if we’re going to solve the biggest challenges facing our planet. I can’t wait to see what she and ONE’s brilliant policy wonks and political arm twisters are able to accomplish. In a world battling multiple fires, figuratively and literally, we need them now more than ever.” 

Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli said:

“I am committed to working with ONE’s dynamic team to lead the organization at this critical time in Africa’s history. This will require that we forge new local and global partnerships, galvanize catalytical and innovative financing to ensure healthy livelihoods for the most vulnerable, drive sustainable and equitable growth in Africa, and ensure transparency and accountability in the deployment of resources at every level. ONE’s cofounders, staff, and board have worked tirelessly over the past 20 years, and its mission has never been more important. I am honored to lead the organization in this next chapter of growth and impact.” 


Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli is an expert on food ecosystems, entrepreneurship, social innovation, and philanthropy. She has over 25 years of international development experience and is deeply involved in fostering impactful solutions in the global social innovation landscape, with a focus on Africa. Ndidi started her career at McKinsey & Company’s Chicago office and returned to Nigeria in 2000 to serve as the pioneer Executive Director of the FATE Foundation. She is the founder of LEAP Africa, a non-profit committed to developing dynamic, innovative and principled African leaders and African Food Changemakers, which provides support for African entrepreneurs to start and scale resilient and sustainable agribusinesses. She is also the co-founder of Sahel Consulting Agriculture & Nutrition Ltd. and AACE Foods Processing & Distribution Ltd

Ndidi serves on the boards of the Rockefeller Foundation, AGRA, Godrej Consumer Products Ltd. India, Stanbic IBTC Group, the Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum, and the Bridgespan Group. 

Ndidi holds an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree with honors from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She was a Senior Fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government at the Harvard Kennedy School, a visiting Scholar at Max Bell School of Public Policy at McGill University, an Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow, and an Eisenhower Fellow. 

Ndidi is a TED speaker, and has been recognized internationally for her contributions, including as a Schwab Fellow and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and receiving a National Honor by the Nigerian Government and the Harvard Business School Distinguished Alumni Award. She is also a published author on topics related to entrepreneurship, social innovation, and resilient agriculture businesses in Africa, including “Social Innovation in Africa: A Practical Guide for Scaling Impact,” and “Food Entrepreneurs in Africa: Scaling Resilient Agriculture Businesses,” and “Walking for God in the Marketplace.”

You can follow Ndidi on X here