A certified coach, speaker, and facilitator, Obenewa Amponsah specializes in the courageous conversations, the ones that aren’t always easy, but are necessary to move forward personally, professionally, and as a society. Whether this conversation is in the form of a one-on-one coaching, group trainings and workshops, or keynote addresses, Obenewa's programs create the conditions for learning, collaboration, and growth. In short, Obenewa enables change.
Obenewa is the Executive Director of Harvard University's Center for African Studies' Africa Office; an Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity; as well as a Life Coach; Public Speaker; and Consultant.
Her passion is supporting individuals, particularly women and non-profit executives—as they grow personally and professionally.
Of Ghanaian descent, Obenewa was born and raised in the Baltimore-Washington DC area. She holds an undergraduate degree from Boston University, with a major in international relations and a minor in history. Obenewa also holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.
Obenewa trained as a coach with Inner Life Skills and is a member of the Coaches and Mentors Association of South Africa.
Inspired by her own upbringing, Obenewa's personal and professional interests focus on fostering Pan African solutions to advance development in Africa and the Diaspora. Obenewa mentors young women and has served as an adviser to several non-profit initiatives.
Obenewa's work is informed by 19 years of professional experience in Africa and North America; where, in addition to other roles, Obenewa served as CEO of the Steve Biko Foundation, and as an Executive Director of the Harvard University Center for African Studies.
Beyond the non-profit and academic arenas, Obenewa has extensive experience in the private sector and development attained during her time as a Senior Consultant with GoodWorks International; and through her tenure at the African Presidential Archives & Research Center, an institution dedicated to chronicling democratic transitions in Africa.
In 2018 she founded Obenewa Amponsah & Associates, a training and development organization that supports personal, professional, and social change.
Obenewa is a Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Institute at Oxford University, an alumnae of the Atlantic Fellowship for Racial Equity, and a MasterCard Foundation Baobab Mentor. She also serves on the Advisory Boards of the US Chapter of the African Women’s Development Fund and the Moremi Institute—an African Women’s Leadership Development Initiative. She is a member of Coaches and Mentors South Africa; and a member of the International Coaching Federation.
Of Ghanaian descent, Obenewa was born and raised in the Baltimore-Washington DC area. She holds an undergraduate degree from Boston University and a master’s degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, where she is currently pursuing her doctorate in African Literature. Obenewa’s research focuses on the intellectual histories and activism of Black women.
On the personal front, Obenewa is a frequent traveller, collects African textiles, usually sings off key, and has rarely met a book she didn't like.
Partnership that makes a difference
While she’s always open to new ideas and special projects, Obenewa works mainly in four areas. Her services include speaking, coaching, facilitation, and training.
In each of these areas, Obenewa tailors her services to clients’ unique context and needs. Collaborating with an extensive network of associates, Obenewa is able to draw upon a wide variety of expertise to provide you with the knowledge and tools that you and your team can use to become more authentic, courageous, and productive.
FACILITATION & MODERATION
Great things can emerge when great minds come together; which is why one of Obenewa’s main offerings is the facilitation of meetings, retreats, seminars, and other gatherings. She works with clients to design content for bespoke forums that are high impact and result in the desired outcomes, whether those outcomes are strategy formulation, presenting innovative ideas, team building, conflict resolution or more.
In facilitating and moderating meetings panels and retreats, the aim is always to ensure that these conversations go beyond the typical talk-shop; and that your investment of time and attention result in conversations that truly count.
One thing that Obenewa loves is a good story. Most people do because they’ve experienced first-hand the power of a story to inform and inspire action.
If you’re looking for fresh insights and perspectives that will impact your audience, and help to enable change, consider inviting Obenewa to speak. Obenewa presents on topics related to: race, gender, and social justice; Africa’s past, present, and future; personal development, and more.
WORKSHOPS & TRAINING
Obenewa offers a number of trainings and workshops designed to build the management and leadership capacities of individuals, as well as teams; and to support organizations in becoming diverse, equitable, and inclusive spaces in which team members from all walks of life can thrive.
Obenewa regularly creates bespoke interventions for schools, non-profit institutions and private sector companies. Some of her most popular workshops focus on:
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Anti-Bias & Anti-Racism
Professional Development; and
In addition to training within organizations, OAA offers workshops and online courses for women focused on personal and professional development.
At its core, coaching is a solutions focused conversation designed to help an individual or team identify or clarify goals and objectives; to create strategies to achieve them; and to develop methods to overcome any obstacles they may encounter along the way.
Coaching is also an opportunity to go deeper, to explore different aspects of yourself and your team with a neutral party, who through questions you may not have thought of, can help you see things from a new perspective, to identify new avenues and new options. Whether the goal is a promotion, greater team cohesion, or more effective leadership skills, coaching can help your and your team make the impact you want in the world.
Working with clients internationally, Obenewa coaches groups and individuals in person and virtually.