Obenewa Amponsah is a certified coach, speaker, and facilitator whose work specializes in leading courageous conversations; the ones that aren’t always easy but are necessary to move forward personally, professionally, and as a society. Whether these conversations are in the form of one-on-one coaching, group trainings and workshops, or keynote addresses, Obenewa and her dynamic team of associates create the conditions for learning, collaboration, and growth.
Obenewa's work is informed by 20 years of professional experience in Africa and North America. Currently, she is the Managing Director of the Black Leadership Institute, a program of the Institute for Nonprofit Practice. Previously, 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 and an alumna of the Atlantic Fellowship for Racial Equity. She also serves on the boards of the US Chapter of the African Women’s Development Fund and the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund. She is 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 traveler, collects African textiles, usually sings off-key, and has rarely met a book she didn't like.