Africare Diversity: The Right People, the Right Places
January 24, 2014
It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Stephen D. Cashin, CEO of Pan African Capital Group, LLC, as Africare’s Chairman of the Board. Steve and his family have long been affiliated with Africare, and Steve has served as Africare’s Interim Board Chair since December 2012. At the end of last year, our board members enthusiastically decided to remove “Interim,” unanimously electing him to the Chairman of the Board position.
Newly appointed Africare Board Chairman Stephen D. Cashin [left] and Africare President Darius Mans [right]
at Africare's 2013 Bishop John T. Walker Memorial Dinner Gala. Photo: Stuart A. Watson Photography
Steve’s dedication to the people of Africa and to Africare’s mission is undeniable. His credentials are unparalleled, and his unique and varied experiences across Africa represent the diversity Africare knows is required to develop and deliver programs empowering communities throughout the continent. Steve Cashin is the ideal Board Chair to lead Africare into the future.
In his short tenure as Interim Chair, Steve was almost omnipresent, actively participating in Board activities, wider Africare functions and even Africare-sponsored community outreach events. His eagerness to engage fellow board members, senior leadership and staff, as well as his immunity to exhaustion, attune with the commitment of our team and provide an outstanding leadership example.
Steve also steers his remarkable energy with a singularly diverse combination of knowledge and experience. The son of a U.S. foreign diplomat, Steve was born in Libya, growing up in Libya, Ethiopia and Ghana until the age of 12. He began his career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania, and he has dedicated the majority of his professional life to working in partnership with governments, financial institutions and multi-national corporations to develop markets and infrastructure to spur growth and improve lives in Africa.
He worked for 12 years for Equator Bank, where he opened the bank’s Nairobi, Kenya office and developed the bank’s relationships in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. For the past 20 years, Steve has worked as an investor and advisor with a strong portfolio of investments across the continent in financial services, agribusiness, infrastructure, technology and more. He co-founded and was managing director of the Modern Africa Growth and Investment Company, LLC, bringing investment capital and financial expertise to support African businesses and international companies conducting business in Africa. Now, as CEO of Pan African Capital Group, LLC, which he founded in 2004, Steve invests in companies across the continent and advises companies from around the world on investments in infrastructure, natural resources and other sectors in Africa.
Steve’s passion for Africa extends beyond his professional ventures. He and his family are actively engaged in a wide range of philanthropic pursuits such as Jesuit initiatives supporting refugees, water initiatives in Kenya and numerous programs in Liberia. Steve was a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, focusing primarily on African financial markets, and he also currently sits on the Board of Visitors of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
The varied and extensive background upon which Steve draws is vital to Africare achieving its vision: working in partnership with African people to build sustainable, healthy and productive communities. Africa is vast and complex. The continent’s more than 50 countries are home to more than one billion individuals and thousands of ethnic groups, each generally possessing their own language, culture and history. As a community-facing organization working directly with local populations, it is crucial that Africare’s people mirror Africa’s tremendous diversity to successfully support project participants in overcoming the manifold challenges they face. Our field staff across 18 countries comprises approximately 1,200 employees, more than 97% of whom are African nationals. Our team’s unparalleled knowledge and cultural expertise are the foundation of the sustainability and success of our programs.
Our headquarters staff and leadership in Washington, D.C. also reflect this diversity, literally bringing hundreds of years of experience in Africa to the job and currently representing Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Togo, Uganda, France, Haiti and the United States of America.
With his expansive history – partnering with the private and public sectors across the length and breadth of Africa for decades – Steve Cashin could not be better suited to a senior leadership role at Africare. As Africare’s new Board Chair, Steve represents everything that we prize at Africare, everything that has made us successful for 44 years and everything that will propel us to greater success in the future.