Lawyer Kofi Appenteng was born on June 14, 1957 in Accra, Ghana to Felicia and Samuel Appenteng. He attended Gateway School and Aldenham School in England and later immigrated to the United States in 1977, where he attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. There, he was a member of the men’s soccer team and participated in track and field. Appenteng received his B.A. degree from Wesleyan University in 1981 and his J.D. degree from Columbia University School of Law in New York City in 1984.
After graduation, Appenteng was hired by the law firm of Webster & Sheffield as an associate. In 1991, he joined Thacher Proffitt & Wood LLP, where he specialized in merger and acquisitions, private placements, corporate governance, mortgage finance transactions, and not-for-profit law. Appenteng was promoted to partner in 1994, where he advised foreign and domestic individuals and companies on matters related to corporate governance, securities law compliance, acquisitions, corporate finance, regulatory compliance and crisis management. He then became CEO and director of Constant Capital Ghana Limited from 2008 to 2014. In 2014, Appenteng served as senior counsel at Dentons and became chair of the board of directors for the Ford Foundation. In 2016, he became president of the Africa-America Institute.
He served on Wesleyan University’s Board of Trustees from 1990 to 2006, and chaired the presidential search committee that recommended Michael S. Roth as the sixteenth president of Wesleyan University in 2007. He also served as non-executive director at Intravenous Infusions Limited and joined the board of directors of the Ford Foundation in 2007. He was later appointed to the board of directors at the International Center for Transitional Justice in 2015. He also served on the International Advisory Board of IE University, Spain and on the board of Instituto de Empresa Fund, Inc., Panbros Salt Industries Limited, the University of Cape Town Fund and the World Scout Fund.
Appenteng received the Baldwin Medal in 2007, the highest honor bestowed by the Wesleyan Alumni Association for service to the university and to society, and was inducted into the Wesleyan Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2013, Appenteng was named a “Great American Immigrant” by the Carnegie Corporation.
Kofi Appenteng was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 25, 2019.