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Kofi Appenteng

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.

Accession Number

A2019.019

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/25/2019

Last Name

Appenteng

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

John Boakye

Occupation
Schools

The Gateway School

Little Hamden Manor Preparatory School

Aldenham School

Wesleyan University

Columbia Law School

First Name

Kofi

Birth City, State, Country

Accra

HM ID

APP01

Favorite Season

Fall

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean, Jamaica

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

6/14/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

Ghana

Favorite Food

FuFu and Goat Soup

Short Description

Lawyer Kofi Appenteng (1957 - ) served as partner at Thacher Proffitt & Wood LLP, senior counsel at Dentons, chairman of the Ford Foundation’s board, and president of the Africa-America Institute.

Employment

Webster & Sheffield

Thatcher, Profitt & Wood LLP

Constant Capital Limited

Dentons

Africa-America Institute

Favorite Color

Blue

Mora McLean

Nonprofit executive Mora McLean was born on December 6, 1955 in New York City to Vera and William McLean. She was raised in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands where she graduated from Charlotte Amalie High School in 1973. McLean then graduated from Wesleyan University where she earned her B.A. degree in African studies in 1977 before receiving her J.D. degree from Columbia University School of Law in 1980.

From 1980 to 1981, McLean worked as a legal associate for Riker, Danzig, Scherer & Hyland, Attorneys at Law where she focused on commercial litigation. The following year, she became an aide to the New Jersey Assembly Labor Committee, working on legislative research, analysis, and drafting. McLean remained there until 1985 when she was appointed counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives’ commerce subcommittee on commerce, transportation, and tourism. She served in this capacity for five months before becoming an assistant program officer in the human rights and governance division of the Ford Foundation. She was promoted to program officer in 1987; and, in 1990, she became the Foundation’s representative for Nigeria and assistant representative for West Africa. From 1993 to 1995, McLean served as the Foundation’s representative for West Africa with oversight of the Foundation’s offices in Lagos, Nigeria and Dakar, Senegal. For the next year, McLean served as deputy director for all of the Foundation’s Africa and Middle East programs. She left the Ford Foundation upon being named president and CEO of the Africa-America Institute in 1996, which she led until 2012. Rutgers University hired McLean as a visiting scholar at their center for African studies where she worked for two years. In 2015, the school made her the program strategy advisor for their Newark campus’s launch of a global urban studies doctoral program; and, in 2016, she became a Cornwall Center Senior Fellow, adjunct professor, and director of corporate and foundation relations in the office of the chancellor. In 2019, West African Youth Challenges and Opportunity Pathways was published, of which McLean was editor.

McLean has served on numerous boards throughout her career, including the Council on Foreign Relations, Legal Aid Society of Mercer County, New Jersey, the Orphan Society of the Oranges and Maplewood, United States Institute of Peace, and chairing the U.S. Trade Advisory Committee on Africa. She has also received several awards, including the 2002 Distinguished Wesleyan Alumna and being named Wesleyan Trustee Emerita in 2008 and Africa-America Institute President Emerita in 2012.

McLean resides in New Jersey and has one adult child, Atinuke.

Mora McLean was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 23, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.117

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/23/2019

Last Name

McLean

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Lynn

Occupation
Schools

All Saints Cathedral School

Addelita Cancryn Jr. High School

Charlotte Amalie High School

Wesleyan University

Columbia Law School

First Name

Mora

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

MCL06

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

U.S. Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

The Price Of Liberty Is Less Than The Price Of Repression - W.E.B. DuBois

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

12/6/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Newark

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Fried Plantain

Short Description

Nonprofit executive Mora McLean (1955 - ) was a representative for Nigeria and West Africa at the Ford Foundation before serving as president and CEO of the Africa-America Institute from 1996 to 2012.

Employment

Ford Foundation

Africa-America Institute

New York University

Rutgers University

Rutgers University-Newark

Riker, Danzig, Scherer & Hyland, Attorneys at Law

New Jersey State Office of Legislative Services

U.S. House of Representatives

Favorite Color

Blue

Theodore Shaw

Lawyer and professor Theodore Michael Shaw was born on November 24, 1954 in New York City to Theodore and Jean Audrey Churchill Shaw. He received his B.A. degree from Wesleyan University in 1976 and his J.D. degree from the Columbia University School of Law in 1979, where he was a Charles Evans Hughes Fellow.

Upon graduation, Shaw worked as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice from 1979 until 1982. He then joined the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) as an assistant counsel and director of the Education Docket in 1982. In 1987, Shaw established LDF's Western Regional Office in Los Angeles, and served as its Western Regional Counsel. In 1990, he left LDF to join the faculty of the University of Michigan Law School, where he taught constitutional law, civil procedure, and civil rights. In 1993, on a leave of absence from Michigan, he rejoined LDF as associate director-counsel. Shaw was lead counsel in a coalition that represented African American and Latino student-intervenors in the University of Michigan undergraduate affirmative action admissions case, Gratz v. Bollinger.

On May 1, 2004, Shaw became the fifth director-counsel and president of LDF after Elaine Jones retired, where he served until 2008. He then joined the law firm of Norton Rose Fulbright, where he is “Of Counsel.” Shaw is also professor of professional practice at Columbia Law School, and has held rotating chairs at the City University of New York School of Law and Temple University’s James E. Beasley School of Law.

Shaw has testified before Congress and state legislatures on numerous occasions. He has been a frequent guest on television and radio programs, and has published numerous newspaper, magazine and law review articles. He also has traveled and lectured extensively on civil rights and human rights in Europe, South Africa, South America, and Japan. Shaw serves on the Boards of the American Constitution Society, Common Sense, The Equal Rights Trust (London, England), The International Center for Transitional Justice, The New Press, the Poverty and Race Research Action Council, the Wesleyan University Center for Prison Education, and the Board of Deacons of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in the City of New York. He also serves on the Legal Advisory Network of the European Roma Rights Council, and served on Wesleyan University’s Board of Trustees for fifteen years.

Shaw has received numerous awards, honors, and citations. He was an Aspen Institute Fellow on Law and Society in 1987; a Twenty-first Century Trust Fellow on Global Interdependence in London, England in 1989; and a Salzburg Institute Fellow in 1991. The National Bar Association Young Lawyers Division presented Shaw with the A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. Memorial Award. He also received the Lawrence A. Wein Prize for Social Justice from Columbia University, and was awarded the Baldwin Medal from the Wesleyan University alumni body.

Theodore M. Shaw was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 7, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.094

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/7/2014 |and| 4/9/2014

4/7/2014

4/9/2014

Last Name

Shaw

Maker Category
Middle Name

M.

Occupation
Schools

Wesleyan University

Columbia Law School

First Name

Theodore

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

SHA08

State

New York

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/24/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

USA

Short Description

Lawyer and law professor Theodore Shaw (1954 - ) , professor of professional practice at Columbia Law School, served as the fifth director-counsel and president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund from 2004 to 2008.

Employment

United States Department of Justice

NAACP Legal Defense Fund

NAACP Legal Defense Fund Western Regional Office

University of Michigan Law School

Norton Rose Fulbright

Columbia University School of Law