2011: Willene A. Johnson

Willene A. Johnson is an economic consultant specializing in finance and development. She currently designs and facilitates courses in conflict management and peace building, including ones on economics and conflict at the U.S. Institute of Peace and others on security issues at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies. Reflecting a strong interest in microfinance and financial sector development, she also serves as the Vice Chair of the Africa Advisory Council of the Grameen Foundation. Johnson has worked extensively in Africa, starting as a volunteer teacher and, more recently, as the U.S. Executive Director of the African Development Bank. She worked for twenty years in the Federal Reserve System, where her assignments included research and operational responsibilities in foreign exchange and international financial markets. She speaks French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Swahili and holds degrees in social studies (Radcliffe College, Harvard University) and African History (St. John’s University) as well as a doctorate in Development Economics (Columbia University).

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