Dr. Mima S. Nedelcovych | President Emeritus & Senior Advisor
Dr. Nedelcovych is the President Emeritus & Senior Advisor of the Initiative for Global Development (IGD), a nonprofit organization that engages corporate leaders to reduce poverty through business growth and investment in Africa.
He previously served as IGD President & CEO from June 2014 to July 2018, where he spearheaded the rapid expansion of African companies into IGD’s Frontier Leader Network.
Prior to joining IGD, Dr. Nedelcovych was the Chairman of Schaffer International, the successor company to the Schaffer Global Group. For the Schaffer Group, he is the lead Partner in the establishment of the Markala Sugar Project in Mali, and serves as the Chairman of the Société Sucrière de Markala.
He has also established an independent consulting practice focused on trade facilitation, project development, project finance, and public-private partnerships in Africa. Dr. Nedelcovych has worked with clients such as Carana Corporation, USAID, and Abt Associates to identify and advise investment opportunities in Africa, as well as with corporate clients such as International Green Structures, Illovo Sugar and JML Investments, Novel Commodities Group, and SATAREM Renewable Energies to develop specific investments.
Prior to establishing his consulting practice, Dr. Nedelcovych was Director for Business Development and Country Director in Liberia for Buchanan Renewables (BR). He was Managing Director of the Schaffer Global Group (SGG) for 15 years until accepting a 2-year posting as Country Director of BR in Liberia, a renewable energy business based on biomass harvested and processed from old economically redundant rubber trees.
Dr. Nedelcovych served in the Administration of President George Bush from 1989 to 1993 as the U.S. Executive Director to the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. He was instrumental in formulating the “private sector initiative” at the AfDB, the African Business Roundtable and the African Export-Import Bank. Prior to being named Executive Director to the AfDB, Dr. Nedelcovych held the position of Principal at Arthur Young’s International Consulting Group, specializing in privatizations and private investments in Africa.
At the beginning of his career he served as Peace Corps Country Director in Gabon, as Special Assistant to the Assistant Administrator for Africa at USAID, and as Special Projects Officer at the US Trade and Development Agency.
Dr. Nedelcovych serves on the Advisory Board of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and presently sits on the Boards of Schaffer International, International Green Structures, the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa, and Afriland First Bank SA (Cameroon) and is a past Director and President of the CCA and Member of EXIM Bank’s Sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee. He received a BA in Political Science from Yale University, an MA in International Relations from George Washington University, and a PhD in Comparative Political and Economic Development from Florida State University (in conjunction with Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco).
As the Vice President of Communications & External Affairs, Shanta helps to set organizational strategy and oversees all of IGD’s communications and efforts. Shanta works closely with IGD leadership to design and execute dynamic communications and media strategies to enhance the IGD brand and heighten awareness of IGD’s work. She has more than fifteen years of experience in media outreach and editorial work in the fields of international finance, advocacy and humanitarian and development with a focus on Africa. Launching her career as a reporter for the All Africa News Service, a Nairobi-based continental African newswire service, Shanta served as the Director of Communications and Media Relations at InterAction.
Shanta has been principal of SBG Communications where she has worked with leading international organizations to bolster communications and media outreach efforts to increase coverage and help shape the media’s reporting on the developing world, particularly Africa.
Shanta received a B.S. in journalism from Boston University and pursued graduate studies in International Communications at The American University in Washington, D.C.
Austin R. Cooper, Jr. | Director, Government Relations
Austin R. Cooper, Jr. serves as the Director of Government Relations for the Initiative for Global Development (IGD). With extensive legislative, political and communications background, including holding senior level positions at the federal, state and local levels of government, his employment history includes working for four Members of Congress: Congressman Charles Rangel, Congressman William H. Gray III, Congressman Louis Stokes and Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Austin has also worked on public affairs accounts for Hill and Knowlton Strategies and Edelman Worldwide.
He served as a State Lobbyist (pension, education and labor) to former New York City Mayor David N. Dinkins and Vice President of Government Affairs for the Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. He has also provided communications and government affairs counsel to the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation. Prior to establishing Cooper Strategic Affairs, Inc., Austin served as the Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications for GoodWorks International, LLC. In this capacity, he served as the media representative for former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young and represented the Governments of Nigeria, Rwanda, Benin and Tanzania in Washington, D.C.
Austin received a Bachelor or Arts (BA) in History & Government from Saint Augustine’s University and Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.
Dylan Everett | Manager, Business Development & Member Relations
Dylan serves as the Manager of Business Development & Member Relations where his primary focus is to maintain and expand IGD’s network of Frontier Leaders, as well as prepare the development and implementation of IGD’s biannual Frontier Leader Forums.
Prior to joining IGD, Dylan worked in sales and business development roles at tech companies in Austin and San Francisco. He graduated from Dartmouth College with a bachelor’s degree in Government and Sociology.