Alumnae Profiles: Eniola Mafe
Alumna Eniola Mafe, C’2007, whose Yoruba name means "someone of the wealth of God," was recently named one this year’s 99 most influential foreign policy leaders under the age of 33, or the “99 Under 33,” by the Diplomatic Courier and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy. The organizations jointly launched the first ever Top 99 Under 33 Foreign Policy Leaders, a special project that captures the extraordinary impact that 99 diverse millennials under the age of 33 are making on international affairs.
"I am extremely honored to be counted among the ranks of some of the young movers and shakers in foreign affairs and international development. Moreover, I hope that my inclusion on the list will encourage more young women of color to be interested and decide to work in this field," says Mafe.
Mafe is currently the program manager of the Niger Delta Partnership Initiative Foundation, an organization that supports programs and activities which empowers communities to achieve a peaceful and enabling environment for equitable economic growth in the nine states of Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.
Making Room for Other Change Agents
There is more room at the table for those interested in effecting global change according to the young executive. "More than ever, the world needs us as practitioners and decision makers in this field of work.” I am so glad to be part of a wonderful sisterhood of women who try to go the distance and break glass ceilings in different spheres and sectors."
The London, England native earned the notable "99 under 33" distinction for her leadership in elevating and empowering women globally; and for “bringing people together in creative ways to address a pressing international issue or enhance the foreign policy community.”
Prior to joining the NDPIF, Mafe served as the Africa program manager at Vital Voices Global Partnership, a Washington, D.C.-based international non-profit that works with women leaders to advance women's human rights, political participation, and economic empowerment. Mafe’s specific focus was on organizational development, entrepreneurship and economic development in sub-Saharan Africa.
Mafe also managed the Africa Businesswomen's Network (ABWN), a partnership among local African businesswomen's organizations that enhances the management, business development, and leadership skills of businesswomen. Mafe also manages other programs focused on the growth of women-led small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Prior to joining Vital Voices, Mafe worked with Women's World Banking Ghana where she developed social impact methodology to quantify the social and community impact of the microfinance institutions on its clients, investors, and wider community. She began her career as an equity finance analyst for Merrill Lynch.
Mafe is a frequent speaker and guest lecturer on the topic of women's entrepreneurship development in Africa. She holds a M.A. from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, specializing in international business and development, and a B.A in international studies from Spelman.
The Road to Greatness
While at Spelman, Mafe was an active leader on campus. She served as the Spelman Student Government Association's secretary of academic affairs, and founder and president of PLUS (Professional Ladies Understanding Success), an organization dedicated to the leadership and professional development of all Spelman women.
A multi-faceted scholar, accomplished visual artist, and lover of language (she speaks fluent German and Yoruba), Mafe’s academic and social achievements at Spelman were numerous. She was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Golden Key International Honors Society, the Mortarboard Honors Society, a Women of Excellence Leadership scholar, one of 100 outstanding students in the world to receive the Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Award, and as an investment banking intern at Merrill Lynch during her four year matriculation at Spelman.
Mafe also served as Miss Maroon and White, and is a member of the Eta Kappa Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In 2006, Mafe told the AUC Digest that her life principle was: “The unexamined life is not worth living. Keep your heart and eyes open and make the world your canvas on which to leave your mark.” She has held true to this vision, and is making her mark upon the world.