The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art has named Charlotte Ashamu associate director of advancement and external affairs.
Ashamu, who was raised in both the United States and Nigeria, will oversee efforts to deepen and broaden engagement with a global network of partners in the philanthropic, private and public sectors. She will also manage the museum’s portfolio of private and institutional funders, communications and external relations, and special programs.
“Charlotte brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this position, and her professional service and track record has demonstrated a strong commitment to advancing Africa’s arts and creative industries,” said Gus Casely-Hayford, museum director. “She is an excellent choice for this leadership role to expand the museum’s programs, audiences and global partnerships.”
Ashamu previously worked all over Africa for two of the largest global development organizations. From 2014 to 2017, she served in the Office of the President and in the Resource Mobilization and Partnerships Department at the African Development Bank Group, where she led the expansion of partnerships with philanthropists and private foundations around the world.
She also served for seven years — from 2007 to 2014 — as an advisory services officer at the International Finance Corp., the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, where she spearheaded new programs and partnerships to help small and medium enterprises in Africa start, finance and grow their businesses.
A recipient of the Mo Ibrahim Leadership Fellowship, Ashamu earned a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College, a master’s degree in economic development and policy from Columbia University and a certificate from the Paris Fashion Institute.