Obenewa Amponsah

University of Witwatersrand
African Literature

Obenewa Amponsah is a certified coach, speaker, and facilitator whose work specializes in leading courageous conversations, the ones that aren’t always easy but are necessary to move forward personally, professionally, and as a society.  Whether these conversations are in the form of one-on-one coaching, group trainings and workshops, or keynote addresses, Obenewa creates the conditions for learning, collaboration, and growth.

Her work is informed by 20 years of professional experience in Africa and North America; where, in addition to other roles, Obenewa served as CEO of the Steve Biko Foundation and as an Executive Director of the Harvard University Center for African Studies.

Beyond the non-profit and academic arenas, Obenewa has extensive experience in the private sector and development attained during her time as a Senior Consultant with GoodWorks International; and through her tenure at the African Presidential Archives & Research Center, an institution dedicated to chronicling democratic transitions in Africa.

In 2019 she founded Obenewa Amponsah & Associates (OAA), a boutique training and development organization that supports personal, professional, and social change. OAA’s guiding ethos is that collectively, individuals, teams, and communities have the resources necessary to develop and achieve a vision that produces better outcomes for all. OAA specializes in designing bespoke workshops, trainings, and processes that enable teams to build trust, work together effectively, and achieve greater impact.

Obenewa is a Global Fellow with the Atlantic Institute at Oxford University and an alumna of the Atlantic Fellowship for Racial Equity. She is a Trustee of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and serves on the Board of the US Chapter of the African Women’s Development Fund.  Obenewa is a member of Coaches and Mentors South Africa as well as the International Coaching Federation.

Of Ghanaian descent, Obenewa was born and raised in the Baltimore-Washington DC area. She holds an undergraduate degree from Boston University and a master’s degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, where she is currently pursuing her doctorate in African Literature. Obenewa’s research focuses on the intellectual histories and activism of Black women.

On the personal front, Obenewa is a frequent traveler, collects African textiles, usually sings off-key, and has rarely met a book she didn’t like.