SPEAKERS

Kendra Gaither
Full Name
Kendra Gaither
Job Title
President, U.S.-Africa Business Center
Company
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Speaker Bio
Kendra L. Gaither is President of the U.S.-Africa Business Center. She joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2015, bringing a wealth of solutions-oriented global public policy expertise to this role. In addition to providing policy analysis and advocacy support to the private sector regarding trade policy issues across East and Southern Africa, she serves as the Executive Director for the U.S.-South Africa Business Council. Gaither also directs the Chamber’s Coalition for the Rule of Law in Global Markets, which publishes a Global Business Rule of Law Dashboard to bring more attention to the issue from the private sector perspective. She joined the Chamber from Carnegie Mellon University, where she was a global initiatives adviser in the College of Engineering and Executive Director of the Center for International Policy and Innovation. During her tenure at the university, she supported the establishment of the Carnegie Mellon University graduate campus in Kigali.

An alumna of the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship, Gaither began her career in international affairs at the U.S. Department of State. There she spent more than 10 years as a career diplomat and civil servant specializing in international economic and trade issues in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her overseas Foreign Service assignments include postings at the U.S. embassies in Peru and Mexico. Domestically, she held positions in the State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs, including as an economic officer on the South Africa Desk, a coordinator for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum and as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary.

Gaither holds a B.S. in economics from North Carolina A&T State University, as well as an M.A. in international affairs and an M.B.A. in international business finance from The George Washington University. She is a member of the Association of Women in International Trade (WIIT) and a career mentor and volunteer with The Jackie Robinson Foundation.
Bob Harvey
Full Name
Bob Harvey
Job Title
President & CEO
Company
Greater Houston Partnership
Claire Young
Full Name
Job Title
Global Relationship Director
Company
Absa Bank Limited
Rick Wade
Full Name
Job Title
Senior Vice President
Company
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Dr. Vernon Darko
Full Name
Dr. Vernon Darko
Job Title
Founder & CEO
Company
EQUIPXP
Dr. Guevera Yao
Full Name
Dr. Guevera Yao
Job Title
Vice President
Company
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

SPONSORS

Absa Group Limited
Prosper Africa
Greater Houston Partnership
Texas West African Chamber of Commerce