Rosa Whitaker, Vice Chair Invest Africa US

ROSA WHITAKER is recognized as one of the world’s foremost experts on African trade, investment and business. She served as the first-ever US Assistant Trade Representative for Africa under the administrations of both President Clinton and President George W Bush. As the CEO of the Whitaker Group, she brings to her advisory and transaction clients 30-plus years of demonstrated achievement in forging investment and trade ties across the continent with a view of alleviating poverty in Africa through enterprise solutions.

Named in 2010 by Foreign Policy Magazine as a “top global thinker”, Ms. Whitaker was one of the hands-on architect of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), America’s first comprehensive trade law with African countries, which provides duty-free access to the US market for essentially all products made in Africa. Recently extended for 10 years under the Obama administration (2015), AGOA continues to be the center-piece of US-Africa economic policy.

As a seasoned negotiator, working on both bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, Ms. Whitaker has also served as a career US diplomat specializing in African economic issues and has lived, worked and done business in a number of African countries.  She is regularly featured in the press on Africa business and investments matters and has lectured at the National Defense University, MIT and Carnegie Mellon University.

Ms. Whitaker is a Vice Chair of the Executive Board of Mercy Ships, a global faith-based charity operating the largest private hospital ship in the world. She also previously served on the Board of the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and as Vice Chair of the US-South Africa Business Council.

Ms. Whitaker holds Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from the American University in Washington, D.C.  She is married to Nicholas Duncan-Williams, the Presiding Archbishop and General Overseer of Christian Action Faith Ministries (CAFM) headquartered in Ghana.  She is the recipient of many awards and accolades for her work and achievements in Africa.

“I bring to my work the values I live by – integrity in action, excellence in execution, steadfastness in faith.”

Julie Hinks