Fred Swaniker

Founder and CEO of African Leadership Group

Fred SwanikerFred Swaniker is a Senior Fellow working with the Carnegie Foundation on its strategic priority to support renewal and innovation in the postsecondary sector with the goal of improving equity, social mobility, and public purpose. These efforts will help Carnegie understand and elevate designs for post-secondary education that are rigorous, affordable, experiential, and career aligned, with the goal of building robust pathways for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and African young people into the highest growth professional sectors. He is the founder and CEO of the African Leadership Group—an ecosystem of organizations that are catalyzing a new era of ethical, entrepreneurial African leaders.

Swaniker began his education career as headmaster of a school in Botswana that was started by his mother and became the best school in the country five years later. Over the past 15 years, he has founded and led the college-prep African Leadership Academy; the African Leadership University that has campuses in Mauritius, Rwanda, and Kenya; and the African Leadership Group and its initiative The Room—communities of global leaders and organizations committed to unlocking opportunities for undiscovered talent, starting in Africa. Collectively, these endeavors aim to transform the continent by developing 3 million African leaders by 2035.

Swaniker is an Echoing Green Fellow, an Aspen Institute Fellow, and was recognized as one of TIME’s 100 of 2019. He holds a B.A. in economics from Macalester College in Minnesota and an M.B.A. from Stanford University. He has also received honorary doctorate degrees from Macalester College, Middlebury College, and Nelson Mandela University.