Leading corporate lawyer and boardroom guru, Mr. Gbenga Oyebode, MFR has joined the Board of Trustees of Ford Foundation, a frontline global organization with the mandate to reduce poverty and injustice, strengthen democratic values, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement.

Announcing Oyebode’s election in an email received by CITY LAWYER, Mr. Darren Walker, President of Ford Foundation described him as having “sharp legal acumen.” He stated that Oyebode is “a noted investor, philanthropist, and a founding board member of the Africa Philanthropy Forum.”

Ford Foundation trustees are elected by its board and serve up to two six-year terms. Trustees set broad policy relating to grant making, geographic focus, investments, governance, and professional standards, and they oversee internal and independent audits. The foundation’s trustees hail from four continents and have extensive experience in the worlds of higher education, business and finance, technology, law, government, and the nonprofit sector.

Thanking the Board for his election, Oyebode said: “I am honored and privileged to join the board of the Ford Foundation. I am delighted to be part of the foundation’s mission to address socioeconomic inequality, which is particularly relevant in the current global context. I look forward to working with my fellow trustees and the foundation’s staff as we strive for a more equal world.”

The statement by Walker reads:

Welcoming Marca Bristo and Gbenga Oyebode to our Board of Trustees

“It is my great pleasure to announce that the trustees have elected two new members to join the foundation’s board: Marca Bristo and Gbenga Oyebode. Both Marca and Gbenga are accomplished leaders who possess a commitment to Ford’s vision of a more just and fair world.

“Marca is a distinguished disability rights advocate and founder, president, and CEO of Access Living, a Chicago-based disability service and advocacy organization that empowers people with disabilities to lead independent, satisfying lives. She has worked for more than four decades on local, national, and international social and policy reforms that protect and promote the rights of people with disabilities. As a member of the US Task Force on the Rights and Empowerment of Americans with Disabilities, she worked to draft and win passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. And, in 1994, she was appointed by President Bill Clinton to chair the National Council on Disability.

“In Marca we gain an extraordinary leader and voice for large communities of people whose rights are often challenged. Her perspective will be critical as the foundation carries out its commitment to integrate disability issues into our work addressing inequality in all its forms.

“Gbenga, chairman of the Nigerian law firm Aluko & Oyebode, is a noted investor, philanthropist, and a founding board member of the Africa Philanthropy Forum. He serves on the Global Advisory Council of the African Leadership Academy and is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a director of Teach for All, and chairman of Teach for Nigeria.

“Gbenga’s sharp legal acumen and decades of advising with global corporations will bring invaluable insight to the board, particularly as the foundation works to strengthen connections between local and global efforts and make a broad, meaningful impact on the systems and structures that perpetuate inequality.

“You can read more about Marca and Gbenga in our press release, and learn about our board of trustees on our website.

“Please join me in giving both Marca and Gbenga a warm welcome!”

With thanks,

Darren Walker
President, Ford Foundation

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