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Meet the Judges
Our panel of judges have worked across the academic, non-profit, government and private sectors for a number of years, and have the unenviable job of narrowing down the many nominees submitted for the various categories.
Our judges pick the finalists and present them to you for a vote where needed. Visit the Finalists page for more details on how you can vote.
Dr. Leon Rodrigues, Chair – African Awards Judges’ PanelREAD MORE
Dr. Leon Rodrigues was born and raised during apartheid in the republic of South Africa. He has dedicated his life to social justice, equity and reconciliation. He received his doctorate at the U of MN and has held several positions in higher education and the non profit field. He currently serves as the Chief Diversity Officer at Luther Seminary in St Paul and also is the President and CEO for Global Horizons, a Twin Cities non profit.
Ama BoumiREAD MORE
Ama Eli Boumi was born and raised in Togo, West Africa. She holds a Masters’ degree in International Law and a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from the Universities of Reims Champagne-Ardenne (France) and Lomé (Togo). She is a 2010 graduate of the Minnesota Management and Budget’s (MMB) Emerging Leaders’ Institute and is also the recipient of a degree of advanced studies in leadership and organizational development from the University of Sainte Catherine. Ama is currently the LifeSkills Project Manager of the Behavioral Health Division at the Minnesota Department of Human Services and has served Minnesota’s State Government in a variety of positions for the past 17 years.
Ama is also the co-founder of Empowerment Consulting Services (ECS), a consulting company aiming to improve immigrants’ quality of life in Minnesota and beyond. ECS provides expert advice and program design in the areas of health, community partnerships, advocacy, public policy, organizational development, early childhood and K-12 education. Ama is a dedicated community advocate who takes part in numerous community awareness activities in the domains of career advancement, education and health disparities reduction, substance abuse prevention and other social integration programs.
Dr. Miata GetawehREAD MORE
Dr. S Miata Getaweh is a HR Manager at Lutheran Social Service. She is an Adjunct Professor in the Human Resources Program at the Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. She recently earned her Doctorate in Business Administration from the Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, where she focused her research on African immigrants who have successfully matriculated to managerial positions in Minnesota.
Miata is passionate about changing the narratives of the African Immigrant community in Minnesota by creating opportunities for networking and professional development. She is the co-organizer of the African Immigrant Professional Development conference, which provides training and networking opportunities for African Immigrants.