Grace A. Akukwe

Director, Workforce Development and Youth



Grace Akukwe is a Director of Workforce Development and Youth. In this role, she works to build partnerships between the private sector and training institutions to support workforce development and entrepreneurship in a variety of countries.

Beyond your job title, please explain your role at Creative.

Besides supporting proposal development and providing thought leadership in the areas of workforce development and inclusive growth, I provide technical assistance on Creative projects. This includes work on the recently completed Afghanistan Workforce Development Program and the current Community, Family, and Youth Resiliency Program in Eastern Caribbean where I’ve been working with the field team to conduct three youth opportunity assessments in Guyana, St. Lucia and St. Kitts and Nevis. The findings from the assessments will be part of a Youth Opportunity Strategy that identifies the employment and entrepreneurship entry points for youth and how to engage the different stakeholders around each of the opportunities.

Do you have an accomplishment or programmatic result or activity that you are particularly proud of?

With my background in education policy analysis, reform and planning, I have worked at all levels of education systems from focusing on the efficacy of school charters; education governance and decentralization; pedagogy and literacy at the basic primary level, evaluating the academic outcomes for secondary students pursuing a career and technical education versus those in a traditional program and conducting research on school to work and college transitions. I have lived in South Sudan for three years prior to the 2011 referendum and was part of the team that finalized the Education Act. While in South Sudan, I served as Senior Technical Advisor on Education to two State Ministers (Northern and Western Bahr el Ghazal) for one year before moving to Juba where I held the dual positions of Chief of Party on the Southern Sudan Technical Assistance Program and Senior Technical Advisor on Education to the Under Secretary of Education.


    Education: policy analysis; planning and reform; decentralized education governance; education in emergencies, disaster risk reduction preparedness) | Workforce development: training, private sector engagement | Research: qualitative, quantitative) | Capacity building


    Ph.D. in Comparative and International Development and Education from University of Minnesota, Twin Cities | ME.d. in Educational Leadership with concentration in International Development from University of Minnesota Twin Cities | B.A. in Mass Communication and a Minor in French from Bayero University Kano


    15+ years of experience working in countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia, Eastern Caribbean


    Native English and Akan speaker, French fluency and Hausa proficiency

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