Sub-Saharan Africa authority joins Creative Associates International
June 4, 2020
An authority on Sub-Saharan Africa with three decades of project design and implementation experience at the U.S. Agency for International Development has joined Creative Associates International as a Senior Advisor, the company announced.
Sandy Oleksy-Ojikutu, Ph.D., had a long career at USAID, including 22 years working at the Mission level, particularly in West Africa, before taking a senior-level positions with the agency in Washington, D.C. She retired from USAID in April as the Senior Education Advisor with the Bureau for Africa.
Creative Chief Operating Officer Pablo Maldonado says Oleksy-Ojikutu’s expertise is a welcomed addition to the company’s already strong credentials in Africa, particularly in the areas of education and project development.
“Sandy’s deep appreciation for Africa and her specialization in results-driven, forward-looking development will be an asset for our team members, clients and beneficiaries,” Maldonado says.
Oleksy-Ojikutu, who was a professor in Lagos, Nigeria, before joining USAID, says the future of doing better, sustainable development activities rests on formulating plans with host countries, communities and beneficiaries.
“I admire and respect that Creative places a great deal of emphasis on the co-creation of development plans,” she says. “Creative’s staff does listen deeply, understanding the value of dialogue with host country counterparts and beneficiaries when designing interventions in response to solicitations.”
Oleksy-Ojikutu explains that the impacts these collaborations are cumulative across a broad spectrum of development interventions within a nation.
“Since these basic needs are simultaneous and not sequential in most countries, international development partners can support African nations by bringing their unique strengths and skills to specific geographic areas,” she says.
Extensive USAID experience
Oleksy-Ojikutu started her distinguished 31-year career with USAID in Nigeria, first as a project analyst in 1989 and finally as the Team Leader: Investing in People in the Education Sector until 2011. She transferred to Washington, D.C., and became a Senior Education Advisor in the Africa Bureau, where she provided technical support to Africa-based USAID Mission Education Teams in the design and procurement of education activities, implemented in the field Mission and through the bureau.
During her time at USAID, she participated in two important Inter–Agency Teams. One Team, comprised of USAID, the Defense Department and the State Department, created the first “development game,” a model that is based on traditional war games used by U.S. Africa Command, for the Sahel region. Another Inter–Agency Team went to Uganda to address issues related to Uganda’s Anti Homosexuality Act and the potential impact of sanctions on U.S. government’s investments in health, education and democracy sectors.
Oleksy-Ojikutu was presented in 2011 with the prestigious Administrator’s Implementation Award for creative or innovative education program development in challenging circumstances for her work in Nigeria.
Prior to USAID, she was a tenured Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at the University of Lagos, providing pre-service teacher training for 12 years.
Oleksy-Ojikutu has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Research Design from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education. Her master’s degree is in the Psychology of Reading from Teachers College at Columbia University.