Kojo Appiah, PhD

Co-Founder and Board Chairman

Dr. Appiah is a co-founder of The African Network, Inc. (TAN) and has been on TAN’s Board since its founding. As chairman of TAN, Dr. Appiah is responsible for leading the TAN Board in setting the strategic direction of the organization and in working with the executive team to realize TAN’s strategic goals. Previously, Dr. Appiah served TAN in the dual roles of director of finance and as the director of membership.

Outside of TAN, Kojo works as an Engineering Advisor at Analog Devices in San Jose, CA. Previously, he held technical leadership positions in new product development at Spansion, Inc, and prior to Spansion, he was with Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Inc. in Sunnyvale, CA. Kojo has also been involved in a number of entrepreneurial and investment ventures in several areas.

Dr. Appiah holds a Ph.D. degree in Materials Science and Engineering with a sub-specialty in Management of Technology from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Paschal Iwuh, PhD

Co-Founder and Board Director

Dr. Iwuh is a co-founder of The African Network (TAN) and served as TAN’s Director of Public Relations and Communication till April 2006. He was a co-chair of TAN’s inaugural conference, TANCon, held in 2006. He led the Sponsorship & Affiliation Committee until he became the President and Chief Executive Officer in January, 2008. In collaboration with a TAN Advisory Board member, Dr. Frank Greene, he developed the Leadership Economic Development Program for sub-Saharan African countries.

Dr. Iwuh works as an engineer and engineering consultant in the Biotech and Bio-Pharmaceutical industries and consulting firms since 1999. He is currently a Validation Engineering Subject Matter Expert (SME) Consultant with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Pharmaceutical in Memphis, Tennessee. He sits on the Board of corporations and non-profit organizations. Paschal is also a Commissioner of Consumer Affairs in Alameda County, California.

Dr. Iwuh has a PhD in Business Organization & Management from Capella University, Minneapolis, MN; a Master of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the Technical University of Budapest, Hungary; a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering (first in his class) from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and a Business Administration Certificate (with Distinction) from University of California, Berkeley.

Bolaji Olutade, PhD

Co-Founder and Board Director

Bolaji has served on the board since he co-founded the organization. He was previously the President and Chief Executive Officer of TAN and also served as TAN's director of technology.

Dr Olutade has several years of experience at Hewlett-Packard Company in California where he held various technical leadership positions developing network server computers. He also taught computer architecture classes at California State University.

Bolaji received MBA with Honors from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.

Mohamed Hersi

Board Director

Mr. Hersi is the founder and President/Chairman of AfGlobe Communications Inc located in Northern Virginia and Co-Founder and COO of AccessPoint Africa with operations in Zimbabwe , Sierra Leone , Ghana and Nigeria . Previously, Mr. Hersi held senior technical executive positions with MCI/UUNET, OptiGlobe Communications and Qwest Communications.

At OptiGlobe Mr. Hersi oversaw the purchase of various assets in Latin America including the purchase of high capacity data networks and facilities. His team was responsible for global network strategy and planning, the team reviewed all major facility and equipment purchasing and finance agreements with Nortel, Dell, HP, Juniper, Cisco and EMC.

At Qwest Mr. Hersi served as Senior Network Architect responsible for designing and deploying Qwest IP Network. He held various technical senior management positions included Senior Manager of Qwest Data Operations Group. While at Qwest Mr. Hersi was part of senior management team that created Qwest MultiService IP (Q-MSIP) organization. The Q-MSIP quickly grew to become the one of the largest VoIP enabled Dial-Access network in the world. Mr. Hersi team negotiated Qwest Dial-Access agreements with AOL, MSN and Earth-Link.

Mr. Hersi works with various domestic and international non-profit organizations as advisor and board member.

Mr. Hersi studied computer Science and Math at George Mason University.

Gordon Williams

Co-Founder and Board Director

As a founding board member of the African Network, Mr. Williams plays an integral part in the planning and strategic thinking for the future of the TAN Organization. In 2010, Williams will provide support and direction to the TANCon Chair and team to execute a successful TANCon conference as well as represent TANCon at a board level.

TANCon 2010 is the flagship event of TAN and as such requires the cumulative knowledge and experience gained from previous conferences to be shared with the TANCon team.

Williams Co-Chaired the first ever TANCon conference in 2006 and has since led finance committees for TANCon conferences. All conferences have either broken even or turned a small surplus.

Gordon Williams has also served in conference committees involved in planning past conferences. Past roles include:

  • VP and CFO to 2009, He also oversaw financial reports, financial control and risk management;
  • Operations Director, 2005-2006; and
  • Board Member 2004-Present.

Outside of The African Network, Gordon works within the finance organization of a large computer systems company in the Silicon Valley where he is responsible for Forecasting Systems and Processes. He is also responsible for the performance metrics that measure the process efficiency and effectiveness.

A 10 year veteran, Williams has held several roles, partnering with Marketing; developing and delivering productivity enhancing tools for the Sales force as part of the Worldwide Sales Productivity group; and working in the UK offices of his current same company as a Finance Manager in the Inside Sales Function.

Prior roles include a two year stint as a Financial Analyst in the UK for an international IT research company and three year trainee Accountant role with a firm of chartered accountants.

Gordon Williams holds a Masters Degree in Computer Science from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.