Program Manager at the Mastercard Foundation

Dr. Codou Diaw is currently a Senior Program Manager at the Mastercard Foundation’s Scholars Program. She oversees partnerships with several higher and secondary education institutions and manages initiatives for Scholars’ transition into employment, entrepreneurship or technical/vocational training. Codou is an experienced nonprofit organization executive and gender specialist with a background in intercultural communication training, translation and interpretation. From 2007 to 2011, Codou was Executive Director of the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), a Pan African NGO that promotes girls’ education and gender equity in 35 countries. Prior to that, she was Deputy Program Director for Education at JICA’s Regional Office for West and Central Africa. She has worked as a consultant for UNESCO-BREDA in Africa, the World Bank in Washington, DC, Handicap International in France, and Femmes Africa Solidarité in Geneva. She has also delivered numerous intercultural/cross-cultural trainings to relocating C-level executives for Cartus, a global mobility and relocation services firm. Codou has served for 9 years as Director-at-large at the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR), has sat on the Advisory Boards of the Clinton Global Initiative Education Track, the Africa-US Higher Education Initiative, the Education For All Global Monitoring Report (GMR, now GEM), the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI), Plan International’s Education Strategy and UNESCO’s International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA). She is currently on the Advisory Board of the International Network for Higher Education in African (INHEA). Codou frequently speaks at global education fora and has published widely on gender and education issues in Africa. Codou received an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Language, Literacy and Culture, with a focus on Gender and Education, from the University of Maryland (UMBC), where she also earned a Master’s in Intercultural Communication. She obtained a Diploma in “Management of International Organizations” from the Graduate Institute at the University of Geneva and holds certificates in evaluation (World Bank Institute/JICA), management, and gender analysis from other institutions. A Senegalese national who has been living abroad for the past 28 years, Codou currently resides in Kenya. She is well traveled, speaks fluently English, French and Wolof, and is proficient in Spanish.