Meet Ogun State born Ogunlesi, who is the only African appointed by Donald Trump in his economic team


Nigerian-born  Adebayo Ogunlesi, who is the chairman of Global Infrastructure Partners, a private equity firm and one of Fortune 500 companies, has been named a member of an economic advisory forum  to US president-elect Donald Trump.



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The 63 year-old Nigerian is the only African face in the  16-man team, which  has  Steve Schwarzman, CEO of  private-equity giant Blackstone as chairman.

Adebayo Ogunlesi: to advise Trump on the economy
Adebayo Ogunlesi: to advise Trump on the economy

“President-elect Donald J. Trump today announced that he is establishing the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum,” said the press release from Blackstone.

“The Forum, which is composed of some of America’s most highly respected and successful business leaders, will be called upon to meet with the president frequently to share their specific experience and knowledge as the president implements his plan to bring back jobs and Make America Great Again,” Blackstone said in the release published by Business Insider.

The  members of the forum are:

  • Stephen Schwarzman (forum chairman), chairman, CEO, and cofounder of Blackstone
  • Paul Atkins, CEO of Patomak Global Partners, former commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Mary Barra, chairwoman and CEO, General Motors
  • Toby Cosgrove, CEO, Cleveland Clinic
  • Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Larry Fink, chairman and CEO, BlackRock
  • Bob Iger, chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company
  • Rich Lesser, president and CEO, Boston Consulting Group
  • Doug McMillon, president and CEO, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
  • Jim McNerney, former chairman, president, and CEO of Boeing
  • Adebayo “Bayo” Ogunlesi, chairman and managing partner, Global Infrastructure Partners
  • Ginni Rometty, chairwoman, president, and CEO of IBM
  • Kevin Warsh, Shepard Family Distinguished Visiting Fellow in economics at the Hoover Institute, former member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Mark Weinberger, global chairman and CEO, EY
  • Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO, General Electric
  • Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prize winner, vice chairman of IHS Markit

For  Ogunlesi, the Trump advisory appointment may be a distraction as he  has his hands full.

Ogunlesi on 15 October was named as an independent director of Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.

Apart from being managing partner of Global Infrastructure Partners, he also serves on the boards of Callaway Golf Co. and Kosmos Energy Ltd.

At the same time he’s the chairman of Africa Finance Corp. and serves on the boards of various not-for-profits ranging from New York Presbyterian Hospital to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Ogunlesi, whose father came from Makun, Sagamu in Ogun state was born in 1953. His father, Theophilus Ogunlesi was Nigeria’s first professor of medicine.

After attending Kings College, Lagos for his secondary education , he received his B.A. with first class honours in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, from Oxford University.

He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1979 and later got an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Ogunlesi  had a banking career  with Credit Suisse First Boston from 1983 and rose to become its executive vice chairman.

Before  joining Credit Suisse, Ogunlesi was an attorney in the corporate practice group of the New York law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore.

From 1980-81 he served as a law clerk to Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall of the United States Supreme Court.

He was a lecturer at Harvard Law School and the Yale School of Organization and Management, where he taught a course on transnational investment projects in emerging countries, according to Wikipedia

He is married to an optometrist, Dr. Amelia Quist-Ogunlesi.

His company Global Infrastructure Partners manages Gatwick Airport in the UK.

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