Empower Guest Speaker: Michael Fairbanks

Date & Time October 19, 2013 2:00pm
Mayer Campus Center, Room 203

Michael Fairbanks was a U.S. Peace Corps teacher in Kenya (1979-1981). He is a Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University; a director of the Akilah Institute for Women, the first women’s college in Rwanda; a director of the Rwanda Biomedical Center, which oversees that nation’s healthcare system; a director of Silver Creek Pharmaceuticals, based in San Francisco, which is focused on regenerative medicine, and a founder of Akagera Pharmaceuticals, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which seeks a solution to Tuberculosis.

He has worked with two dozen heads of government in Latin America, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and Asia. He worked in Colombia during “the Apertura,” El Salvador after the peace accord, Serbia after the Yugoslav wars, Rwanda after the genocide, Afghanistan during the war, and Haiti since the earthquake in 2010.

He is Senior Advisor since 2001 to President Paul Kagame of Rwanda on private sector development and export competitiveness. He co–authored Harvard Business School’s book on business strategy in emerging markets, “Plowing the Sea, Nurturing the Hidden Sources of Advantage in Developing Nations,” with a Foreword by Michael Porter; and edited, “In the River They Swim: Essays from Around the World on Enterprise Solutions to Poverty,” Foreword by Rick Warren. He helped to conceive, and contributed to, “Culture Matters,” edited by Sam Huntington and Larry Harrison.  He has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Christian Science Monitor, Philanthropy Magazine, and The Harvard International Review.

Mike studied philosophy and biochemistry at the University of Scranton, a Jesuit University where he was a trustee for six years, and African politics at Columbia University. He was a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, and in 2006, his alma mater gave him a doctorate in humane letters for his “accomplishments and devotion to social justice.”

He is a citizen of the United States, the European Union (Ireland), and Rwanda.