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Dr. Akosua Barthwell Evans

Dr. Akosua Barthwell Evans holds a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University. Her doctoral thesis, studying comparative politics with a specific focus on Africa and China, explored the relationship between British Imperialism and the development of the Ugandan cotton industry. Shortly after earning her doctorate, Dr. Evans worked as a political affairs officer at the Centre Against Apartheid at the United Nations, where she was the only American hired by the Centre. As a political affairs officer, Dr. Evans helped to disseminate information and mobilize opposition to apartheid throughout the United States. Additionally, she had the privilege of implementing forums among groups such as the National Conference of Black Mayors and other associations to educate on the horrors of apartheid and encourage support of South African liberation movements. Dr. Evans also met several leaders and helped sponsor support events for their respective liberation movements in the United States .

After earning a J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was Co-Marshall of the Class of 1990, Dr. Evans went on to become an accomplished banker, lawyer, and management consultant. As a Managing Director at JPMorgan Chase on Wall Street, Dr. Evans developed and managed two national businesses. As a corporate and securities attorney, she advised Fortune 500 corporations on initial public offerings, debt financings, project financings, and acquisitions worldwide. As a management consultant at Coopers & Lybrand(now PWC), Dr. Evans assisted clients with business and strategic planning, feasibility studies, and obtaining financing. She became the first woman manager in the consulting practice of Coopers & Lybrand’s Detroit office.

In 2005, Dr. Evans founded The Barthwell Group,  a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) that has since advised more than 26 higher education institutions, multiple Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), dozens of corporations, and several military clients. The Barthwell Group is a nationally respected subject matter expert on building institutional diversity, equity, and inclusion, and continually follows Dr. Evans’ focus on supporting underrepresented individuals and communities.

Throughout her career, Dr. Evans has also served on the boards of more than 26 prestigious nonprofit organizations throughout the United States, including the Yale Law School Executive Committee, The Museum of Modern Art, where she founded The Black Arts Council,  and serves on  the Trustee Committee on Education. She was also formerly appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on his advisory Commission for African American Educational Excellence. She is currently the President of the Yale Club of Michigan.

Dr. Evans has won numerous awards and was most recently recognized by her alma mater Barnard College for her trailblazing social activism efforts and quoted in the New York Times for founding the Black Arts Council.