meet the alumni
There are hundreds of black African and Caribbean alumni of the University of Oxford that have gone on to inspiring and varied careers across academia, entrepreneurship, the City, law, media, technology, policy, social impact, the arts, sports and more. Below, we feature some of the inspiring, recent black African and Caribbean alumni of the University.
Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE
Anne-Marie is CEO, ‘Head Stemette’ and co-founder of Stemettes – an award-winning social enterprise inspiring more than 14,000 girls and young women into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. As part of this work she also co-founded Outbox Incubator: the world’s first tech incubator for teenage girls. Aged 27, Anne-Marie was awarded an MBE in the 2017 New Years Honours for services to young women and STEM sectors. Anne-Marie is also a 'child prodigy who had received degrees from prestigious universities on both sides of the Atlantic by the time she was 20' (Forbes)
Featured in Forbes 30 under 30 list 2017, Wadham alumnus, Tommy Williams (Economics and Management, 2009) has co-founded an innovative hair and beauty e-commerce business, All Shades Covered (ASC). After working at Goldman Sachs he moved to Nigeria to join Africa’s first e-commerce retailer, Jumia as a Business Development Manager, focused on projects within the black beauty industry. ASC is funded by a prominent angel investor and was selected to be part of Truestart retail accelerator programme that funds the most game-changing retail start-ups globally.
Habiba studied Engineering Science at St John’s College. During her time at Oxford, she also captained the university’s women’s football team and received the BP and IChemE prizes for the best chemical engineering project.
Habiba is a PhD researcher at the Centre for Environmental Policy and the Grantham Institute of Climate Change and the Environment, Imperial College London. Her research seeks to understand the transformation that energy systems must undergo to mitigate climate change, and the resource and geopolitical implications of this transformation.
Melvin completed his D.Phil in Neuroscience at St. Hugh's College in 2013. At Oxford, Melvin was the Africa Society President, Divisional Representative for the Student Union, a tutor, part of the MCR Committee, and an Academic Foundation Doctor. Some of Melvin's research has been exhibited at the Science Museum and featured on BBC's The One Show. He has also founded companies including Idozi, a mobile health service in Nigeria, and in promotions. Melvin was Rare Rising Star 2013 Winner and 'UK's top black student.' Melvin is currently a Consultant at McKinsey & Company.
Naomi Kellman studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Lincoln College. At Oxford, she was Vice President and Secretary of the African and Caribbean Society, before joining diversity firm Rare. Here, Naomi founded Target Oxbridge, a free programme that has helped 46 black African and Caribbean students gain places at Oxbridge over five years. Naomi then joined the Civil Service to work on government policy for the Department for Education and the Treasury, while serving three years as a school governor. Naomi returned to Rare in 2015 to secure formal partnerships with the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and allow Target Oxbridge to expand to 60 places in 2018.
Riaz Phillips is a London-based writer and photographer. Born in Hackney and raised in north London, he studied politics and economics at University in London followed by postgraduate study at the University of Oxford. After this he founded Tezeta Press - a publishing house dedicated to under-represented ideas and culture. Its first release, Belly Full: Caribbean Food in the UK, documents Britain's hidden Caribbean history, for which Riaz was a Young British Foodie 2017 Award Winner. Riaz: 'take pride in the fact that you're different... you don't have to fit into any stereotype. Make [Oxford] what you want... the magnet-effect of like-minded people will change your life.'
Marie-Therese Alexis Png
Marie-Therese studied Human Sciences at St. Hugh's College, and is Board Member at Common Purpose, an international organization specializing in cross-boundary leadership and cultural intelligence. Marie-Therese's research background is in biotech and gene therapy and she recently completed her Masters in Mind, Brain, and Education at Harvard, focusing on the neural underpinnings of racial prejudice and conflict. She founded Implikit – a neurotechnology initiative at MIT Media Lab seeking to decrease implicit racial bias using VR and neuroimaging. Marie-Therese works with HKS' Future Society as Co-Director of Brain & Cognition, researching AI, civic engagement, and empowerment.
Abi Sakande graduated with a degree in Human Sciences from St John's College, in 2016. Since then he has gone on to play professional cricket, signing his first two year contract with Sussex County Cricket Club in October 2016. He spent the winter in New Zealand playing cricket, before returning for the cricket season in March. He recently took his first 5 wicket haul for Sussex 1st team against South Africa A, and he is looking forward to progressing his career at the club. He currently has his sights set on playing for England in the future!
Yasmin graduated from New College with a degree in Music. She then undertook a year-long traineeship at the London Symphony Orchestra and subsequently joined LSO's education department. Yasmin is current Assistant Producer at ENO Baylis, the English National Opera's learning department, where she helps to develop and manage community projects. She is also project manager for Young People in the Arts (YPIA). Yasmin: 'Coming from a state school, the UNIQ summer school offered great insight into life as an Oxford student and helped to break down the myths and barriers surrounding the university... I had a great experience at Oxford and met such a wide variety of people.'
David graduated from Pembroke College, with a degree in Economics and Management in 2014. During his time at Oxford, he served on the Oxford ACS committee, as JCR President and also as Chairman of Pembroke's unique student-led art fund and gallery.
Since graduating, David has worked at Bain & Company, a leading strategy consulting firm, taking on projects across industries, themes and geographies. He was fast-tracked into an MBA-level Consultant role in 2016.
Sylvester graduated with a Masters in Engineering Science from Exeter College, Oxford, in 2014. After working in M&A at Evercore, Sylvester co-founded Suppa: the innovative social networking app which aims to make mealtimes more exciting by enabling users to network with new people at their favourite restaurants, bars and coffee shops. Sylvester hopes these initial interactions will lead to new friendships, business partnerships and mentorships.
Suppa has successfully raised capital from Angel investors and was accepted onto Y Combinator's Founders track this year – to join the likes of Dropbox, AirBnB and Reddit. Sylvester was selected to present at this year's Bloomberg Early Stage Tech Conference.
Daphne studied Biochemistry at St Catherine's College. Treasurer and IT officer for ACS and Entertainment Officer for Raise and Give Charity Ball, which raised over £10,000. Daphne supported access work, volunteering for a school visit attended by Michelle Obama.
Daphne joined PwC Sustainability and Climate Change consulting, working on projects that supported developing countries mitigate impacts of climate change, and awarded best international project in Management Consulting Awards. Daphne established an award-winning Diversity Mentoring scheme and now works at the Health Foundation as Programme Manager. She led an African Healthcare Hackathon and is passionate about improving healthcare in Africa.
Sarah, from the Republic of Benin, studied an MSc in Applied Statistics at Oxford, graduating in 2012. Sarah: 'get in touch if you are thinking of applying to a Masters at Oxford or to discuss your options following Bachelor or Master in Data Science'.
After Oxford, Sarah joined PwC Strategy&'s Data Analytics practice, working in Health, Finance and International Development for 4 years. Sarah was a founding member of the award-winning Diversity Mentoring scheme, was listed in the Top 100 Future Leaders of Power Media publication and won several awards at PwC for her contribution to business development in Analytics. After PwC, Sarah launched a startup called Destrand, a user-led platform in Benin that enables busy women of African descent to manage their hair in an easier, faster and cheaper way. She currently works for City Pantry as the Head of Expansion.
David is a Medical Doctor and Entrepreneur, recently completing his Ph.D. as a Rhodes Scholar, with over 3 years experience managing a Medical Practice in Jamaica. Driven by his frustration with poor patient care in under-resourced public hospitals of Jamaica, he is focused on bringing first-world healthcare to the Caribbean. David founded Novamed to this effect and has successfully driven the introduction of several healthcare services from the USA into the Jamaican market.
David, Managing Partner of the Infiniti Partnership, is currently working on developing the first Medical Centre of Excellence in the Caribbean, as a fuel for economic growth in the region and cementing Jamaica as a leader in medical tourism. David also founded a Medical-Education consultation program and advises the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of the West Indies (U.W.I.) - his alma mater for his MBBS.
Jasmine Richards has published over a dozen books ranging from picture books to teen fiction. Her most recent novel Keeper of Myths was published by Harper Collins last year. She has visited schools across the country to run creative writing workshops for children and has also taught on the Oxford University Diploma for Creative Writing and also for Book Bound who run retreats and workshops for unpublished children’s authors.
Jasmine is the founder of Storymix. A children’s fiction development studio that creates stories with an inclusive cast of characters. All children, regardless of background, get to be the heroes in our stories. She is actively seeking writers from BAME backgrounds to write for Storymix. It doesn’t matter if you are published, unpublished or self-published we’d love to hear from you!