The Aspen Institute has selected 25 world-class expertise from Africa, Asia and Latin America for the New Voice Fellowship Program for 2021. The New Voices Fellowship at the Aspen Institute is a groundbreaking initiative designed to bring more expert voices from the developing world into the global development discussion.

Amongst the 25 fellows are 7 Nigerians including Maymunah Kadiri, Nelson Olanipekun, Oyeronke Oyebanji, Tijani Salami, Nkasi Wodu, Adekemi Adeniyan, and Olanike Adeyemo.

“The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that the global development discussion needs new thinking and new voices,” Fellowship Director Andrew Quinn said. “Our Fellows, who bring world-class expertise paired with lived experience of basic development challenges, have crucial insights into how policy can accelerate progress on the ground.”

Read the biographies of the Nigerians below:


Maymunah Kadiri

Founder and Managing Director, Pinnacle Medical Services

Maymunah Yusuf Kadiri is psychiatrist, mental health advocate and coach who is passionate about people’s mental wellness and provides workable tips and tools to ensure that. Maymunah is a leading voice in Nigeria on mental health and wellness and has almost 20 years’ experience as a practising physician. She is the medical director and psychiatrist-in-chief at Pinnacle Medical Services, a Nigerian health clinic prominent in the application of innovative clinical approaches in the management/treatment of a wide range of psychological, emotional, and behavioural related disorders.

Nelson Olanipekun

Executive Director, Citizens Gavel

Nelson Olanipekun is founder and executive director of Citizens Gavel, a Nigerian NGO aimed at improving the access to justice and citizen engagement through the use of technology. Nelson seeks to push the frontier of justice in Nigeria through the use of digital technology as both a lawyer and a tech developer, responding to issues created by weakness in the Nigerian judicial system and on linking citizens who have suffered or are suffering from security agency brutality to lawyers.

Oyeronke Oyebanji

Strategy Coordinator, Vaccine Research and Development, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations

Oyeronke Oyebanji is a public health professional and currently works as Strategy Coordinator for Vaccine Research and Development at the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). In her current role, Oyeronke is involved in COVAX, the initiative launched by CEPI, GAVI and WHO to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines around the world.

Oyeronke has a Masters in Global Health Policy from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and is co-convener of Public Health Incubation Hub, a group for young public health professionals in Nigeria.

Tijani Salami

Founder, Sisters Caregivers Project Initiative and Federal University of Technology Minna

Tijani Salami is a physician who has spent more than a decade working on the advancement of sexual and reproductive health and rights in Nigeria through outreach, health promotion and empowerment of women and adolescents. Tijani is a recipient of the prestigious Walden University Master Citizenship award for the College of Health Professions and the founder of the non-profit, NGO the Sisters Caregivers Project Initiative (, which seeks to change the narratives about girl children through advocacy centred on social change and social justice.

He is a fellow of Federation of International Gender and Human Rights Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Advocacy group, and his passion is to see an end to GBV especially among rural dwellers and underserved communities in Nigeria and other developing nations.

Nkasi Wodu

Peacebuilding Program Manager, Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta

Nkasi Wodu is a lawyer who works as peacebuilding manager for the Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND), one of the largest CSR investments in West Africa and the lead facilitator of the Partners for Peace Network (P4P), a network of over 9,000 peace actors in the Niger Delta that establishes grassroots-led community initiatives in order to contribute to the reduction of violence.

For over five years, Nkasi has mentored hundreds of civil society organizations in designing and implementing indigenous conflict resolution approaches. He led the development of a robust early warning and early response architecture and the most comprehensive dataset on conflict risk publicly available in Nigeria.

Adekemi Adeniyan

Executive Director, DentalCare Foundation

Adekemi Adeniyan is the founder and executive director of Dentalcare Foundation. She is a fellow of the Young African Leaders Initiative RLC, West Africa; an associate fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society, United Kingdom; and a Senior Atlantic Fellow for Health Equity at the Atlantic Institute. She is the 2019 winner of the Nigerian Her Network “Woman of the Year” award for Healthcare and was listed among the 2020 Leading Ladies Africa “100 most inspiring women in Nigeria.”

Adekemi is passionate about improving the Nigerian oral healthcare system and exploring the intersection of community and culture in relation to oral health. Her vision is to ensure that everyone has equal access to oral healthcare irrespective of their age, status, or gender.

Olanike Adeyemo

Professor of Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine, University of Ibadan

Olanike Adeyemo is a professor at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She pioneered scholarship and leadership in “One Health”, which studies and innovates on issues involving the environment, livestock, wildlife and human communities. Her findings from studies on environmental pollution, food safety, antimicrobial resistance, and emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases have provided significant policy implication for Nigeria, the African Continent and indeed the rest of the world.

Olanike is an elected Fellow Nigerian Academy of Science, the African Academy of Sciences, the World Academy of Sciences. She was featured in “Women in Science – Inspiring Stories from Africa”, and “Black Achievers in Science and Technology