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Ms. Ngozi Nmezi was appointed Executive Director of the Office on African Affairs in May 2011. Ms. Nmezi, a Nigerian-American, was born and raised in Washington, DC by foreign-born Nigerian parents. She has firsthand experience of the challenges that African immigrants and their children face when navigating the process of acculturation and is sensitive to the issues that arise from these challenges. Additionally, having lived, worked and attended school in Nigeria for three consecutive years, Ms. Nmezi developed an insightful understanding of diverse ethnic African constituencies. Her experiences abroad and in Washington, DC, enable her to see the needs of African immigrant communities from a very unique holistic perspective.
Prior to her appointment, Ms. Nmezi served as a risk-management specialist for the Department of Real Estate Services. There, she reviewed, analyzed and interpreted regulations and legislation pertaining to risk and safety management; worked to minimize total cost of risk for the agency; and acted as a liaison between the agency and the Office of Risk Management. Previously, she was a proposal coordinator and partner liaison for the international-development wing of the global support-services firm AECOM and a contract coordinator with the Health Services for Children with Special Needs and the HSC Pediatric Center in the District of Columbia.
Ms. Nmezi received her bachelor's degree in biology at Howard University where she conducted botanical research on the medicinal value of plants in Edo State, Nigeria via the Minority Health International Research Training program. She received a Master of Public Health degree from Howard University. At Howard, she was a Graduate Research Assistant for the Genetics of Recurrent Early Onset Depression (genRED) study, sponsored by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Ms. Nmezi developed her capstone research project around a mental health study targeting African immigrant constituencies in the greater Washington, DC, area titled, “A transgenerational study: acculturation and depression amongst African immigrants.”