IIED welcomes new chief operating officer

Nike Akerele-De Souza, leader of charities and businesses across sub-Saharan Africa and in the UK, begins senior role at institute.

News, 20 February 2023
Head and shoulder photo of Nike Akerele-De Souza and IIED logo

Nike Akerele-De Souza is IIED's new chief operating officer (Photo: Nike Akerele-De Souza)

IIED has today welcomed Nike Akerele-De Souza as its new chief operating officer (COO), following 18 months with interim COO Victoria Reynolds. 

Akerele-De Souza joins IIED at a critical time for the development sector to step up its role in the world as it faces a 'polycrisis' of severe food, energy, security and financial challenges. 

Akerele-De Souza has founded and led charities and businesses across West Africa and in the UK. For the last few years, she was director of an organisation that provides UK and African charities and social enterprises with advice on strategy and capacity development, operational design, risk, and diversity, equity and inclusion.  

Prior to this, Akerele-De Souza was co-founder of Teach for Nigeria, a network partner of Teach for All, which addresses educational inequity in low income and underserved communities. Teach for Nigeria has now helped more than 100,000 children in Nigeria.  

From 2003-18, Akerele-De Souza was founder and chief executive officer of People Prime, a human resources, capability building and business support agency in Lagos, Nigeria.  

Before that she was part of the leadership team that led audit and risk consulting services across various sectors for the global consulting firm Arthur Andersen (subsequently KPMG) in Nigeria, while also covering clients in Ghana, which included assessing the performance of donor-funded programmes. 

A qualified chartered accountant and chartered HR specialist, with qualifications in coaching and board leadership, Akerele-De Souza is a fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative, an Aspen Global Leadership Network member, and serves on three charity boards as a trustee.