Elizabeth Ngonzi is an award-winning entrepreneurial leader, accomplished strategist, seasoned educator and international speaker dedicated to enabling organizations to fulfill their missions and individuals to reach their full potential.
Most recently, she served as the turnaround CEO of Afrika Tikkun USA, the North American representative of the South African non-profit, Afrika Tikkun. Afrika Tikkun – one of only four nonprofits worldwide for which then President Nelson Mandela volunteered to act as Patron in Chief in 2001 – which has for 25 years successfully delivered innovative social development services to disadvantaged children and their families in South Africa. She developed the North American arm into a next-generation nonprofit by forging strategic partnerships with global organizations, corporations, nonprofits, academic institutions and individuals.
Prior to that, Ms. Ngonzi founded and spent twelve years leading a boutique consulting firm connecting nonprofit clients with for-profits and the media to meet their strategic objectives. Her firm did so through the design and execution of marketing and fundraising campaigns and events; strategic plan and program development; digital campaign strategy development; training; and media outreach.
A member of the U.S. Speaker Program at the U.S. Department of State, she is also an international public speaker who has keynoted, moderated, presented workshops and served on panels in Europe, North America, Africa and online. The topics she frequently addresses are entrepreneurship, leadership, youth development, philanthropy, and digital innovations advancing international development.
As an adjunct faculty member at The Center for Global Affairs at New York University, she develops courses for nonprofit leaders and grant makers worldwide, seeking to leverage digital platforms to more effectively engage with their stakeholders. As an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Cornell University Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship, she helped budding entrepreneurs identify and demonstrate their unique value propositions to prospective funders.
She has been quoted and/or featured by Black Enterprise Magazine, CCTV America, CNBC, Crain’s NY Business, Forbes Woman, MarketWatch, NPR, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.
A 2017 recipient of the African Diaspora Awards “Advocate of the Year” award, Ms. Ngonzi was also featured in 2016 by WeWork’s Creator Magazine as one of its “40 Over 40” leaders and listed by BRANDfog as one of the “25 Smartest Women on Twitter”, in 2015.
Ms. Ngonzi has served as Communications Chair of the invitation-only President’s Council of Cornell Women; a member of the Advisory Board to the Dean of Syracuse University's iSchool; and was a founding member of the United Nations International School Alumni Council.
Ms. Ngonzi previously worked in high-tech marketing, B2B sales and business consulting with Digital Equipment Corporation, MICROS Systems, Inc. and Arthur Andersen, respectively. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems from Syracuse University; an MMH degree in Services Marketing from Cornell University; and a High School Diploma from the United Nations International School, which she attended for primary and secondary school.