Haskell Sears Ward
Senior Vice President
Mr. Haskell Sears Ward joined Black Rhino in 2012 as a senior vice president. Prior to that he was the former vice chair of the board of Corporate Council on Africa. Mr. Ward has over 40 years of experience in public and international affairs. Whether facilitating major African infrastructure investment projects or developing U.S. policy toward Africa at the State Department, he has been guided by a belief that building sustainable societies means addressing problems creatively and aggressively, through multiple means. Mr. Haskell’s engagements include serving as vice chair of the board of the Corporate Council on Africa, as chair of the American Cancer Society’s Global Health Advisory Board and as an advisor to the National Peace Corps Association. He has also testified before the sub-committee on Africa and global health of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the U.S. Congress and is in demand as a speaker by business schools, universities and conferences.
For nearly a decade Mr. Ward was an officer in Global Alumina, a major energy and mining company. He was responsible for managing the company’s relationships with key government officials and non-governmental organizations including the United Nations, USAID and the World Bank, and he championed the company’s social investments in mining communities and along the railway lines that took ore to port.
Before his corporate work, he served under the Jimmy Carter Administration’s as the Secretary of State on Policy Planning Staff of State Cyrus Vance. With the rank of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Mr. Ward was the responsible officer on the Policy Planning Staff for the development and oversight of the Department’s Africa policies. Following that, he served as Deputy Mayor of the City of New York in the administration of Edward Koch. Prior to that, Mr. Ward was a member of the first two groups to serve in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia in 1963. Mr. Ward was a volunteer in Kenya with anon-governmental organization, Operation Crossroads Africa, for which he later became a staff member. He subsequently worked for the Ford Foundation, in New York City and in Lagos, Nigeria, where he specialized in economic development programs and strategies for the Middle East and Africa. His 1989 book African Development Reconsidered explored the barriers to economic progress and the possibilities of surmounting them. His current work brings him full circle. Mr. Ward also served as Senior Vice President of SEACOM, in his role he cultivated the relationships among company officials, investors and regulators that enabled the firm in July of 2009 to launch the first sub-marine fiber optics system linking eastern and southern Africa with Europe and Asia. Widespread access to communications technologies will prove transformation moment for the continent Ward says – a way to directly address the inherent inequity of Africa’s marginalization, as well as a path towards prosperity.
Mr. Ward is married to Leah Ward Sears, an attorney who was the first woman and youngest person to sit on the Supreme Court of Georgia. In 2005, she became the first African American woman to be a Chief Justice in the United States.
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