Former Federal Government Executive and NAACP Washington Branch President Joins UNCF Leadership Team

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Akosua Ali named senior vice president of strategic initiatives in the Office of the President

UNCF (United Negro College Fund) today announced that Akosua Ali has joined its ranks as senior vice president of strategic initiatives in the Office of the President under the leadership of Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF, and Early Reese, chief operating officer, UNCF. In this role, Ali drives the execution of strategic priorities and internal initiatives, aimed at strengthening operations through managing human and capital resources to deliver measurable, timely and cost-effective results for UNCF.

“UNCF is thrilled Akosua Ali is joining our leadership team. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience over 18 years of leadership expertise in the federal government, non-profit and private sector organizations with a record of delivering mission-driven results in organizational transformation, while advancing civil rights, racial justice and Black excellence,” said Reese.

As a director at the U.S. Department of Homeland, Ali delivered innovative performance management, financial management, contract management, human resource management and workforce engagement solutions, supporting mission-critical business operations.  She managed a $7.8 billion IT acquisition portfolio and $603 million budget supporting mission-critical DHS services supporting 240,000 employees across 22 components, including FEMA, TSA, Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Secret Service.

At the U.S. Census Bureau, Ali implemented the $319 million communications campaign developing television, radio, and print advertisement, 300 promotional products and road tour advertisements targeting eight audiences including Diverse America, African American, LatinX, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Asian and Asian Pacific Islander audiences in 28 different languages.

Between 2007 and 2009, Ali served at the Federal Aviation Administration where she managed financial and contract actions for the FAA Contract Weather Observation $40 million program budget and the FAA Contract Tower $112 million program budget. She maximized operational efficiency through providing project management, contract management, budget management, quality assurance and programmatic support for weather observation and air traffic control contracts.

Over the past 13 years, Ali served as the president of the NAACP Washington, DC, Branch and on the NAACP National Board of Directors since 2016. As a nationally recognized champion for racial justice and equality, Ali has led the strategic implementation of diversity, equity and civil rights advocacy in health, education, climate, environment, housing, criminal justice and economic development.  As president, Ali led transformative solutions to eliminate racial discrimination and drive operational efficiency and mission success across 17 NAACP program areas covering the economy, education, the environment, finance, climate justice, criminal justice, health, housing, LGTBQIA+, international affairs, labor, legal redress, membership, political action, public relations, religious affairs and veteran affairs.  Ali navigated the NAACP in processing over 823 discrimination complaints in the areas of education, housing, police misconduct, employment and consumer rights. She has managed legislative and public policy advocacy and testified on over 43 key bills.

Ali has received numerous professional awards. In 2012, Ali was named, the DMVs “Top 30 Under 30.”  In 2018, she received the Homeland Security, OCIO, I AM IT! Acquisition Program Manager Award, and in 2015, she received the Rising Star Government Innovation Award.  In Dec. 2007, she received the FAA Contract Tower and Weather Group Outstanding Service Award.

Ali is a native of Washington, DC, and a graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, where she received a bachelor’s degree and MBA degree in Global Business and Organizational Leadership. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Ali was a charter member of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Blacks In Government (BIG) Chapter.


About UNCF

UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. While totaling only 3% of all colleges and universities, UNCF institutions and other historically Black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 15% of bachelor’s degrees, 5% of master’s degrees, 10% of doctoral degrees and 19% of all STEM degrees earned by Black students in higher education. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized trademark, A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.