Nexford University: Driek Desmet
Driek Desmet

Washington DC-based online university Nexford University has appointed Driek Desmet to its board of directors. Desmet has extensive digital transformation experience and was a senior partner at McKinsey & Company. He co-founded McKinsey’s global analytics and tech benchmark surveys: ‘Analytics Quotient’ and ‘Tech Quotient’. As head of McKinsey Digital Labs Asia and McKinsey’s Business Technology Office Asia, he led the strategy to design and deliver digital business models across different industries. He was also involved as an independent advisor in the 10-year strategic review of the International Baccalaureate.  He is a board member of UWC International, which runs 18 schools. 

Desmet said: “Nexford’s focus on career-enabling learning through ‘anywhere any time’ modular courses and degrees is hugely exciting. Africa and Asia’s growth companies are racing ahead, but are facing a huge skills mismatch on the people supply side. The big unlock is in capabilities for our high-tech sustainable future, such as data analytics, digital transformation, and project management. I’m looking forward to contributing to Nexford’s role in making this a reality.” 

Nexford also appointed Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili to the board. Ezekswesili recently joined Yale University as a senior fellow and is an economic policy and human capital development expert. She is a former vice-president of the World Bank, co-founder and founding director of Transparency International, founder and chief executive of Human Capital Africa and is a former education minister in Nigeria. She worked at the Center for International Development at Harvard and as the director of the Harvard-Nigeria Economic Strategy Project.

Ezekswesili said: “Having been on Nexford University’s advisory board I am delighted to now join the university’s board of directors to help advance the mission of this innovation-pioneering institution that is setting the pace in the delivery of world class affordable education and producing high quality talent at scale.”

Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili - Nexford
Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili – Nexford

Dr Jennifer Bangoura has been appointed as director of career innovation to lead on Nexford’s employer partnerships aimed at bridging gaps between employers and learners. Bangoura was previously program officer at IREX – the global development and education organisation – and a communications and outreach specialist, UASID/PHARE at the Education Development Center in Mali. She also spent four years at ed tech company 2U.

Jennifer Bangoura - Nexford
Jennifer Bangoura

Dr Nancy Rubin has been appointed as Nexford’s chief academic officer. She has more than 20 years’ leadership experience in digital learning design and implementation, higher education and instructional/curriculum design roles. She previously worked at Northwestern Health Sciences University, the University of Northern Colorado, Columbia University, Kaplan University and Florida Atlantic University.

Nancy Rubin - Nexford
Nancy Rubin

Dr Cathy Plunkett has joined as Nexford’s director of compliance. Plunkett has more than 20 years’ experience in higher education. including roles as director of regulatory compliance at Penn Foster and executive vice-president of academic affairs and accreditation at American National University and National College.

Cathy Plunkett, Nexford
Cathy Plunkett

Date published: 15 December 2021

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