Leading African dignitary to speak at North Central’s Commencement

May 23, 2013

Dr. Frannie Léautier, executive secretary of one of Africa’s most important organizations, the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), will deliver the Commencement address June 8 at North Central College’s 148th Commencement ceremony.

The Commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 8, is expected to draw more than 5,000 parents, alumni and visitors to North Central College’s Residence Hall/Recreation Center, 440 S. Brainard St. Tickets are not required but seating is on a first-come, first-served basis so guests are encouraged to arrive early; doors open at 8:30 a.m. for guest seating. The academic procession begins at 9:40 a.m. Léautier will be awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters during the ceremony.

“Dr. Léautier’s background is quite interesting, and she will provide a unique perspective on global economic development issues and the opportunity for global social and economic impact for our students,” says North Central College President Troy D. Hammond. Léautier and Hammond were doctoral students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the 1990s. 

Named in 2011 among the top 100 most influential people in Africa, Léautier has a distinguished career in the private sector and in international development. A Tanzanian national, she is responsible for conducting the business of ACBF and providing leadership in the development, execution and monitoring of the foundation’s programs, plans and budgets. Since ACBF’s founding in 1991, it has aimed to be the leading African institution to build human and institutional capacity for sustainable growth and poverty reduction in Africa.

Léautier is a founding board member for the Nelson Mandela Institute for Science and Technology in Africa, a founding board member for the Africa Institute for Governing with Integrity, and a founding editor for the “Journal of Infrastructure Systems.” She serves on the board of UONGOZI, a leadership institute in Tanzania, is a member of the Task Force for Haiti set up by the WISE initiative funded by the Qatar Foundation, and is co-chair for the Global Agenda Council on Youth Unemployment and for the World Economic Forum in Cape Town.

She holds a B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, Africa, an M.S. in transportation from MIT, a Ph.D. in infrastructure systems from MIT, and is a graduate of the Harvard University Executive Development Program. She is an advisory board member for the MIT Open Course Ware and a member of the MIT Corporation visiting committee for Civil and Environmental Engineering. Since 2007 Léautier has taught a leadership course at Sciences Po, a public research and higher education institute in Paris, France.

After graduating from MIT, she served as chief of staff to the former president of the World Bank from 2000 to 2001 and later as vice president of the World Bank and head of the World Bank Institute from 2001 to 2007. Currently, Léautier is a member of the World Knowledge Advisory Commission of the World Bank. From 2007 to 2009, she founded and served as managing partner of The Fezembat Group, a company focused on risk management and leadership development, before undertaking her role at the ACBF.

In addition to the many articles she has published in economic journals, influential magazines and newspapers, Léautier has authored several books, including “Cities in a Globalizing World,” and one soon to be published, “Leadership in a Globalized World.”

For more information about Commencement activities, visit northcentralcollege.edu/commencement or contact the North Central College Office of Alumni Relations at 630-637-5200.