Carnegie Mellon University
February 24, 2021

Gbemi Disu Named Executive Director of Carnegie Mellon University in Africa

By Sherry Stokes

Sherry Stokes
  • College of Engineering
  • 412-268-5976

Gbemi Disu has joined Carnegie Mellon University in Africa as executive director, effective Feb. 1, 2021.

As a member of the leadership team, Disu will work in partnership with the director of Carnegie Mellon Africa in Kigali, Rwanda, to provide administrative, strategic and operational leadership. She will develop and implement strategies to grow CMU-Africa's global reputation and impact.

Disu will engage closely with the Government of Rwanda, the Mastercard Foundation, and other CMU-Africa partners in implementing CMU-Africa's vision of educating the next generation of African technology leaders and supporting the acceleration of the inclusive digital transformation of Africa. As the executive director, she is responsible for managing government, corporate and foundation initiatives that are regional, national and international in scope.

"We are excited to have Gbemi's leadership at CMU-Africa at this time as we continue to advance our mission," said Vijayakumar Bhagavatula, director of CMU-Africa.

She will provide high-level oversight of business operations, partnership relations and student affairs and services. She also will advance relationship building within the CMU-Africa community, which fosters collaboration, innovation and networking. Externally, she will develop strategies for attracting resources to support the program’s critical work, including transformational gifts that enable advances in engineering-related teaching, learning and discovery.

Disu comes to Carnegie Mellon with 15 years of experience in higher education, financial services and energy sectors in several countries across four continents. Prior to joining CMU-Africa, she served as chief business officer at George Mason University Korea, where she was responsible for campus administrative, external relations, financial and operations management and played a key role in achieving strategic growth and financial sustainability for the campus. At George Mason University, she held other leadership positions including special assistant to the president and executive director for Global Strategy.

Disu received her bachelor of science in economics and international business from Arizona State University. She received her MBA in global management from Thunderbird School of Global Management.