Amy M. Brakeman
Who We Are

Amy M. Brakeman

President, Umsizi Fund Board Member, Previous Founding Working Group Member
While there are many great outside-in innovations and programs, the sustainable and cost-effective ones are often developed by the leaders proximate to the issues, who have the trust of the community, know who to work with, and can prioritize among competing needs.”

Since 2005, Amy has partnered with emerging African leaders to enhance human capacity, increase access to economic opportunities, and strengthen organizations. Amy worked closely with the African Leadership Academy, which develops entrepreneurial leaders from 46+ African countries. Umsizi is a founding partner of a coalition of funders, the African Visionary Fund, working to increase the direct funding and support of promising proximal leaders in Africa. To address the enormous gap in employment for youth on the continent, Amy catalyzed a Peer Learning Network of leading youth employment accelerators. Umsizi leaders work alongside impact investing experts and to shift assets to be aligned with ESG objectives and the mission of the Umsizi Fund. In response to the racial injustices that have been lingering in the U.S. and have been fully exposed again during 2020, Amy has invested in new partners using both philanthropic and investment capital. In this work, it is clear that investing in local and diverse leaders and giving them more voice and power is an important path to creating sustainability and equity. Amy’s first career was with McKinsey & Company as a consultant and leader of professional development. She also led a global community of 2,000 McKinsey alumni involved in bridging the social and business sectors. Amy worked with public school reform initiatives in the U.S. primarily with charter schools in Massachusetts. Amy has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.