“Charlotte brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this position, and her professional service and track record has demonstrated a strong commitment to advancing Africa’s arts and creative industries,” said Gus Casely-Hayford, director of the museum. “She is an excellent choice for this leadership role to expand the museum’s programs, audiences and global partnerships.”
Before joining the National Museum of African Art, Ashamu worked across Africa for two of the largest global development organizations. From 2014 to 2017, she served in the Office of the President and in the Resource Mobilization and Partnerships Department at the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) where she led the expansion of partnerships with philanthropists and private foundations around the world. From 2007 to 2014, Ashamu served as an advisory services officer at the International Finance Corp., the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, where she spearheaded new programs and partnerships to help small and medium enterprises in Africa start, finance and grow their businesses. Ashamu spent the earlier part of her career as an international trade specialist at the Whitaker Group and Abt Associates in Washington, D.C. In 2017, she founded Dabira to support the creative industries in Africa. Dabira produces a regional trade fair that showcases emerging artists, designers and creative brands from all over the African continent.
Raised in Nigeria and the United States, Ashamu earned a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College, a master’s degree in economic development and policy from Columbia University and a certificate from the Paris Fashion Institute. She is a recipient of the Mo Ibrahim Leadership Fellowship.
About the National Museum of African Art
The National Museum of African Art is the only museum in the world dedicated solely to the collection, conservation, study and exhibition of Africa’s arts across time and media. The museum’s collection of over 12,000 artworks represents the diversity of the African continent and includes a variety of media—from sculpture and painting, to photography, pottery, jewelry, textile, video and sound art. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. The museum is located at 950 Independence Ave. S.W., near the Smithsonian Metrorail station on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines. For more information, call (202) 633-4600 or visit the National Museum of African Art’s website. For general Smithsonian information, call (202) 633-1000. Follow the museum on Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook
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