U.S president-elect Donald Trump on Friday named a Nigerian-born Adebayo Ogunlesi as a member of an advisory council that will help the incoming president implement “his plan to bring back jobs and Make America Great Again.”
The 63-year-old Ogunlesi, who is the chairman of Global Infrastructure Partners, a private equity firm and a Fortune 500 company, is the only African face on the 16-man team, which has Steve Schwarzman, CEO of private-equity giant Blackstone as its chairman.
Ogunlesi has investments worldwide in infrastructure assets in the energy, transport, and water and waste industry sectors.
This forum brings together CEOs and business leaders who know what it takes to create jobs and drive economic growth. In a statement, Blackstone said Ogunlesi, who also is a board member at Goldman Sachs, joins some of America’s most highly respected and successful business leaders in the president-elect’s Strategic and Policy Forum, which “will be called upon to meet with the president frequently to share their specific experience and knowledge as the president implements his economic plans.
“This forum brings together CEOs and business leaders who know what it takes to create jobs and drive economic growth,” President-elect Trump said.
For Ogunlesi, the Trump advisory appointment may be a distraction, as he has his hands full. On October 15, he was named an independent director of Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Apart from being managing partner of Global Infrastructure Partners, Ogunlesi also serves on the boards of Callaway Golf Co. and Kosmos Energy Ltd.
At the same time, he is the chairman of Africa Finance Corp. and serves on the boards of various not-for-profits ranging from New York Presbyterian Hospital to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
During his campaign, Trump threatened to evacuate Nigerians from the country once he becomes president. During a rally at Wichita, Kansas, in March, he said “Nigerians and Mexicans have taken all the jobs meant for honest hard-working Americans.”
The first meeting of the forum will be held at the White House during the first week of February.
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