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The Board of Directors of Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh as the new Executive Director of the Center. Professor Prempeh’s appointment, which takes effect from February 1, 2018, follows the retirement of the Center’s founding Executive Director, Professor E. Gyimah-Boadi.
A legal scholar and governance expert, Professor Prempeh brings to his new role a wealth of experience and knowledge gained from a rich and diverse career as a civil society activist, an academic, a lawyer, a corporate manager, a consultant and a policy adviser. He has been a member of the CDD-Ghana board since the Center was founded and served as its first director of legal policy and governance and co-editor of its quarterly Democracy Watch from 2001 to 2003.
Professor Prempeh was a member of the faculty of Seton Hall University School of Law (New Jersey, USA) from 2003 to 2015, securing a tenure as a full professor in 2008. He was also a visiting professor at GIMPA Law School from 2010 to 2011 and has co-taught the “Constitution-Building in Africa” course at the Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, since 2014. Between 2013 and 2014, he served as constitutional adviser to the UN Special Envoy to Yemen, assisting the Yemeni National Dialogue Conference and the Constitution Drafting Commission to design and draft a new post-conflict constitution for the country. A 2011 Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy, Washington, D.C., Kwasi Prempeh is a renowned expert, consultant, and a commentator on democratization, governance, and constitutionalism in Ghana and Africa and has published widely in the field, including articles in the influential Journal of Democracy and International Journal of Constitutional Law.
Professor Prempeh previously practiced law in Washington, D.C.; first, as an associate with O’Melveny & Myers LLP (1993-1998) and later with Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen and Hamilton (1998-2001), both leading U.S.-based international law firms. Prior to pursuing graduate studies in the United States, he was a regional marketing manager with Pioneer Tobacco Ghana Limited, the Ghana subsidiary of BAT International. A 1993 graduate of Yale Law School, where he served as Notes editor on the Yale Law Journal and an assistant-in-instruction, Professor Prempeh also holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Baylor University (Texas, USA) and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Ghana. He is currently a member of the Ghana Law Reform Commission.
The leadership change at CDD-Ghana coincides with the 20th anniversary this year of the founding of the research and policy think-tank. Professor Gyimah-Boadi, who leaves an impressive legacy, notably, a 50-person organization with offices in Accra and Tamale and a strong global reputation for rigorous research and evidence-based analyses and advocacy in support of democracy and good governance, will remain affiliated to CDD-Ghana both as a non-executive member of its board and in his capacity as Executive Director of Afrobarometer.