Joseph Asunka (UCLA PhD 2014), currently Program Officer of the Global Development Program of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, will lead the Afrobarometer in early 2021 as its new Chief Executive Officer. Asunka will lead the pan-African survey research network into its third decade as the principal data source on African experiences and evaluation of democracy, governance, and quality of life. Asunka will also be teaching at the University of Ghana. He previously worked at the Ghana Center for Democratic Development, an Afrobarometer core partner, and was a lecturer in political science at UCLA, where he taught courses on research methods and data analysis, political institutions, and economic development.
In the Afrobarometer’s announcement of Asunka’s appointment, Asunka notes that “When I was growing up in a remote corner of northern Ghana, government was very far removed from the daily lives of people in my community. The only regular experience of government in many communities like mine was through loudspeakers mounted on vehicles of the Information Services Department. That Afrobarometer makes it possible for ordinary Africans, and not just economic and political elites, to influence decisions, actions, and processes at national, regional, and global levels is revolutionary, powerful, and reassuring. Deepening these core contributions and positioning Afrobarometer for greater impact in the next generation will be a major focus in my role as CEO.”