James C. Ezeilo
Interim CEO GYF North American & CEO GYF Africa
While others see challenges, James sees opportunities. For the past two decades, James has dedicated his time and energy into the development and implementation of programs that increase career possibilities to youth of color.
James arrived in the United States as a political refugee fleeing the 1967 Nigerian civil war. As an immigrant child that did not yet speak English living in New York city, the most memorable times were spent in Central Park. A beautiful green space filled with people from every walk of life.
Moving to Vermont with his family and attending an all-white middle school was a mixed blessing. The cultural isolation was tempered each day by the picturesque green mountains and the unending stands of trees that surrounded the small town where he lived. The total lack of diversity within such a beautiful environment led James to believe that something had to be done to create a path of access to these beautiful places for young people from every background.
For over a decade, James has had the incredible opportunity to develop programs and projects that connect students and young adults of color to careers in conservation and natural resource management. From Denver Colorado to Lagos Nigeria, James has developed projects and programs designed to connect young people of color to the natural environment and careers in conservation. Over 40 years following the civil war, James is proud to be working with local communities and state governments in Nigeria to develop and implement conservation project that entail the training of the next generation of Nigerian youth.
James is a graduate of Florida A&M University where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Public Administration. He also holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Florida, College of Law. He has a son in college at Howard University in Washington DC and a second son enrolled at the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his beautiful wife Angelou Ezeilo.