Senior Program Officer, Human Rights
Contact - Ydarkwa@macfound.org
Prior to joining the Foundation, Yvonne served in a variety of Program Management positions in international NGOs and multi-lateral organizations, including the World Bank and the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative for Africa. She has worked extensively in sub-Saharan Africa combating a wide range of threats to human rights and development. Her experience includes drafting law and legislation, working with international and national partners, including law enforcement agents, prosecutors, and the judiciary, to provide access to justice for victims of international crimes, and to build institutional capacity to address the same.
As a program manager, Yvonne served as regional anti-trafficking advisor/director in East Africa. Yvonne has a deep knowledge and passion for human rights and justice in Africa, and has over the past eight years been a key player in the development of programs and laws to combat human trafficking on the continent. Most recently she has engaged youth at the pan-African level to assume leadership in the fight against human rights violations of the youth. To that end, she served as a speaker and lead rapporteur at the recently convened African Youth Forum, a meeting of nearly 300 young people from across Africa, organized by the African Union to help set the agenda for its upcoming heads of state Summit in Malabo where, for the first time, there will be a focus on youth.
Yvonne earned her BA in political science and pre-law, magna cum laude, from Arcadia University, and her JD from American University's Washington College of Law, where she was a dean's fellow for the Women and International Law program.
Yvonne Darkwa-Poku works on the following MacArthur programs and projects: