Managing Principal, The Portier Agency
Ngozi Nmezi is a program manager, intergovernmental and external affairs expert, and partnership strategist with over 10 years of experience working in public, private, and international development settings.
Over the past decade, Ms. Nmezi has emerged as a leading voice championing Africa and its Diaspora in Washington, D.C and beyond. As a cross-cultural bridge builder, her vast ties within political, business, community and Diaspora organizations have helped her cultivate a diverse network of local and international leaders committed to building effective and sustainable U.S.-Africa partnerships. Her expertise translating public policy priorities into workable social, cultural and economic development programs that benefit diverse communities has resulted in notable successes.
Prior to founding The Portier Agency, Nmezi served as the Executive Director of the Office on African Affairs (OAA) in D.C., an appointed cabinet-level position, under Mayor Vincent C. Gray.
As Executive Director, she served as top advisor and manager of the city's African Affairs portfolio including: external affairs; diaspora affairs - outreach, engagement, advocacy & policy; business and economic development; strategic partnerships and communications. Nmezi also headed numerous efforts to increase African Diaspora civic engagement and participation in municipal and U.S.-African affairs.
Nmezi led the planning and evaluation of over 70 program events, projects and initiatives including: public policy forums, town halls, health campaigns, community dialogues and annual citywide cultural heritage festivals. She spearheaded two Africa trade and investment promotion symposiums, From DC to Africa: Growing Local, Going Global. The initiative encouraged DC businesses to venture into trade and investment in Africa and is now a key component of the city’s external affairs initiatives.
In 2015, Nmezi co-led planning and moderated a historic town hall meeting between the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E. Muhammadu Buhari, Nigerian state governors and 300 U.S. Nigerian Diaspora leaders, effectively supporting broader efforts to reset U.S-Nigeria relations.
Nmezi’s previous work experience includes serving as a risk management specialist for the D.C. Department of General Services, a proposal coordinator and a partner liaison for the international development firm AECOM, and as a contract coordinator with the Health Services for Children with Special Needs and the HSC Pediatric Center in the District of Columbia.
Nmezi has won numerous awards, including the Women’s Information Network (WIN) Leadership Award and the 2012 Diaspora African Women’s Network (DAWN) Member of the Year, recognizing her commitment to leadership in African Affairs, government and public policy. In addition, her work has been featured in print and on air in outlets such as Voice of America, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Washington Informer, AllAfrica.com, The Afro America Newspaper, NPR, WHUR, WPFW, WPGC, and THISDay newspaper.
Nmezi sits on the Board of Advisors for Believe in Africa, an initiative that aims to educate policy makers and the public about African economic growth. She is a Special Advisor to the African Renaissance Diaspora Network (ARDN), a non-profit that supports and furthers the sustainable development processes of the United Nations as they relate to Africa and the African Diaspora. She also serves as a docent at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art.
Nmezi has lived, worked, studied in, and traveled to over 20 countries in Africa, South Asia, Europe, Central America, and the Caribbean. She earned both her Bachelors degree and Masters of Public Health from Howard University. She was born in Washington, D.C. to Nigerian immigrant parents and currently resides in Washington, D.C.