Shadrack Frimpong

An expert in community engagement, Frimpong is a triple threat to problems in international development: he’s lived through them (from birth), studied them, and taken them on. Described by former U.N. Secretary-General Mr. Kofi Annan as “the embodiment of [youth] leadership,” Frimpong is a non-profit leader and global health scholar whose work is inspired by his background.

A son of a peasant (cocoa farmer) and a charcoal seller, he grew up without running water and electricity in rural Ghana. As a child, his legs were nearly amputated after contracting a river infection. Yet he became the first person from his village to attend college in the US, graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with the $150,000 President’s Engagement Prize (PEP), one of Penn’s highest honors. With the PEP, he founded Cocoa360 and pioneered the trailblazing community engagement model.

For his efforts, Frimpong has received many awards including the prestigious Huntington Public Service Award, Forbes 30 under 30, the Clinton Foundation’s CGIU Honor Roll, HRM Queen Elizabeth II’s Young Leader Award, and the Muhammad Ali Award.

Frimpong holds master’s degrees from Penn (MS, Non-Profit Leadership) and Yale (Advanced MPH, Global Health). He graduated from both schools with top prizes. Currently, he is pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge as a Gates Cambridge Scholar. Beyond his peer-reviewed publications, he has also provided expertise on community engagement in public health and medicine by working with UNICEF and WHO to co-author evidence-based frameworks on global health issues.

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