Rita Cooma

Senior Advisor
African School of Economics

Rita Indira Cooma is an esteemed economic and international development specialist, who served on special advisories and economic and human security committees of three presidencies of the United Nation General Assembly from 2016 to 2019 (UNPGA #72, UNPGA # 73, and UNPGA #74), while working as a resident scholar at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Malawi to the United Nations and Permanent Mission of Botswana to the United Nations. In 2019, She also served as a Doctoral Fellow in the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) - State of New Jersey. Ms. Cooma has over 17 years of economic and social development expertise on African international development, and has contributed to multilateral partnerships in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Furthermore, Ms. Cooma has served as chief adviser for ministers, ambassadors and at times heads of states for over 23 African countries on matters of education, food, nutrition, health, refugees & migrants, gender security and human security. She has also participated in drafting 2 United Nations historical resolutions on refugees and migrants, organizing the international day of education and lobbying the United Nations General Assembly with the African Group  to establish the “United Nations Sustainable Education Permanent Campaign “ with AUDA NEPAD- Africa Union for the achievement of Agenda 2063 and Africa Union’s Continental Education Strategy ( CESA) in the United Nations systems .Ms. Cooma holds bachelor’s degree in Government, Politics, and International Affairs (St. John’s University), a Masters of Public and International Affairs degree in economic development & diplomacy (University of Pittsburgh), a Master of Business Administration in industrial engineering -project management (Jones International Univ.), and a doctorate degree in developmental finance (Walden University). She is deeply passionate about having a positive social impact on youth in the niche of education and human security, specifically, higher education for economic and social development, domestically and internationally. The idea of utilizing higher education as a human security toolkit for promoting inclusive foreign policy is an example of an innovative and peaceful approach for United States multilateral engagement with the rest of the world.

Currently, Ms. Cooma is serving as a Special Adviser for AUDA NEPAD -on Higher Education for Economic and Social Development and continues to work on higher education and human security issues.  She has also been CEO for ICCOUNCIL, a premier boutique management consultancy firm for international development, for the past 17 years. As Senior Advisor to the Pan African Scientific Research Council at the African School of Economics, Ms. Cooma brings her expertise of human development, economic and social development, education and human security expertise to the management, strategy and policy making body of the Pan-African Scientific Research Council. Ms Cooma volunteers as a leader for the Princeton Chapter of Friends Committee on National Legislation.