Joan Curran-Darkortey -Board Chair

LEDI founder

Joan Curran Darkortey is a corporate manager and trainer, motivational speaker, and servant leader who is deeply passionate about Africa’s economic, infrastructural, and human capital development. In 2007, she co-founded Liberia Economic Development Initiative (LEDI). LEDI’s flagship project, currently underway, is to build the first modern public library and technology center in Liberia. Mrs. Darkortey is employed as a Manager, Administration Operations in Community and Economic Development (CED) at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Emory University (2002), a paralegal degree from Clayton State University (2002), and an Executive MBA from the Monte Ahuja College of Business at Cleveland State University (2014).

She has served on numerous Boards, including serving as the Chairman of the Board of LEDI. Joan has been recognized as Crain’s Cleveland Business Forty Under 40 (2014), Federal Reserve Bank’s Corporate Citizenship Award (2018), and lifetime membership in Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society.

Joan is married to Rufus Darkortey, LEDI Co-founder and President and is the mother of two boys, Rufus, Jr. and Jeremiah.

Rufus Darkortey -Board Co-Chair

ledi founder

Rufus Darkortey is passionate about poverty reduction and economic and infrastructural development, especially in underdeveloped countries. That is why he Co-founded the Liberia Economic Development Initiative (LEDI) in 2007 with a flagship project of constructing the first modern public state of the art library and technology center in his native country, Liberia. The building construction is currently ongoing.

He brings strong leadership qualities to LEDI. Prior to Co-founding and serving as the President of LEDI, he served as President of the Liberian Association of Cleveland and its Environs (LACE) in Ohio for several years with distinction. He also served as student senator of the Student Government Association at the Cleveland State University. He also served as Vice President of the Black Alumni Organization at Cleveland State University. Rufus also served as Liberian Ambassador for; and Liberian Ambassador representing LACE at various levels in Cleveland, Ohio.

Rufus is an Economist and financial manager with many years of experience working for multinational institutions, including the African Development Bank as Senior Advisor to the Executive Director, KeyBank NA (10th largest bank in the U.S. with $136 billion in assets) as Risk Reviewer; Forest City Real Estate Trust (a leading commercial and residential real estate development, management, and servicing company with $8 billion in assets) as Senior Financial Analyst/Accountant; the State of Ohio Human Services Department (serving over 11 million people in that State) and other vital firms. He also serves as Senior Economic and Policy Advisor to the Minister of Finance and Development Planning of the Republic of Liberia

His professional experiences include economic development, infrastructure and real estate development; revenue performance, management and domestic resources mobilization; fiscal and monetary policy framework formulation and management; budgetary and resource allocations; domestic and international trade; small, medium, and large-sized enterprise development and investment.

Rufus holds a master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Economics from the Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio and an Associate degree with honors in Computer Science with emphasis in computer programming from the A.M.E. Zion Community College in Liberia. He has been recognized for his leadership and community engagement efforts with an Outstanding Public Service Award from the Alumni Association of the Cleveland State University.

He is married to Joan Curran Darkortey, LEDI Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of LEDI. He is a father to two children, including Rufus, Jr., and Jeremiah.

Shante Roddy - Board Member


Shanté R. Roddy has been described as a mastermind, disruptor of the status quo, a master collaborator and advocate for women with the desire to see all women WIN!” Daily, she lives out her motto: “We’re Better Together”, as CEO of She Epic Media and She Boss Talk. In her goal to highlight the work and needs of women professionals, Shante founded She Epic Media; a female-focused marketing consulting firm. She also serves as the host of She Boss Talk, an international talk show and podcast.

Shante does not only seek to expand her own businesses, but also works to spotlight other business women’s gifts, stories, and voices. On a daily basis, she empowers and elevates women to dream bigger and live bigger. Seeing the need for spaces in which women can also learn to attract their own clientele, she hosts multiple events including the Under She Epic Conference and her signature event, She Boss Extravaganza. Shante’s work has not gone unnoticed as she now leads an online community of over 50,000 women in business; facilitating several initiatives and events to bring them together, as they break barriers and create opportunities for collaboration and success. She is truly living her mission of helping purpose-driven women entrepreneurs increase their influence, impact and income to give them more time, results and freedom to live life without limits.

Shante holds a B.A. in Communication from Wilberforce University with honors designation and an Executive M.B.A from Cleveland State University (with membership in the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society). She is also a Project Management Professional (PMP) and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.

Shante – Board Member – Video

Jason Humbert - Board Member


Jason Humbert is a registered nurse with over 20 years of service in the US Army and US Public Health Service. He was deployed to serve in Liberia during the 2014 Ebola epidemic.

Jason is a graduate of Capital University in Columbus, OH and has completed graduate studies at Penn State and Carlow College.

Mr. Humbert currently lives in Washington, DC with his wife and three children

Jason – Board Member – Video


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