Ayanna T. Samuels

Professional:

• Advocate for entrepreneurism and socio-economic development in emerging economies using ICTs, with a focus on the Caribbean. I am an Aerospace Engineer by training, with nearly 10 years of experience as a Technology Policy Specialist and ICT for Development Consultant.

• Wholly committed to the potential ICTs hold for development. I am resolute that ICTs can facilitate long awaited and much needed access to the development fulcra of any society, i.e. education, health care, economic empowerment, accessible governance etc.

• I have given talks internationally on a range of topics.

• I have been highlighted internationally in print, radio and on TV.

• My past clientele have ranged the government, public and private sectors and the NGO community. They have been situated in the Netherlands, the USA, Jamaica, Haiti, Switzerland and Trinidad and Tobago.

• Returned to Jamaica in 2010 after working with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Geneva, Switzerland for 8 months. The ITU is the UN organization responsible for ICTs and development.

• I have also had finance experience as a Management Associate at Citibank, Jamaica.

• I earned two M.Sc. degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Technology Policy respectively from MIT and a B.Sc. degree in Aerospace Engineering with IT, also from MIT.

Personal:

• I have trod a singular journey and am enjoying my entrepreneurial quests within the emerging economy space. My focus on the Caribbean has been extremely rewarding given the great need and extreme potential of the region.

• Growing up, my professional ambition was to be an astronaut. For this reason I matriculated at MIT and was the only person directly from Jamaica in the class of 2002.

• I was 1 of 2 black people in my undergraduate aerospace engineering class and only black female in both Masters programs I completed. At the time of my graduation, I was the first black woman in 33 years to have graduated from MIT with a M.Sc. in Aerospace Engineering.

• While at MIT I was once mistaken to be a janitor, while I was in fact a M.Sc. student.

• I am a dancer, cyclist and avid fitness enthusiast. I enjoy interacting with new cultures, traveling the globe and the continual discovery of the beauty of the human spirit.