Michael Fairbanks is a Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University; a director of the Akilah Institute for Women, the first women’s college in Rwanda; and a director of the Rwanda Biomedical Center, which oversees that nation’s healthcare system. He has served as chief executive in both the private and philanthropic sectors and has advised two dozen presidents in Latin America, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Asia on export competitiveness and private sector development. Mr. Fairbanks worked in Colombia during “the Apertura,” El Salvador after the peace accord, Serbia after the Yugoslav wars, Rwanda since the genocide, Afghanistan during the war, and Haiti before and after the earthquake in 2010. Since 2001, he has served as a Senior Advisor to Rwanda President Paul Kagame. Mr. Fairbanks co–authored Harvard Business School’s landmark book on business strategy in emerging markets, “Plowing the Sea, Nurturing the Hidden Sources of Growth in the Developing World,” with a Foreword by Professor Michael Porter; and edited, “In the River They Swim: Essays from Around the World on Enterprise Solutions to Poverty,” Foreword by Pastor Rick Warren. He helped to conceive, and contributed to, “Culture Matters: How Values Shape Human Progress,” edited by Samuel Huntington and Lawrence Harrison of Harvard University. Mr. Fairbanks has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Hill, Fox News, The Huffington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, Philanthropy magazine, and The Harvard International Review. He is a citizen of the United States, the European Union (Ireland), and Rwanda. Mr. Fairbanks studied philosophy and biochemistry at the University of Scranton, a Jesuit university in Pennsylvania where he was a trustee for six years, and African politics at Columbia University in New York City. He was a U.S. Peace Corps teacher in Kenya from 1979-1981.
Michael C. Fairbanks