Yvonne Darkwa-Poku, J.D

Member, Executive Council

Yvonne Darkwa-Poku, J.D, is a human rights lawyer, advocate, activist, and philanthropist. She is a pan-Africanist who is passionate about the Global Black Diaspora. Her areas of expertise include criminal justice reform and accountability, transitional justice and redress for mass atrocities, racial justice and repair for contemporary and historical crimes, and youth-focused anti-human trafficking work. Yvonne has deep knowledge and passion for human rights and justice in Africa, and has over the past twenty-one years, worked extensively in sub-Saharan Africa addressing a wide range of threats to human rights and development. Her experience includes equity-focused grantmaking, establishing legacy projects, intermediaries, networks, and collaboratives, drafting legislation and policies, collaborating with continental and regional institutions, and training legal practitioners and law enforcement agents.

Yvonne is currently a senior program officer at the MacArthur Foundation. Her portfolios have included International Human Rights and Justice, Transitional Justice, Equitable Recovery and Racial Justice, and Criminal Justice Reform. Prior to joining the Foundation, Yvonne served in a variety of Program Management positions in international NGOs including the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative for Africa.

Yvonne earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and pre-law, magna cum laude, from Arcadia University, and her Juris Doctorate (J.D) from the American University's Washington College of Law, where she was a Dean's fellow for the Women and International Law program.