International Advisory Council /

Frannie Léautier

Dr. Frannie Léautier is Chair of the IFIT International Advisory Council.

Frannie is CEO of SouthBridge Investments. Previously she held many positions including: Senior Vice President at the African Development Bank, where she was responsible for the day to day running of the Bank and led the intense transformation effort the Bank was going through; executive director of the TBG Group; and Managing Partner of the Fezembat Group, a company she founded in 2007. Clients she served in the latter role included the Trade and Development Bank (TDB—formerly PTA Bank) where she was an Eminent Person and Special Advisor to TDB Bank Board and President, advising on strategy, investments in infrastructure and alternative finance arrangements including private equity.  She also advised the chairman of OCP (the largest phosphate company in the world) in the Kingdom of Morocco. 

Earlier in her career, Dr. Léautier was Chairperson and Co-Founding Partner of Mkoba Private Equity, a fund offering growth capital to small and medium enterprises in Africa. She also spent fifteen years at the World Bank, 11 of which in executive roles. These included World Bank Vice President and Chief of Staff to the President of the World Bank.  She was also Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) where she led the effort of transforming the Foundation and orienting it towards the new sources of funding capacity building, public goods efforts, and philanthropic activities. 

She is experienced with Executive and non-Executive roles on Boards having chaired the AfDB Board, and through holding wide ranging Board Director positions including Vice Chair TDB Bank; Treasurer and Chair of Risk and Audit Committee African Economic Research Consortium (AERC); Founding Board Member Nelson Mandela Institute for Science & Technology; Founding Member Editorial Board of the Journal of African Trade (JAT); Founding Board Member UONGOZI Institute; Founding Board Member of the Journal of Infrastructure Systems; and Advisory Board Member of the Institute of Security Studies (ISS). She recently joined the UN foundation board. She chairs the environment, social and governance (ESG) committee of Orca Explorations, a natural gas company operating in Tanzania, and listed on the Toronto Exchange.  

Dr. Léautier served on Visiting Committees at the MIT Corporation, was a Trustee at the King Baudouin Foundation USA (KBFUS) and served on the Advisory Board of Women’s World Banking. She served as Co-Chair for World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa and is a member of the board of the WEF ́s regional strategy group (RSG) for Africa. She is an active member of the WEF Global Agenda Councils and was Co-chair of the Global Future Council on the Future of Economic Progress. Another of her roles with the WEF was as a member of the Core Working Group on the Digital Economy Research Agenda of the WEForum.

Dr. Léautier has a masters and doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from University of Dar es Salaam. She graduated from Harvard University’s Executive Program. She is a recipient of many awards including Best Manager at the World Bank, an honorary Doctor of Law from Lancaster University in the UK in recognition of her work in infrastructure, and an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from North Central College in recognition of her contribution to Africa.  Dr. Léautier received the title of Queen of Development for the Agona area in Ghana in 2012.  She has featured several times in the list of the most influential people in Africa. She held the position of Distinguished Professor at Sciences Po Paris for five years, where she still teaches a graduate course on Leadership in a Globalized World. She is well published, including three acclaimed books: Leadership in a Globalized World; Cities and Spaces of Leadership; and Cities in a Globalized World.