U.S.-Africa Trade & Investment Global Summit (USATIGS-2019): Meet Cynthia L. Blandford

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BIOGRAPHICAL NARRATIVE

Honorable Blandford was appointed by Her Excellency Madame Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia in 2009, as Liberia’s first female African American Honorary Consul General in Liberia’s history and continues to serve in this capacity 182 years after Liberia’s Independence. Cynthia was the first Rotarian Exchange Student to be invited to Liberia, West Africa where she attended the University of Liberia and taught school in Yekepa, Nimba County.

U.S.-Africa Trade & Investment Global Summit: Meet Cynthia L. Blandford
U.S.-Africa Trade & Investment Global Summit: Meet Cynthia L. Blandford

Hon. Blandford is President and CEO of Global Strategies for Good, LLC, and President and Board Chair of the University Consortium for Liberia’s 501c3 organization, which collaborates with 17 Institutional Partners to provide Study Abroad, Service Learning, Student and Faculty Exchange and educational Scholarships.

Hon. Blandford was instrumental in negotiating Delta Air Lines direct flights to Liberia and facilitated the first African Sister Port Agreement between the Georgia Ports Authority and the National Ports Authority of Liberia. She has successfully conducted over 40 trade, medical, education and faith missions to Liberia. In 2017, Blandford facilitated a Sister Airport Agreement between Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and the Liberian Airport Authority with a focus on increasing economic development and trade, including air cargo and a Cargo Village in Liberia. Under her leadership, Blandford facilitated an MOU between the University of Georgia and the University of Liberia with a focus on a women’s poultry project and Savannah State University signed an Agreement with the University of Liberia to establish a School of Social Work. Hon. Blandford was also instrumental in facilitating Liberia’s first Institute for Public Health and a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Liberia, following the Ebola Crisis. In 2018, Hon. Blandford signed the first ever Stakeholder Agreement with Brussels Airlines to offer travel discounts to all those traveling to Liberia from North America.

Honorable Blandford also designed and created the African and Caribbean Consular Corps of Georgia where African and Caribbean countries are developing an African Agenda for the State of Georgia, including a focus on the African Continental

Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which is poised to become a $2.5 Trillion zone covering 1.2 Billion Africans and the world’s

largest free trade zone. Her strength is in the development of Public Private Partnerships and leveraging relationships with Embassies, Ministers of Government, the African Union, USAID, Millennium Challenge Corporation and others. Hon. Blandford has worked with marginalized and low-income communities, in the USA and abroad including market women, and partnerships with the Carter Center’s Tribal Leaders in Liberia.

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Hon. Blandford received the “Global Image” Award from President of Liberia Ellen-Johnson Sirleaf; Congressman John Lewis presented a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition; Georgia State University awarded her the Martin Luther King Torch of Peace Award; and the Atlanta Business League recognized her with 100 Most Influential Women Award. Hon. Blandford also serves on the Board of the Atlanta Consular Corps and also served on the Board of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Metro Atlanta Chapter and the West End Rotary Club. Most recently she received the Presidential Award for Excellence from the University of Liberia.

U.S.-Africa Trade & Investment Global Summit: Meet Cynthia L. Blandford
U.S.-Africa Trade & Investment Global Summit: Meet Cynthia L. Blandford

Hon. Blandford has a degree in Journalism with a Minor in Marketing and a concentration in Public Relations from Georgia State University and a Certificate in Fundraising Management from Indiana University. Cynthia previously worked at Georgia Tech in External Affairs and as a lead administrator at the Atlanta Housing Authority focused on affordable and mixed-income housing, resource development and management and community partnerships.

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Born in Elmira, New York and raised in Ithaca, New York, she travels extensively internationally, loves to cook and spends time with her two dogs. She has one son and 4 grandchildren.

225 Peachtree Street, Suite 515 Peachtree Center South Tower Atlanta, GA  30303 Phone (404) 565-1154 FAX 1-855-525-4080


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