Acclaimed entrepreneur Ashifi Gogo '05, founder and CEO of consumer protection company Sproxil, will return to campus this weekend as Whitman's 2018 Commencement Speaker.
With teams in Africa, Asia and America, Sproxil offers services in more than 100 countries. These services save lives: according to a TEDx Talk Gogo gave in 2012, fake drugs that fail to treat serious illnesses such as malaria and tuberculosis lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths each year, mainly in developing nations. Sproxil uses mobile technology to warn consumers away from such counterfeit goods by authenticating their purchases through an app, working with manufacturers to close holes in supply chains that may lead to fraud.
For its efforts to empower consumers, especially in emerging markets, Fast Company named Sproxil the world's most innovative company in healthcare in 2013. In 2015, Gogo landed on Fortune's "40 Under 40" list. He was awarded the Social Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2014 by the World Economic Forum's Schwab Foundation. The Obama White House further recognized Gogo as an Immigrant Innovator "Champion of Change."
Born in Ghana, Gogo was a mathematics and physics major at Whitman. He went on to earn his doctorate in engineering from Dartmouth College. Dartmouth's first-ever PhD Innovation Fellow, he teaches a course in New Business Ventures Technology Management at Columbia University. The recipient of a Clinton Foundation Global Initiative Outstanding Commitment Award, Gogo served on the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Social Innovation and on the Meta-Council on the Illicit Economy.
He has also stayed connected to Whitman. Gogo gave the keynote address at the 2013 "Entrepreneurship and a Whitman Education: A Symposium," event, sponsored by the Student Engagement Center, and he co-sponsored a grant to help international students get laptops. Recently, Gogo was nominated to serve on the President's Advisory Board at Whitman.
"Whitman has had a transformative impact on my life," he said. "Whitman's outstanding alumni have proven the versatility a liberal arts education delivers. I am honored to return to campus to visit and learn from tomorrow's leaders."