The Khana Group
New York, NY
Taa Wongbe enjoys working for himself. “I love building things, whether it’s organizations, a social venture, or filling a gap in the market that everyone is talking about but no one is fixing,” he admits.
Wongbe founded The Khana Group, a research and business consultancy with offices in the U.S., Liberia, Ghana and Nigeria, after returning to his native Liberia to assist its recovery from a sixteen-year civil war. He hopes to create sustainable solutions to Africa’s problems by using data and local culture to inform program and policy decisions and social-impact strategies. His challenge now is to manage the company’s growth before expanding to neighboring African countries. “We want to make sure we own those markets when it comes to research, but before we spin out of control, we need to make sure we manage growth—finding the right people and strengthening our internal systems and processes,” he says.
Wongbe has a bachelor’s degree in information technology from New Jersey Institute of Technology; a project management certificate from New York University, and a certificate in finance and accounting from the Wharton Executive Education program at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2017 he was senior advisor, chief of staff and campaign strategy co-leader for Liberian presidential candidate Alexander B. Cummings, a former executive at The Coca-Cola Co. “It was the best experience I’ve had, fundamentally understanding our problems in Africa are our own, not the making of anyone else.” Cummings lost the election, but the experience inspired Wongbe to get more involved in politics in Liberia with leadership lessons learned from his father and Cummings. “My last name, Wongbe, means ‘love for humanity,’ so I believe whatever we do during our time on earth should be about making a positive impact on people’s lives,” he says.
Favorite author: Chinua Achebe
Favorite food: African cuisine
Favorite charity: FACE Africa
Artist you would tour with: Jay- Z
What actor should play you in a movie: Derek Luke
Sport you play best: Soccer