The Executive Team

The Executive Team is the core leadership of the University, and currently has six members.

Patrick Awuah
Founder & President

Before founding Ashesi University, Patrick worked as a Program Manager for Microsoft where, among other things, he spearheaded the development of dial-up internet working technologies and gained a reputation for bringing difficult projects to completion.

He holds bachelor degrees in Engineering and Economics from Swarthmore College; an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business; and honorary doctorates from Swarthmore College and Babson College.

He has won many prestigious international awards including the MacArthur Fellowship; the McNulty Prize; and Membership of the Order of the Volta -- one of Ghana’s highest awards, given to individuals who exemplify the ideal of service to the country. In 2015, Patrick was named one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune, and received the Elise and Walter A. Haas International Award, given to UC Berkeley alumni with distinguished records of service to their countries.  

Patrick served on the Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid (ACVFA) of the U.S. Agency for International Development from 2010 to 2016. He is a Fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative of the Aspen Global Leadership Network; a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; and a member of the Tau Beta Pi honor society for excellence in engineeringClick here to read a full bio. 

Ruth Kwakwa
Dean of Student and Community Affairs

A graduate of Swarthmore College (Sociology and Anthropology) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (City Planning), Ruth has a working background in educational administration, social marketing and international development. She joined Ashesi after managing admissions and marketing at a South African school, media strategy and social marketing at Lintas Ghana, and while developing a business to give young people international exposure. Ruth chose Ashesi because of its compelling vision as a groundbreaking liberal arts college in Africa. At Ashesi, Ruth focuses on creating opportunities that complement academic experiences and which generate richer lifelong options for students. She has a passion for working with young adults through mentoring, intercultural exchanges and leadership programs. Ruth grew up in Jamaica, and has been married to Ghana for about 20 years.

Araba Botchway

Director of Admissions and Financial Aid

Araba Botchway AshesiPrior to her new role at Ashesi, Araba worked as the Program Officer for the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program (IFP) in West Africa for a period of 12 years. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in French with Spanish from the University of Ghana, a post graduate diploma in Marketing of Services from the Maastricht School of Management (Netherlands), an Executive MBA from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, a certificate in Management of Higher Education Institutions from the Galilee College (Israel), and a certificate in Project Management from Syncom Business Intelligence (South Africa).

Michael Kwatia
Chief Operating Officer

Prior to his new role at Ashesi, Michael worked as Senior Solutions Consultant at the Cambodian based Neeka and ThakralOne subsidiaries of the 2 Billion USD Thakral Group of Companies of Singapore. He holds a B.Tech degree in Business and Finance from Barnsley College of Technology (UK) and an MBA in Information Systems Management from Trinity University and College (UK). Michael has had over twenty years' experience in information technology, project management and financial management. He has worked in the UK, Russia and the Far East in business, consultancy and academia.


Suzanne Buchele

Suzanne re-joins the Executive Team after a former tenure on the Committee from 2007-2008, while she was Acting Dean of Academic Affairs at Ashesi. As Provost, she supervises all academic matters, and she takes the lead on the development of new programs and curricula. She is also an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Ashesi.  Suzanne has several years of industry experience and over 15 years of experience in Academia, primarily at Southwestern University (USA), and two years at Ashesi from 2006-2008 as a Fulbright Scholar. She holds a B.A. Summa Cum Laude in Mathematical Sciences (with Honors) from Connecticut College (USA), an M.A. in Mathematics from The University of Texas at Austin (USA), and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Sciences also from UT Austin.  Suzanne rejoined the Ashesi Team in 2014. 


Fred McBagonluri
Dean of Engineering

Prior to joining Ashesi, Fred was Vice President of New Product Development at Joerns Healthcare in Arlington, Texas. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering from Central State University, a Master of Science in Engineering Science and Mechanics from Virginia Tech and a Doctorate in Materials Engineering from the University of Dayton. He also holds a Masters of Business Administration Degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).