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Isha Sesay named OkayMedia’s first female CEO – Deadline

Former CNN International presenter Isha Sashay has been named OkayMedia’s first female CEO.

Within the multimedia organization, which is dedicated to “raising the artistic and progressive voice of global black culture,” she will oversee digital publications including OkayAfrica and OkayPlayer.

Sashay will also be co-founder and CEO of SPKN / WRD, the organization’s new boutique production arm, while serving on the board of OkayMedia, alongside Dataminr co-founder Sam Hendel and president, Live Nation. , Urban, Shawn Gee.

Broadening the company’s commitment to “innovative storytelling that advances culture” is at the heart of his priorities as CEO. Through SPKN / WRD, she seeks to bring rarely heard voices and new perspectives from around the world to the fore, through feature films, documentaries, television, podcasting and publishing. To do so, she will draw on her decades of reporting experience, which has included significant global coverage of social injustice and the experiences of women and girls.

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“I am delighted to join the OkayMedia family,” Sesay said. “This is an exciting company that has done a great job for a long time that I admire. I look forward to bringing all my ideas to life for expanding our content offerings and how to expose this fantastic brand to even more people in Africa and beyond.

Hendel, President and Board Member of OkayMedia: “We are delighted to welcome Isha Sesay as the new CEO of OkayMedia. Isha’s leadership throughout her career in highlighting the most critical and under-reported stories from around the world – from the pandemic epidemic in Africa to her work as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador in the fight against continuing violence against women and girls – aligns perfectly with our mission to tell stories that advance a global culture. “

During his 13 years at CNN, Sesay led the team covering the 2014 kidnapping of over 200 schoolgirls in northeast Nigeria, winning the Gracie Award for Outstanding Anchor, in recognition of his coverage. She also received a Peabody Award for Excellence in Reporting, as a member of the Network team.

In 2018, she published her first book, Under the tamarind tree, offering the first definitive account of the mass abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls. Sesay is also the Founder and President of WE (Women Everywhere) Can Lead, a non-profit organization that works to nurture and empower adolescent girls in her homeland, Sierra Leone.

At OkayMedia, Sesay will work closely with a management team, which includes Rachel Hislop, Teneille Craig, Scean Ellis, Armelle Crump and Mariama Todd.

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