Professor Francisca Oladipo
Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer
Francisca is a Nigerian Professor of Computer Science and Vice-Chancellor of Thomas Adewumi University, Oko, Kwara State Nigeria. She previously served as the pioneer Director, Quality Assurance at Federal University Lokoja, Nigeria and member of the Governing Council -the first female elected to the Council. She is also the first female Head of the Department of Computer Science at the University. She was Director Research, Innovations and International Relations at Kampala International University (KIU), Uganda between 2019 and 2020 and following the outbreak of the pandemic, was appointed the Executive Coordinator of the Virus Outbreak Data Africa and Asia Network (VODAN Africa & Asia); an initiative that promotes data ownership, data-in-residence, and data governance in African countries through the FAIR principles. Francisca currently leads the team implementing machine-actionable FAIR Data Points on the observational health data for Africa, Asia and Europe, covering Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Liberia, Tunisia, Somalia, Tanzania, Indonesia, China, Kazakhstan and the Netherlands and established the intercontinental Data Stewardship Competence Centre connecting Africa and Europe.
Francisca obtained a PhD in Computer Science in 2010 and was a postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of technology, MIT under the TOTAL/MIT ETT Project. She is one of the inaugural Fellows of the Pan-Africa Scientific Research Council, a Grace Hopper Faculty Scholar, a fellowship alumna of the Heidelberg Laureate Foundation Germany, United States Department of State Exchange Program (TechWomen), Internet Engineering Task Force, the Women of Color in Computing, Widening Natural Language Processing, Women in Machine Learning, Black in Artificial Intelligence, etc. She is a three-time recipient of the PyCon USA Grant, the ACM FAT Fellowship in 2019 and 2020, and the 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship of the ICML. She is an alumna of the prestigious Machine Learning Summer School and has been trained in Machine Learning, Big Data Analytics, and Data Science at the Institute of Analytics and Data Science, University of Essex, UK, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain and the University of Oxford.
In addition to developing innovative curriculum for multidisciplinary research, Francisca is bridging the gaps between research and practice in the areas of Theoretical Computer Science, bringing scalable technology to the society and advancing the cause of thinking machines in developing economies. Outside of daily work, she designs programs to increase the participation of females in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Prof. Oladipo serves as the Chief Technical Advisor (Kogi) on the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), and, Facilitator, Africa Centre of Excellence in Technology and Learning (ACETEL), National Open University of Nigeria. She also functions as the International Projects Synergy and Support Lead, for the NUFFIC Regional and Ethiopia Projects for KIU, and Dutch Partners. The two-part project is sponsored by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and, is facilitated by e-learning and data sharing in the Horn of Africa to develop and implement eLearning Systems to strengthen Security and Rule of Law; Food and Nutrition, specifically in Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan, and Northern Ethiopia under the Dutch Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) Initiative.
As the Executive Coordinator of the Virus Outbreak Data Network Africa, (VODAN Africa), the initiative that has given Africa a place in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic through the deployment of 88 machine-actionable COVID-19 FAIR Data Points across Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tunisia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and the Netherlands. She is currently leading the expansion of the initiative into Liberia, Tanzania, Somalia, Burkina Faso, China, Indonesia, and Kazakhstan.
Francisca has won many grants and co-authored several award-winning proposals for donor-founded projects including the Philips Foundation Grants, Google Rapid COVID-19 Grants, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs Orange Knowledge Program, Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship, Dutch Development Bank Grant for capacity Strengthening in Africa, etc.