Governor Dayton appoints Oluwagbenga Ogungbe to Board of the Minnesota State Academies

Thursday, June 21, 2018
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Minnesota governor Mark Dayton has appointed Oluwagbenga Ogungbe to the Board of the Minnesota State Academies. The Minnesota State Academies exist to provide an accessible, standards-based education for students who are blind and/or deaf, including those with additional disabilities for success in an ever-changing world.

A statement from the governor’s office sent to Mshale announcing the appointment said Mr. Ogungbe’s appointment was based on his expertise in business, finance and administration.

Ogungbe has a bachelors in medicine and a bachelors in surgery, both from the University of Ilorin in Nigeria and a masters of public health from the University of Minnesota and a master of science in risk control/Environmental, occupational health & safety from the University of Wisconsin.

A former senior safety engineer at Mortenson, Ogungbe has served previously as a commissioner on the City of Oakdale’s Environmental Management Commission, a stint that appears to have prepared him for the eventual appointment to the State Academies.

Before coming to the United States, he was a medical officer at Ondo State in Nigeria, experience he now uses to serve as the volunteer medical director for the Minnesota non-profit Mercy International Mission which does medical missions in Nigeria. Mercy International Mission was a finalist in last year’s African Awards in the non-profit category.

“My credentials, areas of expertise, background, and qualifications must have made a mark on, and influenced the governor’s decision. In addition, I believe I had a very good interaction and engagement with the interview panel as I was able to discuss a range of issues that would positively impact the Minnesota State Academies, and I felt the panel was enthralled by my perspectives and persuasions on those issues,” Ogungbe told Mshale during an interview.

Ogungbe said he is a man of faith and therefore returns “all the glory and adoration to God Almighty,” adding that it is an appointment made possible by “a fine blend of the tenacity of the Nigerian spirit with the fecundity of the American spirit.”

He added that he looks forward to a productive tenure on the board and that he would like to look back at the end of his term to find that “the target communities have been positively impacted”.’

Mr. Ogungbe ‘s term begins on June 18, 2018 and will conclude on January 3, 2022.

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About Tom Gitaa

Tom is the President and Publisher of Mshale and chair of the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium (MMMC). As Mshale founder, he did a lot of the reporting during the humble beginnings of the newspaper. While he still does the occasional reporting, he now concentrates on the publishing side of the news operation.Tom was also the original host of Talking Drum, the signature current affairs show on the African Broadcasting Network (ABN-America), which was available nationwide in the United States via the DishNetwork satellite service. On the show, he interviewed Nobel laureates such as 2004 Nobel Peace prize winner, Professor Wangari Maathai, the first woman from Africa to win the peace prize and heads of states such as the president ofВ  The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh at State House, Banjul. Tom has previously served in the board of directors of Global Minnesota, the sixth largest World Affairs Council in the United States. He has also previously served as President of the Board of Directors of Books for Africa, the largest shipper of donated books to Africa and. He sits on the board of the United Nations Association.