Shared Interest Adds Four Members to Board of Directors

New Board Members will Enhance and Expand Organization’s Focus To Advance Inclusive Economic Equity in Southern Africa 

New York, New York – Shared Interest, one of the nation’s prominent non-profit social investment funds that serves as an innovative model for economic justice, recently appointed four new members to join its executive board of directors. As leaders in their respective fields, the four women were chosen for their tremendous talent and commitment to Shared Interest’s mission to mobilize the resources for Southern Africa’s economically disenfranchised communities to sustain themselves and build equitable nations. 

“Shared Interest is thrilled to welcome Charlotte V. McClain-Nhlapo, Palesa Morudu-Rosenburg, Dr. Joan Benson, and Schuyla Goodson Jeanniton to the Board,” said Ann McMikel, Shared Interest Executive Director. “Each of these dynamic women brings invaluable leadership and passion for advancing economic justice in Southern Africa for black-owned businesses that is absolutely critical for an inclusive Covid-19 recovery.” 

The new board members began their terms on November 12, 2021. The four new board members are:

  • Charlotte V. McClain-Nhlapo is Global Disability Advisor of the World Bank Group. As Disability Advisor, she focuses on working with and supporting operational teams across the institution to ensure that Bank policies, programs, and projects take people with disabilities into consideration. Before joining the World Bank, she served as USAID’s coordinator for disability and inclusive development, appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama in 2011 to lead the government’s efforts in disability-inclusive development, from developing policies and country strategies to technical assistance for program implementation. Earlier in her career, she was appointed by President Nelson Mandela to the South African Human Rights Commission, focusing on social and economic rights, disability rights, and child rights. She holds a Master’s Degree in international law and administration from the University of Warsaw, Poland, and an LLM from Cornell Law School.
  • Palesa Morudu-Rosenberg is a founding director of Clarity Global Strategic Communications, a strategic communications firm with offices in Cape Town and Washington D.C.  She has extensive experience in designing communications strategies for clients in the public, private, and development sectors. Palesa is a strong advocate of democratic values, good governance, and corporate social responsibility.  Her work is widely published, including as a regular columnist for South Africa’s Business Day and a contributor to the Washington Post. Her areas of interest include global social, economic, and political developments, with a special focus on Africa and U.S. policy. With nearly three decades of experience as a strategic thinker and communicator, Palesa brings a great depth of knowledge to her new role as a member of the Shared Interest board.  Palesa lives in the Washington, DC, area with her husband and teenage son. She has a BA Honors International Relations from Rhodes University (SA) and a Diploma in Diplomacy and International Relations from Georgetown University in conjunction with University of the Western Cape (SA). 
  • Dr. Joan Benson, MD, MPH is the Executive Director, Public Health Partnerships, Global Vaccines Policy & Partnerships, at Merck Co. & Inc. Dr. Benson presently leads Merck strategic engagement and development of partnerships with global public health organizations involved in vaccines advocacy, WHO prequalification, recommendations, procurement, funding, delivery and implementation of vaccines to accelerate the adoption of Merck vaccines globally. She is a strong advocate for health equity and access globally and particularly in disenfranchised populations. Before joining Merck Vaccines, she was part of a team that established the African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnership, a collaboration among the Government of Botswana, Gates Foundation, and the Merck Company Foundation, where she collaborated with the Botswana Ministry of Health and the National AIDS Coordinating Agency to develop and implement HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs. Dr. Benson graduated with a degree in Medicine from the University College Hospital, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. In addition, she earned her Master of Public Health from Harvard School of Public Health and a Certificate in Leadership Principles from the Harvard Business School Online. 
  • Schuyla Goodson Jeanniton leads Global Contracts, Risk & Compliance Center of Excellence within Corporate Purchasing at Cummins Inc. Her career spans work across Africa, Asia, and the Americas in business, legal and human resources. Schuyla spent 11 years in Johannesburg, South Africa working for two global corporations, Cummins Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company.   Professional highlights include practicing law in government, private practice, and in-house. In addition, she held positions as Legal Director, Group Intellectual Property Counsel, and Legal Advisor to the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation. Schuyla joined Cummins Inc. in 2010 to work on a refresh of the company’s Africa strategy.  In 2014 Schuyla was appointed the Managing Director of Cummins Southern Africa. She led employees in delivering aftermarket sales, service, and support in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.  Leveraging her emerging market experience, Schuyla transitioned back to the U.S. in September 2016 as the Operations Vice President – North for Cummins Pacific. Schuyla received her Juris Doctorate from The Georgetown University Law Center in 1992 and her Bachelor of Arts from Spelman College in 1987. She is also an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. 

“These four new directors add a special combination of backgrounds and skills to further strengthen Shared Interest’s Board of Directors as we move into this new chapter of our work,” said Tim Smith, Shared Interest’s Board Chairman. “They have already added considerable value to the discussions at our first board meeting this November.”

To learn more about the Shared Interest board and read each member’s complete biography, visit For media inquiries or to schedule an interview with SI board members or Ann M. McMikel, contact Jameka Whitten via email at or phone at 704.965.3297. 

About Shared Interest

In 1994, Shared Interest was founded as a US non-profit to help reverse the legacy of Apartheid by unlocking South Africa’s wealth to benefit the majority of the region’s people. Our loan guarantees and technical assistance allow black smallholder farmers and emerging entrepreneurs to access the credit, markets, and training they need to create sustainable livelihoods for their families and communities. Since our founding, Shared Interest has provided more than $30 million in guarantees, unlocked $125 million in loans for low-income beneficiaries of color, and benefitted more than 2.3 million people. Shared Interest has never lost a cent of an investor’s interest or principal. Building on our successful South African model, we have expanded in recent years to Eswatini, Mozambique, Malawi, and Zambia and launched a new business model that broadens our guarantee focus to include new sectors and that diversifies our portfolio of partners on the ground to place and service our beneficiaries. For more information, please visit