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Samson Itodo
Executive Director
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Samson is an experienced community organizer and development practitioner with over a decade’s experience in constitution building, governance reform, electoral governance, civic engagement, and political organizing. He serves as the Executive Director of Yiaga Africa and Convener of the Not Too Young To Run Movement. With a background in law and postgraduate degrees in Law and Public policy, he provides strategic policy advice to parliamentary committees, electoral commissions, political parties, civil society organizations, and academic institutions. In 2018, he was appointed by the Gates Foundation as a Goalkeeper and honoured by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) Washington DC as 2018 Rising Democracy leader in Africa. He is the winner of the Future Africa Award Young Person of the Year 2018 award and the Leadership Newspaper 2018 Outstanding Young Person of the Year award. He was also inducted into 100 Most Influential Young Africans by the African Youth Awards in 2017. He is a recipient of numerous prestigious fellowships such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellowship, Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance at the University of Cape Town, International Visitors Leadership Program of the US Department of State, Swedish Visitors Leadership Program, European Union Visitors Program (EUVP) and the UK International Leaders Program. 

Samson is also a member of the Board of Advisors of International IDEA, and he previously served as lead consultant for International IDEA on the development of a strategy for mitigating electoral and political violence in Africa. He also served as Research Facilitator for United States Institute for Peace (USIP) and the National Assembly’s institutional reforms committee. He is currently engaged in the preparation of Nigeria’s Medium Term Development plan (2021 - 2025) and Nigeria’s Agenda 2050.

Samson holds Bachelors' and Masters' degrees in Law, both from the University of Jos, and a Masters of Public Policy from the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford.


Yiaga Africa is a non-profit civic hub of change makers committed to the promotion of democratic governance, human rights and civic engagement. With its operational base in Abuja, Nigeria, Yiaga Africa focuses on in-depth research, providing critical analysis on key democratic and governance issues, crafting practical solutions, training and empowering citizens to lead change in their community. Yiaga Africa implements several innovative programs aimed at stimulating active citizenship, protecting human rights and deepening democratic governance. We invest in building networks and social movements to drive social change and transformation. Yiaga Africa has leadership structures and members in all 36 states and 774 Local Government Areas (LGA) of Nigeria.