Tolu Olubunmi may not have been born in the United States, but she’s definitely working to achieve her American dream, as well as the dreams of millions of other immigrants. Her unlikely journey from an unemployed, undocumented chemical engineer to a respected immigrants’ rights activist and an internationally recognized social entrepreneur began because she believed the U.S. could and should do better by all people that call this great nation home.
Tolu was recognized by the World Economic Forum as one of 15 Women Changing the World in 2015. She sits on the Board of Directors of USAIM for IOM, the United States based non-profit partner of IOM, the UN Migration Agency and serves as an Advisors to the social impact investment platform, BRAVA Investments. She is also a founding board member of the United We Dream Network and co-founder of Immigrant Heritage Month.
She currently serves on the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the Future of Migration and co-chairs the Mobile Minds - an innovative initiative advancing cross-border remote working as a 21st century alternative to physical migration. She made the World Economic Forum’s list of outstanding women entrepreneurs, focusing her attention on international migration issues and access to opportunity for all people.
In 2015, Tolu joined 26 CEOs, Executives, Olympians, Activists, and other inspiring women to walk the runway at designer Carrie Hammer's New York Fashion Week show featuring "Role Models Not Runway Models."
Tolu's story has been profiled by several media outlets, including TIME, BET, and MSNBC and she has been a featured speaker at the United Nations, the White House, the World Bank, and the US Congress. She is an inaugural Leadership Institute Fellow at the Center for American Progress and holds a Chemistry-Engineering degree from Washington and Lee University.
When you ask Tolu why she does what she does, she responds with a quote by John Wesley - “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.” She believes that each of us, in our own way, should all aspire to live out these words. Tolu says it took her own setbacks to open her eyes to this truth.