Prosperity, Partnership & Potential: Mayor Karen Bass & British A. Robinson
February 21, 2024
4:00pm to 6:30pm

Beverly Hills

Join the Pacific Council for a special conversation with Mayor Karen Bass and British A. Robinson.

The conversation will explore the dynamic strategies and initiatives propelling economic growth throughout the African continent aided by Prosper Africa. Mayor Bass and Ms. Robinson will also discuss the role of Los Angeles as a global city and the African diaspora in Southern California.

Mayor Bass will provide insights on a range of international and domestic issues drawing on her diverse experience in the California State Assembly and U.S. House of Representatives where she served on the Committee of Foreign Affairs while also Chairing the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights.

Ms. Robinson will share the diverse investment landscape in Africa, showcasing how Prosper Africa acts as a catalyst—bridging businesses, investors, and forging impactful partnerships. She will dive into a conversation that unveils the significance of establishing robust collaborations between African nations and international stakeholders to drive innovation and foster inclusive economic growth.

Don't miss this unique opportunity to gain insights and be part of the conversation shaping the future of economic development in Africa.


**Please be sure to add to your email contacts to ensure delivery of event invitations and confirmations. Thank you!

Guest Speaker

Karen Bass is the 43rd Mayor of Los Angeles and the first woman and second African American to be elected as the city's chief executive. With an agenda focused on bringing urgency, accountability, and a new direction to Los Angeles, she has started her term with a focus on housing people immediately and increasing safety and opportunity in every part of Los Angeles.

A daughter of our city, Mayor Bass was raised with her three brothers in the Venice/Fairfax neighborhood and is a proud graduate of Hamilton High School. After serving as a front-line healthcare provider as a nurse and as a Physician Assistant, Mayor Bass founded the Community Coalition to organize the predominantly Black and Latino residents of South L.A. against substance abuse, poverty and crime, and to pioneer strategies to address the root causes behind the challenges faced by underserved neighborhoods.

She then went on to represent Los Angeles in the State Assembly and was elected by her peers to serve as Speaker, making her the first African American woman to ever lead a state legislative body in the history of the United States. Her time in leadership intersected with the Great Recession, and she was honored with the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for reaching across party lines and making tough decisions to keep the state from bankruptcy while protecting vital services.

While representing Los Angeles and Culver City in Congress, Mayor Bass helped protect small businesses during the pandemic, created policy to drive local jobs from federal infrastructure funding, and led the passage of what the Los Angeles Times called “the most significant child welfare policy reform in decades.”

Mayor Bass earned her bachelor's degree in health sciences from CSU Dominguez Hills before graduating from the USC Keck School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program and earning her masters degree in social work from USC.

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Guest Speaker

British A. Robinson serves as the Coordinator for Prosper Africa, a Presidential, national security initiative aimed at strengthening the strategic and economic partnership between the U.S. and countries throughout Africa by creating new jobs, diversifying global supply chains, and investing in the continent’s infrastructure and digital transformation.

By catalyzing two-way trade and investment flows, Robinson and her Prosper Africa team support deal-sourcing to vetting, bringing on new limited partners, and creating new tools to help de-risk transactions. She collaborates closely with the White House National Security Council and the 17 participating U.S. federal agencies, including USAID, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Commerce, to forge true partnerships with businesses, investors and government leaders to tackle challenges like climate change, energy transition, poverty and food insecurity.

Robinson is a visionary leader, with decades of experience in retail banking, private wealth management, corporate social responsibility, global public health, education, and government policy. She launched her career at Citibank, where Robinson spearheaded global, public-private alliances and facilitated corporate collaborations with the world’s leading organizations.

After her career in retail banking, Robinson worked for more than a decade with the Jesuit Conference/Jesuit Refugee Services rising to the position as the Director of the Office of Social and International Ministries. As Director, she became known as a social impact champion, managing a multimillion-dollar national program of socially responsible investing across the U.S.

Robinson brings years of government experience to Prosper Africa, she previously served as Deputy Coordinator/Director of Private Sector Engagement for the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) at the U.S. Department of State, where she oversaw innovative partnerships with businesses and investors to strengthen the world’s largest global health program by any nation devoted to addressing HIV/AIDS. During her tenure at the State Department, she also held a special assignment as Director and Special Advisor to the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, establishing and managing alliances and partnerships that advanced the rights of women and girls around the world.

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Opening Remarks

Arthur J. Ochoa, JD is the Senior Vice President of Advancement and Chief Advancement Officer at Cedars Sinai, a Pacific Council Board Director, and Chair of the Governance Committee. Mr. Ochoa is an accomplished health care executive, attorney and civic leader. As senior vice president of advancement and chief advancement officer, he leads Cedars-Sinai's community engagement and development teams and co-leads its health equity efforts. 

He joined Cedars-Sinai in 2001. Prior to that, Ochoa practiced transactional and tax law for individual, corporate and nonprofit clients at O'Melveny & Myers LLP and Irell & Manella LLP. In his time between college and law school, Ochoa began his career as an advocate and policy analyst in Washington, DC. 

Ochoa's leadership includes serving as board chair of Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, an international professional organization dedicated to research and education in the field of healthcare fundraising. He is a past board chair of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, the Marlborough School, and the Center for Early Education. He is a board member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and UnidosUS (formerly National Council of La Raza). Ochoa also serves on advisory boards at Yale Law School and Tulane University in New Orleans. 

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Dr. Jerrold D. Green is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Council on International Policy in Los Angeles. He is concurrently a Research Professor of Communication, Business, and International Relations at the University of Southern California. Green was previously a Partner at Best Associates in Dallas, Texas, a privately held merchant banking firm with global operations. He also occupied senior management positions at the RAND Corporation where he was awarded the RAND Medal for Excellence. Dr. Green has a B.A. (summa cum laude) from the University of Massachusetts/Boston, as well as an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago. His academic career began at the University of Michigan and he subsequently joined the University of Arizona where he became a Professor of Political Science and Sociology as well as Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

Green has lived and worked in Egypt, where he was a Fulbright Fellow, Iran, and Israel. He has lectured on six continents and been a visiting fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Science's West Asian Studies Center in Beijing; a visiting lecturer at the Havana based Center for African and Middle East Studies (CEAMO), a fellow at the Australian Defense College, and delivered papers at conferences sponsored by the Iranian Institute of International Affairs in Tehran. Dr. Green led three U.S. Department of Defense sponsored Pacific Council delegations to Afghanistan, one to Iraq, and has represented the Pacific Council as an observer at the legal proceedings being conducted at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by the U.S. Department of Defense. 

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