Educated at the University of Paris VII, Marie-Irène Richmond Ahoua is an International Communications Consultant having worked as an Outreach Advisor for the United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire. She has also served as Rotary’s National PolioPlus Chair for her country and now helps coordinate immunization activities in several West African countries as a member of Rotary’s Africa Regional PolioPlus Committee. She is Past District 9101 Governor and Regional Counselor of Sud-Comoé in her country.
Marie-Irène was recently recognized by Bill Gates for her role in polio eradication and peace. In his address to the 2017 Rotary Convention in Atlanta, he said:
“Rotary also has done something that no other organization could do. It has mobilized members to build bridges when we needed them most. I’m thinking of people like Marie-Irene Richmond Ahoua, who lives in Ivory Coast. When there was a coup in her country years ago, the new military ruler cancelled a National Immunization Day. She appealed, saying children should not suffer because of a conflict created by adults. And, days later, the general presided over the opening of the rescheduled immunization day.”
She notes that some of her life’s most defining experiences have been volunteering “in the field” and helping behind the scenes to protect children from polio. A native French speaker, she is conversational in English.