Nnamdi Okafor, executive director of strategic engagement and resource acquisition for CSUDH’s Office of the President, wakes up each morning inspired by the joy he gets from his work. Although he’s only been at CSUDH about two years, Okafor has been working in various philanthropic endeavors since his days attending CSU Fullerton. He continues to get a charge out of helping others each and every day.
In his position at CSUDH, Okafor is responsible for corresponding with external and internal stakeholders to create programs and relationships that support the overall agenda of the university. His outreach efforts have been paying off. Among the partnerships he has helped establish is one with Los Angeles’ Bridge Builders Foundation, who are collaborating with the university to host their STEM Saturday Academy on campus. It’s an effort that he’s especially proud of.
Okafor first got into philanthropy during his sophomore year at Fullerton, while he was serving on the international board of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. The board launched a commission for the Martin Luther King Jr monument in Washington, DC while he was a member, which introduced Okafor to corporate-level philanthropy. This, in turn, led to his first job out of college – serving as regional director for the Boy Scouts of America.
He soon launched his own firm, VSN Management, which focuses on supporting those in the sports and entertainment world with their philanthropic efforts. Prior to coming to CSUDH, Okafor also worked at UCLA as their regional director for the central U.S., where he helped the university establish a fundraising presence in 27 midwestern states.
Okafor joined CSUDH in 2020, drawn to the university by its rich history and diverse community of students, faculty, and staff. “I appreciate the audacity of CSUDH,” says Okafor. “Here, we believe that our institution can excel and reach the highest heights of academia while still being authentic and honoring our cultural and historical background.”
“My office is filled with incredible individuals who share with me a deep passion to support our students and campus community,” says Okafor when asked what he enjoys most about his job.
When he’s not working, Okafor is an avid writer, poet, and public speaker. His 2012 poetry collection, “30days30poems,” is available on Amazon. He also loves expressing himself through photography, and says that he would trade jobs with CSUDH videographer Nathan Brown if he had the chance. “I would love to spend my days capturing moments on camera,” says Okafor.
In fact, Okafor has definitely found the right office on campus in which to share his skills, though. As he puts it, “I have always made sure that the work that I do is grounded in my personal mission. I am always attempting in some way to change the world and the people around me for the better.”