Bob C. Ezumah, a former Export Promotion and Business Development Manager with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) NEXTT Project, and currently Logistics Manager at multinational corporation GEA Systems North America (GEA Group), where he is responsible for supply chain logistics and trade compliance issues, is joining The PuLSE Institute as a senior fellow at the Academy of Fellows.
At The PuLSE Institute, Ezumah, an MBA alum of American Intercontinental University, and a well-recognized supply chain logistics and trade compliance expert whose passion and performance sit at the intersection of value creation and poverty alleviation, will focus on trade justice and poverty. He is the first global trade expert to join Detroit’s leading independent anti-poverty think tank, which is driving the debate on the need to challenge inequality in America’s largest black city.
His work at The PuLSE Institute, will examine the wider implications of trade policies, and how they handicap the fight against poverty. There is a growing international movement anchored around trade justice to ensure that rules that are agreed upon at the World Trade Organization are equitable and fair for countries with high levels of poverty. That millions around the world who are wallowing in abject poverty and inequality, can actually benefit from the wealth that trade generates in their nations instead of the current monopoly that exists to serve the dominant interests of major corporations and the western governments that write the rules often without any sustainable economic development agreements in them.
Principally, the United States, plays an influential role in the development of trade agreements and The PuLSE Institute, will focus its lens on the need for such policies to address poverty reduction efforts in developing countries.
Ezumah is a training consultant from the Certified Training Consultants Institute, Ball State University, who has provided training on pro bono basis to underserved communities. His professional experience includes work and research on the intersection of global trade and livelihoods, and he continues to be a passionate advocate for free, fair and sustainable trade policy. He is a subject matter expert in international trade and development who is well sought after with several professional certificates in business management and communication from Opus School of Business, University of Saint Thomas. He is also an active member of many top professional associations that include APICS association of supply chain management, Washington International Trade Association, Society for International Development, International Transportation Management Association, International Supply Chain Education Alliance.
“Trade if done right can lift many people out of poverty, but if done wrong can deepen and widen inequities” said Ezumah who holds an executive certificate in Leading Economic Growth from Harvard Kennedy School at Harvard University, where his training focused on how nations can expand their productive capabilities as well as rethink economic strategies that can lead to growth.
“The PuLSE Institute has been at the forefront of promoting dynamic ideas and clear-sighted actions that tackle injustice and inequities in the American society, and I gladly welcome the opportunity to lend my expertise in trade justice, which I hope will not only create more awareness but also propel suitable actions,” Ezumah said. “Being a PuLSE Institute senior fellow at such a time of gargantuan economic uncertainties and widening disparities is both a big honor and a daunting challenge, and I am poised to help meet the challenge by bringing needed focus to the intersection of unfair trade and poverty.”
Ezumah added, “When I reviewed the very impressive profiles of those who are already making a difference at The PuLSE Institute, I felt humbled to play a part in uplifting the living conditions and livelihoods of those in our communities who are saddled with the unfortunate burden of economic alienation and misery. To them I say regional and global trade presents a path out of poverty if made truly fair. I passionately believe that the global market system (free trade) is the best pathway to prosperity and to lift people out of poverty, but it has to be truly fair and sustainable.”
Ezumah has several top industry certifications in global trade which includes Certified Classification Specialist, Certified Export Controls and Compliance Specialist. Some of his certifications include Export Enforcement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection & Bureau of Industry and Security, Export Commodity Classification, Foreign Trade Division, Commodity Analysis Branch, Guidelines on the Automated Export System, True Innovation in Export Automation, Hazmat/Dangerous Goods IMO/IMDG (Ocean/Sea) Certification, IMDG-09172014-01, DGM Training Institute, AES Direct, AES PcLink, ACE, Training Program, Foreign Trade Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, CFR49 DOT Awareness Training Program, DGM Training Institute, International Fleet Management and Transport Logistics Training Program, Supply Chain Logistics Advanced Technical Certificate and Global Trade Advanced Professional Certificate.
Ezumah has advised and coached diverse business leaders in different parts of the world on business development and strategic management. He has also provided technical assistance and capacity building to several local, regional, and national governments on economic growth strategies, export promotion and development.
Attorney Tina M. Patterson, who serves as The PuLSE Institute’s president and director of research welcomed Ezumah to the Institute.
“The PuLSE Institute welcomes Bob C. Ezumah to the Academy of Fellows. The fight against poverty is a global crusade and a human rights issue that touches all corners of the world,” Patterson said. “He brings a vast array of knowledge and experience to the arena of international trade, a unique industry with vast consequences regarding the global wealth gap. We are confident his work aligns with the mission of the Institute and look forward to his contributions.”
The founding of The PuLSE Institute was inspired by the writings of nationally renowned Detroit journalist and author Bankole Thompson, whose illuminating and influential work on economic and racial justice issues has elevated the discourse around poverty and inequality in the city. Thompson, a twice-a-week opinion columnist at The Detroit News, serves as the editor-in-chief of the Institute and the chair of the Academy of Fellows.
“We need to talk more about the role of trade in ending poverty. That is what Ezumah will bring to The PuLSE Institute as a senior fellow. One of the most important issues facing our world today is the need to commit to reduce extreme poverty by ensuring that the benefits of trade reach the most vulnerable and marginalized,” Thompson said. “Can the international community work to ensure that policies that are created at the World Trade Organization do not lead to more misery for the poorest of the world? Until we get an answer to that fundamental question at the heart of the trade justice movement, we have to explore alternatives that will respect the dignity of people including women who are often the ones leading the fight against poverty around the world.”
Thompson added, “We must offer more in terms of realistic policies that will evidently reduce poverty rather than repeating platitudes at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos. Poverty is a symbol of shame, a failure of government and society. With the current reawakening around issues of inequality, we have the will in this dispensation to intensify the push for a moral economy instead of one that treats human beings as expendable. That’s why Ezumah’s work at The PuLSE Institute will spotlight the existing risks that the world’s poor face and the need for humane economic policies.”
Last year, Washington Post nationally syndicated columnist Esther Cepeda, profiled the work of The PuLSE Institute in a column describing it as a national model for cities working to tackle poverty. Lawrence Technological University in Southfield also announced last year that it will inculcate the work of the Institute in its MBA program for students to identify business solutions to poverty.
Leading members of The PuLSE Institute include the National Advisory Panel consisting of Dr. Arun Gandhi, global justice advocate and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi; Dr. Bernard Lafayette, a top aide of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and National Coordinator of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign; Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK and a leading Catholic anti-poverty crusader; Robert Weiner, former White House spokesman; Herb Boyd, historian, journalist and author of consequential books on James Baldwin and Malcolm X; Luba Lukova, an internationally visual artist for social justice; Rev. Lawrence T. Foster, Harvard-trained theologian and mentee of Martin Luther King Sr.; and Janis F. Kearney, first presidential diarist under former President Bill Clinton.