Biography of Patrick G. Awuah

Patrick G. Awuah is the founder and president of Ashesi University, a private not-for-profit institution that is known for innovation and quality education in Ghana. He is also a trained engineer and a businessman. He was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2015 for his work with Ashesi.

Patrick was born in the year 1965 and had his primary, junior high school, secondary and sixth form education in Ghana. However, in 1985 Patrick Awuah moved to the United States on a full scholarship to Swarthmore College to pursue a combined Bachelor’s degree in Engineering and Economics. He graduated in the year 1989, and upon his graduation, Patrick had an entry-level job at Microsoft to work as a software engineer and later became a program manager. Patrick was with Microsoft from 1989 to 1997 (about 8 years) and while at Microsoft he met his wife Rebecca Awuah who was a  software test engineer.

In 1997 Patrick left Microsoft with the plan of returning to Ghana to educate the next generation of African leaders. In pursuance of his goal, Patrick enrolled in the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and focusing his postgraduate project on developing a business plan for Ashesi University.

During the course of the program, Patrick Awuah together with other graduate students of UC Berkeley Nina Marini among others visited Ghana to conduct a feasibility study for starting Ashesi University. Patrick graduated in 1999 with his MBA and in that same year he together with his family relocated to Ghana to start building Ashesi.

Ashesi University became fully functional and operational in the year 2002 when it welcomed its first class of students. Since then its undergraduate programs have expanded to include, Management Information Systems, Business Administration, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. The institution has quickly gained a reputation in Ghana and Africa for its proven track record of innovation, quality education, and fostering ethical leadership, critical thinking, and entrepreneurial mindset among its student.


Partick Awauh has received several awards, recognition, and honorary degrees mainly because of his work with Ashesi University.

Patrick was awarded an honorary doctorate by Swarthmore College in the year 2004 in recognition of his leadership in African Higher Education. He also holds an honorary Doctor of Laws from Babson College.

In 2007, Patrick was nominated as a Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. In the same year, His Excellency President J.A. Kuffuor awarded him membership of the order of Volta in recognition of his service to Ghana. The order of Volta is one of Ghana’s highest awards, given to Ghanaians who exemplify the ideal of service to the Country.

Patrick won two prestigious awards in the year 2009; the 2009 Microsoft Alumni Foundation Integral Fellow award. A program honoring Microsoft Alumni who made a meaningful difference in the daily lives of others by using their talents, time, and resources to contribute to the community. Also, he won the John P. McNulty Prize, Aspen Institute which also recognizes extraordinary young leaders making creative, effective, and lasting contributions to his or her community.

See also: Biography of Lucy Quist


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