Africa University Appoints Director of Finance


Nashville, TN - November 17, 2020—Africa University is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Lauranette S. Ford as Director of Finance, effective November 12, 2020. In this newly established position within the Africa University Development Office (AUDO), Ford oversees fiscal and fiduciary activities in the areas of investment, budgeting, accounting, audit, compliance and policy development, and is responsible for human resources and overall office management.  

“We warmly welcome Ms. Ford into the Africa University family,” said Vice Chancellor Munashe Furusa. “Her extensive experience and broad financial skills will help strengthen our financial policies and processes  in the Africa University Development Office. We look forward to working with her in developing efficient and effective financial models and scenarios, especially in this uncertain and volatile environment we are living in.”

Ford brings to the role vital expertise gained over more than 35 years working with business, consulting and auditing and non-profit entities. Her career includes 10 years with the largest public power provider in North America, the Tennessee Valley Authority-Office of the Inspector General.

From 1996-2002, Ford helped the clients of Deloitte, a Big4 consulting and auditing firm, cut costs and streamline operations with software conversions, risk assessment and strategic planning, and enhanced performance management. Between 2012-2018, she provided similar services to a wide range of clients through her consulting firm, Ford Services.

Lisa Tichenor, chair of the Board of the Africa University (Tennessee) Corporation, describes Ford as a great addition to a strong team.

“Ms. Ford’s strengths in forecasting and analyzing market trends will enhance Africa University’s strategic planning for the benefit of students in Africa,” said Tichenor. 

Ford is not new to the Africa University, having engaged with the institution and its leadership  while performing as the internal audit manager for the General Council on Finance and Administration of The United Methodist Church from 2004-2011.

“She is uniquely qualified to be the director of finance and has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the areas needed to help the Africa University Development Office and Africa University (Tennessee) Corporation be true to the mission of raising, investing and distributing funds to Africa University Zimbabwe,” said James H. Salley, associate vice chancellor for Institutional advancement. 

“Her knowledge of The United Methodist Church  is a major asset that puts her ahead of the learning curve in the challenging times in which we live and work in the denomination,” said Salley.

Over the past two years, Ford has supported the National Museum of African American Music’s $60M capital campaign in the areas of development, operations systems and database management. A graduate of South Carolina State University, Ford holds a B.Sc. in Business Administration with a major in Accounting. She is a Certified Internal Auditor, Fraud Examiner, Risk Management Assurance Professional, and Project Management Professional.

“My admiration for the Africa University Development Office is through its commitment to stewardship and ethics,” said Ford. “Now, I offer my strong work ethic, integrity, financial acumen, technical competence, and a zeal for continuous improvement in serving this ministry.”


About Africa University: Africa University is a pan-African higher education ministry of The United Methodist Church. Established in 1992 with 40 students from six African countries, it now has a total enrollment of 3,031 students from 28 African nations.

Degree programs as well as short courses are offered in three colleges: Health, Agriculture & Natural Sciences; Business, Peace, Leadership & Governance; and Social Sciences, Humanities, Theology and Education. Africa University’s key areas of focus are food security, public health, intellectual property rights, evangelism and church growth, good governance and leadership development, and innovation and business incubation.

More than 90 percent of Africa University’s 10,000+ alumni have remained on the continent of Africa. Graduates are in leadership roles in 32 African countries as well as in countries in Europe, Asia, Latin America and North America. The university’s main campus is located near Mutare, in the eastern highlands of Zimbabwe.

To learn more about Africa University, and

Media contact:

Andra Stevens, Director of Communications

Africa University Development Office

Tel: (615) 340-7438