Our Founder & Managing Director is a tireless traveler, relentless researcher, and creative networker. Melissa has visited 16 sub-Saharan African countries during over 40 trips to the continent since 2007. She has an extremely broad and deep network of contacts with entrepreneurs, corporate executives, government policymakers, and investors.
Melissa offers clients her deep knowledge, strong relationships, and fresh ideas. She doesn't merely make introductions—she knows how to get business done and how to move deals from the first introduction to profitable conclusion.
Melissa Cook founded African Sunrise Partners LLC in 2010. After 25 years of traveling around the world for work and pleasure, Melissa visited East Africa in 2007. She quickly realized that an economic transformation was under way—and she created a new business to help her global clients participate in the continent's growth. Melissa is widely recognized as a true friend of Africa, and has built a vast knowledge base and network through her extensive travels.
Melissa has over 25 years of global research experience—including a front-row seat watching the emergence of new economies in Eastern Europe and China. She covered several sectors as an equity analyst at Wall Street firms. She was Head of Global Research at Lazard Asset Management. Ms. Cook has an A.B. degree in History from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. in Finance from the Stern School of Business at New York University. She is a CFA charterholder and holds FINRA Series 7, 16, 24, 63, 86, and 87 licenses. In November 2014, Melissa was appointed for a two-year term on President Obama's Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa.