Toyin Olakanpo is a passionate advocate for international development; CSR, children’s rights, early childhood education, the Millennium Development Goals and the Education For All initiative in the context of Africa. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Warwick Law School, UK and a Masters degree from the Steinhardt Department of Education, New York University. An accomplished lawyer, Toyin is admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales and is a duly admitted Attorney of the State of New York.
Toyin began her professional career at the leading law firm of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer where she completed her articles of training as a solicitor, before joining the Corporate Finance Team as a Managing Solicitor. She also worked as in – house legal counsel to the fund managers at Merrill Lynch Asset Management before she was recruited to work for the prestigious Wall Street law firm: Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, in New York. While she was working in New York and carrying out pro bono legal work for the Brooklyn Heights Montessori School, Toyin discovered her passion for children and working with children. She completed her training as a Montessori teacher and embarked on a career in early childhood education, international affairs, education and government policy.
Toyin is also the Head of Training, Advocacy & Consultancy at Train 2 Gain Nigeria providing seminars & training for companies in the areas of corporate governance, human rights and children’s rights; and consultancy in all education matters including the establishment of new primary and nursery schools; youth development programs and corporate crèche facilities and the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. In this capacity she was appointed as a consultant to Lagos State Government in the area of early childhood education, responsible for the review of over 1000 primary schools in Lagos State and the training of over 1,700 teachers.
Toyin has been recognized both nationally and internationally as a child rights advocate and was interviewed by CNN International on May 2, 2014. and May 4, 2014 on her response to the abductions of over 276 girls from Chibok, Borno State Nigeria. Toyin was also described in an exclusive interview with the award winning newspaper This Day, on June 14, 2014 as a “shinning hope for the Nigerian Child.”