Dr. Fatima is the Executive Director of Neem Foundation, Nigeria. She is also a university educator and an advocate for marginalized groups working in the area of psychology and health for more than two decades. Akilu has had extensive experience working with forensic dually diagnosed intellectually disabled women, violent offenders, and sex offenders. Previously head of communication for the Senior Special Assistant to the President on the Millennium Development Goals, she was Chairman of the Editorial Board Leadership Newspapers. Until recently, Dr. Akilu was the director of the Behavioral Analysis and Strategic Communication unit at the Office of the National Security Advisor which has developed a multi-pronged approach to countering violent extremism (CVE) that consists of prison de-radicalization, counter radicalization geared at building community resilience, and a strategic communication effort including public diplomacy and messaging. Nigeria’s CVE program, which she has designed, also includes policy changes in the areas of education and mental health through the provision of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) counseling. Akilu is also a children’s writer and hosted a weekly radio show Radio Psych, which discusses social and psychological issues. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English, a master’s in research methods in psychology and Ph.D. in psychology from Reading University in Berkshire, U.K. Dr Akilu has authored more than 17 children’s books and has published articles on homelessness and mental health.

Fatima Akilu has extensive experience in working in: Nigeria, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and United States of America. Major areas of expertise include: Analysis and research, Civil society engagement and strengthening, Engaging marginalized groups, Sustainable development, and Violence prevention and reduction