Man Crush Monday (MCM): Eddie Ndopu

by Duke Magazine

Eddie Ndopu is a South African award-winning, internationally acclaimed activist and humanitarian. Diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at age two and given only five years to live, he has gone on to become a beacon of hope and possibility for people with disabilities around the world.

He is one of the 17 official UN Advocates for the Sustainable Development Goals, appointed by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and works at the intersection of sustainability, disability, race, LGBTQI+, and social justice.

Top currently serves as Special Advisor to RTW Investments, a leading investor in scientific and medical innovation. He has also advised organizations such as the economic Forum, UN Women, and Amnesty International.

The top holds a Master’s in Public Policy from Oxford University and is currently setting in motion plans to deliver a televised address to the UN from Space, to inspire greater ambition around the SDGs. This will make him the first physically disabled person to travel into space.

Eddie is the Founder of A BILLION REASONS, a group, breaking social impact incubator to tackle the Sustainable Development Goals through the lens of universal design and disability-based innovation. Eddie sits on the Boards of the United Nations Foundation, The Valuable 500, and IMAGINE as well as Verizon’s Advisory Board for Disability and Accessibility. He also serves as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council for Equity and Social Justice, and the World Economic Forum’s Advisory Council for “Partnering for Racial Justice in Business”.

An African Leadership Academy alumnus, Eddie made history in 2017 by becoming the first disabled Black man to graduate from Oxford with a Masters’s Degree in Public Policy. He also graduated summa cum laude from Carleton University, with a Bachelors in Human Rights. Eddie is currently working on his debut memoir, Sipping Dom Perignon Through a Straw.

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