Founder and CEO of GIVE1Project
Thione Niang is a mentor, political activist, community leader, international motivational speaker and consultant. Named by Complex Magazine as one of the 10 Young Activists Who Are Changing The World in March 2013, Thione’s personal journey is a testament to the power of dreaming big.
Raised in a humble family of 28 in Senegal, West Africa,Thione arrived in the United States in July 2000 with $20 in his pocket, no family, and very limited English. He worked as a busboy and sent money to family back home, while saving to eventually earn a college degree.
Eager to give back to the country that provided unlimited opportunity, Thione became engaged in politics while in college in Ohio. A natural leader, Thione served as the Chair of the Cuyahoga County Young Democrats, National Chair of the Young Democrats of America College Caucus, and Chair of the International Affairs Committee for the Young Democrats of America.
After campaigning for various local and state political candidates, he campaigned for President Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential election, a life changing experience. Inspired by the legions of young voters that helped make history in the election of 2008, Thione decided to go global with his advocacy.
In 2009, he launched the GIVE1 PROJECT, a global nonprofit organization, dedicated to the engagement and empowerment of young leaders for the pursuit of social, economic and political advancement in their communities. His organization is currently operating in France, USA, Senegal, Benin, Canada, Togo, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Gabon, Burkina Faso, Turkey, Belgium, Guinee Conakry, and Japan.
Mr. Niang is also the creator and host of the THIONE NIANG SHOW, an online forum dedicated to social engagement and awareness of current issues in the arts, society, business and politics.
Since 2011, Thione has served as the national Co-Chair of GEN44, the DNC and Obama for America’s newest program to cultivate and empower a rising generation of Democratic leaders. Gen 44 is the fundraising arm of the Obama for America campaign for individuals under forty.
As a result of his leadership, the Center for American Progress named Thione as one of America’s Ten Most Daring Young Black Activists in February 2011. In 2012, Thione was featured in Applause Africa magazine’s “Change Maker Issue” as one of Africa’s Forty Under Forty young leaders.
Today, Thione travels the world speaking to youth on the importance of leadership, service and civic participation. He is the founder and CEO of the TN Consulting Group, which aims to improve communications and relations between governments and global organizations. As a testament to the power of his message and for his tireless advocacy, Thione was recognized as one of the 4 Top Power Players Under 40 in the U.S. by Black Enterprise Magazine in March 2013.
In May 2013, President Yayi Boni bestowed the distinction of National Commandant in the National Order of Benin upon Mr. Niang in recognition of Give1 Project’s work in inspiring the youth of Benin since 2011.
In November 2013, he receives the “African Diaspora Award” as the “Person of the Year and Change Maker”, in recognition of his outstanding leadership and dedicated service to the African Community.
In 2014, Thione is the co-founder of “Akon Lighting Africa”, an initiative that helps solve Africa’s energy problems in remote villages, suburban and urban areas. This project aims at bringing electricity to 1 million households in Africa, by the end of 2014.