Our Team & Funders


Ron Layton

Founder & CEO
Ron Layton is an IP businessman who draws on his experience in creating retail products based on IP assets and marketing 10m retail units over 15 years in business. He designed the LYIP method and has worked in 30 developing countries.


Dr. Margaret Brindle

Director of Education
Meg has been an educator for almost 20 years, as a professor at Carnegie Mellon and George Mason University. Meg directs the IP Value capture curriculum; as lead trainer in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Zanzibar and the Caribbean.


Pauline Tiffen

Senior Consultant
Pauline is a Fulbright Scholar and MacArthur Foundation NGO Fellowship awardee for her work on African trade.    A highly respected expert in social business, development and finance.   She is a founding member of Divine Chocolate Company and its largest stakeholder Kuapa Kokoo (Ghana).


The Right Honourable Lord Boateng

Co-Chair of the African IP Trust
Paul Boateng is a former UK Cabinet minister and UK Ambassador to South Africa, who contributed greatly to the Commission on Africa.  He advises a number of African governments on economic development and is widely respected across the continent.


Malcolm Moss

Founding Partner Beringea LLP
Over the last 20 years he has been responsible for the growth, development and management of the private equity business of Beringea in both the UK and the USA, and is a non-executive director on several portfolio company boards.


Anne Belec

Former Director of Global Marketing at Ford Motor Company and CEO of Volvo, NA.   Anne is a world class expert in brand strategy development as applied to the WONS product range.  She has trained stakeholders in Ethiopia, Uganda and Zanzibar for Light Years IP.


Arthur Wood

Social Impact Advisement
Arthur is a recognized leader in social finance and is a founding partner of Total Impact Advisors. Arthur advises LYIP in social impact investment.


Diane Watson

Co-Chair of the African IP Trust
Diane Edith Watson is a former US Ambassador and US Representative for California’s 33rd congressional district.  She worked with President Nelson Mandela and many other African leaders over 40 years engagement with Africa.


Karl Manders

IP Recovery
Karl founded Continental Enterprises, devoted to IP and Brand Recovery.  One of the most successful specialists in recovering Intellectual Property in the world.   Karl works with Light Years IP on brand and licensing for the Maasai.


Isaac Ole Tialolo

Chairman, Maasai IP Initiative
Isaac is a respected Maasai elder and businessman, with years of experience working with Maasai communities and managing their public affairs in Kenya.  Isaac is Chairman of the LYIP Maasai Initiative, working tirelessly since 2009 to increase the understanding of Maasai IP by his people.


Richard Wilder

IP Lawyer
Associate General Counsel, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (2 years), former Microsoft IP General Counsel, Partner at Sidley-Austin law firm x 7 years. former Board member of LYIP. Primary advisory when LYIP wrote the Maasai project grant.


Bonnie Ole Keis

Bonnie is a foundation board member of the Maasai IP Initiative Trust Limited.  He has practical experience in community development work, research, and project management. He has contributed research and training materials to the Initiative and is regarded as an emergent entrepreneur important to the future of the Maasai people.


Leonora Okello

Leader of WONS
Leonora is  the secretary of the WONS (Women’s Owned Nilotica Shea) cooperative of 700 women. Her family is from Pader in northern Uganda and has been producing Shea butter for generations.   Leonora is a recognized Shea expert, having advised producers in West and East Africa.  She spoke in Washington, DC at the launch of African IP Trust (www.africaniptrust.org) about the importance of shea butter for the women of northern Uganda and S. Sudan.


Getachew Mengistie

IP Consultant
Getachew was the first Director General of the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office (EIPO). When Light Years IP designed the Ethiopian Fine Coffee Initiative in 2004, Getachew led the Ethiopian side, collaborating with Ron Layton and establishing a solid friendship.  Getachew is highly respected across Africa for his consulting work in IP.


Kimisha Sellers

Architect & Urban Planner
Kimisha is an architect and urban planner with international experience working on complex projects across different cultures. Her expertise largely centers on creating solutions to address urban issues through research, program development, and project management.

Global Social Entrepreneurs encompassing over 3,500 innovators for the public good with the leadership of Bill Drayton (Ron Layton is a global Ashoka Fellow).

The African IP Trust is a group of business leaders, lawyers, African and western politicians, and social change leaders endorses and acts in support of the Intellectual Property rights of Africans.

The global law firm of Hogan Lovells provides pro bono legal assistance via the London office.  Partners Yasmin Waljee, OBE, and Sahira Khwaja.