Innocent is the former regional director, Ford Foundation West Africa. Before joining Ford, he founded and led the CLEEN Foundation, to promote public safety, security, and accessible justice in West Africa. CLEEN was the first African nongovernmental organization to receive the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. In addition, Innocent has held various posts within the Civil Liberties Organization, one of Nigeria’s first human rights organizations. He was also the chair of the Altus Global Alliance, a global network of nonprofits.
He is a globally renowned advocate for human rights and good governance and is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Reebok International Human Rights Award. He served as visiting lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he designed and taught a course on the management of nonprofits in the Global South. Innocent is a member of the boards of many nonprofits and initiatives against crime and violence around the world. These include the International Centre for the Prevention of Crime (ICPC), African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF), Open Society Global Criminal Justice Fund and a member of the Africa Advisory Council of Human Rights Watch.
He holds a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Leicester and a Bachelor’s Degree in Religion from the University of Nigeria.