Patrick Plonski, Executive Director of Books for Africa, served as the lead for this month’s ADC Business Breakfast Roundtable. Based in Minnesota, Books for Africa is the world’s largest shipper of donated text and library books to the African continent, shipping over 27 million books to 48 African countries since 1988. Over the last 12 months alone, BFA shipped over 2.2 million books and computers valued at over $28 million to 20 African countries. This discussion was an intriguing look into the work and challenges this organization faces to provide such an important service.
In addition to the video of this discussion, please enjoy these photos from the morning:
ADC is proud to announce that this year’s lineup of these important community discussions is made possible through the generous support of
Patrick Plonski has served as Executive Director of Books For Africa since 2003. Books For Africa is the largest shipper of donated textbooks to the African continent, shipping over 27 million textbooks to 47 countries since 1988, including 2.2 million books valued at over $28 million last year alone. He holds a PhD in international education from the University of Minnesota, a Master’s Degree in History from the University of Minnesota, and a B.A. in History from St. John’s University.
Plonski also currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources Sciences where he instructs on World development problems.
Prior to joining Books For Africa, Plonski served for five years as director of a legislative council at the University of Minnesota promoting agricultural education at the Minnesota Legislature. From 1987-1998 he served as committee administrator for the Minnesota House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture. Plonski has visited 40 countries in his career, and typically travels to Africa once or twice annually. He has participated in Minnesota Trade Office missions to New Zealand and Denmark; has served as a Human Rights Fellow to Poland in 2000 and a Cargill Fellow to Hungary in 2002 exploring implications of European Union enlargement; and is a frequent presenter on topics of international literacy, including an April 2012 presentation at Oxford University.
Plonski grew up on a farm outside of Belle Plaine, Minnesota. He currently lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.