Nana Amoako-Anin ’05: Former NY State Prosecutor Touches the Lives of Human Trafficking Victims in Her Home Country Ghana
Ghana native Nana Amoako-Anin ’05 spent much of her childhood in West Africa before calling Washington, D.C. and New York City her home. Now the American University Washington College of Law alumna, who was recently featured in the June 2018 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, is using her love for yoga to help child trafficking victims.
After studying visual arts and history at Columbia University, Amoako-Anin later moved to D.C. for her legal education at AUWCL. Early on in her career, Amoako-Anin worked as a public school teacher in New York City. Impacted by the challenges in inner city schools, she went on to work with civil rights lawyer the late Johnnie Cochran and then the Children’s Defense Fund. After law school, she began her career as a prosecutor and was appointed to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office as an assistant district attorney. During her time at the D.A.’s office, Amoako-Anin focused on child endangerment, domestic violence, and family law-related cases. She later went on to work on Wall Street, as a compliance executive and senior auditor.
An avid writer and widely sought-after speaker, Amoako-Anin’s career highlights include American Criminal Law Review contributor, “Evidence Destroyed Innocence Lost;” 2016 TEDxAccra Speaker; Webster University Guest Lecturer, Ghana "The Criminal Justice System: A View From 2 Sides;” Lead Trainer for the 14 Ghana Supreme High Court judges, in collaboration with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIC) and Bank of Ghana on Financial Crime; and Forum Lead for the Ghana Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) on Capital Markets & Compliance Trends.
Amoako-Anin then relocated to Ghana with her husband and young daughter in 2013, and launched a successful yoga studio in Accra, Bliss Yoga Accra. Most recently, she has been appointed the Ghana Executive Director for Touch A Life, a non-profit organization that provides long-term rehabilitative care for children rescued out of human trafficking and slavery. Since 2006, Touch A Life, in partnership with Ghanaian social services and the anti-human trafficking police force, has rescued and provided care for over 100 children.
With its domestic office in Dallas, Texas, the organization creates customized holistic care plans for each child, focusing on creating paths for healing and success through education, art healing, and love. For the past two years, Amoako-Anin has helped lead Touch A Life with strategy, policy, life skills training, and therapeutic yoga practices.