30 under 30 - Sebastian Spio-Garbrah




Birthplace: Accra, Ghana


B.A. (Econ/ Poli Sci double); JD ’08


Political Risk Analyst

Current Position:

Analyst, Middle East & Africa, (Eurasia Group New York)

Previous Position(s):

Senior Associate, Fixed Income, Thomson Financial; Intern, US Senator Patrick Leahy


When did you start doing what it is you’re doing?

January 2005

How did you get into it?

Saw the president of the Eurasia Group, Ian Bremmer on CNBC and contacted him to pitch my skills.

What was your best day on the job?

When a couple of clients made money on cocoa and crude futures after my call on the end to Cote d’Ivoire’s civil war and continued unrest in Nigeria

Your worst?

When in March Liberia’s former President Charles Taylor escaped from captivity in Nigeria and nearly topeodoed a summit between Presidents Bush and Obasanjo

If you could change one aspect of your job, what would it be?

Do more trips to Africa with clients

What quality has most enabled your success?

Common sense, self criticism and humor

What did you spend your first bonus on?

Pay for evening law school classes at Rutgers

Most memorable encounter with ageism?

When passport control at JFK couldn’t identify me from my old passport picture

Whats on your iPod right now?

Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen

Are you reading anything?

Roy Jenkins “Churchill” and Dostoyevsky “The Idiot”

What do you hope to be doing in ten years? Twenty?

In ten - advising on private equity purchases in Africa; In twenty - applying Lee Kwan Yiu and Mahathir Mohammad’s ideas in Ghana

Sushi or burgers?

Definitely burgers