Meet the Team

obinna ukwuani

Obinna J. Ukwuani

Founder & CEO

Obinna Ukwuani had done two years in Nigerian secondary schools before returning to the US to complete his secondary school education. While in the US he competed in a well-known US robotics league before leaving for university. In 2011, the summer robotics program he had helped teach for two consecutive years was cancelled by the school district that facilitated it. Then without an outlet, his passions for education and technology were redirected into developing a robotics program of his own. Obinna saw no reason why this program could not run in Nigeria. In March 2011, he put pen to paper and began developing the vision of the Exposure Robotics League (XRL). In August 2011, he traveled to Nigeria to do the initial market research. When Obinna returned to his university in the fall, he found five other likeminded classmates to join him in developing and implementing XRL. The rest is history.

His relevant experience includes three years as a competitor in the US based FIRST Robotics League, and two years as an instructor for a Washington, DC based robotics education program. Obinna also serves as the Vice President and Creative Director for Harambe Nigeria, an agriculture focused NGO.

Within XRL, in addition to leading and strategizing, he also fulfills the role of creative director. He is responsible for the branding related aspects of the business. Obinna is also responsible for the design and development of the program website.

Obinna is currently finishing his BSc in Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Obinna Okwodu

President & Co-Founder

Prior to enrolling in a university in the US, Obinna spent his first 17 years in the Nigerian education system. His primary education took place in Grange School, the location of the inaugural Exposure Robotics League summer program. He then attended Olashore International School and went on to Winchester College in England to complete his sixth form education.

In the summer of 2009, while still enrolled in Winchester College, he attended a Headstart Course in Mechanical Engineering in the University of Bath, England. This was his first introduction to the world of robotics and it taught him to appreciate the power of the application of knowledge. This is a practice that is seldom emphasized in the Nigerian education system and one that XRL hopes to instil in all students that attend. Obinna has always believed in the importance of education; that it is the most important tool in unlocking the potential of the developing world. This belief led him to join the XRL team to help bring the vision to life.

Since joining the XRL team, he has coordinated founding activity on ground in Nigeria. In January 2012, along with Ukwuani, he spearheaded the fundraising initiative and has since been in charge of the programs financial operations. He is also instrumental in XRL’s program development.

Outside XRL, Obinna is the President of Expediting Access to Standard Education (EASE), a student group in MIT which, in ten years, has provided over 500 scholarships to secondary school children both in Ghana and Nigeria.

Obinna is currently pursuing two BSc's at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Civil Engineering and Business Management. He also has a keen interest in the financial services industry and has spent the two last summers in the Investment Banking Division of Morgan Stanley in New York City.

Chika Ugboh

VP of Academics & Co-Founder

Chika is a junior at MIT in the Chemical Engineering department. Three years ago, she was a participant in a six-week residential academic enrichment summer program at MIT. There, she witnessed the importance of education beyond classroom walls. In addition, as a member of the Nigerian Students Association, she has learned about the issues concerning Nigeria and that the root is education. She hopes to contribute in building the self-confidence of the students in their abilities and foster the transition process from secondary school to the university.

Zainab Lasisi

VP of Outreach & Co-Founder

Zainab Lasisi is from Lagos State, Nigeria. She holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Energy Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While at middle school, she attended a day-long robotics workshop. This was her first introduction the robotics and computer programing. This experience taught her to appreciate technology and the use of problem solving skills to solve real-life problems. She has always been passionate about education and international development and this motivated her to be involved with XRL.

Onyinyechi Okeke

Business Advisor & Co-Founder

Onyinyechi is currently a senior at MIT, pursing a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering. Prior to coming to MIT she lived in Nigeria for 17 years in which she was a student in the Nigerian education system. Being exposed to a different approach to learning has inspired Onyinyechi to want to make a difference in the way secondary school students in Nigeria approach problems. Having worked for Exxon Mobil in both the United States and Nigeria she has been exposed to learning and organizational skills in both countries and she hopes to use her experience with the logistics of the program.

Nnaemeka Opara


Nnaemeka is a senior at MIT, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics. Originally born in Nigeria, but has spent his formative years in Washington State. His past internships at NASA and at the Institute of Soldier Nanotechnologies has provided him with hands on technical experience. He hopes to contribute his technical experience by assisting in the development of the Exposure Robotics curriculum.