Founded in 2003 by Dr. Rick Kittles and Gina Paige, African Ancestry is the world leader in tracing maternal and paternal lineages of African descent having helped more than 500,000 people re-connect with the roots of their family tree.
Most companies can only tell you what continent you originated from, but not what country. With the industry’s largest and most comprehensive database of over 30,000 indigenous African samples, African Ancestry determines specific countries and—more often than not—specific ethnic groups of origin with an unrivaled level of detail, accuracy and confidence.
African Ancestry is committed to providing a unique service to the black community by working daily to improve the cultural, emotional, physical, spiritual and economic wellbeing of people across the African Diaspora.
PIONEER: In 2003, Dr. Gina Paige co-founded African Ancestry, Inc. (AfricanAncestry.com) and in doing so, pioneered a new way of tracing African lineages using genetics, and a new marketplace for people of African descent looking to more accurately and reliably trace their roots. Paige travels the world helping people demystify their roots and inform on identities so that they may better understand who they are by knowing where they’re from.
RESPECTED LUMINARY: Paige has worked with and revealed the roots of the worlds’ leading icons and entities including Oprah Winfrey, John Legend, Chadwick Boseman, Spike Lee, Condoleezza Rice and The King Family. Paige has served as speaker, presenter and/or partner to McDonalds, Capital One, The Walt Disney Company, Booz Allen Hamilton, Wells Fargo, The Wall Street Health Forum, New York Times Travel Show, United Healthcare and dozens of community organizations and faith-based entities. She’s often a go-to resource for African Diaspora communities including the Embassies of Cameroon, Nigeria and Ghana; The Year of Return 2019 event From Jamestown to Jamestown with the NAACP; Back2Africa Festival in Cape Coast and various African tourism authorities and leaders.
MEDIA RESOURCE: Paige has been featured in hundreds of media outlets including The Breakfast Club, Hot 97-FM, Time Magazine, USA Today, 60 Minutes, NewsOne Now with Roland Martin, HuffPost Live with Marc Lamont Hill, The Joe Madison Show, Sister Circle Live, Essence Magazine, The New York Times, The Tom Joyner Morning Show, FOX Business News, Reuters, New York Times, Canal Media Company, Black Enterprise, Ebony, NPR, Metro Source Urban Radio, American Urban Radio Networks, The Grio.com and TheRoot.com among many others. Her work is featured in PBS’ Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and African American Lives 1 & 2, The Africa Channel, NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? CNN’s Black in America series and SiriusXM where she created and served as co-host on African Ancestry Radio.
ENTREPRENEURIAL DNA: From a lineage of entrepreneurs, Paige launched her first business at age 8, with a magazine purposed to raise money for family trips. She went on to start “Pik-A-Pak” Care Packages as a Stanford University graduate, helping families stay connected with their children while away at school. Prior to forming AfricanAncestry.com, Paige was the founder and president of GPG Strategic Marketing Resources.
EDUCATION: Paige resides in Washington, D.C. and holds a degree in Economics from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. Paige was honored with an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy from Global Oved Dei Seminary University.
PIONEERING RESEARCHER: Dr. Rick Kittles is Co-founder and Scientific Director of African Ancestry, Inc. It is through his years of research on genetic variation and his passion for the movements of African people throughout the world that AfricanAncestry.com was conceived. In 2003, Dr. Kittles and along with Co-founder Dr. Gina Paige pioneered a new marketplace for Black people looking to know where they’re from in Africa. Under Kittles’ leadership, African Ancestry has grown into the leading provider of at-home genetics ancestry tests for people of African descent across the world.
DNA MATCHMAKER: A lead geneticist, Dr. Kittles oversees AfricanAncestry.com’s DNA matching and results function. Using the company’s proprietary African Lineage Database along with close collaboration with historians, anthropologists and linguists, Dr. Kittles safeguards accuracy and integrity in determining African countries of origin and Tribes. African Ancestry’s African DNA database remains the largest and most comprehensive ever collected making its lineage matching the most reliable in the marketplace.
LEADING GENETICIST: Dr. Kittles is very active in the field of human genetics and genetic anthropology, particularly as it relates to complex disease and health disparities in African Americans. Dr. Kittles’ research interests explore DNA, family history, and disease. Dr. Kittles is an international leader on race and genetics, health disparities, and cancer genetics. His work on tracing the genetic ancestry of African Americans has brought to focus many issues, new and old, which relate to race, ancestry, identity, and group membership.
Currently, he is professor and founding director of the Division of Health Equities within the Department of Population Sciences at City of Hope. He is also associate director of health equities in the comprehensive cancer center.
SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT: Dr. Kittles’ work at African Ancestry has ignited global interest and dialogue, as well as unprecedented focus on African ancestry tracing in U.S. and abroad. His work has been featured on BBC, PBS, CNN, CBS 60 Minutes, Ebony, NPR and USA TODAY, as well as hundreds of local and trade media across the world. He has published in medical journals and consumer books on genetic variation, race and culture, prostate cancer and health disparities.
Kittles received a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from George Washington University. As an assistant professor at Howard University in 1997, Dr. Kittles helped establish a national cooperative network to study the genetics of hereditary prostate cancer in African Americans. He also served as co-director of Molecular Genetics in the National Human Genome Center at Howard University.