Gladys Shao is an event planner, decorator, and entrepreneur based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She is the CEO of her own company, Eventfully, which caters to the coordination and execution of various luxury celebrations including weddings and corporate events.
After her time at USIU-Africa, Gladys realized her passion for weddings that went beyond being a great bridesmaid or wedding guest. After some positive encouragement from friends (who dubbed her a professional bridesmaid) she decided to dip her toes into the industry. This eventually led her to attend the South Africa School of Weddings to gain experience from world renown wedding planners like Colin Cowie, who has been severally mentioned in Vogue magazine.
Since then, Gladys has built her brand as one of the top wedding and event planning companies in Tanzania. She has also started an affiliate businesses, Just Shoes & More by Eventfully, a luxury shoes and accessories store that caters to bridal party needs for both brides and grooms.
Gladys prides herself in being a perfectionist, a problem solver, and an outside of the box thinker when it comes to the execution of her work. Her unique eye, can-do attitude, and passion for event planning and coordination are what drive her to excellence each time she takes on a new client.
Gladys holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Journalism from USIU-Africa. She also holds two certifications from the South Africa School of Weddings in Wedding Planning and Luxury Styling & Floral Design. You can catch up with Gladys’ work on her website or Instagram page (@eventfully_) where she blogs, creates IGTV content, and showcases her exquisitely decorated event venues.
By Alumni Relations Office
Ronald Kibaara Meru is currently the Regional Head of Sales at Comviva Technologies Ltd. (Telecommunications Company based in India). During his tenure at Comviva, he has provided VAS solutions to Airtel Africa ranging from Mobile Money platforms to traditional VAS solutions like SMSC platforms.
Ronald has vast experience in the ICT & Marketing industry with over 20 years’ experience. Before joining this role, he worked at the Adtel Phone Company as the General Manager and was instrumental in forming one of the initial Premium Rate Service Providers (PRSPs) in the Kenyan market and helped build the community phone (Simu ya Jamii) business. He joined Adtel after having worked at the Nation Media Group Ltd in the Online & Digital division, where he developed the Nation Media website.
Ronald is a Chartered Marketer (CIM-UK) with a Post Graduate Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, he also holds a Master Degree in Strategic Management from the University of Nairobi (UoN), a Bachelor’s Degree in Information System and Technology (IST) from the United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) and a Diploma in Information Technology (IT) from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).
Ronald is currently the Chairman of the a Board of Directors at Muthaiga Golf club, he sits on the Board of Directors for the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) - Nairobi Chapter, he sits on the Board of Management (BOM) of Mangu High School, he is the Vice Chairman of the Mangu High School Alumni/Old boys and he also sits on the Board of Directors for Ubapesa Ltd (Digital Lending Company).
By the Alumni Relations Office
Kris is an accomplished business leader with 20+ years’ experience in creating enabling environments and building high-performance teams. Kris is passionate about the entrepreneurial ecosystem and has helped to grow many tech businesses and mentored many tech entrepreneurs on the continent. More specifically, he has extensive experience working with and helping to grow start-ups, Fintechs and Tertiary Educational Institutions.
He is a transformational leader and respected ICT champion with a passion for finding, grooming and coaching talent. He has a tenacious commitment to driving revenue and market-share growth and has always been able to explicitly envision, enable, and successfully execute high value complex projects.
He is currently the Chief Enterprise Business Officer at Safaricom where he is leading the charge to transform East Africa’s most successful Telco to transition to becoming a technology Company. Prior to this he was Managing Director of Telkom Digital where he helped grow Telkom’s Corporate Market share in a highly competitive environment, through the introduction of more innovative solutions and strategic value addition.
Kris is remembered as the youngest Telco executive to run a listed ICT company. He was instrumental in the startup of Access Kenya (Now Internet Solutions) and successfully helped it to become the first listed ICT firm on the Nairobi Securities Exchange. He then helped to expand the business’s footprint into East Africa and steering its acquisition by Internet Solutions in 2014, before exiting as its Deputy CEO, in 2016.
Kris is a distinguished fellow of both the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Kenya Institute of Management. He holds an MBA in Strategic Management from Warwick Business School as well as an International Business Administration Degree, majoring in Marketing, from USIU – Africa.
He is also the Chair of the United States International University-Africa Council. Other past and present Chairmanships he holds include chairing the Governing Council at the Kenya Institute of Management, the Chair of the Pan African agency BTL Africa, headquartered in Ghana, and the financial solution provider Craft Silicon.
More recently, he took up a cause that is close to his heart; Board membership at the Amahoro Coalition, an African-led initiative of which he is also co-founder, that is championing the economic inclusion of refugees on the continent, majorly by way of post-secondary education.
By the Alumni Relations Office
Stacy Gathoni Wahome is a Fraud Analyst at a top financial institution in Kenya. In this role, she investigates fraud cases, assess fraud risks and analyses and detects money laundering. She recently completed her Masters in Security and Strategic Studies from Macquarie University, Australia last year at the age of 22. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology in 2018 from USIU-Africa.
Her degree fueled her passion for a more inclusive justice system. When she finished her BA, she noted that the field of counter-terrorism, national security and intelligence had fewer women professionals and she sought to do her Masters in order to see and become a woman taking up decision making spaces in the field.
Her career objective is to be a leading global academic and professional as a woman in security. She seeks to show and provide ways in which more African women can be leaders and be part of the field of security and intelligence.
During her Undergraduate studies, she was the Vice President of Outgoing Global Exchange in AIESEC and was a part of other organizing committees for other school events.
While in Australia, she worked with the United Nations Association of Australia on a project to improve the experience of women volunteers in Australia. She also participated in and completed a certification in the Global Leadership Program from Macquarie University, a program that seeks to create students that are capable global leaders.
She is currently a member of the American Institute of Industrial Security (ASIS) Kenyan Chapter and Women in International Security (WIIS).
Caption: Pheodor is an experienced marketer in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry, and a turnaround commercial leader with a track record of driving brands back to profitability and growth. He holds a degree in International Business Administration in Marketing from USIU-Africa.
Photo: Pheodor Mundia
By the Alumni Relations Office
Pheodor Mundia Njoroge is the Senior Global Sustainability Manager, Functions and Business Innovation for Unilever tasked with driving digital and financial inclusion.
Before this he was a Strategic Business Manager to the Managing Director and has been instrumental in crafting the 2021 – 2026 strategy for six East African countries with over 300 million consumers. He joined Unilever from SABMiller/AB InBev, one of the world’s largest brewers, managing all their brands in Kenya. Before this he worked at Google Cloud Computing, where he started his career driving the uptake of Google Cloud services.
Pheodor has also served as the Marketing Manager for Sunlight, the number one home care brand in East Africa, with key highlights during his tenure being driving market leadership in the laundry category and launching the first 100% recycled bottle in Africa for Sunlight scourer.
An experienced marketer in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry, and a turnaround commercial leader with a track record of driving brands back to profitability and growth, he has held several roles in Marketing, including leading OMO back to growth after a decade of decline and being the only cell that grew globally. He has also led the shopper and customer marketing teams in Uganda and Rwanda as well as the skin care category team.
He is the immediate former Chairman of the Marketing Society of Kenya, leading the Board and Society with a membership of over 3000 marketers through which he co-founded the National Business Compact on COVID-19 (NBCC). Through NBCC, he led a COVID-19 behavior change campaign reaching 15 million East Africans raising over 4 million euros.
Mr. Mundia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Business Administration in Marketing from United States International University-Africa and is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Strategic Planning at the University of Edinburgh Business School – UK. His purpose is to offer a platform to individuals to unleash their potential through offering solutions that impact lives positively.
In his free time, he restores his 1965 Opel Rekord classic car, travels with his family and enjoys live bands.
Dr. Hassan Bashir has over 22 years of experience in the insurance and technology sectors in the East Africa region, including experience in the academic world through his teaching at USIU-Africa’s Chandaria School of Business since 2001. He is an entrepreneur with deep interest in the linkages between enterprise value creation, social economic development, good governance and knowledge.
Dr. Bashir is the Founder and former Group Chief Executive Officer of Takaful Insurance of Africa Limited, a position that he held from January 2011 to September 2018. Takaful Insurance of Africa is a pioneering risk management and financial services firm with licenses in general, long term insurance and pension business in Kenya and Somalia. The company is a pioneer of the Takaful model in the East and Central Africa region and has introduced a new and exciting ethical perspective to risk management in the Eastern Africa market.
Over the last 22 years, Dr. Bashir has played critical roles in the establishment of several successful companies in the pharmaceutical, ICT and financial services sectors. Among these companies are:
Dr. Bashir has also served as a member on several boards of various prominent institutions, including:
He holds a Bachelor of Science in International Business Administration from USIU San Diego, a Master of Business Administration (Marketing), and a Doctor of Business Administration focused on Leadership and Corporate Governance, from USIU-Africa.
Mr. Mohamed Ebrahim Varvany is the Sales Director at Scania East Africa in Nairobi, in charge of increasing sales in the region, as well as providing regional support and development in Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya, having transitioned from a Product Manager at AutoXpress Limited. Sales has been Mohamed’s forte and area of expertise from a very young age; connecting and interacting with people to provide them with solutions that enable maximum returns on investment is something he does passionately.
Mr. Mohamed Ebrahim Varvany graduated with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from USIU-Africa in 2010, having completed his Bachelors of Science in International Business Administration there in 2009.
While his professional journey began with selling mobile phones, followed by a more-than-a-decade long stint in the automotive industry, Mohamed has had interactions with communities to empower and benefit them, a critical ethos of the sales concept, even during his time at USIU-Africa, beginning with successfully vying for the role of Vice Chair of the Students’ Affair Council as an Undergraduate, followed by the Graduate Representative role within the same committee while doing his MBA.
While sales has always been his strength, Mohamed understood, while studying for his Bachelor’s degree, that this would not be enough for him to fully understand the workings of an organization, which has several aspects to it that, along with sales, have to interlink efficiently for the puzzle that is the organization to be complete and successful. With this in mind, Mohamed decided to continue his educational journey by enrolling for an MBA, which went on to help his development in several ways.
The MBA curriculum gave Mohamed the opportunity to develop his knowledge and understanding in different areas like Strategy, Marketing, and Finance, among others, that enabled him to polish his core sales skill-set. Furthermore, it also helped him to become more aware of his leadership style, along with shaping his vision of the type of leader he wanted to be while working within his sales specialization.
For those starting out, Mohammed notes that it is important to find a career choice you are passionate about and accentuate this passion by getting the right education, and compliment it by adding several skills that add value and contribute to your passion in a broader perspective, and then there will be no stopping you.
Ms. Wanjiru Njendu is an award-winning filmmaker based in Los Angeles, USA, with a strong and varied background in the film industry, with a creative imagination earning her the nickname 'Magic' at a young age.
Between building up an award-winning directing portfolio with her films starring actors such as Simone Missick (CBS’s All Rise and Marvel’s Luke Cage) and Adetokumboh McCormack (ABC’s LOST and Netflix’s Castlevania), Wanjiru also has left her mark as a producer. This versatility also led to her being selected as a fellow in the Producer's Guild of America Diversity workshop.
In an effort to showcase Kenya, she produced the 5th Annual Women In Film International Committee’s Short Film Series, “Out of Africa, A Night of Kenyan Film & Culture” which was held at Universal Studios in 2011. The event which was hosted by actor Edi Gathegi and musician-actress Ida Onyango was headlined by Nobel Prize nominated author Prof. Ngugi wa Thiong’o who presented a reading of his works. It also showcased an art piece by artist Wangechi Mutu. 8 Kenyan films were presented during the event with the City of Los Angeles honoring it as one of the top 2011 cultural contributions to the city.
Wanjiru also directed the red carpet interviews with the Oscar nominated actresses for Women In Film’s Annual Pre-Oscar party, a live taping of the SAG-AFTRA / Women In Film Q&A panel for the film MISSRepresentation as well as the purple carpet interviews with the Emmy nominated actresses for the Variety/Women In Film Pre-Emmy party. The interviews showcased nominated actresses like Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Gwyneth Paltrow, Alison Janney, among others.
In 2016, her documentary film ‘Safari ya Jamhuri: The Journey to freedom’ was used to provide evidence for a lawsuit against the British Government by the Mau Mau colonial war survivors from Kenya.
Wanjiru has studio experience having worked for both The Walt Disney Studios Company in various areas and Universal Pictures’ as part of their Creative Marketing team. While at Universal she worked on marketing and publicity on The Fast and Furious franchise, the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise, Pitch Perfect franchise, the Ride Along sequel, The Despicable Me films as well Straight Out of Compton, Get on up and the Oscar winning film Get Out. She was also part of teams that ran the Oscar campaign for films such as Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, Fast & Furious 6, Furious 7, Lone Survivor, 47 Ronin, Sing and Trolls.
In 2020 Wanjiru was invited to become of the Member of the prestigious Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (Oscars).
Upon leaving Universal Pictures', Wanjiru dived back fully into directing. She directed Boxed a psychological thriller short film based on the true story of the terrifying daring escape of Henry "Box" Brown, an enslaved man who used creativity to escape from slavery in 1849 by mailing himself to freedom. The film won numerous awards including Best Short film at The Hague Global Cinema Film Festival (one of the highest Human Rights film festivals) and took home Best Diaspora short film at The 2020 African Movie Academy Awards. In 2021, Boxed has been selected by the distinguished Académie des César for their Nuits en Or program which will take place in summer 2021 in Paris, France.
In addition, she was the shadowing director on the Netflix series “Daybreak” under director Mark Tonderai. Most recently, Wanjiru directed Stray, a horror proof of concept film with a feature option, which was acquired by 20th Digital Studios (a subsidiary company of The Walt Disney Company). The film is streaming on Hulu, ABC and FX networks. During the industry’s shutdown due to the pandemic she has been working on development of the feature film of Stray as well as several other films, TV series and animated projects.
Wanjiru is also the Creative Director and serves on the board of Little Einsteins East Africa which is a member of the global Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S.T.E.M) Ed Coalition. Founded in 2016, Einsteins East Africa is a STEM Edutainment program on hands-on learning activities for Children from as young as 1 1/2 to 12 years of age using S.T.E.M. concepts, in a fun and hands on manner. Little Einsteins East Africa is based in Nairobi, Kenya and also runs STEM programs in Kigali, Rwanda.
Wanjiru holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from USIU-Africa and a Master's Degree in Visual Media and Arts with a focus on Film from Emerson College in Boston, USA.
By the Alumni Relations Office
Amb. Dr. Mary Mbiro Khimulu, MBS is currently the Executive Director of Mbiro Company, a private consulting firm engaged in Leadership and Human Behavior skills development. The firm offers advisory services in Project Management, Skill Gap Analysis, Management Training, Facilitating and Organizing Conferences and Workshops.
Amb. Khimulu has extensive Governance experience having served in Global, Regional and National Boards. These include Kenya Export Processing Zone Authority, Kenya Water Institute (KEWI), Founder Member of the Kenya Institute of Directors, Global Board of United Bible Societies, Regional Board Member of UBS Regional Committee, Bible Society of Kenya (First Woman to chair Kenya Bible Society Board), UNESCO Africa World Heritage Fund, Nairobi International School of Theology (now The International Leadership University), Amani Counseling Centre, Jesuits Refugee Services of Kenya, Skills for Southern Sudan and Our Lady of Mercy Secondary School.
She has also served as the Kenya Girl Guides Chief Commissioner, International Commissioner, National Trainer and Vice Chairman, plus Member of World Girl Guides and Girls Scouts (WAGGS) Regional Committee overseeing five African Countries. She was the Executive Director of Windle Trust, a UK Refugee Charitable Trust based in Kenya, set up the National Resource Development as its first Director at World Vision Kenya, and as a Deputy Director (Deputy Vice Chancellor-Academic and Student Affairs) at United States International University-Africa. Her experience includes working at the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), working as a Management Consultant and teaching in four high schools across the country.
Until June 29, 2020, Dr. Khimulu was the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Groundwater Resources Education, Training and Research in Eastern Africa Institute (a UNESCO Category 2 Centre), having been appointed by the President of Kenya in 2016 for three years and for the second term in May 2019 which ended in June 2020 when she was appointed by the President to serve as the Chairperson of Water Sector Trust Fund Board of Directors. Other roles that she has held include:
- Appointment by the USNESCO Secretary General to the Administrative Council of the UNESCO International Fund for the Promotion of Culture (IFPC);
Amb. Khimulu established the Kenya Delegation Office to UNESCO, Paris, France in 2006 as the first full time Ambassador/Permanent Delegate of Kenya to UNESCO and served from February 2006 to September 2013. While at UNESCO, she served as President of the Group of Ambassadors from Eastern Africa; Africa and Commonwealth Countries. She was elected four times as one of the Vice Presidents during UNESCO General Conferences, and served in other UNESCO Committees during her tenure.
4 out of the 7 Kenya World Heritage Sites were inscribed during her tenure and the Turkana Water aquifers were discovered through her initiatives at UNESCO. She played a major role in the appointment of the Third President of Kenya as the UNESCO Special Envoy of Water in Africa by the UNESCO Director General, and in the approval of the UNESCO Eastern Africa Office being located in Kenya. Amb. Khimulu supported the UNESCO Special Envoy of Water in Africa, H.E. Mwai Kibaki, CGH., when he carried out his mandate for 4 years.
Amb. Khimulu has also served as a Deputy Director (Deputy Vice Chancellor) and a Lecturer at USIU-Africa, where she taught students on Management, Leadership and Behavioristic Courses, and also carried other assignments including pushing for the accreditation of the University by the Commission for University Education, working to relocate the campus to its current location, overseeing the execution of the University’s teaching and learning mandate, among others.
Over the last five years, she has been a Speaker at The Centre for Human Security in Abeokuta, Nigeria organized at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library. She has consulted with the Regional Office for Eastern Africa based in Kenya, promoting UNESCO work in the region.
Amongst the honors she has received include the designation of Moran of the Burning Spear (MBS), awarded to her in 2011 by the President of the Republic of Kenya, Ambassador of Peace in 2007 by the Universal Peace Federation(UDF) in Korea, Godmother by the Professional African Women in Diaspora (AWODIAG) in France in 2012 and in 2018, the London Graduate School in Collaboration with Commonwealth University honored her with a Masters Certificate in Business Management Leadership and Doctor of Board Leaderships and Corporate Governance.
Amb. Khimulu holds a Doctorate degree in Human Behavior and Leadership (Management) awarded in 1980, having achieved double graduation on the same day in BSc. in Business Administration (Magna Cum Laude) and MSc. MOD, both in 1978 from USIU San Diego, now Alliant International University.
Ms. Faith Nkatha is a transformational and influential leader and professional in Fintech in the region with over 10 years of experience. She has both broad and deep experiences and knowledge in Innovation, Sales, Business Development, Payments, Partnerships, Leadership, Product development, Strategy, and Culture Management etc. She is known as a strategic thinker with extensive insights into how present trends will translate into the future, and how to prepare organizations for future-readiness.
Faith works as the Country Manager for Cellulant, one of the leading Fintech and payments companies in Africa. Cellulant uses technology to connect people and their resources, making it easier to do business across Africa. Their goal is to facilitate more transactions between more people so that we can all live better lives. Cellulant’s belief in providing solutions to everyday challenges across Africa has led to digitizing payments end to end for various value chains and as a result providing increased transparency and broader reach within a single mobile commerce platform for financial sector players. Cellulant believes that when we are connected, we can accomplish more, together.
Previously, she worked at the Oracle Corporation leading their Digital Transformation efforts for the Public Sector. Her last role in banking was at Sidian Bank where she worked as the Director for Strategy, Monitoring, and Transformation. She provided valuable insights and oversight to the Bank's Marketing, Customer Experience, Retail and Corporate banking operations.
Ms. Nkatha has been involved in some Government projects, where she was involved from Strategy formulation and implementation and worked closely with Cabinet Secretaries, Ministers, and Boards. As a result of her work with in the Banking and Technology industry, she has developed strong networks and working relationships with Regulatory bodies, Insurance companies, Non-Governmental bodies, Embassies, Religious bodies, Manufacturing, Oil and Gas companies, Government Ministries, and Parastatals.
Faith currently serves on three (3) boards; the Women on Boards Network where she chairs the Finance, Partnerships and Administration Committee, the LVCT Health Board, and the Inuka Africa Board. She is also a Member of the African Women in Fintech and Payments, and a trainer and mentor for the Presidential Digital Talent Program (PDTP) in addition to volunteering at the Mpesa Foundation Academy.
Faith recently graduated from Yale University and the University of California, Berkeley with an Executive certification in Leading Effective Decision making and another in Leading Innovative Change respectively. She holds a Masters of Arts in Psychology from USIU-Africa, which gives her an edge in leadership, people management, managing strategic and c-level relationships, and a better understanding of customers, their needs and how they make decisions.
Faith also has a certification in Leadership, Project Management, and Management Development from the Gordon Institute of Business Science and Strathmore Business School. As a result of her outstanding work ethic, she was nominated to join the Swedish Institute Management Program team representing Kenya in 2020.
During her spare time, Faith is usually involved in some form of adventure with family, doing speaking engagements, and encouraging and mentoring women and young people.
Ms. Pauline Nkatha Laibon is Meru County’s Director of External Partnerships and Affairs in the Governor’s office. She has 10 years’ experience in partnership building, fundraising and event management. In her position, Pauline serves in the Meru Vision 2040 delivery Secretariat for the next three years appointed and gazetted by Meru County Governor H.E. Hon. Kiraitu Murungi as part of the team to deliver Meru Vision 2040.
Prior this, she coordinated the process of developing the Meru Twaweza Program for the County First Lady and the Meru Economic and Social Council as the secretary to the management steering committee of the Council chaired by Amb. Francis Muthaura. She also served in the steering committee of the 1st successful Mt. Kenya Mountain Running championship held in Meru County in February 2020 to raise funds to construct a Cancer Center in the County.
Prior to joining the County Government, Pauline was the Resource Mobilization and Partnership manager for KANCO (formerly known as the Kenya Aids NGO’s Consortium), a membership health NGO established in the early 1990s in Kenya with operations in the Eastern Africa Region with a focus on health advocacy and or implementing health programs.
Before joining KANCO in August 2016, Pauline worked at USIU-Africa as the Internship coordinator under the School of Science and Technology; the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and in the Admissions Department as a Financial Aid Assistant. During her time at the university, she was also part of the Graduation Committee, in addition to being a member of the team who handled the inauguration event of the current Vice Chancellor, Prof. Paul Zeleza.
Gladwell Mbugua is the Human Resources Manager for PricewaterhouseCoopers' (PwC) Advisory Business in the East Africa region. Gladwell’s experience spans over ten years with specialization in talent management strategy, human resource, business partnership, reward management, organization design, performance management and change management.
Over the course of her career, she has supported Human Resources functions at a senior level in top-tier organizations both in the East and West Africa markets. Her experience includes Human Resource management at Africa Development Bank in Abidjan, KPMG East Africa, British American Tobacco, Andela, Equity Bank, among others.
Gladwell graduated from USIU-Africa in 2020 with a Masters of Business Administration. Her career objective is to be a global transformative human resource leader who builds organizational capabilities for delivering sustainable innovation and value creation for all stakeholders.
Dr. Donald Manyala is a Parliamentary Researcher and Policy Analyst at the Parliament of Kenya, supporting information needs of Members of Parliament and its staff. Donald specializes in policy analysis and generation of evidence based research to aid decision making and legislation.
In addition to his role as a Parliamentary Researcher, Donald also serves in the Board of Trustees for the Parliamentary Service Commission Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme as a Trustee. Prior to his current role, he worked with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) as a Research and Data Analyst in the Boundaries Department.
Donald holds a PhD in Leadership & Governance from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). He holds a Master in Business Administration (Strategic Management) and a Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management from the United States International University - Africa (USIU-Africa). He is also an alumnus of the 42nd cohort of the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI).
Dr. Manyala has served in USIU-Africa’s Alumni Association Board as the Treasurer and Executive Committee Member. During his time as a student at USIU-Africa, he served as the Vice-Chairperson of the Student Affairs Council (SAC).
Dr. Manyala has published several publications, including “Moderating Effect of Public Participation on the Relationship between Political and Economic Relations and Service Delivery in County governments of Kenya” and “Contributions of Administrative and Fiscal Relations on Service Delivery in County Governments of Kenya". Other future publications that he has on the way include a book documenting the use of evidence in decision making in African Parliaments.
John Musunga is the Managing Director of Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL). He joined KBL on the 1st of March 2021 from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) where his last position was that of Vaccines Market Leader responsible for Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Eastern Europe. John has worked in senior local, regional and global roles including being the Managing Director GSK Kenya & East Africa and also as the global Head of Supranationals for GSK’s Global Vaccines based in Belgium. He began his career as a sales representative and progressed into sales and marketing leadership roles in East Africa and South Africa.
Mr. Musunga has considerable strategic and leadership experience and repeatedly led his teams to exceed business targets, increase market footprint and grow market share. During his time in GSK East Africa, he more than quadrupling the size of business and also substantially grew jobs and employment. Outside the organization he worked, John has held a number of external positions including three years as a Non-Executive Director on the Kenya Vision 2030 Board, Chaired the Kenya HIV/Aids Business Council Board and was a past Chairman of the Kenya Association of Pharmaceuticals among others.
John is passionate about driving business results through the power of strong teams and works to create an environment where people can be at their best. He takes pride in acting as a coach and mentor to spot and develop talent and is proud of the many who he interacted with who have made successes of their careers and businesses.
John graduated in 2008 with an MBA in Marketing from USIU-Africa.
Dr. Caroline Wanjiru Karugu is Nyeri’s Deputy Governor, with over 15 years’ experience in the regional capital markets and financial services industry. She holds an MBA and DBA USIU-Africa.
By the Alumni Relations Office
Dr. Caroline Wanjiru Karugu is Nyeri’s Deputy Governor, hailing from Nyaribo, Kiganjo-Mathari Ward in Nyeri Town Constituency. Dr. Karugu has over 15 years’ experience in the regional capital markets and financial services industry, holding various leadership positions in various organizations.
Prior to becoming Deputy Governor, Dr. Karugu was the Chief Executive of Jabali Microserve Ltd, a commercial subsidiary of Jitegemee Trust, an organization dealing with Social Investments. Before this appointment, she served as Britam Group’s Senior Investor Relations Manager.
Before joining Britam in October 2013, Dr. Karugu worked for the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) as the Investor Relations and Communications Manager. At the NSE, she was the pioneering Country Manager of the Securities Industry Training Institute (SITI), an East African securities training organization with the mandate of deepening knowledge within the capital markets participants.
She was also in charge of external affairs and government relations for the East African Stock Exchanges Association (EASEA). While working at the NSE, Caroline participated in the listing of several companies, rights issues, bond offers and private placement projects.
While working as the Corporate Affairs and Marketing Manager of the Kenya Union and Saving Cooperatives (KUSCCO), Carol made outstanding contributions to the Kenyan Cooperative movement where she spearheaded efforts of organizing young people to form SACCOs.
In 2010, she won the prestigious World Young Credit Union Professionals (WYCUP) award sponsored by the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) in the United States. This global award is given to the top 5 individuals who have made significant contributions to their credit union system and have the potential to make a global impact.
Dr. Karugu has also served in various leadership capacities across various organizations, in board and ambassadorial roles. She was among the private sector professionals appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta to take up a board position in the Geothermal Development Company where she chaired the Board Technical and Strategy Committees and had spearheaded the restructuring of the State Corporation. In March 2020, Dr. Karugu was elected as the Chair of the Deputy Governors’ Forum and in November 2020, appointed Kenya Goodwill ambassador for Palliative care by Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA).
Dr. Karugu holds a Bachelor of Commerce Double Major Degree in Business Administration and Marketing from Daystar University and a Global Executive MBA (Strategy) from USIU-Africa in partnership with the Frankfurt School of Finance in Germany. She also holds a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) Degree in Finance from USIU-Africa in collaboration with the Columbia Business School in New York.
By the Alumni Department
Fred Murimi is the Managing Director of Centum Capital Partners Limited (CCAP), a private equity fund, managing a peak of US$250 million of private equity funds for its parent company, Centum Investment Company PLC, East Africa’s largest quoted investment company with over 36,000 shareholders and total assets of over US$ 600 million.
Fred has served in the position of Managing Director since July 2015, in which he has been responsible for the management of Centum’s private equity investments across financial services, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), manufacturing, education, agribusiness and energy. He has driven the value creation and value realization activities in Centum’s private portfolio, which has seen the portfolio deliver a gross US$ IRR of over 20%. CCAP has also been the most active private equity fund manager in the region having achieved 5 exits in the last 5 years alone, in line with Centum’s vision to be Africa’s foremost investment channel.
In his capacity as the head of Centum’s private equity business, he sits on the board of several companies including Almasi Beverages Limited, Longhorn Publishers Limited, Isuzu East Africa Limited and NAS Servair Limited. He has previously served on the boards of Platcorp Holdings, Genafrica Limited and Kenya Wine Agencies Limited and served as Centum’s Group Corporate Affairs Director & Company Secretary from January 2013 until June 2015.
Fred has over 10 years’ experience in the investment industry. Prior to joining Centum, he worked in investment banking with Dyer & Blair Investment Bank and later with Renaissance Capital (Kenya Limited) as Vice President. Fred has also worked as a regulator with the Capital Markets Authority.
He is passionate about developing the investment industry in East Africa and has previously served on the board of the Kenya Association of Stockbrokers and Investment Banks (KASIB) and on the Board Finance sub-committee of the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE). He is a certified trainer of the NSE Securities Industry Training Institute (SITI) and has most recently been appointed as a member of the capital markets law review panel by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) to review the capital markets legal framework to ensure its robustness in supporting a functioning financial market.
Fred holds a Bachelor of Laws degree (LL. B) from the University of Nairobi, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from USIU–Africa and is qualified in Kenya as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and as a Certified Public Secretary (CPS). He is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, a member of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and of the Institute of Certified Public Secretaries of Kenya (ICPSK). In 2014, he was awarded Certified Secretary of the Year in the Champions-of-Governance (COG) Awards by ICPSK and is a 2015 Archbishop Desmond Tutu Fellow.
By the Alumni Department
Tony Gatheca is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Transcend Media Group (TMG), one of the leading full service integrated marketing, advertising and communication agencies in Kenya with a regional presence in 6 East African countries.
TMG is affiliated globally to McCann Worldgroup headquartered in New York and Mullen Lowe Group headquartered in London. An enthusiastic marketing professional with over 20 years of experience in the industry; Tony has expertise in both Above the Line (ATL) and Below the Line (BTL) campaigns encompassing strategy, creative, media buying, public relations and digital marketing.
Tony has a Global Executive MBA in Strategic Management from USIU-Africa, in collaboration with SolBridge International School of Business, South Korea, having graduated in 2013 and an undergraduate degree in B.COM, Marketing and Business Administration from Daystar University in 1998.
He served as Chairman of the Marketing Society of Kenya (2015-2017) where he instituted far-reaching policy reforms, forged new partnerships and restored credibility within the industry. He has sat in the boards of Kenya Audience Research Foundation (KARF), Advertising Standards Board, Super Brands Council and AIESEC. He is also a member of the Advertising Practitioners Association (APA) and Public Relations Society of Kenya (PRSK).
Dedicated to youth empowerment, Tony served as a judge and mentor in the inaugural 254 Youth Entrepreneurship Awards in 2019. With a passion of growing teams and dreams throughout the course of his career, Tony has developed award-winning advertising campaigns, engaging the youth.
True to brand, TMG conceptualized and implemented the Trust Condoms rebrand – “Kuwa True”, and the NYS rebrand – “True to self, True to Country”, that both won best rebrand and re-launch, at the MSK Gala 2012 and 2014, respectively.
‘Truth Well Told’, the driving mantra behind the success – Tony believes in producing ‘Work that Works’ and delivers on the brand promise to consumers.
Previously employed in various Media Houses over the course of a decade, including Nation Media Group; Tony was part of the pioneering commercial team of the broadcasting division that launched NTV and Nation Radio in the year 2000. Tony then joined McCann Erickson in 2002, where he learnt the ropes of agency business before returning to work in media for Radio Africa Group - KISS FM and Classic FM as an agency sales manager.
After leading the sales and marketing team at Capital FM, Capital Group Ltd since 2005, Tony embarked on his Entrepreneurial journey, founding TMG in 2010, striving to create campaigns that will transcend beyond generations.
During his free time, Tony loves to play golf at the Muthaiga Golf Club where he is a member.
By the Alumni Department
Geoffrey Odundo is the Chief Executive of the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), a position he has held for the past 6 years. He is an accomplished Investment Banker having been in the financial services sector for the last 28 years, 22 of which have been in Capital Markets.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Odundo was the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Kingdom Securities Limited. He was instrumental in the setting up of Co-op Trust Investment Services, Co-op Consultancy Services Limited, and Kingdom Securities Limited, all subsidiaries of the Co-operative Bank of Kenya Limited.
Mr. Odundo has also held advisory roles on several corporate finance mandates in both the public and private sectors, in addition to managing key mandates in the asset management industry. He has contributed to the growth of the Capital Markets in his previous role as a Director/Board Secretary - Kenya Association of Stock Brokers and Investment Banks, Chairman of the Financial Standards Committee - Kenya Bureau of Standards as well as the Board Director of the Nairobi Securities Exchange PLC. Mr. Odundo serves as a Director of the Central Depository and Settlement Corporation (CDSC) Limited, Director of the NSE Clear Limited; and a trustee of the NSE Fidelity Funds.
He is also the Vice-Chairman of the REITs Association of Kenya (RAK), a member of the Working Committee of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), a member of the Central Bank Consolidative Forum for Domestic Debt Market (CFDDM), and a Council Member of the Institute of Certified Investment Financial Analysts (ICIFA). Other roles that he currently holds include serving as a board member of the Africa Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA), a Director of the East African Securities Exchanges Association, and a Member of the Thomson Reuters Africa Customer Advisory Network.
Mr. Odundo holds a Master’s degree in Strategic Management from USIU-Africa and an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Economics. He is an Advanced Management Program (AMP) graduate from Strathmore Business School.