Amb. Simon Nabukwesi
Amb. Simon Nabukwesi is currently the Principal Secretary, State Department for University Education and Research in the Ministry of Education. He is one of Kenya’s foremost ambassadors having served as Kenya’s High Commissioner to Canada, and Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Extra-ordinary to Cuba. Amb. Nabukwesi has a B.Ed, M. Ed. in Education Planning and Management and MA in International Project Management. He is a PhD Candidate in International Project Management. In addition to this, he has a Diploma Level training in Institutional Management at Hiroshima University, Japan and a Pre-university Training at the National Youth Service (1986).
With this training, Simon has had a successful career as a High School Teacher, as a Deputy Principal and Principal in a span of twenty years (1989-2009). He has eleven (11) years of service as a diplomat including being the Director of Foreign Service Institute which he worked to transform into the Foreign Service Academy for training Junior Diplomats, Middle level Diplomats, Senior Diplomats and eight (8) Cohorts of Ambassadors whom he took through induction courses. The Foreign Service Academy served as a soft power tool for the government by training diplomats and ambassadors from the Eastern, Central and Southern Africa in addition to coordination of scholarships from friendly nations. This made members of the Association of directors of Foreign Service Academies from the IGAD Region to vote Nabukwesi to be their Chairperson, from 2016 to 2019 when he left the Academy to head Europe and Commonwealth Directorate in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Amb. Nabukwesi was appointed to the position of Principal Secretary, State Department of University Education and Research with effect from 28th February, 2020. He is optimistic about working with all stakeholders to improve University Education and Research.
Prof. Raphael Munavu
Prof. Raphael Munavu is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Nairobi where he has served since 1976. He is current Chairman of the Kenya National Academy of Sciences (KNAS) as well as Chairman of the Council of South Eastern University College (SEUCO).
Prof. Munavu attended Kalamazoo College (B.A, 1967-1970); Wayne State University (M.Sc., 1970- 1972) and the University of Detroit (Ph.D, 1972-1975). He is a specialist in Organic, Environmental and Industrial chemistry. Publishing over sixty refereed and commissioned papers, he has written extensively on the role of Higher Education, Chemistry, Science, Technology and Innovation in socio-economic development.
He has also undertaken consultancies on the environmental impacts of utilizing various natural resources. His research interest is in discovering and developing appropriate and innovative chemical processes for the conversion of locally available resources into useful products.
His achievements include:
Conversion of readily available carbohydrates (sucrose, lactose, fructose and glucose) into furfural, hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF) and HMF dimers using DMSO. These products have proven and potential industrial uses. Munavu’s team were first to report on these DMSO-mediated reactions
The behaviour of alcohols and diols in the presence of DMSO, dialkylsulphides and bromine. His team were first to report on the synthesis of methylene acetals using diols in the presence of DMSO and bromine. The reaction intermediate, trimethylsulphonium bromide, is now commercially available.
Extraction, chemical studies, and potential uses of vegetable oils from the seeds of local plants. The oil of Croton megalocarpus, Jatropha and cape Chestnut are now being piloted for production of biodiesel in Kenya.
Dr. Julius Muia
PS, National Treasury
Dr. Julius Muia is the Principal Secretary at The National Treasury. Prior to this, he was the Principal Secretary at the State Department for Planning – The National Treasury and Planning. Before his appointment as PS Planning, he was the Director General, Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat which operated under the Office of the President, Republic of Kenya to facilitate the implementation of Vision 2030. This is Kenya’s long-term policy framework that is premised on making Kenya a globally competitive, rapidly industrializing and upper middle income economy by 2030.
Between April 2008 and October 2016, Dr. Muia served as the Secretary, National Economic and Social Council, Office of the President. This is a top advisory government think tank whose flagship project was formulating Vision 2030.
An alumnus of the University of Nairobi’s School of Business, Dr Julius Muia graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Accounting; Masters Degree and PhD in Finance from the same university. His professional qualifications include: Certified Public Accountant (CPA-K); Certified Public Secretary (CPS-K), Associate Kenya Institute of Bankers; Associate Chartered Institute of Arbitrators; and Certified Coach.
Dr. Muia has over 25 years experience in leadership in the private sector in Kenya and UK. He started his career as an auditor with PricewaterhouseCoopers in mid 1980’s, and later worked as Head of Finance and Company Secretary in the hotel, manufacturing and banking sector. His other engagements include an adjunct faculty at Strathmore Business School; adviser on strategy and trainer on leadership.
Dr. Jemimah Onsare PhD
Dr. Jemimah Onsare is a member of the Board by virtue of being the Ag. Chief Executive Officer of National Research Fund (NRF). She has experience in resource mobilization and management of Research Grants and has participated in various programmes within the ST&I sector both at National as well as International level.
Dr. Onsare is experienced in Microbiological Research (Antimicrobials) and has published research articles in international Journals of repute. She holds a PhD (Applied Microbiology – Antimicrobials) and has undertaken an International training Programme Sponsored by SIDA on putting ideas to work, strategies for innovation and led sustainable growth.
Ms. Rachel Shibalira
Ms. Rachel Shibalira was appointed a member of the Board on 6th December, 2017. Ms. Shibalira holds Msc in Environmental Planning and Management from Kenyatta University, Bachelor of Law from BabaSaheb Ambedkar University and Diploma in Law from Kenya School Law.
Ms. Shibalira is a member of Law Society of Kenya and also International Commission of Jurists. She has represented the Government of Kenya in negotiating international conventions and protocols in the area of environment. She has also worked with several countries in the African region helping them define policies and laws on issues of Science and Technology. She has served nationally as a Chairperson of the Biosafety Appeals Board.
Prof. Francis W. Muregi, PhD
Prof. Francis Wamakima Muregi was appointed a member of the Board on 6th December, 2017. He is a PhD holder in medical sciences from Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, a Master of Science, Biochemistry (Biotechnology Option) and BSc. Biochemistry/Chemistry from Kenyatta University.
Prof. Muregi has worked at Kenya Medical Research Institute for more than 10 years. He is currently the Director for Research and Development at Mount Kenya University. He is also serving as a member of the Social and Human Sciences Programme and Expert Committee of Kenya National Commission for UNESCO (KNATCOM).
Dr. Tonny Omwansa PhD
Dr. Tonny K. Omwansa is a member of the Board by virtue of being the Chief Executive Officer of Kenya National Innovation Agency (KENIA). He is the co-author of “Money, Real Quick: Kenya’s disruptive mobile money innovation”. He holds a PhD in Information Systems in which he researched on the adoption of mobile financial services at the base of the pyramid in Kenya.
Besides consultancy in technology issues, he has conducted extensive research in mobile transactions in Africa and published various reports including use of airtime transfers, mobile banking, virtual currencies as well as regulation of mobile transactions. His research interests are in the design, adoption and impact of low-cost technologies in developing countries.
His various research assignments have been commissioned by organizations like the GSMA, Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and Economic Commission of Africa. He is a recipient of the prestigious Bellagio Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation where he worked on the book on mobile money, published in 2012.
Prof. Walter O. Oyawa PhD
Prof. Walter O. Oyawa, is currently the Director General of the National Commission for Science, Technology & Innovation (NACOSTI). He is a Professor of Civil Engineering, a holder of a PhD in Civil Engineering, and a holder of Executive MBA. He is a Registered Professional Engineer, a Lead Expert-NEMA and a reviewer of several international journals.
In addition to his current position as Director General of NACOSTI, Prof. Oyawa has served in various senior leadership/management positions including having been the Principal/CEO of Multimedia University College, Deputy Commission Secretary at the Commission for University Education (CUE), pioneering Ag. Principal of the College of Engineering & Technology at JKUAT, Director of a Research Centre-SMARTEC at JKUAT, Chairman of the Department of Civil Engineering at JKUAT, Board member of several boards, among others. He is endowed with vast experience in research/scholarly work, as evidenced by; extensive publications in peer reviewed journals, several awards and research grants, keynote lectures and conference papers, and supervision of numerous postgraduate students. His research interest is in the area of sustainable construction materials and technologies.