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Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg

Executive Board Member

Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg

Dr. Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg is currently a Senior Fellow at the Ford Foundation and Founding Executive Director of Black women in Executive Leadership (B-WEL). She was previously and Executive in Residence and Executive Director of the Rise program at Schmidt Futures. Prior, she served as Director of African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) which works towards inclusive, agriculture-driven prosperity for Africa by strengthening the production and dissemination of gender responsive agricultural research and innovation. Dr. Kamau-Rutenberg also founded and served as Executive Director of Akili Dada, an award-winning leadership incubator that invests in high-achieving young women from under-resourced families, who are passionate about driving change in their communities. She began her career as an assistant professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco and has taught at Hekima University College, a constituent college of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa.

Dr. Kamau-Rutenberg has received widespread recognition for her work, including being honored as a White House Champion of Change by the Obama Administration, named one of the 100 Most Influential Africans, 100 most Reputable Africans, recognized as a Ford Foundation Champion of Democracy, awarded the United Nations Intercultural Innovation Award, and named one of Kenya’s Top 40 Women Under Age 40 and an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Fellow. She was recently profiled by the New York Times for her work on women’s leadership.

Born in Kenya, Dr. Kamau-Rutenberg holds a PhD and an M.A. degree in Political Science from the University of Minnesota, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics and a Doctorate (Honoris Causa) from Whitman College, both in the U.S.A.

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