Martha Karambu Koome is a highly accomplished advocate and currently holds the position of Chief Justice of Kenya, making her the first woman to ever occupy this post. She is widely considered to be the most powerful woman in the country. Away from her role as Chief Justice, Koome is married to Koome Kiragu, who serves as the chairperson of Habitat for Humanity-Kenya. He leads various programs that help communities develop proper housing, water use, sanitation, energy access, and land tenure.
One of Koome’s daughters, Kwagwiria Koome, is also making a name for herself in the world of international development. According to her LinkedIn profile, Kwagwiria holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from Keele University and a Master of Arts in Development Studies from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. She is an international development specialist with extensive experience in different sectors such as health, agriculture, ICT, and the governance sector. This has earned her a senior role at The Rockefeller Foundation, a multi-billion dollar organization that deals with promoting the well-being of humanity throughout the world through innovation, science, and technology to mitigate some of the global challenges.
Kwagwiria has been working at the foundation for eight years, where she has taken on various roles including strategy development, conducting policy analysis, and evaluations. She also conducts qualitative surveys and institutional assessments. According to her LinkedIn profile, she manages a high-impact grant portfolio in the food sector, providing her with extensive experience in the management of complex development projects, excellent skills in stakeholder and relationship management, and leading high-performing teams.
In an article published on the foundation’s website, Kwagiria reveals that her father, the Chief Justice, inspires her. “He worked largely with smallholder farmers in central Kenya to provide agronomy support. When I began working on the YieldWise initiative, I went to him for counsel. While speaking to him and other experts, I realized that they had a wealth of information that remained with them instead of gathering together in a single place and reaching the community,” she stated.
Before joining The Rockefeller Foundation in September 2014, Kwagwiria worked as a senior consultant at Deloitte from January 2007 to November 2012. She then joined Dalberg Global Development Advisors and worked as a consultant until August 2014. With her impressive background and experience, Kwagwiria is certainly one to watch in the world of international development.