Robert Kibochi: The Only Sitting Military Commander To Earn A PhD In Kenya

In May 2020, General Robert Kibochi was appointed as the Chief of Defense Forces (CDF) of the Kenya Defense Forces, making him the first non-infantry officer to hold such a high-ranking position. On Friday, 22nd July 2022, he made headlines again by graduating from Kenyatta University with a PhD in Peace and Conflict Management, becoming the first sitting army chief to earn a doctorate degree.

Kibochi was born in 1959 in Gilgil, Nakuru and attended both Koelel High School and Nyeri High School. However, he chose to join the military instead of finishing his A levels. Growing up close to the fifth Kenya Rifles, he was inspired to join the army, even running away from Nyeri High School to do so. He joined the Kenya Army in 1979 and has risen through the ranks, serving in various positions including Chief of Strategic Plans and Policy, Assistant Chief of Defense Forces, and Director of the International Peace Support Training Center.

In addition to his military career, Kibochi is well-educated, holding a Bachelor of Technology in Electronics and Communications Engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru University, a Master of Science in Computer Based Information Systems from the University of Sunderland, and a Master of Arts in International Studies from the University of Nairobi.

Kibochi is grateful for the support of his family and colleagues in his educational journey, which he admits was a long one due to the demands of his work. Nevertheless, he is proud of his achievement and the recognition it brings to the Kenya Defense Forces.