Runs the day-to-day operations of The Academy
The AAS Managers and Senior Advisors are responsible for key areas of work at The AAS, including: The AAS funding and agenda setting platform, the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA), programmes on building research and development (R&D) infrastructure, innovation & entrepreneurship, developing young research leaders and critical gaps in science, the sustainability platform Coalition for African Research and Innovation (CARI), and the AAS strategy and communications functions.
Acting Executive Director
Prof Ngila joined the AAS on 17th of July 2020 as the Interim ED for 6 months. In her role, she will provide leadership and strategic direction of AAS’s programmes in order to achieve the Academy’s vision, mission and objectives. She will oversee both the programmatic and operational management of the organization with a focus to sustainably drive the mandate of AAS through the secretariat team, and to represent the academy globally.
Prof Ngila has joined the Academy from Riara University where she is on leave of absence as the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs. Her portfolio at the University involved supporting the university management in delivering the University strategic objectives. She has been in-charge of coordinating the formulation and implementation of University policies, regulations, quality assurance encompassing standards and guidelines that create a framework for academic excellence, effective management, implementation and evaluation of University programmes and activities, towards achieving of the University’s vision & mission. Prior to Riara University, she held a number of leadership positions in both academic institutions as well as the public sector, which include the Kenya Pipeline Company Ltd where she served as Deputy Director of the Morendat Institute of Oil and Gas in charge of training, academic and linkages; University of Johannesburg where she was the Head of Applied Chemistry Department and previously Deputy Head in charge of Research and Post graduate Studies; University of Kwa Zulu Natal, School of Chemistry; University of Botswana and Kenyatta University in the Departments of Chemistry .
Ngila is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), Department of Chemical Sciences, as well as a Visiting Professor at the Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology in Kenya. Her research work is on Analytical/Environmental Chemistry and focuses on water quality/pollution monitoring, methods of water treatment based on nanotechnology, development of analytical methodologies for detecting metal pollutants and other chemical substances including their speciation analysis, in water.
She has held membership/leadership positions to national, regional and international committees including chairing of the rating and proposal review panels of National Research Foundation; Membership of the UNESCO programmes such as ANSTI-COVIDSET), STEM Mentorship programme; Panel of Adjudicators of L’Oreal UNESCO for Women in Science in Sub-Saharan African Programme; Member of USA based African Scientific Institute (ASI) among other committees/bodies. She has about 25 years of research experience post PhD and has a sustained record of publications in accredited journals, good track record of postgraduate research supervision and training of masters and doctoral levels. She is rated by South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF) and has over 430 publications comprising of 210 journal articles, 15 book chapters, 17 proceedings, 37 keynote/invited lectures and 160 conference abstracts.
Prof Ngila has won various Awards including African Union Kwame Nkrumah East Africa Regional Women Scientific Awards (January 2017) for excellence in research in water quality monitoring and treatment using nanotechnology; South Africa Distinguished Women in Science (WISA) Awards - Physical Sciences & Engineering (August 2016), and different research grant Awards by Organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons (OPCW); The Third World Network of Scientific Organizations (TWNSO); South Africa’s NRF, Water Research Commission, CSIR, Sasol and Eskom, among others.
She is a Fellow of the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS); Fellow Africa Academy of Sciences (FAAS); Member Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf); Member of the AAS mentorship programmes; the Chair of the AAS Education & Gender Working Group; and Co-Chair of the 2021 Commonwealth Science Conference, a joint venture of Royal Society and the AAS. She is also a member of various Chemical Societies and Professional Organizations.
She holds a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from University of New South Wales in Australia, MSc in Chemistry and BEd.Sci from Kenyatta University.
Director of Programmes/AESA Platform
Tom Kariuki is the Director of Programmes/AESA Platform at the African Academy of Sciences (AAS). He leads the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA Platform), which was launched in 2015 by the AAS and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency (now known as the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD)), and which has so far mobilized millions of dollars to support scientific Research & Development (R&D) priorities to shift the centre of gravity of African science. An internationally recognised immunologist, Kariuki leads the Academy’s programmatic activities to accelerate world-class research, foster innovation, and promote scientific leadership on the continent. He oversees the funding of research, development and commercialisation of novel, high-impact STI solutions for the continent, and is cultivating strategic partnerships with academic institutions, governments and industry globally to transform Africa’s future through science-led, knowledge-based economies. Kariuki has published widely on various R&D strategies and on policy-related research and development. He is a recipient of several local and international grants, prizes and awards.
Director of Strategy and Partnerships
Prior to joining The AAS, Naicker worked as a Chief Director of International Resources at the Department of Science and Technology South Africa.
Her current role at The AAS is to nurture strategic partnerships, increase and diversify the number of partners and strengthen engagement with stakeholders in line with The AAS Strategic Plan 2018-2022. She previously worked as a Research Scientist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa focusing on environment and sustainable development. She was involved in various policymaking processes in the science, environment and mining fields in post-apartheid South Africa. She was also a Research Associate at the Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP) at the University of Cambridge and a Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Governance at the University of Witwatersrand.
She is a member of various international research, science and policy networks. She holds a PhD in Geography (Cambridge) focused on Science Policy, and Master of Science Degrees in Geology (UCT) and Philosophy of Social Sciences (LSE).
Deputy Programmes Director- Science Support and Systems
Neba is the Deputy Programmes Director- Science Support and Systems, a post which he was appointed to in December 2018. He still retains principal responsibility for the Wellcome Trust-supported Developing Excellence in Leadership, Training, and Science (DELTAS Africa), which he has led as Programme Manager from its inception in 2015 and continues to provide guidance and supervision to the DELTAS Africa team.
Before joining the DELTAS Africa programme, Neba was Assistant Director for Research Commercialisation and Technology Transfer, and Acting Assistant Director for Research Funding and Grants Management at the University of Botswana. He holds a PhD in Biotechnology and an MSc in Environmental Biotechnology from South Africa’s Rhodes University; a Master’s degree in Information Sciences from the University of Ibadan (Nigeria), and a BSc Hons degree in Microbiology from the University of Lagos. He further holds several certificates including Converting Technology to Wealth from the University of Texas at Austin in the US, Bioentrepreneurship from the University of Pretoria in
South Africa and Developing STI Policy in Developing Countries from the World Bank Institute.
Head of Finance and Grants
Ngugi, has over 14 years’ experience in finance and administration. She was the finance officer for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
Her role at The AAS is to develop and maintain timely and accurate financial statements and reports, implement and ensure compliance with internal financial and accounting policies and procedures, budget and forecast preparation. Ngugi has a degree in business administration (IBA, Finance) from the United States International University and is a certified public accountant.
Head of Communications and PR
Mutheu is The African Academy of Sciences Head of Communications and PR.
She leads the development of an engaging and compelling AAS brand in Africa through developing and implementing a Pan-African communication and marketing strategy that will leverage on the unique strengths of The AAS to achieve Africa’s ambitious targets for research and innovation growth.
Previously, she worked as a communication, media and advocacy specialist at PATH providing strategic communication leadership and technical assistance to the Kenyan Ministry of Health, the Management Sciences for Health (MSH) leading deliberate communication initiatives and training to strengthen internal and external communications capacity and at the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) as the Science Communication and Policy specialist involved in designing and implementing a communication and policy dialogue program.
Juliette holds a Master’s in Science Communication from Imperial College London and an Honours and bachelor’s in biomedical sciences from Monash University Australia. She has a background in osteoarthritis and malaria research and is a creative at heart passionate about development and science communication in Africa.
Marsh is a malariologist who has spent 30 years in Africa conducting research.
He was director of the KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kilifi, Kenya, for 25 years until 2014 when he joined The AAS as its senior advisor.
He is a professor of tropical medicine at the University of Oxford and chairs the WHO Malaria Policy Advisor Committee. He is a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and was awarded the Prince Mahidol prize for medicine in 2010 and the Al Sumait prize for African development in 2015.
Head of Legal and Compliance
Kuto is responsible for leading and directing the management of all legal issues involving AAS and has overall responsibility for ensuring that the Academy’s legal risks and compliance requirements are assessed and mitigated appropriately. She also offers governance support to the AAS Governance. Prior to joining The AAS, Christine was General Counsel at Daystar University. She has over 9 years’ experience in the Company Secretarial role and her passion is mainly in corporate governance specifically risk, policies and processes. Other previous experience has been at WFP, Across- South Sudan, Tearfund, St. Paul's University and FOCUS. She holds a Degree in Science (BSc) and a Degree in Law (LLB), is a Certified Secretary and is a member of the Institute of Certified Public Secretaries(ICPSK).
Programme Consultant, Clinical Trials Community
Mabuka leads the Genetics and Clinical Trials work at The AAS. She is responsible for the development and management of the (Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) programme of activities and investments and also oversees the development of an Open Database for African Clinical Trials Capabilities and Sites. Prior to joining The AAS, Mabuka spent 16 years doing HIV-1 clinical research. Her research broadly focused on understanding host innate and immune factors that modulate HIV-1 transmission and pathogenesis. She investigated host immune responses in mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1 with a focus on breast milk transmission and explored antibody evolution in natural HIV-1 infection with the goal of informing antibody-based vaccine design. Mabuka holds a PhD from the University of Washington’s Department of Global Health and spent 3 years as a postdoctoral fellow with the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard and KwaZulu Natal Research Institute for TB and HIV (now Africa Health Research Institute- AHRI). She is currently a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington in Seattle and a 2018 Aspen New Voices Fellow.
Programme Manager, Grand Challenges Africa
Alobo has over 15 years’ experience managing research grants both from the recipient’s and funder’s side.
His last posting was as a key interface between the African research centres and GSK’s Africa NCD Open Lab. He has worked for GSK, Hoffman La Roche and Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative. He studied medicine at the University of Nairobi (Kenya) and later Public Health at the University of Birmingham (UK). He has been awarded the Archbishop Desmond Tutu African Leadership fellowship in 2014, the EU Contact Point Network for Young African Scientists Fellowship in 2007 and the British Chevening Scholarship in 2005.
Senior Programme Manager, Affiliates and Post-doctoral Fellowships
Omumbo joined The AAS in May 2018 as a Programme Manager for the Affiliates and Postdoctoral programmes.
She has over 20 years’ of experience in epidemiology focusing on research to support malaria control programmes, where she focused on developing effective partnerships between researchers and vector-borne disease control programmes; emphasizing the use of national data, research, and health information systems for monitoring and evaluation (M&E). She has played a major role in building the capacity of national control programs through curriculum development; providing training of trainers and supporting programmes to develop tools to collate, analyse, and display their own data. Omumbo has worked in the capacity of a consultant and published research in climate, vector-borne diseases, and health, as the head of a policy and practice unit of an international malaria research program, and as director of Public Health M&E for the MEASURE Evaluation PIMA Project. She holds a PhD in Epidemiology and a Master’s in Public Health.
Research Systems Manager
Mukhwana is responsible for the Research Management Programme in Africa (ReMPro Africa) which seeks to build the expertise necessary to create and sustain robust research enterprise and environments by addressing systemic level challenges at institutions in African. She joined The AAS from for the Makerere University/UVRI Infection and Immunity Research Training Programme (MUII-PLUS). Prior to MUII-PLUS, she was Senior Research Administrator and Head of Research Capacity Building at the Infectious Diseases Institute, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, for over six years. She established the research support functions, structures and articulated the governance framework. She holds an MBA from the Eastern & Southern Institute of Management and Post Graduate Diplomas in; Clinical Trials Management from Karolinska Institutét, Global Health Leadership and Management from the University of Washington and Applied Clinical Research & Evidence-Based Medicine from Makerere University College of Health Sciences. Her work has spanned academia, industry and the NGO sector and has vast experience engaging with local and international partners.
Kilpatrick qualified in London with a PhD Neurophysiology and then entered the pharmaceutical industry as a research scientist.
Community and Public Engagement Manager
Mutengu is responsible for strategic planning and execution of the engagement support programme for grant holders receiving funding through The AAS’s programmes. Mutengu has over 20 years’ community and public engagement and communication experience in biomedical research and sexual reproductive health.
Her focus has primarily been on HIV/AIDS, Ebola and adolescent health, establishing programmes and leading teams to identify and execute innovative strategies that support a better understanding of communities and cohorts, and testing candidate vaccines and medical devices in clinical trials. Mutengu has also contributed to policy advocacy, through the development of national and global guidelines including the Good Participatory Practice Guidelines for Biomedical HIV Prevention Research, Guidelines for Conducting Adolescent HIV Sexual & Reproductive Health Research in Kenya, and the Presidential Initiative on AIDS Strategy for Communication to Youth in Uganda (PIASCY).
Senior Advisor for Research Communications and Advocacy
Marincola is an international leader in science advocacy, open science, research funding, publishing, communications, education and public engagement. She was CEO of the large open access publisher PLOS, after serving on the PLOS board for a decade.
For The AAS, she founded AAS Open Research, an innovative, immediate, transparent, peer-reviewed publishing platform. Marincola was President of the Society for Science & the Public, Publisher of Science News magazine, and Executive Director of the American Society for Cell Biology and the Coalition for Life Sciences for 14 years. She served on the first oversight board for PubMed Central, was a member of the founding board of eLife and served as its Chair, has served on numerous US and EU advisory commissions on open science, and is currently on the board of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Humanitarian Health.
Strategy and Evaluation Manager
Kabura Ciugu is The AAS’ Strategy and Evaluation Manager. She has over 9 years’ experience in strategy formulation and implementation, project monitoring, evaluation and reporting and programme implementation. Kabura previously served as a Senior Consultant at Dalberg Global Development Advisors where she supported Partnerships formation, stakeholder relations, market research and intelligence, knowledge and learning support as well as strategy formulation and implementation. As Senior Consultant, she has built strategy consulting experiences in the fields of agriculture, education, financial services and private sector development areas. She was most recently leading a team tasked with drafting CARI strategy.
Before Dalberg, Kabura worked at the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) as Senior Grants Analyst, supporting businesses to innovate, leverage investments and anchor themselves in new markets with a goal to realize social impact. She also worked for Deloitte East Africa as Senior Associate (Audit) where she participated in financial planning, opportunity assessments as well as performance reviews for governmental and non-governmental organizations. She is passionate about sustainable development in the African continent and looks forward to making meaningful contributions to Africa’s science space through The AAS platforms. She holds a Masters of Arts in Public Policy from Central European University and a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) from Strathmore University.
Deborah-Fay Ndlovu is the Communications Manager at The African Academy of Sciences. She has managed aspects of strategy, branding and events, from development to implementation.
She is experienced in content development for a variety of media, including publications, the web and social media, and in media engagement. Her work in communications has allowed her to play key roles in creating, launching and implementing a project to build the capacity of African science journalists; train and support scientists to communicate to non-scientific audiences; conceptualise a database to map and track investments and impact for the African Academy of Sciences; develop branding materials and conceptualise a photography database. Prior to joining The AAS, Ndlovu was a science journalist. She holds a master’s in science journalism from City, University of London.
Fellows and Affiliates Manager
Dr Grace Mwaura is the Fellows and Affiliates Manager at the African Academy of Sciences where she provides thought leadership in the development, coordination, and implementation of AAS Fellows and Affiliates’ initiatives through policy, research and innovation in line with the AAS Strategic Plan. She is the coordinator of the AAS Mentorship Scheme that matches early and mid-career researchers with mentors from around the world with an aim of enhancing a thriving environment for African scientists.
Prior to the AAS, Grace worked in research and consulting for various think-tanks and international organizations. She holds a PhD in Geography and Environment from Oxford and has published widely in the field of environment-development nexus with a focus on youth livelihoods in contemporary Africa.