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.
Torto is the Executive Director of The AAS. Under his leadership, the goals of The AAS are to promote partnerships, mobilise the African scientific community, lead science advocacy efforts and ensure research findings are incorporated into policymaking so that science remains at the forefront of the African agenda and is adequately supported to transform people’s lives. At the core of his agenda is empathy; the stakeholder has to be part of finding the solution to their challenges.
Prior to joining The AAS, Torto was the founding Chief Executive Officer of the Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation. He has had an illustrious academic and research career and has graduated 19 PhD students during his tenure at the University of Botswana and Rhodes University. He is a Fellow of The African Academy of Sciences, inaugural Fellow of the Botswana Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK). He is a recipient of the Young Separation Science Award by the American Chemical Society.
Director of Programmes
Kariuki is the Director of Programmes at The African Academy of Sciences (The AAS) where he leads the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA) platform, which was launched in 2015 by The AAS and the AUDA-NEPAD Agency. AESA is The AAS’ funding, agenda-setting and programme management platform.
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 and development and commercialisation of novel, high-impact STI solutions for the continent. He is cultivating strategic partnerships with academic institutions, governments and industry globally to transform Africa’s future through science-led, knowledge-based economies.
Prior to his appointment at The AAS, Kariuki served as Director of the Institute of Primate Research/National Museums of Kenya, a biomedical and conservation biology facility. He has published widely on vaccines and diagnostics development for infectious diseases including schistosomiasis (Bilharzia), malaria and co-infections, and on policy related to biomedical research and funding. He is a recipient of several international grants and awards and serves as a member of various Advisory Boards that are supporting the development of excellence in science for global health and developmental challenges.
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.
Head of HR and Operations
Akinyi is an accomplished HR professional with over 15 years of experience in both the INGOs and Corporate sector. She has been responsible for implementing human resource management strategies that enable organizations to recruit, train and retain a high performing and motivated workforce.
Prior to joining The AAS Rosemary has served in various capacities as Human Resources Manager WWF-Kenya, Regional HR Advisor –(Horn East and Central Africa) Oxfam- GB, HR Specialist World Vision International among others. In these capacities, Rosemary was responsible for developing and implementing on-boarding, training and development, performance management, employee retention, benefits management and employee relations policies. She holds an MSc Organizational Development, Bachelors in Commerce (HR) and Higher Diploma in Human Resource Management. She is a Prosci certified change management practitioner and licensed human resources practitioner from the Institute of Human Resource Management in Nairobi Kenya.
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 Manager, Human Heredity and Health (H3Africa)
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.
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.
Lydia Makendo Manoti
Programme Manager, Coalition for African Research & Innovation (CARI)
Manoti is the Coalition for African Research and Innovation (CARI) Programme Manager. She is responsible for resource mobilisation and systematic collaboration activities of CARI. She has over 11 years’ experience in strategic resource mobilisation, programmes design and development, and institutional partnerships.
She was formerly employed as a Proposal Development Coordinator at Save the Children International where she led the organisational resource mobilisation and donor partnerships; Programme Manager – Institutional Partnership Development at SOS Children’s Villages International, Contracts Manager at Marie Stopes International, Programme Assistant at the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) and Training Administrator at the Directorate of Capacity Building under the AMREF. She is passionate about creating collaborative partnerships with a view of influencing investments in Science, Technology and Innovation to drive economic, social and development in Africa. She holds a Master of Arts in Project Planning and Management and a Bachelor of Education (Arts) from the University of Nairobi. She is a member of Kenya Association of Fundraising Professionals and East African Association of Grant Makers.
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.