#WhereLeadersAreMade: Amb. Dr. Mary Mbiro Khimulu, MBS

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By the Alumni Relations Office

Amb. Dr. Mary Mbiro Khimulu, MBS is currently the Executive Director of Mbiro Company, a private consulting firm engaged in Leadership and Human Behavior skills development. The firm offers advisory services in Project Management, Skill Gap Analysis, Management Training, Facilitating and Organizing Conferences and Workshops.

Amb. Khimulu has extensive Governance experience having served in Global, Regional and National Boards. These include Kenya Export Processing Zone Authority, Kenya Water Institute (KEWI), Founder Member of the Kenya Institute of Directors, Global Board of United Bible Societies, Regional Board Member of UBS Regional Committee, Bible Society of Kenya (First Woman to chair Kenya Bible Society Board), UNESCO Africa World Heritage Fund, Nairobi International School of Theology (now The International Leadership University), Amani Counseling Centre, Jesuits Refugee Services of Kenya, Skills for Southern Sudan and Our Lady of Mercy Secondary School.

She has also served as the Kenya Girl Guides Chief Commissioner, International Commissioner, National Trainer and Vice Chairman, plus Member of World Girl Guides and Girls Scouts (WAGGS) Regional Committee overseeing five African Countries. She was the Executive Director of Windle Trust, a UK Refugee Charitable Trust based in Kenya, set up the National Resource Development as its first Director at World Vision Kenya, and as a Deputy Director (Deputy Vice Chancellor-Academic and Student Affairs) at United States International University-Africa. Her experience includes working at the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), working as a Management Consultant and teaching in four high schools across the country.

Until June 29, 2020, Dr. Khimulu was the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Groundwater Resources Education, Training and Research in Eastern Africa Institute (a UNESCO Category 2 Centre), having been appointed by the President of Kenya in 2016 for three years and for the second term in May 2019 which ended in June 2020 when she was appointed by the President to serve as the Chairperson of Water Sector Trust Fund Board of Directors. Other roles that she has held include:

- Appointment by the USNESCO Secretary General to the Administrative Council of the UNESCO International Fund for the Promotion of Culture (IFPC);

  • Serving as one of the two Vice Presidents of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Council: Management of Social Transformations Programme (MOST) and one of the Regional MOST Vice Presidents representing Africa, serving in this position for the second time;
  • Serving on the National Committee of MOST at KNATCOM (Kenya National Commission for UNESCO), serving at the Institute for Africa and International Understanding (IACIU) in Nigeria (a UNESCO Category 2 Institute) and on the Board of the Regional Centre for Capacity Development and Research in Water Harvesting, Sudan, a UNESCO Category 2 Centre. She is one of the Vice Presidents of Pan African Women Organization (PAWO) Regional Group and is one of the 5 Trustees of the Bible Society of Kenya and Chairperson of the Kenya Girl Guides Association’s Nomination Committee.

Amb. Khimulu established the Kenya Delegation Office to UNESCO, Paris, France in 2006 as the first full time Ambassador/Permanent Delegate of Kenya to UNESCO and served from February 2006 to September 2013. While at UNESCO, she served as President of the Group of Ambassadors from Eastern Africa; Africa and Commonwealth Countries. She was elected four times as one of the Vice Presidents during UNESCO General Conferences, and served in other UNESCO Committees during her tenure.

4 out of the 7 Kenya World Heritage Sites were inscribed during her tenure and the Turkana Water aquifers were discovered through her initiatives at UNESCO. She played a major role in the appointment of the Third President of Kenya as the UNESCO Special Envoy of Water in Africa by the UNESCO Director General, and in the approval of the UNESCO Eastern Africa Office being located in Kenya. Amb. Khimulu supported the UNESCO Special Envoy of Water in Africa, H.E. Mwai Kibaki, CGH., when he carried out his mandate for 4 years.

Amb. Khimulu has also served as a Deputy Director (Deputy Vice Chancellor) and a Lecturer at USIU-Africa, where she taught students on Management, Leadership and Behavioristic Courses, and also carried other assignments including pushing for the accreditation of the University by the Commission for University Education, working to relocate the campus to its current location, overseeing the execution of the University’s teaching and learning mandate, among others.

Over the last five years, she has been a Speaker at The Centre for Human Security in Abeokuta, Nigeria organized at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library. She has consulted with the Regional Office for Eastern Africa based in Kenya, promoting UNESCO work in the region.

Amongst the honors she has received include the designation of Moran of the Burning Spear (MBS), awarded to her in 2011 by the President of the Republic of Kenya, Ambassador of Peace in 2007 by the Universal Peace Federation(UDF) in Korea, Godmother by the Professional African Women in Diaspora (AWODIAG) in France in 2012 and in 2018, the London Graduate School in Collaboration with Commonwealth University honored her with a Masters Certificate in Business Management Leadership and Doctor of Board Leaderships and Corporate Governance.

Amb. Khimulu holds a Doctorate degree in Human Behavior and Leadership (Management) awarded in 1980, having achieved double graduation on the same day in BSc. in Business Administration (Magna Cum Laude) and MSc. MOD, both in 1978 from USIU San Diego, now Alliant International University.

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