Prof Olive Mugenda is the immediate former Vice-Chancellor of Kenyatta University. While serving as the Vice-Chancellor from 2006 to March 2016, she spearheaded the institution’s transformation in many ways including growth in students’ enrolment, infrastructure development and expansion, staff welfare and she introduced market-driven programmes. She ably turned the University into an entrepreneurial and research institution and championed innovation in academics, administration and research.
Prof Mugenda is a Director of Nation Media Group, a leading Newspaper company in Kenya; a Non-Executive Director for UBA Kenya Bank Limited, a multinational financial institution; a Board member of the African Centre for Transformative and Inclusive Leadership Initiative (ACTIL); a member of Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE); the Steering Committee for the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI); and, a Board member of Global Training and Research Program, an NGO owned by University of California. She has previously served as Chairperson of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) and Vice-President of the International Association of Universities (IAU).
Prof Mugenda is the recipient of the Elder of Burning Spear (EBS) and Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear (CBS) presidential awards. She is also a recipient of the Ernst and Young Lifetime Achievement Award and was recently awarded the highly competitive and prestigious Impact Research and Science in Sub- Saharan Africa (IMPRESSA) Award by the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM). In February 2016, the French Government through the French Embassy in Nairobi awarded Prof. Mugenda the Order of Academic Palms – a national order of France for distinguished academics and figures in the world for her efforts in steering the University’s growth.
Olive graduated with a first class honours degree in education from the University of Nairobi and later obtained a Master of Science degree and PhD in Family and Consumer Sciences from Iowa State University (USA). She also holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Eastern and Southern Africa Management Institute (ESAMI).
After her successful tenure as a vice chancellor after successful 10 year tenure, Prof. Mugenda founded the Centre for Innovative Leadership and Governance (CLIG). CLIG was started with the aim of empowering those in authority especially at the universities to be transformational leaders in their organizations and communities locally and regionally.