Dr Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg
Director, African Women in Agricultural Research (AWARD), International.
Dr Kamau-Rutenberg is the Director of African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD). Through its investments in Africa’s leading women agricultural scientists, AWARD serves as a catalyst for innovations with high potential to contribute to the prosperity and well-being of African small holder farmers. Dr Kamau-Rutenberg has received widespread recognition for her work investing in women, including being honored as a White House Champion of Change, named one of the 100 Most Influential Africans by New African magazine, recognized as a Ford Foundation Champion of Democracy, awarded the United Nations Intercultural Innovation Award, and named one of Kenya’s Top 40 Women Under Age 40 among others.
Born in Kenya, Kamau-Rutenberg holds a PhD and a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Minnesota, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics from Whitman College in Washington, U.S.A. Prior to joining AWARD, Dr Kamau-Rutenberg founded and served as Executive Director of Akili Dada, an award-winning leadership incubator that invests in high-achieving young women from under-resourced families, who are passionate about driving change in their communities. Dr Kamau-Rutenberg also served as an assistant professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco and a lecturer in International Relations at the Jesuit Hekima College, a constituent college of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa. Her academic research and teaching interests centered on African politics, gender, international relations, ethnicity, and democratization, and the role of technology in social activism. Dr Kamau-Rutenberg is married to Dr Isaac M. Rutenberg, Director of the Center for Intellectual Property in Information Technology at Strathmore University Law School, and they have a 5-year-old son. She is an avid gardener who also enjoys knitting, home renovation projects, and making her own jams when she’s not maintaining an active presence on social media.