Kenyan ambassador to engage with BGSU students, community

BOWLING GREEN, O.—Bowling Green State University students and faculty this year will have the unusual opportunity to hear directly from international ambassadors, beginning with the Kenyan Ambassador to the U.S., Jean Njeri Kamau.

Ambassador Kamau will give a talk and meet with BGSU community members as part of the new Global Engagement speaker series, designed to expand the educational and career horizons of students.

Her open talk will be held from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Sept. 5 in 206 Bowen-Thompson Student Union, with time for questions and a reception to follow. Admission is free and open to the public.

“We are honored and proud to have Ambassador Kamau on our campus,” said President Mary Ellen Mazey. “Her visit promises to give students rich insight into opportunities with Kenya and also a way to see Kenya in the larger context that someone with an ambassador’s perspective can present.”

Kenya is one of the United States’ most important allies in Africa. The East African nation hosts a growing number of major U.S. and international businesses and agencies, from Coca-Cola to IBM to Google, and is fast becoming a major technology hub. Along with these international businesses come related industries such as public relations and other communications-based companies.

The continent of Africa is home to a 1 billion-plus population and emerging market that this summer attracted a visit from President Obama. The Corporate Council on Africa will host the U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Chicago this October.

An important goal of BGSU’s Strategic Plan is internationalizing the campus, both in bringing people from other countries to Bowling Green as students, faculty and visitors, and in helping BGSU students study abroad.

During her campus visit, Kamau will also participate in the sixth annual Kenya Scholars and Studies Association conference, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 6 and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 7 in 201 and 207 Bowen-Thompson Student Union.

Kamau has more than 20 years’ experience working in both civil society and the public sector. Her career interests have been in women’s rights, governance, institutional management and organizational development. She served as the first executive director of both the Federation of Women Lawyers Kenya (1992-2000) and the National Public Complaints Standing Committee (“The Ombudsman”) (2007-08). From July 2003 to December 2006, she consulted on security sector reforms in the Ministry of Internal Security and Provincial Administration.

She also has worked for several International agencies, including Womankind International, a charity based in the United Kingdom that supports women’s empowerment through sustainable development initiatives. In addition, she has consulted for several United Nations agencies in Geneva, Addis Ababa and Nairobi.

In 2008, she joined Action Aid International as the Country Director for Kenya and in 2011 was deployed to Lesotho. In 2012, Kamau was retained by the United Nations Development Programme’s civil society democratic governance facility as an institutional development consultant.

Kamau holds a master’s degree in law, from Aberdeen University, Scotland; and another master’s in democratic studies, from Leeds University, U.K.

Updated: 12/02/2017 12:55AM