Four Climate Change Champions from Kenya Selected for Prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship

Eisenhower Fellowships Kenya has announced the four experts in research and policy, development finance, and urban design and green building selected to travel to Philadelphia, Pa. (United States) to participate in the prestigious Eisenhower Fellowships (EF) program. The Kenya representatives will join 21 other dynamic doers from across the Continent working to address the challenges of global warming, including increasing frequency of floods and droughts, diminished crop yields and food shortages, and cross-border migrations.

“Global warming could erode as much as five percent of economic growth, worsening income inequalities, we are confident that the Kenya Fellows will leverage this opportunity to learn strategies and innovations to improve our society’s resilience from the best and brightest from across the United States,” said Nuru Mugambi, EF Kenya Network Chairperson. The Fellows were selected by EF through a competitive application process. 

Executive Director of Kenya Wildlife Trust, Dr. Irene Amoke is an Oxford-trained expert in ecology, biodiversity, sustainable development and wildlife conservation. For her Fellowship, Dr. Amoke plans to research the economic and environmental impacts of novel approaches to the management of small livestock. Her Fellowship project has its origin in a paper she wrote with Danish colleagues in 2018, titled “Are goats the new elephants in the room? Changing land-use strategies in Greater Mara, Kenya.” 

Dr. Linda Ogallo, Climate Change Adaptation Expert at the IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre, is an authority on drought, desertification and sustainable development in the greater Horn of Africa, having published more than 15 policy papers and peer-reviewed journal articles over the last 15 years. In 2002, IGAD created a Conflict Early Warning and Response mechanism to alert its seven member countries to water-rights disputes, forced population displacements and other situations that could presage violent conflicts. Her goal on Fellowship is the creation of a Climate Security Database to be used as a “toolkit” for policymakers. Using maps and science-based evidence, the tool would highlight the interplay between climate variability, peace and security.

Mr. Nickson Otieno is an architect who has played a leading role in developing Kenya’s green-building code standards. To demonstrate the applicability of green building principles, he created Endelevu as a digital marketplace where people can connect to buy, sell or donate leftover, recycled and natural building materials. The reclaimed construction waste is used to build schools across Kenya. On Fellowship, he wants to scale up Endelevu, mainstreaming the use of recycled materials, bags of earth and bales of straw to set new standards for the way that builders and policymakers think about resources.

Dr. Olufunso Somorin is African Development Bank’s Principal Regional Officer responsible for mainstreaming climate-change and green-growth initiatives in the Bank’s investments in 13 countries. Since 2009, he has authored and co-authored 24 journal articles on climate change and development. On Fellowship, he wants to develop a better means to mobilize financing for adaptation projects. The strategic objective of his National Adaptation Finance Framework is increasing loans, grants, equities and guarantees from public and private sources, using Kenya as a case study.

The fully sponsored Fellowship program will aid the climate change resilience champions in enhancing their institutional impact through project-based knowledge exchange. The program combines a mixture of virtual and in-person meetings spread over several weeks starting this April. 

Now in its 68th year and named for America’s 34th President Dwight Eisenhower, Eisenhower Fellowships brings together innovative leaders from across geographies and sectors, united by their drive to tackle big challenges and improve the world. Since the founding of EF in 1953, more than 230 emerging African leaders have participated in the Fellowship program.  Other participants selected for the 2022 Eisenhower Africa Regional Program include emerging leaders from Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe working in several fields, including agriculture, housing, public safety, environmental protection, finance, water quality, food security and energy, among others.  EF selected the diverse mix of Fellows based on their track records of effective leadership, their potential for greater influence in their professional fields and their commitment to foster understanding through dialogue. 

All Eisenhower Fellows pledge a lifelong engagement with EF to advance its mission of creating a world more peaceful, prosperous and just.  For more information visit

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