Our Team

Based in Kenya and the UK, our people have a wealth of diverse expertise and a shared commitment to amplifying voices across the African continent

Our Team


Joshua Holmes
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Nairobi, Kenya

Joshua Holmes

Product and Innovation Manager

joshua@africasvoices.org

Joshua works on designing and developing Africa’s Voices product portfolio. Prior to joining AVF, he launched and sustained financial technology products in Europe and South-East Asia. He holds an MPhil in International Relations and Politics from the University of Cambridge and a BA in Political Economy from the University of Sydney. He is driven to better connect citizen voices to decision making in the development, humanitarian and governance sectors.

Moses Maina
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Nairobi, Kenya

Moses Maina

Media and Engagement Specialist

Moses began working on the Africa’s Voices research pilot at the Centre of Governance and Human Rights in 2011. He has a passion for participatory development; creating spaces for the voiceless to freely participate in development debates and decision-making. Moses is in his final year of a Development Studies MA at Mt. Kenya University. He holds a Diploma in Project Management and a BA degree in Community Development at Kenyatta University.

Naima Ibrahim
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Nairobi, Kenya

Naima Ibrahim

Programme Officer

naima@africasvoices.org

Naima has 5 years’ experience in research, monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning in various research firms. She has a BA in development communication from the University of Nairobi. Previously she headed development and emergency response programs at Transtec SA and has  coordinated a call centre located in Nairobi used in monitoring Somali humanitarian programs funded by UKAID. At Africa’s Voices, she manages relationships with our media partners by supporting design and implementation of media and engagement plans of projects.
She is passionate about research, community work and peace-building.

Anna Tomson
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Nairobi, Kenya

Anna Tomson

Programme Manager, Governance & Accountability

anna.t@africasvoices.org

Anna’s background is in applied research in conflict affected states, predominantly in South Sudan and Somalia. Prior to joining AVF Anna worked as Assessment Manager for REACH Initiative in Somalia, focusing on trends in displacement and humanitarian service provision. She holds an MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development from SOAS, University of London, and a BA in Development Studies from the University of East Anglia.

Rita Zágoni
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Nairobi, Kenya

Rita Zágoni

Lead Technologist

rita@africasvoices.org

Starting out in Sociology and Philosophy and landing in data science, Rita’s journey has covered social science research, data analysis, and data privacy advocacy. Prior to joining Africa’s Voices, she has worked at the Central European University and at the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union. She particularly enjoys supporting technology projects for civic participation and delivering data skills trainings for NGOs and journalists.

Sharath Srinivasan, PhD
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Nairobi, Kenya

Sharath Srinivasan, PhD

Co-founder and Executive Director

sharath@africasvoices.org

As Director of the Centre of Governance and Human Rights at the University of Cambridge, Sharath conceived of Africa’s Voices within a larger research programme and developed it into an independent charity. How can citizens, writ large, better influence social and political change in Africa? His research is firmly grounded in a career prior to academia in international aid. With Africa’s Voices, he marries this with skills developed as a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Co. Initially trained in Law, he holds an MPhil and DPhil from Oxford University and is a Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge. Sharath is based in our Nairobi office.

David Good, PhD
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Cambridge, UK

David Good, PhD

Trustee

Dr. David Good is a Lecturer in Social Psychology at the University of Cambridge, and a King’s College Fellow. His research interests include how our understanding of human communication can contribute to the design and use of new informational and communication technologies. David serves on all the major University governance bodies, and has been Director of Education at the Cambridge MIT Institute (2000-08), the Director of Education for the School of Biological Sciences (2011-16), and an external academic adviser to and member of the Council of the Royal College of Art (2004-2012).

David Green
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London, UK

David Green

Trustee

Sir G. David Green, is the former Director-General of The British Council, and Director of Voluntary Services Overseas (1990-99). Before that, David worked at Save the Children (1976-90). With a strong interest in the arts, David has served as Chairman of the Dartington Hall Trust and The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, and on the board at The Royal Court Theatre and London University of the Arts.

Fiona Napier
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Nairobi, Kenya

Fiona Napier

Trustee

Fiona Napier has more than ten years of experience working in the philanthropic, NGO, and development sectors in South Africa and now, Kenya. Fiona’s academic background is in epidemiology in public health. She feels that Africa’s Voices offers great potential to both; (i) reach and hear people’s perspectives who have not yet been consulted, and (ii) get people’s feedback on a mass scale — which offers more reliable data and a mass of insights.
Laila Macharia, PhD
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Nairobi, Kenya

Laila Macharia, PhD

Trustee

Laila Macharia is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor, backing upcoming entrepreneurs in education, health, financial technology and data solutions. Between 2007 and 2014, she was the Founder CEO of Scion Real — an investment firm focused on urban development in Africa. Until 2016, Laila was the Vice Chairman of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA). She holds a doctorate in law (J.S.D) from Stanford Law School. Her dissertation focused on the telecommunications sector reform in Kenya.

Simon Cairns
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London, UK

Simon Cairns

Co-founder and Chairperson of Trustees

From previous roles (Chair of Voluntary Services Overseas, Overseas Development Institute, and the Charities Aid Foundation) and as a founding Board member of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and International Board of Turkana Basin Institute, Lord Cairns is determined local voices are better listened to and understood by governments, multi-national donors and NGOs as they seek to serve the underprivileged.

Alan Blackwell, PhD
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Cambridge, UK

Alan Blackwell, PhD

Senior Advisor

Alan is Professor of Interdisciplinary Design at the Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge, and also the Director of the Crucible network for research in interdisciplinary design. Crucible is a research network dedicated to promoting rigorous research collaboration between technologists and researchers in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. He is interested in Technology Design Research, Digital Aesthetics, and Sociotechnical Systems.

Luke Church
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Cambridge, UK

Luke Church

Director of Programmes and Innovation

Luke’s research is in the design of socio-techinical systems, focusing on improving peoples’ experience of interacting with complexity. He has previously worked on the human-centric design of programming languages and AI systems for Autodesk and Google, He is an associate lecturer at the University of Cambridge in Human Computer Interaction, and a bi-fellow at Churchill college.

Isaack Mwenda
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Nairobi, Kenya

Isaack Mwenda

Software Engineer

isaack@africasvoices.org

Isaack has over 3 years experience implementing and maintaining systems, infrastructure and providing strategic IT leadership . He holds an Msc IT – Business Intelligence from Strathmore University and Bachelor of Business in IT from Jomo Kenyatta University. He is passionate about leveraging software development and data science to power innovative and impactful humanitarian research and projects.

Elena Georgalla
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Nairobi, Kenya

Elena Georgalla

External Relations & Communications

elena@africasvoices.org

Elena has four years’ experience working on DFID, World Bank and USAID projects in the fields of health, governance, and education, including a background in driving partnerships with the public, non-profit, and private sectors. Prior to joining Africa’s Voices, Elena worked for Cambridge Education (Mott MacDonald) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, and Tanzania. She holds a MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge and a MA (Hons) in International Relations and Social Anthropology from the University of St Andrews. She is interested in new paradigms for development that leverage on strong synergies between traditional development partners and innovative approaches to put citizens at the forefront of decision-making. 

Adrian Poffley
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Washington D.C., USA

Adrian Poffley

Trustee

Adrian is a Chief Administrative Officer at the World Bank, Director of Sightsavers International and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. Previously, he spent 14 years in the voluntary sector, including as Chief Accountant of Voluntary Service Overseas and Finance Director of Sightsavers International.

Khadija Hussein Mohamed
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Nairobi, Kenya

Khadija Hussein Mohamed

Programme Officer

khadija@africasvoices.org

Khadija holds a BA in Sociology and Psychology from Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya. Currently undertaking a Diploma in Project Management, she is also trained on Strategic Planning and Monitoring and Evaluation of Humanitarian Programs. She has over 5 years’ experience working in social change and transformational research in Somalia, in areas of governance, accountability and access to justice for women and girls. She has also worked in a project aimed at countering violent extremism with youth groups in Nairobi, Kenya. Khadija is driven by a passion to serve communities affected by conflict and especially the vulnerable populations such as women,children and youth.

Alexander Simpson
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Cambridge, UK

Alexander Simpson

Software Engineer

alexander@africasvoices.org

Alexander holds a BA in computer science from the University of Cambridge. Before joining Africa’s Voices he was a member of the University of Cambridge’s Rainbow Research Group, where he developed novel interactive visualisations, including of critical care data and of body-worn camera feeds.

Anne Mwaniki
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Nairobi, Kenya

Anne Mwaniki

Finance and Grants Officer

anne@africasvoices.org

Anne is an ACCA qualified accountant with over 9 years of progressive technical experience in financial management,  administration, auditing, grant management and project reporting. She is currently working part time as a Finance and Administrative Assistant at Africa’s Voices  and as an accounting consultant .

George Gathigi, PhD
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Nairobi

George Gathigi, PhD

Senior Programme Manager, Citizen Evidence for Social Change

georgeg@africasvoices.org

George has 18 years of experience in research, strategic communication, capacity building, and project implementation.  He is has been a lecturer at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Nairobi and previously taught at Ohio University and Hampshire College in USA.

George holds a PhD in Mass Communication and Master’s in Development Communication from Ohio University and a BA in Political Science and Linguistics from the University of Nairobi. He has worked in various sectoral areas– health, democracy and governance, education and training, livelihoods and resource mobilisations. He has also worked for diverse organizations in public, private and development sectors across Eastern and Central Africa.

He is an aspiring farmer and  passionate about engaging communities and people.

Anna Colom
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London, UK

Anna Colom

Senior Advisor, Research Design and Analysis

anna@africasvoices.org

Anna has over 10 years of experience in research and evaluation in international development, with a focus on the role of data, media and communications in governance and social and behaviour change. She is a PhD student at The Open University (UK), conducting interdisciplinary research on the role of ICTs, in particular social media, in influencing the citizenship capabilities of women in Kenya. 

Former journalist and documentary filmmaker, she is also a Participatory Video facilitator. She holds an MSc in Development Studies from SOAS, University of London, and a BSc in Journalism from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. 

Damaris Ndegwa
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Nairobi, Kenya

Damaris Ndegwa

Director of Business Operations

damaris@africasvoices.org

Damaris is an operations management professional with more than 14 years of experience in project management, financial management and accounting, project start-ups, administration, procurement and logistics. She has previously worked for large democracy and governance projects in Kenya funded, among others, by USAID and DFID.

She is passionate about social impact and bringing change to society through impactful citizen engagement.

Ahmednaji Bashir
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Ahmednaji Bashir

Project Manager

naji@africasvoices.org

Naji has 10 years’ experience in managing multi-sectoral programs on food security and economic empowerment, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, peace-building and protections Somalia and Kenya. For the last 5 years, he served as security focal point and advisor to the Norwegian Church Aid Somalia and Kenya Programme. Naji holds a Bachelor degree in Project Management from the Atlantic International University (USA). He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Security and Emergency Management from Bircham International University in Madrid through distance learning and also holds a diploma in Community Development and Strategic leadership.

Gladys Tyen
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Cambridge, UK

Gladys Tyen

Data Scientist

gladys@africasvoices.org

Gladys specialises in Natural Language Processing and was involved in the Well Told Story project at Africa’s Voices during her undergraduate degree. She continues to contribute to the project today as a data scientist and works on linguistic models to analyse Sheng, a West African hybrid language spoken by young people in Nairobi.

Gladys holds a BA in Linguistics and an MPhil in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge.

Mercy Njung’e
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Nairobi, Kenya

Mercy Njung’e

Research Officer

mercy@africasvoices.org

Mercy has over 5 years’ experience in social and market research and community engagement. Most recently she was a field assistant at GROOTS Kenya where she led on the development of research tools and data collection and analysis.  She holds a BA in Community Development from St Paul’s University. She is passionate about research and monitoring and evaluation.

Nasra Ali
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Nairobi, Kenya

Nasra Ali

Research Assistant

nasra@africasvoices.org

Nasra has recently graduated from the University of Nairobi with a BA in Psychology and Tourism. She is contributing to AVF’s work in Somalia.

Samatar Abdi
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Nairobi, Kenya

Samatar Abdi

Research Officer

samatar@africasvoices.org

Samatar has extensive experience in political and civil rights research, particularly in Somalia. Prior to joining AVF, he was a Research Assistant at Human Rights Watch and he briefly worked for UNFPA. He is a Somali—English translator and speaks Somali, English and Kiswahili with native proficiency. He holds a Diploma in Communication Studies from Atlas College. He is passionate about human rights that lead to positive social change, particularly for conflict-affected communities.

Salahweli Harun
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Nairobi, Kenya

Salahweli Harun

Research Officer

salahweli@africasvoices.org

Salahweli has 8 years’ experience in statistics and research and has worked in a variety of sectors including economic development, livelihoods, cash transfers and peace & security. He previously worked as Research Assistant at Millward Brown EA, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics as Research Assistant and World Vision Kenya as a field monitor and market analyst. Salahweli holds a BSc in Applied Statistics with Computing from Moi University and is pursuing a MSc in Research Methods at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

He has a passion in research, statistics and data analysis.

Mary Ondiek
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Nairobi, Kenya

Mary Ondiek

Office Manager

mary@africasvoices.org

Mary has over 10 years’ experience providing administrative and project operations support to NGOs, startups and the United Nations. Prior to joining AVF, Mary supervised the implementation of a UN Women livelihoods project in Dadaab refugee camp and help set up the NGO Friends of Yala Swamp in Siaya county. Most recently, she served as the Office Manager for Penda Health in Nairobi. Mary holds a BA in Social Sciences and a MA in Project Management from the University of Nairobi. She has a passion for setting up and looking after happy teams!

Peter da Costa, PhD
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Nairobi, Kenya

Peter da Costa, PhD

Trustee

Peter da Costa has worked as a development expert in and on Africa as well as on global issues and initiatives for more than two decades. His areas of expertise include Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning, Evidence-informed Policy-making; Social and Behavioural Change Communication; and Institutional Capacity Strengthening. He has consulted extensively with development agencies as well as philanthropic foundations and independent monitoring organisations. He is a Technical Advisor to the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Global Development and Population Program.

He holds a Ph.D. in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and is based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Fatima Dahir Mohammed
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Nairobi, Kenya

Fatima Dahir Mohammed

Programme Officer

fatima@africasvoices.org

Fatima has worked for organisations in private, public and development sectors. She holds a Masters degree in Rural Sociology and Community Development and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Psychology from the University of Nairobi . She is passionate about research and humanitarian work. Fatima’s driving force is the feeling that she is actually creating a positive impact in the lives of others through her work particularly crisis-affected populations like women and children.