Berhanu Abegaz, Executive Director

Berhanu Abegaz, AAS Executive Director

Berhanu Abegaz was a professor of chemistry at the University of Botswana for 17 years prior to joining the AAS in march 2011.

The graduate from the US’ University of Vermont has published 170 journal papers, supervised masters, PhD and postdoctoral students. He sits on the board of several organisations including the UNESCO’s International Basic Sciences Programme (IBSP) scientific board, where he is the current chair. His list of awards include the CNR Rao Award and the IFS-DANIDA award.

Thomas Maina Kariuki, Director, Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA)

Thomas Kariuki, AAS Director

Thomas Kariuki, an immunologist and AAS fellow, is an award-winning scientist who worked at the institute of Primate Research/National Museums of Kenya in Nairobi, until his appointment at AESA in March 2015. 

He has also served as president and board member of a number of Africa-wide professional networks, including the Federation of African Immunological Societies, for which he is the immediate past president.

Kevin Marsh, AAS Senior Advisor

Kevin Marsh, AAS Senior Advisor

Kevin Marsh is a malariologist who has spent 30 years in Africa conducting research.

He was director of the KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kilifi, Kenya, for 25 years until 2014 when he joined the AAS as its senior advisor.

He is a professor of tropical medicine at the University of Oxford and chairs the WHO Malaria Policy Advisor Committee. He is a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and was awarded the Prince Mahidol prize for medicine in 2010.

Elizabeth Marincola, Senior Advisor for Research Communications and Advocacy

Elizabeth Marincola has been a global leader of science publishing, education, advocacy and policy.

 She was CEO of PLOS, the world’s largest open access publisher, served as President of Washington-D.C.-based Society for Science and the Public, was Publisher of Science News magazine, and was Executive Director of the American Society for Cell Biology.

She has authored dozens of articles and chapters published by ­Science, Nature Medicine, The Huffington Post and Oxford University Press.

Among her honors and appointments have been serving on the Board of Directors of eLife, as Visiting Professor at the University of Bogota, receiving the (U.S.) Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, being named to the Fae Golden Kass Lectureship at Harvard Medical School, and being named a Lifetime Citizen Member of the American Society for Cell Biology.

She currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Humanitarian Health and on the Strategic Planning Committee for the (U.S.) National Institutes of Health National Library of Medicine. She received her A.B. from Stanford University and her MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Michael Kilpatrick, Senior Advisor, GFGP

Michael  Klpatrick qualified in London with a PhD in Neurophysiology, and then entered the pharmaceutical industry as a research scientist. This was followed by a career as a management consultant in the life sciences sector.

He has extensive experience in successfully delivering complex projects in Sub Saharan Africa.  Following two years as the Operations Director for the Medical Research Council in the Gambia, he relocated to London to be the MRC Operations Director for their units in UK and Africa. Kilpatrick was seconded to the African Academy of Sciences in 2015 to be the senior advisor to the Good Financial Grant Practice Programme.

Nidhee Jadeja, Change Manager

Nidhee Jadeja is on secondment to AAS from the Wellcome Trust. Jadeja, who holds a masters in public health from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, is supporting the strategic development of AESA and a liaison between AAS and WT. She has been with the Wellcome Trust for five years as science portfolio adviser contributing to the Trust's portfolio in public health research and population studies.

Alphonsus Neba, Programme Manager

Alphonsus Neba is responsible for the implementation of the Wellcome Trust-supported, Developing Excellence in Leadership, Training and Science (DELTAS), in which AESA is a partner. Neba, who holds a PhD in biotechnology from South Africa’s Rhodes University, has 10 years’ experience in research management, grants and contracts administration, research commercialisation, technology transfer and intellectual property management.

Evelyn Namubiru-Mwaura, Strategy and Policy Manager

Evelyn Namubiru-Mwaura has over fifteen years of experience in international development, strategy and  governance through appointments with AGRA, the World Bank, UNREDD, UNDP-GEF, International Forestry Resources and Institutions (IFRI) and Makerere University. She provides policy and strategic leadership in the development and delivery of AESA’s scientific agenda for Africa. The holder of a PhD in public policy from Indiana University in the US has won several awards including the Elinor Ostrom-Johan Skytte Fellowship, the International Foundation for Science award for field research, and the Compton Foundation Peace & Security Fellowship and the Australian Sponsored Training Scholarship.

Evelyn Gitau, Programme Manager

Evelyn Gitau is responsible for the implementation of the Grand Challenges Africa initiative, which is a partnership between AESA, the NEPAD Agency and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Evelyn who holds a PhD in life sciences from the United Kingdom’s Open University has over 10 years’ experience in medical research. In 2015, she was appointed fellow of the Next Einstein Forum where she acts as an ambassador for the development of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in Africa.

Hannah Ngugi, Finance and Administration Manager

Hannah Ngugi, has over 14 years’ experience in finance and administration. She was the finance officer for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). Her role at the AAS is to develop and maintain timely and accurate financial statements and reports, implement and ensure compliance with internal financial and accounting policies and procedures, budget and forecast preparation. Ngugi has a degree in business administration (IBA, Finance) from the United States International University and is a certified public accountant.

Benjamin Apraku Gyampoh, Programme Manager

Benjamin Gyampoh is a research manager and scientist in natural resources and climate change with a PhD in watershed management. His research interests are vulnerability assessment; coping, adaptation and mitigation strategies; and indigenous knowledge in climate change adaptation. Before joining the African Academy of Sciences, he worked with the International Water Management Institute Africa office in Accra, Ghana, from 2009 to 2012; and also led studies for the UNDP’s Africa Adaptation Programme and the Environmental Protection Agency of Ghana. He also writes the blog, GEOTHINKING. At the AAS, he leads the implementation of the Climate Impact Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement (CIRCLE) programme and is also the editor of the AAS’s flagship newsletter Science*Policy*Africa.

Olivia Osula, Programme Assistant

Olivia Osula is responsible for the administration of the AAS fellowship recruitment process, the AAS Affiliates’ programme and AAS prizes. She also provides support to AAS programmes, more specifically the Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine Programme.  Osula holds a bachelor of arts in sociology.