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Previous Advisory Board Members

The Advisory Board meets quarterly to guide and provide feedback on the AAP’s activities and plans. After their term on the Advisory Board, members continue to guide and inspire AAP's activities. AAP strives to maintain a strong relationship with all previous advisory board members. 


Sirleaf Market Women’s Fund (Founding Chair)Thelma Awori.png

Executive Director

Institute for Social Transformation

Plot 390 Sebowa Zone

Kiwatule, Uganda

Email: thelmaawori(at)

Thelma Awori was the Founding Chair and President of the Sirleaf Market Women’s Fund, an organization which was named in honor of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first female president and the granddaughter of a market woman. The fund helps to build decent workplaces for thousands of market women, enhances their voices in policy making at regional and national levels and offers them direct services such as credit, literacy, water and sanitation, storage, and child care for their children. Her work with market women in urban and rural markets has positioned her well for membership of the Urban Strategy Council of GDF Suez. She is a member of the Global Advisory Board of the Hairou Commission which among other things promotes the participation of women in urban development.


Awori has a passion for promoting transformational leadership among rural women. To further this goal she has established the Institute for Social Transformation that develops leadership and critical thinking skills among women at the community level in rural and urban areas and among development practitioners who work with this target group. Awori is also experienced in the area of women and international peace keeping which has been invaluable in her tenure as President of Isis Women’s Cross Cultural Exchange and member of the Board of Femme African Solidarity, two organizations that focus on this issue. She also served as a member of the Civil Society Advisory Group to the Secretary General on UN Security Council Resolution 1325.


Awori, a Liberian/Ugandan, received her BA (Hons. cum laude) in Social Relations and Cultural Anthropology from Harvard University and MA in Adult Education and Humanistic Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. She recently received her EdD from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York.


Entrepreneur and Officer at FAO KenyaRodgers Kirwa.png

P.O Box 349

Nandi Hills, Kenya

Email: rodgerskirwa(at)


I am an Agribusiness Specialist, Farmer and an Advocate for Youth & Women in Agribusiness .

I am the Founder of iAgribiz Africa, an organization that exists to advocate, communicate and educate the public on agriculture. Through the organization I have been able to interact with farmers through several forums such as Field days, farm visits, farm trainings etc.

I am an OLX SOMA 2016 finalist (Best use of social media, Agriculture category) -1st runners up, a Michigan State University Professional Fellow, 2018, I was awarded 2018 Young Entrepreneur(Agribusiness) of the Year., and am a 2019 Crans Montana New Leaders for Tomorrow Award recipient.

I am also the founder of iAgribiz Africa Model Farm and Training Centre ,Nandi Hills. This is community project that we seek to develop agribusiness skills in youth and women through practical training and mentorship. We facilitate trainings where people get knowledge on modern and best agricultural techniques they can implement in their homes. 

I am a holder of Bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness Management from Egerton University. I am passionate agribusiness manager with expertise in value addition.

I have spoken in almost all the international events I have attended as stated in my Resume. I have spoken in many conferences here in Kenya as well.

My story has been published in all the mainstream newspapers in Kenya. I have had interviews with a number of local TV and Radio stations. I have also had interviews with international media houses like BBC and CCTV  


Associate ProfessorSaweda Liverpool-Tasie.jpg

Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics

446 W. Circle Dr., Rm 211B
Justin S Morrill Hall of Agriculture
East Lansing, MI 48824-1039



Saweda joined the department at MSU as an assistant professor in January 2012 and received tenure in 2018. Her current research focuses on differential effects of policies and poverty reduction strategies on farmer behavior and welfare.  This includes accounting for the potentially different marginal benefits of reducing agricultural production constraints; largely credit and information.

Her current work looks at the differential effect of social networks on technology adoption and bargaining power, given household poverty status. Saweda’s current research also looks at strategies to improve efficient fertilizer access and use in developing countries.  Her research has looked at using asset poverty measures to better understand the dynamics of rural poverty and its effect on the behavior of farmers.

Before coming to MSU, she was a Post Doctoral fellow at The International Food Policy Research Institute.  She received her PhD in Agriculture and Consumer Economics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She holds an MSc in Urban and Regional Planning and an MA in Third World Development, both from The University of Iowa. Her research work on poverty and international development has taken her to several states in the USA, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia.  Saweda was a Norman Borlaug Fellow in 2007, during which she spent over 10 months in Ethiopia doing research. She is currently working on Feed The Future Innovation Lab For Food Security Policy: Nigeria and Guiding Investments in Sustainable Agricultural Intensification in Africa - GISAIA. 

Research and Outreach Interests

  • Poverty reduction strategies
  • Social networks
  • Agricultural input markets
  • Food security and agricultural productivity


Vice ChancellorRose Mwonya.png

Egerton University

P O Box 536

Egerton, Kenya

Email: vc(at)


Prof Rose Mwonya in 2016 became the fourth Vice chancellor of Egerton University and the first female ever to join such ranks at the institution. She is now one of four female VCs at public universities in Kenya. Prof Mwonya takes over the leadership even as Egerton University boasts of beating both KU, Moi, JKUAT and Strathmore to be ranked second in the country. The University was ranked second after UoN in January 2016 Webometrics ranking.

In the 28 years she has been at the institution, she has held various positions among them founding director of the Centre for Women Studies and Gender Analysis and also the chairperson of the Department of Agriculture and Home Economics. She would later rise to become the dean of students in 2007 and a year later she was appointed the deputy vice-chancellor in charge of  academic  affairs,  a position she held until her appointment to head the university in October 2016.


Professor Mwonya pursued a diploma at Egerton University, then under the University of Nairobi. She finished her three-year-course in Agriculture and Home Economics in 1975 then was later posted to Kakamega district as a District Home Economics Officer. She worked in that position shortly before going to Bukura Institute of Agriculture in the then Western province as a lecturer to fulfil her dreams. She subsequently received a scholarship from the United States Agency for International Development to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture at Iowa State University which she completed in one and a half years. She also pursued an MSc and PhD in Home Economics Education at the same institution until 1984 focusing on child development and adult education among other aspects.


Vice ChancellorPaul Zeleza.png
United States International University - Africa
Off USIU Road, Off Thika Road (Exit 7)
P. O. Box 14634 - 00800, 
Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa
Email: vc(at); pzeleza(at)

Paul Tiyambe Zeleza is Vice Chancellor and Professor of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the United States International University-Africa, Nairobi, Kenya, a position he assumed on January 1, 2016. He was installed as the university’s second Vice Chancellor on Thursday, April 7, 2016.

Prior to joining USIU-Africa, he was Vice President of Academic Affairs and Professor of History at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, USA. Previously he was Dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts and the President’s Professor of History and African American Studies at Loyola Marymount University. He also served as head of the Department of African American Studies and the Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, taught at the Pennsylvania State University, and was Director of the Center for African Studies and Professor of History and African Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before coming to the United States in 1995, he was College Principal and Professor of History and Development Studies at Trent University in Ontario, Canada. Earlier he worked at the University of MalawiUniversity of the West Indies, and Kenyatta University. In 2006 he was appointed Honorary Professor at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. In Fall 2015, he was a fellow at Harvard University. 

In the early 2000s he worked as a consultant for the Ford and MacArthur foundations on their initiatives to revitalize higher education in Africa and as an adviser to the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development for a project on Policy Report on Gender and Development: 10 Years after Beijing. His research project on the African academic diaspora conducted for the Carnegie Corporation of New York in 2011-12 led to the establishment of the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program in 2013 that has to date sponsored nearly 200 African born academics in the United States and Canada to work with dozens of universities in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. He is a past president of the U.S. African Studies Association (2008-2009). He has raised millions of dollars in personal research projects and for institutional development.

Professor Zeleza earned his B.A. with Distinction from the University of Malawi and an M.A from the University of London, where he studied African history and international relations. He holds his Ph.D. in economic history from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. 


Vice Chancellor

David Norris.png

University of Botswana

Private Bag UB 022

4775 Notwane Rd.

Gaborone, Botswana



Professor David Norris is the sixth Vice Chancellor of the University of Botswana having assumed office on December 1, 2017. Prior to joining UB, Professor Norris was Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BUIST), a position he had held since 2016.

Before he joined BUIST, he worked for the University of Limpopo (formerly University of the North), South Africa from 2000 to 2016. He also worked for Austin Peay State University, USA from 1998 to 2000.

Professor Norris is a graduate of the University of Botswana having obtained his BSc in Biology and Physics in 1988 following which he worked for the Department of Agricultural Research as well as a part time biology lecturer at UB.

Professor Norris holds a PhD in Animal Science obtained from the Michigan State University (USA) in 1998 with a major in Animal Breeding and genetics and Minors in Statistics and Animal Biotechnology.

In addition, he holds an MSc in Animal and Forage Science obtained from the University of Reading (UK) in 1991 with a Major in Animal production and Minors in Biochemistry.

Professor Norris has a Graduate Certificate in Agricultural Research for Development which he obtained from the University of Wageningen International Centre for Development Oriented Research in Agriculture (ICRA) in The Netherlands in 2008.

Professor Norris is a renowned scholar who has published widely in reputable journals. His notable strengths are in Innovative Teaching and Learning; Curriculum Development and Review; Research Development and Innovation; and Higher Education Administration and Management; Change Management, Process Management and Strategic Leadership; with a notable record in research collaboration and research fundraising.