Our Team


Rose M. Mutiso, CEO

Dr. Rose M. Mutiso is co-founder and CEO of the Mawazo Institute. She is also a Fellow of the Energy for Growth Hub, focusing on African energy sector development. She is the current Next Einstein Forum Ambassador representing Kenya. Previously, Rose was a Senior Fellow in the Office of International Climate and Clean Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), where she led DOE’s engagement on technology and policy dimensions of energy access in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Prior to this, she served as an Energy and Innovation Policy Fellow in the office of U.S. Senator Christopher A. Coons, where she authored several pieces of legislation that were signed into law by President Barack Obama. 

A materials engineer by training, Rose has technical experience in the fields of nanotechnology and polymer physics, including nanoelectronics and next-generation energy technologies. She earned her BA and BE in Engineering Sciences with a concentration in Materials Science from Dartmouth College, and her PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. Born and raised in Nairobi, she is passionate about helping elevate women to positions of leadership and influence in African society. 

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Rachel Strohm, Board Chair

Rachel Strohm is co-founder and chair of the board at the Mawazo Institute.  She is also a PhD candidate in political science at the University of California, Berkeley.  Over the course of her PhD studies, she came to see that the voices of African academics were greatly underrepresented in social science research on Africa.  She's passionate about leveling the playing field for scholars from low income countries.

Rachel has previously worked as a research manager with Innovations for Poverty Action, where she managed a portfolio of more than 20 studies in development economics in Ghana, Uganda, Ethiopia, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.  She has also worked in microfinance and small business development in the DRC and Rwanda.  She holds a BA in geography and French from Dartmouth College, and an MA in international relations from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.  She is originally from Chicago.

Elaine Mungai, Programme Manager

Elaine Mungai is a Programme Manager at the Mawazo Institute. Prior to joining Mawazo, Elaine worked as the lead business analyst at Doreo Partners, where she managed programs geared towards poverty alleviation, youth employment, and financial inclusion for thousands of rural farmers across Northern Nigeria. Elaine has also worked as a research analyst at the Kenya Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas where she participated in advocacy and policy making in Kenya’s extractives industry.  As a consultant, she has conducted extensive market research for private equity firms in Kenya.

She holds a Bachelor of Business Science in Actuarial Science degree from Strathmore University.  Originally from Nairobi, Elaine is passionate about using data to foster informed decision-making that will spearhead Africa’s growth.  

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              Ashley Muthaka,                OPERATIONS MANAGER

Ashley Wangui Muthaka is the Operations Manager at Mawazo Institute. Before joining Mawazo, Ashley was a Business Development and Solutions Administrator at DHL Supply Chain East Africa, where she was responsible for business development and client relationship management at the head office in Nairobi, Kenya.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Concentration in Accounting degree and a Master of Science in Supply Chain Management degree from Towson University in the USA. Born and raised in Nairobi, Ashley is passionate about the community and women’s empowerment.

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Elizabeth Ngala, Finance Manager

Liz Ngala is a Certified Public Accountant of Kenya (CPA-K) with over 10 years working experience.  She has a strong  mix of experience, expertise and qualifications, with major areas of focus on finance procedures and controls, tax management, financial analysis, and internal audits.  She previously worked as a financial accountant and senior legal accountant at Anjarwalla & Khanna Advocates, and a finance manager at Horizon Africa Capital Limited.  She is also currently the finance manager at EED Advisory Limited.  Liz was educated at Strathmore University, Nairobi.

KARI Mugo, digital media and public engagement consultant


Kari Mugo is an activist, writer and communications consultant supporting the work of agitators, dreamers and social justice movements working towards a universe of equals. Before joining Mawazo Institute, she was Operations Manager at the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, where she oversaw program and staff management. She brings with her four years of experience partnering with nonprofits and local government agencies in Minnesota, USA and Nairobi, Kenya to tell their stories.

Kari is skilled in developing external communications, fundraising and community engagement - and believes in the power of storytelling. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Political Science from St. Cloud State University.