Dr. Josephine Odera is the new Director of ACTIL (Africa Centre for Transformative & Inclusive Leadership). Before her appointment at ACTIL, she was the Regional Director, West and Central Africa, UN Women and then briefly served as Regional Advisor, Leadership & Governance at the United Nations Women Regional Office for East and Southern Africa.
Dr. Odera holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Conflict Management from the University of Ghent, Belgium having previously obtained a master’s degree in Economics, a Bachelor of philosophy degree in Economics and a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Dr. Josephine Odera has extensive research & teaching, diplomatic and management experience spanning a career of more than 25 years. She has served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Kenya and also taught at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, worked in Civil Society as a Director of Programmes and most recently as Regional Director in the United Nations.
As a government official, Dr. Odera represented the Government of Kenya in various meetings including the UN General Assembly, ECOSOC, African Union, regional trade and cooperation meetings such as COMESA. Dr. Odera was also a pioneer for the review of Foreign Service regulations as they affected women. She has also served as joint secretary to various bilateral commissions of the Republic of Kenya.
At the University of Nairobi, Dr. Josephine Odera taught on the post graduate program of International Studies and acted as Director on several occasions. She supervised Masters Theses and provided research guidance to several Doctoral candidates. She actively participated in academic activities presenting over 20 self-authored papers and has continued to publish. Her most recent co-authored paper: Gender Equality as a means to Women Empowerment? Consensus, Challenges, and Prospects for post 2015 Development Agenda in Africa has just been published in 2016 by Taylor and Francis. Dr. Odera has also taught at the National Defence College and supervised students on peace keeping. She has also offered lectures at the ENA in Paris, the Diplomatic Institute of Malta and the Geneva Institute of Graduate Studies. Dr.Odera also served as an external examiner for other universities including Strathmore University.
She has served as a Senior Program consultant for UNDP in Addis Ababa and has undertaken numerous other consultancies in the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes region. She was team leader for the team that successfully bid for the review and implementation of the Foreign Policy provisions for the East African Community and served as a trainer for their staff. She was lead consultant for the training of COMESA parliamentarians on peace and security, Moderator for the process to establish the now functioning IGAD Early Warning Mechanism (CEWARN) based in Addis Ababa and Coordinator of the Africa Peace Forum policy dialogues. Dr. Odera has published in the areas of peace and security and women’s rights. She was a member of the Technical Advisory Panel Networks of the African Capacity Building Fund and of their research team which authored the publication: Gender Responsive Budgeting: case studies of Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda.
Dr. Odera has been a key speaker for many international organizations including the Council on Foreign Relations of the US, the Norwegian Action against small arms, the UK Saferworld Peace Program, International Alert, Human Rights Watch, the National University of Rwanda, United Nations agencies among others.
Dr. Odera has served on various panels and boards including chairing the expert panel of resident research of the Forum for African Women Educationists (FAWE). She was a member of the International Delegation to review the social impact of sanctions in Iraq prior to the fall of the Sadam regime. She has been an active member of the women’s movement in peace and security, serving, for example, as an advisor to the participation of women in the Sudanese peace negotiations that culminated in the Comprehensive Peace Accords.
She is currently a member of the, board of Trustees, ACODE Uganda, a board member of INDEPTH, Ghana and a member of the Programme Advisory Committee of PAC.