Current Staff

Dr Damaris Parsitau

COUNTRY DIRECTOR

Dr. Damaris Parsitau is the Country Director of the British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA), Kenya where she serves as the CEO, directing research programmes, managing the day to day operations of the institute and providing leadership to staff and researchers of the BIEA.

Dr. Parsitau also serves as the President of the African Association for the Study of Religion (AASR). She is also a Reader and Senior Lecturer of Religion and Gender Studies at Egerton University in Kenya. She holds a Ph.D Degree in Religion and Gender from Kenyatta University, an MA in Religious Studies from the University of Nairobi and a BA in History and Religious Studies (major) and a (minor) in Sociology from Egerton University in Kenya.

Dr Parsitau has over 25 years of experience in the field of education, research and evidence-based policy research through her work as a lecturer, career educationist, teacher, leadership coach, mentor, social justice educator and gender equality advocate. She has also conducted numerous research projects and published over 70 book chapters and peer reviewed journal articles with two forthcoming monographs. She has also published over 20 opinion pieces, policy blogs and briefs in both print and digital media, all dedicated to strengthening education actors and promoting the use of evidence-based research for effective policy action and practice. Dr. Parsitau’s research and teaching interests sits at the intersections of religion, gender and sexuality, religion and women’s bodies and religion and politics among other interests.

In the last one and a half decades, Dr. Parsitau has centered her work around girls’ education, women empowerment and gender equality social justice education and rights. Here, she has served as the as director of a largely women-centered institution, the Institute of Women, Gender and Development Studies at Egerton University in Kenya. Her work has earned her recognition by Mawazo Institute and the Next Einstein Forum (NEF), in 2018, as 1 of 20 most influential scientists in Kenya. In 2021, she was also honored as a Gender Equality Champion by the National Diversity and Inclusive Awards and Recognition (DIAR Awards).

In recognition of her great professional, academic and community engagements, she was appointed Professor Extra-Ordinary at the University of South Africa (UNISA), the Institute of Gender Studies (IGS) and the Desmond Tutu Centre for Religion and Social Justice, University of Western Cape, SA respectively in 2021. She is also a former 2018-2019 visiting Research Associate at Harvard Divinity School (HDS) at the Women Studies in Religion Programme (WSRP) at Harvard University, USA. She was also a visiting Research fellow at Wolfson College, University of Cambridge UK (2007) and Edinburgh University in Scotland 2006. In 2017, Dr. Parsitau was selected for the Echidna Global Scholar Awards and is an alumni of the Brookings Institutions, in Washington DC, USA. She sits on a number of International Boards that include: The World Bicycle Relief (WBR) and Child and Maternal Health Canada as well as an active member of many editorial boards.

Dr Jane Humphris

DIRECTOR

Dr Humphris has been Director of the BIEA since 2018, and since 2019 has also held the position of Senior Research Associate at the McDonald Institute, University of Cambridge. Her main research focuses on the ancient iron production technologies of the Kingdom of Kush. Since 2011 her team has been excavating at the Royal City of Meroe in Sudan and collaborating with teams working at other Kushite iron production locations. She employs a combination of archaeological and archaeometallurgical methods to investigate the remains, with the aim of revealing the technological nature, socio-cultural role and politico-economic impact of ancient technologies and technologists during this key period of Sudan’s history. To complement the research in Sudan, she more recently stated a new project investigating Aksumite iron production in northern Ethiopia. In addition to the academic research, her team runs a comprehensive and diverse programme of community engagement and capacity building activities in Sudan, including festivals, community meetings, media outreach and Arabic open access publications.

Janet Njoroge

HR & Administration Manager

Janet is currently BIEA HR & Admin Manager.  She joined BIEA in 2010 as a Bookkeeper.  In 2017, her position changed to be the BIEA’s Administrator until 2018 when the position changed again to BIEA Human Resource & Administration Manager to date.  Prior to joining BIEA, Janet worked at “Agakhan University Hospital Nairobi” as an Outreach Coordinator in the department of outreach and Post Graduate Medical Education .  She later worked at “Daystar University Athi River” in the Department of Finance.  She holds a Course in Business Management, Secretarial Studies and basic accounting.  She holds a Human Resource Management Course from Kenya Institute of Management and is currently furthering her Human Resource Course.  

Janet is an independent minded person who is always passionate in all that she does with a very keen eye to being a bridge between the less privileged’s journey and their transition to a better life.

Teresia Ngandi

Finance Manager

Tess joined BIEA in April 2016,  she is responsible for the Institute’s  Accounts and Finance Function. Prior to joining BIEA, She worked for Short Tenures in KWS under Finance Dept. as a Volunteer. Teresia has a Bachelor in Economics degree from Kenyatta University and CPA Certification from Strathmore University. Currently she is pursuing her Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA-Advanced Level), from Institute of Chartered Accountant In England and Wales (ICAEW).

She is passionate  to work  in a challenging position that grows her professional experience, analytical skills and a commitment to success.

Ritah Mwangi

Research Manager

Ritah is an International Development professional with over seven years’ experience in development work that is inclusive of donor relations and multilaterals, governance, and program management. She is the Research Manager, coordinating all research project activities at the British Institute in Eastern Africa. Prior to this position, Ritah was the Program Officer at Paths for Humanity, where she provided technical support in general programming, business development and client relations, among other roles in the Migration and Mobility division within the Programs department. At Advantech Consulting, she worked primarily with organizations in the health and education spaces, leading cross functional teams towards the successful bidding of international and local opportunities within the development sector and cultivating partnerships with local and regional stakeholders to secure working consortiums that worked on a wide range of national and regional donor funded projects. These projects included; the Expanded Accelerated AIDS Response towards HLM Targets and Elimination Commitments in Eastern and Southern Africa Region 2013-2017 (UNAIDS), Health Facility and Data Quality Assessments to strengthen Health Systems in Tanzania (The Global Fund), a baseline, mid-term and end-line evaluation of an education project dubbed iMlango (DfID in partnership with the Ministry of Education Kenya).

Ms. Mwangi holds an MSc. in Africa and International Development from the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, and a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance degree from the University of Nairobi. She is currently pursuing a certification in Project Management.

Outside her professional experience, Ritah is a rotaractor with a heart for service and volunteers with

Kahawa Blood Drive, a social enterprise that aims to raise awareness on the importance of blood donation at the community level. Here, she parners with churches, the local community organizations and the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Council to encourage community awareness on blood donation and organize for successful blood drives.

Belinda Migele

Finance Assistant

Belinda is a performance driven young professional, enthusiastic about financial, business and investment analysis. She holds a Bachelor in Commerce degree (Finance) from the University of Nairobi and is a professional accountant with a CPA certification. She is the finance assistant whose role involves working closely with the finance manager to ensure smooth and timely running of Institute’s accounts.

Charles Mwaniki

AV Technician/Publicity

An intriguing tale of an IT personnel yet an ambitious Visual Storyteller striving to accommodate his overrunning passion and reclaim his diligence from jump-cuts.

Christine Gibson

UK Programme Coordinator

Christine joined the BIEA in 2018. She holds a BA in Swahili & Social Anthropology from the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), University of London, an MRes in Anthropological Research Methods (SOAS), and a former BIEA Graduate Attaché. Before joining the BIEA, Christine held a previous career in Social Housing & Local Government focusing on homelessness prevention and tenancy sustainment and has lived and worked in Spain, Germany, Italy, Greece, Luxembourg, Kenya and Tanzania.

Christine’s current research interests are African languages; Kiswahili & Kimwani, the Anthropology of Machine Learning, epistemological issues related to ‘studying up’ in anthropological research, critical race theory, whiteness and AI for Social Good. These topics were also examined in her MRes dissertation, titled “Race Against the Machines: can we talk about whiteness in Algorithmic Design?”, which analysed algorithms as sociotechnical activities; how certain algorithms come to reify biases found in whiteness and if we can begin to design technologies that could revise their own biases as they encounter alternative ontologies and modes of existence.

Outside of academia, Christine has worked as an independent researcher for Non-Governmental Organisations in the UK, Kenya and Tanzania and has worked with communities in Risa, Amboseli National Park for thirteen years. More recently, Christine has held roles as a Swahili Research Associate for a Big Tech client, has taught Swahili at the University of Cambridge and managed stakeholder engagement for a national research project on behalf of an economic consultancy based in London. Christine volunteers with Translators Without Borders and the Masakhane Project and is a member of the Decolonising SOAS working group and, since 2012, the International Organisation for a Participatory Society (London Chapter) and is a warm friend and grateful friend of 16 Beaver Group. 

In her role at the BIEA, Christine’s primary responsibilities are managing the Introduction to Research Processes Course at the BIEA, the UK Annual Lecture at the British Academy, coordinating the UK Governing Council and acting as secretary to the Board of Trustees. Christine reports to the CEO, Board of Trustees and the President of the BIEA.
SOAS, University of London.

Fabian Ongaya

Office Assistant

Jimmy Maranga

Librarian

Jimmy Maranga is the BIEA Librarian and Membership Officer. He studied Library and Information Science in Kenyatta University. He joined the BIEA in 2018. Jimmy has a passion for learning from people, experiences and books as well. Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one.

John Kanyingi

GIS Survey/ Technician

Mr. John Kanyingi, is a GIS Technician, tasked with handling mapping support for researchers at the BIEA. A firm believer that mapping is not only a vital tool in research presentation but also contributes to the value addition of information presented. In addition, he is in-charge of the management of research equipment and BIEA maps archives, he has also helped supervised the BDF projects since 2016.

He has been engaged in the Summerschool planning and also facilitates mapping course that is normally offered in the training. He is proud to have taken part in numerous archaeological projects in Kenya (Ishiara, North Horr, Mida creek, Turkana), Uganda (North Uganda) Tanzania (Engaruka, Kilwa) and Mozambique (Angoche).  He hold a bachelor’s degree in Geospatial Engineering and Space Technology.

The opportunity provided by the position as a GIS Technician that requires travelling to numerous and adventurous through the years, have ensured his zeal and passion for travelling is always alive.

Loice Ongere

Research Support Officer

Loice joined the BIEA in August 2019. She is responsible for the Institute’s events logistics, affiliations, permit applications, health and safety among other engagements. Loice has a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Nairobi and also previously worked at the BIEA as an undergraduate volunteer.

Mercy Kavetsa Lukango

BIEA Steward

Paul Maundu

Assistant Caretaker

Research Fellows

Dr Catherine Gateri

I am a Senior Research Fellow at the British Institute in East Africa and a Lecturer at Kenyatta University, Department of Construction and Real Estate, School of Architecture, and the Built Environment. I hold a PhD in Regional Planning (Kenyatta University), Master’s in urban and Regional Planning (University of Nairobi) and Bachelor of Arts in Land Economics (University of Nairobi).

I am a practicing lecturer, urban and regional planner, valuer and researcher. My role as a valuer, urban and regional planner, researcher, and academician has enabled me to gain a strong understanding of the land sector, urbanization and transport issues in Kenya and Africa. I am a multi-disciplinary researcher focusing on Urban research in land, transport and governance in Sub Saharan Africa.

Currently, I am working on the project: Regional Futures: The territorial politics of digitalization-as-urbanization in the global south. This is a European Research Council funded project – A collaboration between University College London, British Institute in East Africa-Nairobi, Mumbai-India and Guadalajara- Mexico.

 

Kennedy Gitu

Gitu is a historian with a background in Anthropology and Archaeology. His research interest is in demographic history, pastoral economies, mobility and settlement; resource access, exploitation and conflict. His ongoing projects at the BIEA are on urban herders within the margins of Nairobi city, and on the demographic dynamics and resources conflict in the Amaya Triangle of north Central Kenya. He holds a PhD in History from the University of Pau and Pays de l’Adour. He has worked on many historical, archaeological and anthropological research projects in Eastern Africa, but with a special interest on pastoral economies and landscapes in Kenya. He is at the BIEA on ‘loan’ from the Department of History, Archaeology and Political Studies, Kenyatta University.

Dr. Pamela Ochungo

Pamela Ochungo is a geospatial scientist with a longstanding interest in the application of geospatial techniques to research and development projects with the aim of understanding complex interrelated processes.  In December 2020 she was awarded a PhD in Conservation Ecology from Stellenbosch University, SA, whereby she was researching on the value of the agro-ecological landscape for honeybee colony strength in a semi-arid area in Kenya. Her research was carried out at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) as a DAAD (German Academic Exchange) scholar. Her current interests include the use of open-source GIS and remote sensing platforms, as well as innovative machine learning classification algorithms. At the BIEA, Pamela will be mapping archeological sites and monuments as well as the threats that are facing them.

Angela Kabiru

Angela is currently working on the Mapping Africa’s Endangered Archaeological Sites and Monuments (MAEASAM). This three year project, funded by the Arcadia Foundation aims to create a digital database of archaeological sites in Africa and to develop a monitoring system to protect these sites. This project is being carried out in collaboration with the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) who are the official custodians of Kenya’s cultural heritage. Angela has previously worked for NMK as a Research Scientist, a position she held for over 20 years. She  holds a Masters degree in Geographical Information Science from Lund University (Sweden), a Masters degree in Tourism Management from the University of Surrey (UK) and  a BA from the University of Nairobi. Her experience cuts across research in Anthropology/ Archaeology, Cultural Tourism and Museology.  She has in the past been a lecturer in Tourism Management at Moi University and was also involved in educational programmes involving younger audiences.   Angela is an alumnus of the Chevening scholarship programme. She is also a member of In the International Committee of Museums (ICOM) and Commonwealth Association of Museums (CAM).

Fred Nasubo

Fred Nasubo is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the British Institute in Eastern Africa. His research is on the social-political acceptance of the Shona community who moved to Kenya from Zimbabwe between the 1950s-1960s. Nasubo is a 2021 fellow of the IFE Institute of Advanced Studies and 4th CODESRIA/CASB S/S Laureate. He holds PhD in Governance and Regional Integration from the Pan African University of Governance, Humanities and Social Sciences-Yaounde Cameroon, MA (History) and BA (History&Economics), both from Egerton University-Kenya. Nasubo has published and presented conference articles on National Identity, Nation Branding, Entrepreneurship, Governance & Democracy. He has diverse experience ranging from Lecturing/teaching, Community and Enterprise Development, and Youth Mentorship & Empowerment. Nasubo worked with Egerton University, Laikipia University, African Management Service Company (AMSCO) Development Solutions, Sheer Logic Consultancy Company, and KCB Foundation. He is also an alumnus of Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI)-EA, Nairobi and African Management Institute (AMI).

 

Professor Jacqueline McGlade FLS, FRSA

  • ProCol Kenya Lead Scientist, British Institute in Eastern Africa, Kenya
  • Director Sekenani Space and Resilience Research Centre, Maasai Mara University, Kenya
  • Professor Institute for Global Prosperity and Engineering, University College London, UK
  • Professor of the Environment, Gresham College, London

Professor McGlade is recognized as a leading expert in ecosystem dynamics, sustainable development, environmental informatics, early warning systems and citizen science using sensor web enabled monitoring systems and applications for web intelligence and decision-making under high uncertainty. Her current research include open data solutions, including earth observation, mapping and monitoring and community science to support the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, open government and the African Regional Data Cube; natural prosperity, resilience and climate change; and developing the knowledge base on traditional medicines to combat malnutrition and disease in sub-Saharan Africa.

Previously she was UN Environment’s Chief Scientist, Director of Science and Chief Statistician, leading on environmental indicators, data and assessments for the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. And before that, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency, Director of the UK Centre for Coastal and Marine Sciences, Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Warwick, Director of Theoretical Ecology at the FZ Jülich and Senior Scientist at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in the Federal Government of Canada. She holds a number of key advisory roles including for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, China Council and the European Space Agency.

She has published more than 200 research publications and produced award winning films and radio series. In 2017 she gave a TEDx talk on Building Resilience to Climate Change and recently featured as the guest in BBC series The Life Scientific. Her Gresham public lectures can be watched online.

Previous Directors and Assistant Directors

  • Dr Freda Nkirote: DIRECTOR [-]
  • Dr Prince Guma: ASSISTANT DIRECTOR [- ]
  • Dr Joost Fontein: DIRECTOR [2014 – 18]
  • Professor Ambreena Manji: DIRECTOR [2010-14]
  • Professor David Anderson
  • Professor Justin Willis
  • Professor Paul Lane: DIRECTOR [1998-2006]
  • Professor John Sutton: DIRECTOR [1983-98]
  • Dr Neville Chittick: DIRECTOR [1961-83]
  • Dr Matthew Davies: ASSISTANT DIRECTOR [2008-10]. RESEARCH FELLOW IN ARCHAEOLOGY [2010-13]
  • Dr Stephanie Wynne-Jones: ASSISTANT DIRECTOR [2005-08]. TRUSTEE [2010- ]
  • Dr Andrew Burton: ASSISTANT DIRECTOR [2001-05]
  • Dr Shane Doyle: ASSISTANT DIRECTOR [1997-2000]
  • Professor David Phillipson FBA FSA: ASSISTANT DIRECTOR [1973-78]. PRESIDENT [1993-2006]. HON SECRETARY [1981-82, 1985-93]. TRUSTEE [1980- ]
  • Professor Peter Robertshaw: ASSISTANT DIRECTOR [1979-88]
  • Dr Robert Soper: ASSISTANT DIRECTOR [1965-72]
  • Professor Merrick Posnansky: ASSISTANT DIRECTOR [1962-64]