Executive chair, Wangari Maathai Foundation
Bold Idea: Develop teaching and assessment tools for character building and personal leadership training in schools.
Path to Metis: Wanjira Mathai is the Executive Chair of the Wangari Maathai Foundation (WMF). An inspiring leader, with over 20 years of experience on both local and international platforms, she is currently leading the development of the WMF’s programs to advance the legacy of Prof. Wangari Maathai by nurturing a culture of purpose and integrity that inspires courageous leadership. The Wangari Maathai Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to inspiring courageous and responsible leadership in Kenya. Wanjira also played a key and strategic leadership role as the Chair of the Green Belt Movement, successfully steering the organization through a turbulent transition following the passing of the Founder, 2004 Nobel Peace Laureate, Wangari Maathai in 2011. Over the years, Wanjira has served important strategic and advocacy roles raising the prominence and visibility of global issues such as climate change, leadership, sustainable energy, and environmental issues.
Wanjira’s commitment and passion to youth leadership and character development springs from the recognition that because young people will play a profound role in shaping the nation’s future, nurturing of their core values is necessary to remedy youth apathy, powerlessness and disillusionment that often lead them down the path of corruption. A motivating global public speaker and moderator, Wanjira has spoken on environment, youth leadership and climate change around the world, inspiring children and adults alike.
Wanjira currently serves as Senior Advisor at the World Resources Institute and sits on the Board of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). She is an advisory council member of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, and co-chair of the Global Restoration Council. Wanjira is one of a few Six Seconds EQ Practitioners in Kenya and was one of the 100 Most Influential Africans in 2018. Wanjira has a Masters in Public Health and Business from Emory University in the USA.