African Academy of Sciences names Dr Tom Kariuki Interim Executive Director and bids farewell to Professor Berhanu Abegaz

Immediate release 13 March 2017

Nairobi, Kenya- The Governing Council of the African Academy of Science (AAS) has appointed Dr Tom Kariuki as Interim Executive Director, to serve from 7 March 2017 until a new Executive Director is selected.

Dr Kariuki is an immunologist of distinction, Fellow of the AAS and one who has served as AAS Treasurer from 2013-2014 prior to assuming his position as the Director of the AAS/NEPAD Agency’s agenda setting and funding platform – Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA). 

Dr. Kariuki’s appointment follows the departure of Professor Berhanu Abegaz who was at the helm of the Academy for six years until his contract ended on 6 March 2017. Dr Kariuki brings immense insight and knowledge of the AAS and the internal operations of its Secretariat in Nairobi, where he oversees the day-to-day functioning of the AESA platform, a funding and agenda setting platform seeking to address Africa’s health and developmental challenges by promoting the development of Africa’s research leadership, scientific excellence and innovation.

We use this opportunity to thank Professor Abegaz for his insight and invaluable contributions that has seen the AAS grow from a nascent science academy to a truly pan-African Academy with 363 distinguished Fellows from almost every African country with an increase in women scientists and under-represented countries; the establishment of the Affiliates programme to nurture the next generation of independent African scientists; the establishment of strategic partnerships with key donors and philanthropic organisations to drive science and innovation on the continent. 
These contributions place the AAS on a strong foundation on which to move forward to advance societal transformation through science and technology on the African continent.  We wish him well and everything of the very best as he enters a new phase in his life.

"I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to steer the Academy on its growth path. Our work to drive the scientific agenda, growth and excellence, promote the professional development of young and senior scientists and shift the centre of gravity of African science to Africa has been meaningful to me,” said Prof Abegaz. “I am grateful to have had the privilege to sit at the helm of the AAS to see this change and ensure that the Academy plays its role in ensuring science contributes to the development of the continent.”

The AAS’ search for a new Executive Director is ongoing and should be concluded in March 2017. 
 About AAS
The AAS is a pan African organisation headquartered in Kenya, which aims to drive sustainable development in Africa through science, technology and innovation. It has a tripartite mandate of pursuing excellence by recognising scholars and achievers; providing advisory and think tank functions for shaping the continent’s strategies and policies; and implementing key science, technology and innovation programmes that impact on developmental challenges through the new agenda setting and funding platform, the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA). AESA was created by AAS and the NEPAD Agency. 

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