A Day in the Life at Open Society: L. Muthoni Wanyeki


I grew up in Kenya. I grew up under the Moi dictatorship. You can’t be unaware of
poverty and disparity. I went away to university,
started studying political science, and that gave me a frame to understand. I wanted to be involved. My role is overseeing
OSF African foundations, responding to African crises
and opportunities, and ensuring people are speaking
to the right policymakers that have influence over the situation. I have a dispersed team, so there are a few of us here. The bulk of the team are co-located in the foundations on the continent. We began a process last year of trying to work more closely with
the team that works on the Middle East and North Africa. And I’m in touch with the senior advisors pretty much every day, multiple times a day. And then we meet physically twice a year. It’s a huge, diverse, very spread out team with managers, leaders, who come from very different backgrounds. We might argue, disagree. Fundamentally, we care
about the same things— basic rights, basic rule of law. Basically people do better
when they’re free. And the ambience in
the office is great. My colleagues go out of their way to create a communal space
for 160-some people. Within my teams, it’s a shared vision: building African institutions
that would support the work of domestic civil society.

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