Ambassador Amina C. Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Republic of Kenya has had a distinguished career in public service spanning over 29 years covering a broad spectrum of domestic and international assignments. She rose through the ranks in Kenya's diplomatic service from that of a Legal Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the highest level of Ambassador/Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kenya to the UN in Geneva. She later served as the Permanent Secretary for Justice, National Cohesion, and Constitutional Affairs. She was then appointed the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi. As Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs, she supervised the drafting, negotiation, and promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya (2010). At UNEP, Amb. Mohamed spearheaded the implementation of UNEP's Medium Term Strategy and Programmes as well as on-going reforms. She was actively engaged in intergovernmental processes in implementing the RIO+20 outcomes and supporting efforts to enhance the funding base of the organization.
Following her appointment as Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 2013, Amb. Mohamed has demonstrated solid leadership and strong negotiation skills, which have seen Kenya re-position herself in the international arena. Amb. Mohamed has been instrumental in the restructuring, reforming and rationalization of Kenya's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its Missions abroad, and chaired the team that drafted Kenya's foreign trade policy. She has also been influential in promoting Africa's agenda in multilateral fora including in the World Trade Organization where she chaired the 10th Ministerial Conference, successfully hosted in Nairobi. She continues to champion for Africa's voice to be heard within the United Nations System through the proposed United Nations Security Council reforms, with Kenya as a member of the AU Committee of Ten on the Security Council reforms. Amb. Mohamed was recently honored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as one of the four UNDP Champions for the year 2016. In January 2018, Mohamed was nominated to serve as Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Education.
Mary Uhl-Bien is the BNSF Railway Endowed Professor of Leadership in the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University (TCU). She is also a Fellow at the Lancaster Leadership Centre in Lancaster, England and has been a Visiting Scholar in Australia, Sweden, Portugal and Spain. Mary's research focuses on complexity leadership, relational leadership, and followership, and has appeared in such journals as Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management, and The Leadership Quarterly. Her research has been funded with grants from organizations such as Booz Allen Hamilton, and she has conducted research in partnership with Lockheed Martin, Bank of America, Disney, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Stryker. Her work on complexity leadership theory and followership theory has been recognized with Best Paper awards. She is a founder of the Network of Leadership Scholars (NLS) in the Academy of Management, and served as Representative-at-Large and Division Chair for the Organizational Behavior (OB) Division in the Academy. She is active in executive education nationally and internationally, teaching for the Brookings Institute, the Gallup Organization, and universities in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Europe.
Johan van Zyl is CEO of both African Rainbow Capital, a start-up investment business focusing on the financial sector, as well as its parent company, the black-owned and controlled Ubuntu-Botho Limited. Previously, he was the Group CEO of Sanlam (2003 to 2015), and Santam (2001 to 2003). He presently sits on the boards of a number of listed companies, both locally and internationally, including Sanlam Limited (as chairman) and Steinhoff International.
He originally trained as an agricultural economist and holds two doctorates, one in economics and one in agricultural economics. He started his career teaching agricultural economics at the University of Pretoria, ending up as Dean of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. He subsequently spent two years at the World Bank as coordinator of Rural Development. In 1996, he became Vice-chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria, where-after he entered the private sector in 2001.
He is a recipient of several management awards and other accolades, including being named one of SA's Top Leading Managers by the Corporate Research Foundation/Business Report; Cape Times/KPMG Personality of the Year Award; the MS Louw Award received from the AHI; Media24/Die Burger Business Leader of the Year; the Sunday Times Business Leader of the Year, the FAK Award for Exceptional Leadership and the AABLA Business Leader of the Year (Southern Africa).
He has a keen interest in economic development, and has published widely on rural development and agriculture. He is the author of more than 300 academic journal articles and several books.
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