APHRC is pleased to welcome Dr. Evelyn Gitau to the Center, to serve as the director of the Research Capacity Strengthening Division. Under Dr. Gitau’s direction, the division will continue to grow its signature fellowship program, the Consortium for the Advancement of Research Training in Africa (CARTA), and expand opportunities across the continent for African scholars to become great research leaders.
“The most exciting thing about joining APHRC is the opportunity to work directly with researchers to develop a capacity building strategy that emphasizes the importance of research leadership both in, and for, Africa,” Dr. Gitau said upon assuming her position on 1 November at the APHRC campus in Nairobi.
Dr. Gitau’s most recent role was as a program manager at the African Academy of Sciences, where she stewarded the Grand Challenges Africa at the Academy under the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA) program. Prior to that, she was part of the team at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Program in Kilifi, Kenya, conducting research on developing biomarkers of disease among seriously ill children.
Dr. Gitau earned her PhD in Life Sciences from the Open University/Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the UK, investigating neurological infections in children living in malaria-endemic areas.
Alongside her more than 15 years of experience in medical research, Dr. Gitau has demonstrated strong commitment to mentoring and supervising students, believing that the next generation of research leaders in Africa must be at the forefront of the continent’s development agenda, in order to shape decision-making and policy with evidence.
“Evelyn brings dynamism and great passion for scholarship and mentorship to APHRC. She is well placed to drive our strategy to produce the research leaders Africa desperately needs. We are thrilled to have her on board,” APHRC Executive Director Dr. Catherine Kyobutungi said.
Among her awards and accomplishments include a 2015 appointment as a fellow of the Next Einstein Forum, where she is the ambassador for the development of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in Africa.
Dr. Gitau’s vast networks have brought her positions on numerous advisory boards for organizations advancing the agenda of research and evidence generation in Africa. These include the Independent Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB), Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme College of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi, University of Oxford (MSc International Health and Tropical Medicine) and and the Investment Committee Grand Challenges Canada. She will remain a member of the Steering Committee for Grand Challenges Africa.