James Ochieng’- Odero

James Ochieng’- Odero

Program Manager

ABOUT James Ochieng’- Odero

He coordinates a program initiative whose goals are to transform the Research and Development (R&D) ecosystem in Africa. The initiative is working to establish an Africa-wide platform-based capacity-building for universities/research institutes based in all of Africa’s regions, to increase their capabilities to do more and perform better on a sustained basis along the spectrum of implementation research.


He graduated with a BSc. (Zoology) in 1982 from the University of Pune, India. In 1984, he was awarded an Africa-Wide Postgraduate Research Fellowship that enabled him to undertake postgraduate research at the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), New Zealand leading to his graduation with a PhD in Zoology (specializing in Entomology) from the University of Auckland in 1989.

Between 2015-2021, he headed the East Africa Research Fund (EARF) a funding facility managed by PwC on behalf of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) of the UK. Earlier (2008-2015), he was Deputy Director & Head of Scientific Programs of the Consortium for National Health Research (CNHR), a health research grantmaking organization. Prior to that, he was a Senior Research Scientist and Head of the capacity strengthening program with the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) including serving as the Network Coordinator of the African Regional Postgraduate Program in Insect Science (ARPPIS) a training program implemented in partnership with African universities.

His research background has involved working with integrated multi-disciplinary research teams involved in both field and laboratory areas of scientific research. He has also been actively involved in program planning and development activities, which include negotiating agreements with governments, bilateral and multilateral institutions, coordination and planning for regional S&T roundtables and policy-oriented summits.

He was appointed (2013-2016) as a board member of the Commission of University Education (CUE) of Kenya. He was appointed (2015-2021) founding member of the Board of Trustees of the National Research Fund (NRF). He has published over four-dozen articles.

He is a scientist with a keen interest in the place of science, technology, and innovation (ST&I) in economic and social development, and the role of learning and knowledge sharing in capacity strengthening, especially in the Global South, particularly in Africa. He is also an ardent lobbyist for the increased use of research evidence to inform policy, programming and practice in Africa.

For his national contribution to development in Kenya he was awarded the Head of State Commendation (HSC) in December 2013. He is a member of the Kenya National Academy of Sciences (KNAS).

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