Leading Alumni in Africa

The University of Newcastle and the Centre for African Research, Engagement and Partnerships are proud to highlight the many achievements of our leading alumni in Africa. They are global leaders and innovators who continue to make positive impacts in their communities and around the world.

We would love to feature more of our wonderful alumni so please get in touch to share your story. Email us at carep@newcastle.edu.au or fill out a short form here.

Dr Gladys Asuga

Dr Gladys Asuga

Primary Occupation Deputy Director, Ministry of Public Service, Kenya
Location Kenya
Alumnus PhD (Education), 2015
  Master of Educational Studies, 2011
Other connection to UniversityConjoint Lecturer, School of Education

Brief Bio

  • Dr Asuga is a researcher who focuses on organisational structure and innovation to improve service delivery, job evaluation and workload analysis. She also advises ministries and other government agencies on organisational structure/career progression
  • Dr Asuga and her supervisor Dr Scott Eacott were named joint winners of the 2011 Emerald African Management Research Fund Award for their research Investing in leaders: evaluating the preparation and development of head teachers in Kenya
Dr Sharon Brownie

Dr Sharon Brownie

Primary Occupation Dean, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Aga Khan University East Africa (Aug 2015 – June 2019)
Alumnus Master of Applied Management (Nursing), 2015

Brief Bio

  • Dr Brownie held responsibility for leadership of the Aga Khan University Nursing & Midwifery programs in East Africa including Kenya, Tanzania & Uganda
  • She holds a DBA and Master of Health Service Management from Charles Sturt University and a Master of Education Administration from Massey University, New Zealand
  • Her previous positions include Professor Workforce & Health Service at Griffith University, Griffith University Representative UAE/Head of Nursing at Fatima College of Health Sciences, Senior Director, ClinEdQ at Queensland Health, and CEO of the Royal Australian & NZ College of Psychiatrists
  • She is currently engaged as a research affiliate PRAXIS Forum member of Green Templeton College at Oxford University
  • She maintains active research and publication activity across East Africa and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions
Neima Nora Candy

Neima Nora Candy

Primary Occupation Technical Assistant, National Public Health Institute of Liberia (since 2017)
Location Liberia
Alumnus Master of Public Health, 2013
Other connection to UniversityUON Alumni Award for National Leadership recipient, 2015

Brief Bio

  • Mrs Candy is a public health professional who was a leading force in the Red Cross’s response to the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, challenging gender roles and norms and inspiring future generations of Liberian women. Serving on the front line of the epidemic, her leadership and commitment directly contributed to Liberia being declared Ebola free in 2015
  • She has also contributed to Liberia’s Ministry of Health mandate in restoring Health Services through the implementation of the World Health Organisation’s Essential Package of Health Services
Edward Lutta

Edward Lutta

Primary Occupation Air Operations Officer, United Nations (Since 2008)
Location Sudan
Alumnus Master of Avaiation Management, 2010

Brief Bio

  • Mr Lutta is an experienced military helicopter pilot who has worked in Eritrea, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, East Timor, South Sudan and Sudan in the security and aviation industries
  • His current duties entail daily management and technical administration of over 10 aircraft assigned to the UN in South Sudan and Sudan
Professor Mercy Mpinganjira

Professor Mercy Mpinganjira

Primary Occupation Director, School of Consumer Intelligence and Information Systems, University of Johannesburg
Location Johannesburg, South Africa
Alumnus PhD (Management), 2005
 Master of Business Administration, 1998
  Graduate Diploma in Business Administration, 1997

Brief Bio

  • Professor Mpinganjira has over 20 years of work experience in the higher education sector
  • She joined the University of Johannesburg in 2007 and is currently Director of the School of Consumer Intelligence and Information Systems and a member of the University Senate
  • Before becoming the School Director, she was in the Department of Marketing Management where she held a number of positions, including Head of Department, Head of Research, member of the Departmental Research and Ethics Committee, and Program Manager of the Post-Doctoral Fellow program among others
  • Professor Mpinganjira’s research interests are in the areas of digital marketing and consumer behaviour. Her work has been published in several books, highly reputable national and international journals as well as conference proceedings
  • She is an accomplished supervisor of Masters and Doctoral studies
Dr Isiye Ndombi

Dr Isiye Ndombi

Primary Occupation Consultant, The Resina Group (since 2016)
Location Nairobi, Kenya
AlumnusMaster of Business Administration, 2009
Other connection to UniversityUON Alumni Award for International Leadership recipient, 2019

Brief Bio

  • Dr Ndombi is an internationally-recognised health development and social policy expert, a leader with over 25 years of international work in more than twenty countries
  • He retired from UNICEF at the end of 2015, having risen to the position of Deputy Regional Director with oversight responsibility for UNICEF’s mandate in 27 countries of East Asia and the Pacific
  • His time with UNICEF started in 1989 as Project Officer for Universal Child Immunisation in Gaborone, Botswana, where he created a framework for polio eradication and neonatal tetanus elimination. He subsequently worked and led UNICEF teams in several countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific
  • He is now consulting in Public Policy, Leadership, Development Performance Management, Public Health, and human rights-based development in Nairobi, Kenya
  • Through his advocacy and leadership, Dr Ndombi has immensely contributed to awareness and development of a holistic approach to the survival, development, protection and participation of children and young people across the globe
Dr Sylvester Obong'o

Dr Sylvester Obong'o

Primary Occupation

Director, Performance and Service Delivery Transformation, Public Service Commission, Kenya




PhD (Sociology and Anthropology), 2015

Brief Bio

  • Dr Obong’o is a public sector policy professional who has held roles in the Ministry of Finance in the Department of Government Investment and Public Enterprises, the Civil Service Reform Secretariat, the Office of the President, Public Sector Reform and Performance Contracting and Public Sector Transformation in the Prime Minister’s Office
  • Dr Obong’o has consulted in the area of public sector reform, leadership and capacity assessment for the World Bank, African Development Bank and Commonwealth Secretariat in several countries in and out of Africa
  • He was a recipient of the World Leadership Award on Managing for Development Results awarded by the Inter-American Development Bank as well as being a top 10-finalist in the Commonwealth Association of Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) Public Service Innovation Awards
  • He is a founding member of the African Community of Practice on Managing for Development Results, the initiator of Kenya Community of Practice on Managing for Development Results and has been an active participant in the Aid Effectiveness - DAC Cluster on Global Partnerships on Managing for Development Results
Dr Charles Omwandho

Dr Charles Omwandho

Primary Occupation Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academics and Students Affairs, Kirinyaga University (since March 2015)
  Professor, Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, University of Nairobi
Location Kenya
Alumnus PhD (Biological Sciences), 1998
Other connection to UniversityUON Alumni Medal for Professional Excellence finalist, 2018

Brief Bio

  • Dr Omwandho is a Professor in the area of Biomedical Sciences. His research ranges from the effects of endometriosis to the use of mushroom extracts in cancer suppression
  • After completing his PhD at the University of Newcastle (1998), Dr Omwandho embarked on several postdoctoral research fellowships in Germany. He received competitive awards from German Academic Exchange to study at Bielefeld Institute of Reproductive Medicine in 1999 and Justus Liebig University of Giessen in 2003
  • Touched by the sufferings of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, Dr Omwandho uses his own financial resources and support from colleagues to allow a number of students to complete medical school, later inviting these students to form the Young Medical and Allied Professionals Foundation. Dr Omwandho remains the patron of this organisation, which aims to raise funds to provide financial support for disadvantaged students from Kenyan medical schools to graduate as doctors and scientists

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.