Caren Wakoli

Founder & Executive Director
Emerging Leaders Foundation Africa

Caren Wakoli is a certified leadership coach, transformational leadership trainer, certified 7-Habits of Highly Effective People trainer, mentor, and social entrepreneur who delights in mentoring young women and men to be able to achieve their greatest potential in life. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Emerging Leaders Foundation (ELF); an organization that focuses on raising young people as positive agents of change in society, through effective participation in governance and decision making processes. She has over 15 years experience of doing youth empowerment work in Kenya and Africa at large. She believes that a better world is possible – a world free of poverty, where people live in Dignity.

She is an accredited external trainer for Kenya School of Government (trains on transformative leadership & Ethics and Integrity for public servants), facilitator for the Political Leadership and Governance Program (PLGP) for Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), facilitator for 7-Habits of highly people at the Knod Foundation.

Caren created history as having been the first female to be elected Vice Chairperson of the Student’s Organization of Nairobi University (SONU). This was after being elected for three terms consecutively – first as Congresslady, Gender Affairs Secretary, then wound up as the Vice Chair of the union. She has taken part in various policy formulation processes including Kenya Vision 2030, National youth policy, national alcohol policy and national human development index 2010 and 2016.

She also serves on various boards, governmental and non-governmental – she is the Chair of The Youth Congress, and is a board member at YALI East Africa, Impact Africa Industries, Siasa Place and DSW Kenya Chapter. She has previously served in the Uwezo Fund Oversight Board, Advisory Board of NACADA, National Council member of African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and Nairobi City County Interim Youth Advisory and resource Mobilization Board (as the Chair). She previously served as advisor to the President of ECOSOCC of the African Union on matters Youth and Agenda 2063.  

Caren has received several recognitions such as qualifying to be a finalist in the CEO Global Most Influential Women in Business and Government (Civil Society and welfare category) 2017. She has been part of various fellowships such as the Young African Leaders Initiative East Africa 2015 (YALI-East Africa, where serves as a Director); She is an Acumen Fellow 2014, Spark* Kenya Changemaker 2013. In her early years in 2006, she was awarded the Young Female Achiever at the University of Nairobi. She holds a Master’s Degree in International Studies and a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from the University of Nairobi.