Patricia Ithau

Regional Director, East Africa

Stanford Seed

Patricia manages the execution of programs and all operations at each regional center. She develops strategic partnerships, manages local support staff, and ensures the highest level of programmatic excellence. In addition, Patricia identifies, recruits, and evaluates business leaders to be selected as participants in Seed’s Transformation Program.

Patricia is passionate about creating opportunities that improve people’s lives. Her love for identifying enduring consumer and commercial insights to support the development of brands and grow businesses’ was actualized in a career spanning 25 years across 3 global companies namely Unilever, Diageo/EABL and L’Oreal. In the last 8 years of that career, her focus was on setting up new organization and opening new frontiers as Managing Director for Uganda Breweries Ltd, then Managing director for EABL International and her last role setting up L’Oreal East Africa the subsidiary of the Global multinational, as its inaugural Managing Director.

She pivoted her passion for transforming lives to drive scaling and transformation of SME’s, the largest job creation sector, in all emerging economies. She makes that a reality as the Regional Director for the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies – Stanford Seed, that aims at building a network of like-minded individuals from Silicon Valley-to sub-Saharan Africa to address regional challenges such as leadership, strategy, value-chain innovation to create sustainable business entities through the year-long Stanford Transformational Program for local business leaders. The program in the last 3 years has supported the sustainability, revenue growth and job expansion of over 160 small to mid-size companies, demonstrating real impact through the age old idiom ‘..teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’.

Patricia also sits on the Boards of; Barclays Bank; the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) Jambojet Ltd and WPP- Scangroup, all of which lean on her expertise on growing enterprise and the SME sector in particular. She builds on the positive impact of development funding, as a board member of Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA), the multi donor initiative with the overall goal of reducing poverty in the East African region through reduction of trading barriers and increased trade competitiveness of the region; and brings to life her enduring desire to connect corporate business with social sustainability investment, as a Trustee on the Board of the Vodafone Foundation.