Prof. Margaret Kobia, PhD, MGH

Prof. Margaret Kobia is the Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service and Gender. She has been holding the position since January 2018. As a Cabinet Secretary, she provides strategic leadership on policy direction regarding public service and gender matters. Prior to her Cabinet position, Prof. Kobia served as the Chairperson of the Public Service Commission (PSC). She has also served as the Vice-Chair Judicial Service Commission and is a member of United Nations Committee of Expert in Public Administration (CEPA) that advises the UN Economic and Social Council. Prior to joining the Public Service Commission, she was the founding Director-General of the Kenya School of Government. Between 2005 and 2013, she served as the Director/CEO of the Kenya Institute of Administration and made a profound contribution in transforming the institution into a truly modern Management Development Institute (MDI) leading to the Institute’s elevation to Kenya School of Government.

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Prof. Kobia is an Associate Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship. She holds a PhD Degree in Human Resource Education from the University of Illinois, M.Ed. from Kenyatta University and B.Ed. from the University of Nairobi. She received her ‘O’ and ‘A’ level education at Alliance Girls High School. Prof. Kobia has taught Management, Entrepreneurship and Research Methods at University level. Between 2011 and 2016, she served as the Chief Editor of the African Journal of Public Administration and Management. 
In recognition of her distinguished service and contributions to national development, Prof. Kobia was awarded the Order of Grand Warrior (OGW), First Class Order of Chief of Burning Spear (CBS), by the President of Kenya in 2007 and 2009 respectively. Prof. Kobia was the winner of the Commonwealth Gordon Draper Award 2010 for her strong leadership and outstanding contributions in improving public administration in the Commonwealth. In 2011, she was honoured by the American Biographical Institute for her dedication and contribution to management in the public service. In 2014, she won a regional recognition as Africa’s most influential woman in Business and Government awarded by CEO Magazine of South Africa. In 2016, she was awarded the highest Head of State Honours of Moran of Golden Heart (MGH) for her strong excellent leadership in public service.
Prof. Kobia sits on a number of Public Sector Management Boards. At the International level, she is the Vice President of the Commonwealth Association of Public Administration Management (CAPAM), a member of International Commission on Accreditation of Public Administration Education and Training Programs and Co-chair of OECD’s Effective Institutions Platform (EIP). As an active academic she supervises PhD research students on Public Sector Reforms, Performance Management Training and Knowledge Management.
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Hon. Rachel Shebesh

Hon. Rachel Shebesh was appointed as the Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Public Service and Gender on 26th January 2016 to support the Cabinet Secretary in the coordination of Ministry programmes.

Prior to her appointment she was a Member of the National Assembly having served as the Nairobi County Women Representative in the 11th Parliament from March 2013 to July 2017. During her term she also was a Member of the Pan African Parliament, and the United Nations Champion on Disaster Risk Reduction in Africa.

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Her career and venture into politics started as member of the Women Movement in Kenya Maendeleo ya Wanawake; served as Nominated Member of Parliament from 2008 to 2013 where she remained a zealous defender of women’s right, vocal advocate and spokesperson for the youth and defender of Persons with Disability.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration in Human Resource Management.

Her greatest passion remains working with women’s movement to empower, mobilize and fiercely advocate for women and girls rights and development. 

Hon. Shebesh is among the pioneer women legislators that advocated for the establishment of the National Government Affirmative Action Fund which has sort to address the plight of vulnerable groups by providing access to enhanced financial facilities to women, youth, Persons with Disabilities, needy children and elderly persons in the country.

As a champion of youth empowerment, she has supported efforts by Government to revive the National Youth Council and continues to advocate for youth and women Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO).

In her new role as Chief Administrative Secretary, she continues to invest and advocate for women and youth, especially ensuring that their voices are heard in every sphere of Government and society, as well as, together with the Cabinet Secretary play her role of liaison with Parliament on behalf of the Ministry.


Mary Kimonye (Mrs), MBS

Mrs. Mary Kimonye is the Principal Secretary, State Department for Public Service in the Ministry of Public Service and Gender. She is a holder of an MBA and Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Nairobi (UoN).

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Mary previously worked as a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, School of Business for over 20 years and as a Faculty Advisor for Students in Free Enterprise. She was a Consultant and Trainer in the areas of Branding, Marketing, Strategy Development and Customer Care.

In 2007, she served as a Technical Advisor (TA) at the Public Sector Reform Secretariat and was instrumental in implementing Results Based Management (RBM) in Government. In 2009, Mary was appointed as the founder Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Brand Kenya Board where she served until 2015. At the Board she was responsible for initiating and executing programs to improve Kenya’s image and identity locally and internationally. The focus was to market Kenya by enhancing the Country’s visibility and reputation as an investment and tourist destination.

Mary is a two-time winner of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Trainer of the year award, a Fellow of Kenya Institute of Management (KIM), Warrior of Marketing Society of Kenya (MSK) and a member of Chartered Institute of Marketing. She sits in the boards of World Wide Fund for Nature of Kenya (WWF) and the Global Peace Foundation.

In recognition of her distinguished service and contributions to national development, Mrs. Kimonye was awarded the Moran of the Burning Spear (MBS) in 2011 by H.E the President of the Republic of Kenya.


Prof. Collette A. Suda, PhD, FKNAS, CBS

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Prof. Suda joined the Ministry in January 2020 upon her appointment as the Principal Secretary, State Department for Gender, Ministry of Public Service and Gender. She previously served in various ministries as Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) and/or Principal Secretary. 

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Among these include service as Chief Administrative Secretary and Principal Secretary in the State Department for University Education and Research, Ministry of Education. She also served as Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Energy and as Principal Secretary in the State Department of Science and Technology in the Ministry of Education.

Prof. Suda previously served as Secretary for Gender and Social Development, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development between 2007 and 2012. Prior to this appointment she served at the University of Nairobi as Director Board of Common Undergraduate Courses (BCUC) from 2002 t0 2007 and as the Director of the Institute of African Studies (IAS) Between 1999 and 2002.

She served in the National Commission on Gender and Development as well as in the Advisory Board of Women Enterprise Fund, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development.  She is currently the Chairperson of the Governing Board of African Institute for Capacity Development (AICAD).

The holder of a PhD in Rural Sociology from University of Missouri, in Columbia USA, Prof. Suda, is an academic scholar who attained full Professorship in Sociology at the Institute of African Studies, University of Nairobi. A Fellow of the Kenya National Academy of Sciences (FKNAS) Professor Suda, boasts extensive research experience in gender, family studies, social change and sustainable rural development.  She has published widely in international scholarly and peer refereed journals and co-authored a book. Prof. In recognition of her distinguished academics in the field of culture and education, she was honoured by the Ministry of National Education of the Republic of France and awarded Order of Academic Palms (Ordre des Palmes academiques).

Her distinguished service and contributions to national development have earned her State Honours: First Class Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear (C.B.S.) and the Second Class Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear (E.B.S.).

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