Dr Kathryn Nwajiaku (Oxon) is a senior expert on peacebuilding, security and responsible business in Africa. She holds a PhD in politics from the University of Oxford (Nuffield College, 2005) and has written extensively on oil, politics and conflict in Africa; the subject of numerous publications, teaching, post-doctoral research projects and awards, including the 2012 Ruth First Prize for Best African Academic Article.
More than ‘just an academic’, Kathryn has built up over twenty years’ experience in different roles in International Development in Africa (Nigeria, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Rwanda in particular), Europe (UK and France) and North America (US) working with governments, multilateral institutions, NGOs and the private sector. Currently, she is the Director of Programme – Politics and Governance at ODI. Before this role, she completed a five year posting at the OECD, as head of Secretariat of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding, a multistakeholder partnership between the world’s largest donors (OECD- DAC member countries), governments and civil society from countries conflict/fragility. In this role she spearheaded collaborations with institutional investors and asset managers to promote responsible private investment for peacebuilding in conflict affected and fragile environments. This work built on an earlier NGO career with Oxfam in West Africa (1997-2000) where, based in Senegal, she worked as a researcher, trainer and policy advisor on corporate social responsibility in the extractives sector and prior to that, with ACORD, as a researcher and project coordinator working on conflict-sensitive development in the Great Lakes region.
Today, Dr Nwajiaku, a British-Nigerian, and fluent speaker of French, and moderate speaker of Nigerian pidjin, Igbo, Wolof (Senegal) and Spanish, works as an independent consultant, based in France.