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Ms. Nungari Mwangi is the winner of 2016 Andrew E. Rice Award for leadership and innovation by a young Professional in international development. She received the award at SID-Washington’s Annual Conference on May 23rd.
The Rice Award (formerly the Truman Award) was established in 2003 by Andrew E. Rice and Robert Berg to honor leadership, innovation, impact, and commitment demonstrated by a young professional in international development. Mr. Rice was a founder and visionary of the Society for International Development, building it into a major global network. He also established the first newsletter and journal on international development, and helped initiate a number of development initiatives, including the U.S. Peace Corps.
A Kenyan native, Ms. Mwangi shows tremendous promise for advancement in international development and recognizes the importance of international development as a means of service to those who are most in need. She has worked in both the public and private sectors as a researcher, a humanitarian field worker, a teacher, and more. Her passion for development is centered around organizing community-based solutions owned and driven by the least privileged. She said in her application, “My vision for development begins with shifting the agents and content of the development conversation in such a way that ensures that the most marginalized are not only invited to the table but are the ones responsible for setting the agenda.”
“Nungari impressed us with the crisp and incisive clarity of her views on development, her comprehensive professionalism, and her depth of understanding of so many opportunities and challenges inherent in our field,” commented Chloe Schwenke, 2016 Chair of SID-Washington’s Rice Award Committee. “We were also moved by her personal qualities of empathy, respect, and solidarity with the poorest and most marginalized. She has already taken on extraordinary development challenges in the field in very difficult settings - South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia - among others and she brings some truly remarkable intellectual gifts and hard-earned skills to her work and her thinking; in short she exemplifies all of the qualities of an outstanding young leader.”
Ms. Mwangi is currently conducting field research on cut flower value chains in Kenya and previously worked as a consultant for Dalberg Global Development Advisors, primarily working on agriculture strategies with the public sector. She has also worked closely with the Ministry of Agriculture in both Tanzania and Sudan and is working towards her PhD in Development Studies at the University of Cambridge. The Rice Award was presented at SID-Washington’s Annual Conference, which convenes high-level professionals from all sectors of international development to discuss trends, issues and challenges through breakout panel sessions, lunchtime table discussions, and keynote addresses.