Kenya Native Dr Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg Honored at the White House

Dr. Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg (3rd from left) at the White House on Monday. Credit:

On Monday afternoon, the White House honored a group of leaders in American diaspora communities with roots in the Horn of Africa. One of those honored was Belmont, CA resident, Dr. Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg.

A live webcast of the event from the White House was watched by friends and neighbors of Kamau-Rutenberg in her Cipriani neighborhood.

"I met her through our local mother's club. I am so proud of having someone like her as member of our community," said Belmont resident Renata Tabellion.

A native of Kenya, Kamau-Rutenberg is the founder and executive director of Akili Dada, a leadership incubator that invests in high-achieving young African women from underprivileged backgrounds who are passionate about social change. She was named a "Champion of Change" by the Obama administration.

Kamau-Rutenberg and her fellow honorees were recognized as trailblazers who build stronger communities and mobilize networks across borders to address global challenges. The event was hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement in collaboration with the Secretary of State’s Office of Global Partnerships.

Holding a Ph.D. in political pcience, Kamau-Rutenberg is also an assistant professor of political science at the University of San Francisco, where her work centers on the politics of philanthropy, gender, Africa, ethnicity, and democratization, and on the role of technology in social activism.

The Champions of Change are featured on the White House website at

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