Ambassador from Kenya: Who Is Elkanah Odembo?

Sunday, April 10, 2011
Elkanah Odembo began serving as Kenya’s Ambassador to the United States in June 2010.
Odembo earned his Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Sociology at Bowdoin College in 1980 and was a member of the soccer team. He went on to add a Master’s degree in Public Health (Epidemiology) at the University of Texas.
Odembo’s first job was Research Officer for Nairobi’s African Medical Research Foundation in its Community Health Division. He then joined the Ford Foundation as a consultant to its Coordinator of Africa Philanthropy Initiative. He subsequently served as East Africa Representative for World Neighbors.
Odembo was then appointed as Chairman of the Kenya Community Development Foundation, and Lead Facilitator for the Kenya Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper Consultation Process. He also became a member of the UNDP Africa 2000 Project selection committee.
Odembo was a member of the National Committee for Social Dimensions of Development, and the NGO Coordination Board of Kenya. Additionally, he was a founding member of the NGO Coalition for East Africa, a member of the National Advisory Committee for Health Research, Chairperson of the Kenya National Council for Non-Governmental Organizations (1997-1999), and Founding Director of Ufadhili Trust (Centre for Philanthropy and Social Responsibility).
In January 2009, Odembo was appointed Kenya’s Ambassador to France.
Odembo is a Fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative, and a Synergos Senior Fellow.
He and his wife, Aoko Midiwo-Odembo, have two children. Among the positions Midiwo-Odembo has held are planning officer for the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology, contract manager for the African Medical Research Foundation, and liaison coordinator for The Carter Center in Nairobi. Her brother, Jakoyo Midiwo, is a member of parliament, and her first cousin, Raila Odinga, is the prime minister of Kenya.
                                                                                                -Danny Biederman


mopotevo 5 years ago
What has he done with the rude and unethical people work at the Washington dc embassy? We need to be treated with dignity and respect.
Nick Moon 5 years ago
i agree with eddy here. in my view elkanah odembo has worked assiduously over the years to develop a fairer, juster, more inclusive kenya in which wealth and opportunity are more equitably distributed across all ethnicities. cross-ethnic suspicion and prejudice are unhelpful and divisive and many of us yearn for the day when kenyans will identify as kenyans first, and approach and practise politics on the basis of ideologies and policies, informed debate and discussion, and not knee-jerk assumptions premised on tribe and family.
Eddy Gicheru Oketch 5 years ago
the problem with kenyans is always to try and find a fault in everything! i sometimes understand that it is due to the frustrations on economic emptiness most suffer, but sometimes i wish to encourage kenyans to learn to rise above ethnic relations to everything. i mean, how can one claim that elkanah was appointed on the basis of tribe when he is a man of such invaluable accomplishments! how do you even start disputing such a truck record of a social development developer who has transformed many lives out of the political arena in his non-governmental civil involvements? for appreciation sake, the guy is even a senior fellow of synergos! lets stop these tribal eyes to everything and appreciate achievers in our country such as elkanah. elkanah deserves this post and more, and is surely an urgent of positive change! in fact congratulations in your many accomplishments.
masanduku 6 years ago
this is nepotism ...if not tribalism at play. raila is the biggest tribalist in kenya.....he appointed this luo goon simply because he is family. kenya needs to critically examine it's leaders if we are going to get rid of corruption. vote them out with their tribal agendas. they are worse than the kenyattas ....only if given a chance.
John 6 years ago
its all in the family

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