Carole Kariuki

Carole Kariuki

Senior Fellow

Kariuki joins ISOKO as the CEO of Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), a business consortium seeking to create an enabling business environment in Kenya and East Africa. Kariuki brings her expertise in economic development as well as access to the Kenyan and regional business communities to ISOKO Institute.

Before coming to ISOKO, Kariuki spent time in banking and then went on to receive a Masters in Public Administration and International Affairs from Bowling Green University in Ohio. After school, she worked for Sagamore Institute in Indianapolis where she helped to link HIV/AIDS organizations in Indianapolis to AMPATH, the largest AIDS prevention and treatment program in sub-Saharan Africa.

Upon returning to Kenya, Carole brokered a partnership between Sagamore Institute and KEPSA where she was employed as Program Officer. After leaving KEPSA, for a short time, she went on to consult for African Development Assistance. In 2009, she rejoined KEPSA as Program Manager, and in 2010 she became CEO. Kariuki’s experience at the apex of Kenya’s private sector will add great value to ISOKO’s mission to build Africa’s private sector through entrepreneurship, investment, and leadership.

Carole Kariuki holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and Sociology from the University of Nairobi and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Bowling Green State University, Ohio, USA. She has also pursued several professional courses on Stakeholder Management, Leadership and Private Sector Development among others.

Carole before joining KEPSA did work briefly for Barclays Bank of Kenya, Nairobi Chapel and Sagamore Institute for Public Policy Research, Indianapolis – Indiana, where she acted as a liaison between Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and the Institute before formally joining KEPSA. She worked for several years at KEPSA before being appointed KEPSA CEO.   

Ms. Kariuki is credited for transforming KEPSA from a little-known Business Organisation to one of the most influential Organisations in Kenya and Globally. KEPSA is the Apex body of the private sector in Kenya, galvanizing the private sector through public-private dialogue and influencing the economic and development agenda.

Current Leadership Positions:

  • Board Chair: Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Board, Kenya
  • Board Member: The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), Kenya
  • Board Member: Jubilee Health Insurance Limited, Kenya 
  • Board Member: EA Cables (East African Cables PLC), Kenya
  • Board Member: USIU-Africa Trustees (United States International University–Africa), Kenya
  • Board Chair: LPC Global Logistics, Kenya
  • Board Member: Give Directly, USA
  • Board Vice Chair: Kiine Secondary School, Kirinyaga County, Kenya
  • Board Member: UN Global Compact Network, Kenya
  • Council Member: NCAJ chaired by the Chief Justice of Kenya (The National Council of Administrative Justice), Kenya

Past Leadership Positions:

  • Board Chair: SEZA (Special Economic Zones Authority), Kenya 
  • Board Member: IS Kenya (Internet Solutions), Kenya
  • Board Member: Harvard University Centre for African Studies, Africa Advisory Board, USA
  • Board Member: BAF (Business Advocacy Fund, Danish Embassy), Kenya 
  • Committee Member: WTO Trade Committee, Geneva
  • President: East Africa Chapter, Choiseul Africa, France
  • Board Member: The Centre for Corporate Governance Board, Kenya
  • Board Member: Nairobi Centre for International Arbitration Board, Kenya
  • University Council Member: Daystar University, Kenya
  • Board Member: Emerging Leaders Foundation, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Board Member: Rotary Club of Lang’ata, Kenya
  • Board Member: Growth Oriented Women Enterprises Kenya Program (GOWE), Kenya
  • Advisory Board Member: ACF Women in Business Initiative of the Africa, France
  • Advisory Board Member: Nailab 3.0 (Nairobi Innovation Lab), Kenya
  • Advisory Board Member: For the Operationalisation of the Kenya National Convention Bureau
  • Caucus Member: Business Leaders Caucus Group of Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation by OECD, France
  • Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA), National Organizing Committee, Nairobi
  • Governing Board Member, Kenya 2030 Water Resources Group (WRG) Partnership
  • The Advisory Board of the School of Economics, University of Nairobi  

She is a member of several professional bodies including, The Rotary Club of Langata and Institute of Directors.   

Awards and Recognitions in Leadership; Presidential 

  • The Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear (EBS) 2021, for National Development Contribution to the Country, Kenya by H.E. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya.
  • The Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear (MBS) 2012, for National Development Contribution to the Country, Kenya by H.E. Mwai Kibaki, President of the Republic of Kenya 2002 to 2013.
  • The Head of State’s Commendation (HSC) 2011, for National Development Contribution to the Country, Kenya by H.E. Mwai Kibaki, President of the Republic of Kenya 2002 to 2013.  


  • Global Female Leadership Impact Award and Induction into the Global Women Leaders Hall of Fame
  • (GWLHOF), by Centre for Economic and Leadership Development (CELD), during the 2017 South America-Africa-Middle East-Asia Women’s Summit (SAMEAWS), under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Juma Bin Maktoum, Dubai-UAE. 
  • Women Super Achiever Award, by World Women Leadership Congress and Awards 2017, India.
  • Ranked 14th and first Kenyan on the list of 100 Africans by Institut Choiseul in the ‘Choiseul 100 Africa: Economic Leaders for Tomorrow 2015.’
  • Women Leadership Achievement Award 2015 by World Women Leadership Congress and Awards, India.
  • The International Advocacy Award 2014 by Institut Amadeus, Morocco.


  • Women on Boards Network (WOBN) 2021 Woman Chairperson of the Year Award – 1st Runner Up.
  • In 2012 was voted ‘Extraordinary Personality to Inspire the Future’ by 80% of the 20,000 students of the Entrepreneurship Clubs of Kenyan Universities.
  • Contribution to Society Award by Nairobi Chapel 2011, Kenya.
  • Outstanding Role in Creating Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) for Business Growth by ILO Kenya Women Entrepreneurship Development 2011.
  • Role in Growing Sustainable Business Initiative 2006 by UNDP Kenya. 
  • Role in the Development of the UN Global Compact 2006 by UNDP Kenya.  


  • Ranked Fourth in the 2022 Business Monthly East Africa Top 25 Most Influential CEOs Impacting Business, by Business Monthly, East Africa Edition, January – February 2022.
  • Named among the Top 100 Kenyans 2021, by on December 2, 2021.
  • Announced as one of the Top 100 Women CEOs in Africa, by Reset Global People in partnership with the SDGS office at the Office of the President of Ghana and Avance Media, in April 2021.
  • Ranked among 15 Inspiring Women in Corporate Africa, by Business Today, Kenya, Edition, March 2021.
  • Nominated among the Top 25 Most Influential Chairs of Board Impacting Business, Chair of Board: Special Economic Zones Authority, by Business Monthly, East Africa Edition, March – April 2021.
  • Nominated among the Top 25 CEOs setting the Business Agenda in 2021, by Business Monthly, East Africa Edition, January – February 2021.
  • Ranked Second of the Top 25 CEOs, in the 25th Anniversary Special Awards Nomination Edition of the Business Monthly, East Africa Edition, January – February 2020.
  • Announced as one of the Top 100 Women CEOs in Africa, by Reset Global People in partnership with Pulse, and Avance Media, in 2019. 
  • Ranked eighth of 19 Inspirational Kenyan Women That You Should know, by Business Insider in 2017.
  • Top 40 Under 40 Women in Business Awards Kenya, 2011 and 2012 consecutively by The Business Daily, Kenya.