CFK Welcomes New Executive Director, Julian Rowa January 14, 2016 by Carolina For Kibera
Friends and Colleagues:
It’s hard for us to believe that 15 years have passed since we started Carolina For Kibera with our beloved partner, the late Tabitha Atieno Festo. The best parts of our journeys together have brought us deeper into the community with the young leaders who are most impacted by our work. They embody the change that we wish to see in the world. It’s been a special treat for us to spend this week together in Kibera with the young leaders impacted by our programs.
The beginning of 2016 marks an exciting moment in the ongoing growth of CFK. We are moving to a single executive director based in Kenya, further integrating our U.S. and Kenya Boards, and honing our strategic focus on youth, leadership development, and health. Leann Bankoski has completed her time at CFK after seven remarkable years. Her leadership has culminated in stronger collaboration between CFK in the U.S. and Kenya. Leann has accepted an exciting position at an advisory firm in Kenya that seeks to identify, measure, and scale best practices in global development. As Leann often noted, CFK is a family, where the strength of our organization is in the strength of our team. We will miss Leann, and we take comfort in knowing she is nearby and forever part of this family she has so deeply shaped.
In the spirit of the new year, it is particularly exciting to announce a new CFK leader: Julian Rowa, who will serve as the Executive Director of Carolina for Kibera. Julian is an entrepreneur and seasoned businessman who grew up as a boxer in one of Nairobi’s low-income communities. Julian most recently helped lead the successful launch in Rwanda of Equity Bank, a bank that has helped create access to capital for millions of Africans, including those living in many disenfranchised communities. Julian found himself recently at a stage in life where he was looking for a new leadership challenge with potential to make significant impact. At 47 years of age, he is also by the standards of our youth organization a “Mzee,” which translates from Swahili to “old man,” and is a term of high respect. Julian looks forward to meeting with many of you, our partners, and plans to send an update from his first weeks on the job shortly. Welcome, Mzee Julian.
We are excited about what the future brings, and we hope you will join us in wishing Leann well and Julian a warm welcome.
Tuko Pamoja (We are together),
Rye Barcott & Salim Mohamed
Co-Founders, Carolina for Kibera