Knowledge in Context — Eddy Gicheru Oketch ’15

Knowledge in Context — Eddy Gicheru Oketch ’15

Interviewed by Brener De Souza ’22

 

BDS: What have you done since leaving Trinity? Work/Career? Family?

 

EO: While I was a student at Trinity, I ran a nonprofit called Ongoza. After I graduated from Trinity, I continued working there for about six months. I then went to graduate school at Yale University. Then I went back to Kenya to continue to work of Ongoza. Last year, I ran for senate in my district, but was unsuccessful. Now, I am back working at Ongoza

 

BDS: Is there anything you learned at Trinity that you’ve used/has helped you in your career?

 

EO: It informed my thinking around global affairs and I focused on international security and political economy. My work—running an incubator for businesses for young people in Kenya—benefitted because I knew how to position our entrepreneurs to be politically aware. I was able to contextualize the knowledge I gained at Trinity in my work.

BDS: What is your proudest accomplishment since graduating Trinity?

 

EO: My leadership philosophy is that I measure my leadership capability by my absence. When I am not there, what is happening? I think that, in businesses and countries, anything that you do becomes stronger is your absence. You have to build an institution that doesn’t run on you but runs on systems and processes. My proudest moment is when I left Ongoza, after I was the CEO. The new CEO had done so well, he didn’t need me there. Last year, I ran in office in Kenya for a senate seat. Out of the 8 established candidates, I came in second.

 

BDS: What is something you would like other alums to know about you?

 

EO: I am so passionate about climate change, in the African continent especially. My next big interest is how to make climate change visible in local communities.