Join Us! Ceremony and Lecture on March 27th from 3-4 PM in the William Pitt Union Ballroom

Kakenya Ntaiya

Kakenya's Dream Founder and President, Dr. Kakenya Ntaiya, is a world-renowned educator and advocate for girls' health and human rights. She has dedicated her life to creating lasting change both in rural communities in Kenya and across Africa. After escaping child marriage and surviving female genital mutilation (FGM) as a young teenager, Dr. Ntaiya became the first woman from her Maasai village in Kenya to attend university in the United States. In 2009, while studying for her PhD in education at the University of Pittsburgh, she founded Kakenya’s Dream to empower vulnerable girls through education, health, and leadership programs to become agents of change. Dr. Ntaiya was featured in Bill Gates’ Heroes in the Field series in 2022 and Melinda French Gates’ first book, The Moment of Lift. She has been named a Top Ten CNN Hero, a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and one of Newsweek’s “150 Women Who Shake the World.”

Dr. Natiya's recognitions also include the University of Pittsburgh's Sheth International Achievement Award, given to alumni for their contributions around the world.

Our deepest gratitude to our colleagues from the Ford Institute for Human Security and the University Center for International Studies for their support.