Lynne Muthoni Wanyeki

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Lynne Muthoni Wanyeki (born 1972) is a Kenyan political scientist, human rights activist, and the current Regional Director of Open Society Foundations Africa Regional Office. Wanyeki is the former Regional Director of Amnesty International's Regional Office for East Africa, the Horn, and the Great Lakes.[1]

Early life[edit]

Wanyeki was born in 1972 of a Canadian mother and Kenyan (Kikuyu) father, and grew up in Kenya. Her father died in 1991.


Wanyeki holds BA in Political Science (international relations) and French (literature) from the University of New Brunswick and Simon Fraser University respectively.[2] She also holds an MPA (cum laude) in public affairs from L’Institut d’études politiques in Paris and is currently pursuing her doctoral studies with the Department of Politics and International Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).[2]


One of her first jobs after returning to Kenya after college was development work in rural Ukambani.[3] While in her early thirties she succeeded Njoki Wainaina as executive director of FEMNET. At first she viewed her role as an administrator in an organization dominated by a board of conservative older women. Later she found that her position gave her credibility as a highly sought-after speaker on human rights, gender equity and development. She also started writing a weekly column in the East African newspaper.[4]

In 2007, Wanyeki was appointed as the Executive Director of the Kenya Human Rights Commission, a post she held until June 2011.[5] Appointed during the political crisis in early 2008, she received death threats due to statements she had made about the elections, describing her as a traitor to the Kikuyu people.[6] After leaving her role as Executive Director, Wanyeki served as a Board Member of the Kenya Human Rights Commission until mid-2017. As of 2011 she was a member of the International Advisory Network for the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.[7] She is currently a member of the board of the Open Society Justice Initiative.[8] Wanyeki has previously served as Executive Director at the African Women's Development and Communication Network (FEMNET).


  • Lynne Muthoni Wanyeki (2000). Up in the air: the state of broadcasting in eastern Africa. Panos Southern Africa. p. 140. ISBN 0-7974-2143-2.
  • Lynne Muthoni Wanyeki, ed. (2003). Women and land in Africa: culture, religion and realizing women's right's. Zed Books. p. 384. ISBN 1-84277-096-9.
  • Jacinta Muteshi; Lynne Muthoni Wanyeki; Maria Nzomo (2003). Transitional justice in Kenya: the gender question, Issue 4. Heinrich Böll Foundation, Regional Office, East and Horn of Africa. p. 117. ISBN 9966-9772-2-8.


  1. ^ "L. Muthoni Wanyeki". Open Society Foundations. Open Society Foundations. 2018. Retrieved 2018-04-20.
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ Judy Munyinyi Mumo (July 19, 2011). "Muthoni Wanyeki, Executive Director KHRC – At home in her skin". True Love Magazine. Retrieved 2011-09-23.
  4. ^ Ngunjiri, Faith Wambura (2010). "Lynne Muthoni Wanyeki: Executive Director of Kenya Human Rights Council". Women's spiritual leadership in Africa: tempered radicals and critical servant leaders. SUNY Press. pp. 45–46. ISBN 1-4384-2977-0.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-05-17. Retrieved 2014-05-15.
  6. ^ "Kenya: Protest the death threats against human rights defenders". Women Human Rights Defenders. Archived from the original on 2011-06-23. Retrieved 2011-09-23.
  7. ^ "International Advisory Network | Business & Human Rights Resource Centre". Retrieved 2018-04-20.
  8. ^ "Open Society Foundations". Open Society Foundations. Retrieved 2017-11-16.