Judy Wakhungu is an accomplished Kenyan politician and diplomat who has dedicated her life to making a positive impact in the field of environmental conservation and sustainable development.
She currently serves as Kenya’s Ambassador to France, Portugal, Serbia, and the Holy See.
Read her biography below.
|Judi Wangalwa Wakhungu
|St. Lawrence University (BSc) Acadia University (MSc) Penn State University (PhD)
|Mathew Wakhungu and Grace Wakhungu
|Years active in politics
Judy’s journey began with a thirst for knowledge and a deep appreciation for the earth’s resources.
In 1983, Judy accomplished a noteworthy milestone at St. Lawrence University by earning her Bachelor’s degree in geology.
Fueled by an unwavering passion for knowledge and a desire to enhance her expertise, she made a determined decision to pursue a Master of Science degree in petroleum geology.
Her perseverance paid off, as she successfully obtained her master’s degree in 1986 from Acadia University in Canada.
Building upon her academic achievements, Judy went on to join Pennsylvania State University in 1993, where she earned a Doctorate in Philosophy specializing in energy resource management.
This remarkable accomplishment equipped her with a comprehensive understanding of energy management and the responsible utilization of valuable resources.
Judy Wakhungu is happily married to Dr. David Wakhungu, a distinguished professor of economics at the University of Nairobi.
Together, they have built a loving family and have two sons, balancing their professional responsibilities with their roles as parents.
Before her political career, Judy Wakhungu had an impressive career in various business and academic positions, leaving a lasting impact.
She was the Executive Director of the African Center for Technology Studies (ACTS) in Nairobi, advancing technological research and sustainable solutions.
She was an Associate Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at Pennsylvania State University, promoting gender equality and empowering women in STEM fields.
She also served as an energy advisor to the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Program, formulating strategies for sustainable energy development on a global scale.
Judy Wakhungu’s illustrious career reached new heights when she was appointed Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources in Kenya in 2013.
This notable appointment marked a historic milestone as she became the first woman to hold such a position in the country.
During her tenure as Cabinet Secretary, Judy Wakhungu led Kenya’s robust efforts to combat climate change and promote sustainable development.
Her visionary leadership was pivotal in shaping Kenya’s environmental policies and spearheading initiatives to preserve the country’s natural resources for future generations.
One of her notable achievements was her instrumental role in developing Kenya’s National Climate Change Action Plan.
This comprehensive plan outlined strategic measures to mitigate the impact of climate change, enhance resilience, and promote low-carbon development pathways across various sectors.
Recognizing the importance of preserving Kenya’s rich biodiversity, Judy Wakhungu was a driving force behind establishing the Kenya Forest Service and the Kenya Wildlife Service.
These institutions have played crucial roles in safeguarding the country’s forests and wildlife, ensuring sustainable management and conservation.
On the international stage, Judy Wakhungu successfully represented Kenya in numerous negotiations and secured several significant environmental agreements.
Her diplomatic prowess and unwavering commitment to environmental conservation resulted in successful collaborations and strengthened Kenya’s position in global efforts to address environmental challenges.
Judy Wakhungu has transitioned into a new phase of her impactful career, where she continues to make significant contributions to international diplomacy and environmental advocacy.
Currently serving as the Ambassador of Kenya to France, Portugal, Serbia, and the Holy See, Judy Wakhungu represents her country on the global stage, fostering diplomatic relations and strengthening partnerships.
Her role as an ambassador allows her to leverage her expertise and influence to promote Kenya’s interests while addressing pressing global challenges.
Judy Wakhungu’s remarkable contributions and unwavering dedication have earned her prestigious awards and international recognition, solidifying her status as a prominent figure in environmental conservation and sustainable development.
In 2018, President Uhuru Kenyatta bestowed upon her the Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (EGH).
This distinguished honor exemplifies the recognition of her outstanding service and commitment to the nation, highlighting her significant contributions to Kenya’s environmental and natural resource sectors.
While Judy Wakhungu has garnered widespread praise for her work, she has also faced criticism from some quarters throughout her career.
In 2015, she faced scrutiny and criticism regarding handling the National Climate Change Action Plan.
Critics expressed concerns over the effectiveness and implementation of the plan, calling for stronger measures and more tangible outcomes.
Additionally, some individuals accused Judy Wakhungu of being too closely aligned with the government and not adequately holding it accountable for its environmental commitments.
These criticisms centered on the perception that her relationship with the government compromised her ability to act independently and demand necessary changes.
Although facing criticism is an inevitable aspect of public service, Judy Wakhungu’s achievements and dedication to environmental causes have significantly outweighed the controversies.
Her enduring commitment to sustainable development and environmental protection remains a defining aspect of her impactful career.