Nathalie Munyampenda, Chief Executive Officer of Kepler, gives advice to young women who are entering or looking to take up leadership roles

Nathalie is passionate about education and the future of work. Without new pathways in education, African countries will lag behind in terms of the future of work. Since June 2020, Nathalie has worked as the Chief Executive Officer at Kepler. Kepler is building a global model of accessible and excellent higher education. By innovating the university experience, Kepler graduates distinguished learners and cultivates leaders who transform their lives, their communities, and their countries. Over 90% of graduates are employed within 6 months of graduation.

Prior to Kepler, Nathalie was Managing Director at the Next Einstein Forum, building Africa’s community of scientists, curating the premier science and innovation conference and pushing for science driven industrialization through foresight and policy work.

Nathalie has also worked in the Canadian public service and international social media consulting before working to build the Government of Rwanda’s central communication unit as Coordinator (DG) in the Office of the Government Spokesperson.

 

What advice would you give to young women who are entering or looking to take up leadership roles?
First, build expertise. Confidence should be built on your growing expertise in the field. Put in the hours to learn, read, ask questions, and be comfortable with not knowing everything. Second, get a leadership coach. Coaches help you navigate your personal growth as a leader. Third, get public speaking and media training. One of the most critical skills a leader can have is the ability to communicate impact and inspire others to take action. Technical expertise and operational excellence are important but your job as a leader is to help everyone understand the big picture and their role in getting there. Finally, be comfortable with not being everyone’s friend. Good leaders know how to have difficult conversations and mold consensus.

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