Jane Kabubo-Mariara

Jane Kabubo-Mariara PhD., a Professor of Economics at the University of Nairobi (UoN), is the Executive Director of a global economic think tank: the Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP). Alongside her 30 years’ experience in teaching, research, management and fundraising, she has a strong track record in growing and strengthening higher education and research institutions. This is demonstrated by her stewardship of PEP where she has re-established donor confidence and attracted new funders; and during her tenure as the Director, School of Economics, UoN, which recorded huge turnarounds in revenue growth and graduate completion rates.  Prof. Mariara is a well-known figure in local, regional and international academic circles, as well as in government, for her knowledge, administrative expertise and integrity. She is particularly adept at relationship building and problem-solving. She has demonstrated these skills since she took over PEP in 2016, boosting relationships between PEP and its stakeholders, and enhancing governance to attract key global donors including the Hewlett Foundation and Global Affairs Canada.

Prof. Mariara’s research interests include Impact and Adaptations of Climate Change on Agriculture; Environmental and Natural Resource Economics; Poverty and Labour Markets issues, with emphasis on the multiple dimensions of child poverty and youth employment. A diligent scholar and a thought-leader in development economics, she has authored and published over 40 journal papers, 4 monographs, 20 book chapters and 10 policy briefs. She has also authored numerous peer-reviewed working papers and mimes. Prof. Mariara’s knowledge, expertise, and skill in articulating her ideas for locally driven economic development has led to her appointment to a number of prestigious local and international organizations in different advisory roles (as a Board or Committee member, Technical Expert, etc). Currently she is President of the African Society of Ecological Economists (ASEE) and a member of the Central Bank of Kenya’s Monetary Policy Committee and the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA) Advisory Board.

Previously, she has served as a member of: the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Board of Directors; the International Scientific Advisory Board of African Growth and Development Policy (AGRODEP) Modeling Consortium; the African Economic Research Consortium’s Collaborative PhD and Masters Programmes Advisory Boards. She also served as a chair of the research committee of the Center for Environmental Economics and Policy in Africa (CEEPA) as well as a resource person with AERC and PEP. Previous engagements include consultancies for the World Bank, IDRC, AERC and PEP, and visiting fellowships at Cornell University, Laval University, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, amongst others.

Her tenure at the UoN School of Economics was full of many firsts, including her own achievements as founder-Associate Director, the first female Director of the School, and later Kenya’s first female Professor of Economics in 2014. In addition, she spearheaded the conversion of the Department of Economics into a full-fledged School in 2010-2012, and thereafter oversaw the development of new and the expansion of existing programmes. She also oversaw the growth of revenue from self-sponsored programmes from below KES 10 million per annum to about KES 350 million within her six-year tenure as director. Prof. Mariara, whose first love is teaching and mentoring students, has taught about 20,000 University students and supervised 30 Masters and 9 PhD students. To inspire academic excellence, she established in 2016, the first award for top University of Nairobi Economics performers, the “Prof. Jane Kabubo-Mariara Awards”.

An integral member of the international scientific community, Jane has, amongst others, been an expert with the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services and a Member of the Kenneth E. Boulding Memorial Award Nominations Committee. She is a graduate of the University of Nairobi with a Doctor of Philosophy, a Master and Bachelor of Arts in Economics degrees.

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Fields of specialization

Poverty and inequality , Health and nutrition, Education and training, Labour markets and employment, Youth and children


Title Country Themes
The Dynamics and Role of Gender in High-Value Avocado Farming in Kenya Kenya Gender & women’s empowerment , Agriculture and food security
Productive Employment in Segmented Markets of fresh produce in Kenya Kenya Labour markets and employment , Globalization and trade , Agriculture and food security
Multidimensional Poverty Comparisons in Kenya: Analysis of Maternal and Child Well-being Kenya Gender & women’s empowerment , Poverty and Inequality , Health and nutrition , Youth and children
Child Survival, Poverty and Policy Options from DHS Surveys in Kenya: 1993-2003 Kenya Poverty and Inequality , Health and nutrition , Youth and children


Professor Jane Kabubo-mariara
Executive Director
Partnership for Economic Policy

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