Greetings from the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC).
It gives me great pleasure to introduce the KHRC’s new Executive Director, Atsango Chesoni.
Ms Chesoni is an lawyer who has worked for the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA)-Kenya, where she initiated the annual status of women’s human rights report. She has spent many years consulting on civil society in Kenya and within the region—focused on governance, human rights (including women’s human rights) and the law.
She was nominated by the African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) to represent the women’s movement in the constitutional negotiations known as the Bomas process.
And, most recently, she served as the Vice Chair of the Committee of Experts (CoE) that ushered in our new Constitution.
Ms Chesoni takes over from L. Muthoni Wanyeki, who has led the KHRC since 2007. Ms. Wanyeki led the KHRC at a time of great challenge to Kenya, especially through the post-elections violence and the work of reconstruction and reform thereafter. Her vision, courage, and devotion to human rights—along with those of the great team at the KHRC and the human rights community at large—helped put Kenya back on track.
Her humility and consultative leadership style are a beacon for the human rights community in Kenya and the region. She taught all of us how to practice and think about human rights in the most trying circumstances. Personally, I have been humbled and privileged to work with her. She leaves the KHRC a stronger organisation than she found it.
Ms Wanyeki, whose term with the KHRC officially ends in September 2011, is going abroad to pursue graduate studies and her Doctorate. The Board, management and staff of the KHRC will miss her greatly. But she will remain one of us—no one who has been a member of the KHRC family ever leaves it.
The KHRC’s Board, management and staff are thrilled to have Ms Chesoni with us.
She begins work on July 18, 2011—and will spend four weeks working with Ms Wanyeki, taking over fully on August 1, 2011, with Ms Wanyeki still being on call for a further two weeks. We all aim for the transition to be as seamless as possible.
We wish her all the best as she starts her journey with us—and invite you to do the same. She can be reached at: [email protected]. She will also, no doubt, be contacting some of your directly shortly.
We look forward to continued partnership with all our partners, friends associates and all our publics under her leadership.
Professor Makau Mutua,
Chair of the Board of Directors