COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Darren Gillen - Chair

Darren is the Chief Executive Officer at Kartridges Kenya Ltd a company that specialises mainly in the retail of High Quality Laser Toner Cartridges from Europe as well has other related items such as Printers, Computers, CCTV etc, his role covers the East Africa Region with their Headquarters based in Nairobi.

He is originally from Derry in Northern Ireland and has worked in Africa for almost four years where he was President of Operations in a similar business in Ethiopia prior to arriving in Kenya.

He has extensive experience in the Hospitality and Customer Service sector having previously been UK and Ireland Operations Director for a chain of sixteen hotels based in the UK.

Darren also sits on the Board of the European Business Council an organisation representing the business community who are affiliated to the EU in Kenya. He also is a board member of Young Scientists Kenya, an Irish initiative seeking to promote STEM amongst the young people in Kenya and encouraging them to pursue a career in this field. 

Ambassador Fionnuala Quinlan - Co-Chair

H.E Fionnuala Quinlan was appointed Ambassador of Ireland to Kenya, Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea in June 2019.
Previously, she was Consul General of Ireland to New England in the USA from 2015 to 2019, where she represented the Irish Government in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont and Rhode Island.

Between 2013 and 2015, she was Director of Press Relations at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin, where she managed the Department’s engagement with traditional and new media. She joined the Department in 2009 as Press Adviser for Irish Aid, the Government’s overseas aid programme.

Amb. Fionnuala worked as a journalist and editor in Ireland and abroad for more than 10 years, including as a Features Editor at the Irish Examiner; News Editor and reporter for The Evening Echo and as a journalist at Sydney’s Daily Telegraph. She was a frequent contributor to Radio France Internationale, having lived and worked in France for two years.

Kathleen Vaughan - Secretary

Kathy Vaughan is a global executive coach and consultant with deep experience working with committed leaders and institutions on leadership, collaboration, and creativity.

Her practice includes working with multilateral entities, multinationals, not for profit, and entrepreneurs across a variety of sectors to support them creatively and competently in achieving their ambitions and greater impact.

Since 2000, she has designed and delivered interventions and services which have directly affected more than 10,000 people globally. Before going freelance, Kathy worked in financial services, education, and the not for profit sectors.

Kathy holds a Masters Degree in International Educational Development from Teacher’s College/Columbia University and an honors degree from Dartmouth College.

Pari Lalani - Ass. Secretary

Pari Lalani has worked as an education consultant with Uniserv Education since 2015, advising students in East Africa on tertiary study options abroad. Her role involved interacting with universities and secondary schools and visiting a wide range of top schools in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. She was also required make presentations to large groups of students about all aspects of studying abroad.

She was instrumental in expanding and developing the vast portfolio of reputable international education institutions to partner with, and assist and advise East African students to apply for admission. In addition she was advising students on scholarships.

Her involvement also extended to leading the marketing team to plan, organize and hold education exhibitions and events throughout the year in the East African region.

Previously she was the CEO of another similar company based in Nairobi, where she gained a wealth of knowledge and experience growing business contacts with and travelling to universities around the world.

Quentin Rukingama - Treasurer

Passionate about Social Transformation of Africa, Quentin has been contributing to it through agribusiness value chain building.

Through his activities & responsibilities Quentin has been contributing to the Rising Africa by availing more than USD 1 billion worth of investments and financing to African Small and Middle-sized Enterprises (SMEs), corporates & institutions notably in Agribusiness.

Currently, he is the Managing Partner of JBQ Africa, an Impactful Agribusiness Advisory Firm, which contributes to bridging the Agribusiness knowledge Gap from Farm to Fork of African Institutions, through Strategic Design, Project Coordination and Financial Advisory.

He is also a Guest Lecturer for the Executive Program on Financing of Agribusiness Value Chain at Strathmore University Business School (SBS) in Kenya; and Steering Committee Member of Business Ireland Kenya.

Dedicated to solving challenges in Africa, as a Vice President for Africa of a Pan-African Think Tank – Club Diallo Telli – he tackles developmental issues through thought-provoking recommendations to all spheres of the society, i.e. Private Sector, Public Sector and Civil Society.

Previously, he led the Africa strategy and implemented large investment initiatives in Agribusiness within the Continent for BUNGE Limited; one of the Worldwide Big 4 Agribusiness value chain Players, listed in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) – c. USD 50 Billion turnover corporation.

Before joining BUNGE Limited, he was part of the founding Team of African Guarantee Fund Group, an African Development Bank initiative, aiming to enhance financing to African SMEs.

Rachael Ngindu - Ass. Treasurer

As head of Business development, Rachael is responsible for all-up sales and oversees business development strategies for the company including market intelligence, lead generation, execution and post sales activities.
Rachael is credited with transforming Paladin Trading Limited from a start-up to a well- established technology driven security solutions provider in the industry through well thought out strategic initiatives.

Before joining Paladin Trading Limited, she worked in the banking industry for six years as a Relationship manager where she accumulated hands-on experience in administration, client relation management, business development, managing brand experience and finance.

Her skill set comprises of business networking, sales and Marketing, brand management, human resource management, administration, finance and strategy development. These skills have been acquired over time through continuous learning with set goals.

Her quest for growth in excellence led her to study a mini MBA entrepreneurial course at Sinapis Academy, Business networking course at Global Networks Investments and she is currently enrolled in one-year Business Accelerator program at Ongoza Institute.

Rachael values professional memberships in industry and other business-related associations where she enjoys spending time with like-minded people. She is currently a member of Karen Country club, Business in Ireland Kenya and Business Networking International.

She derives fulfillment from challenging herself out of her comfort zone, taking on new responsibilities and excelling in them. Rachael enjoys spending quality time with sharp minds, her children, family and friends.

Tony Wood - Member

Tony is the Managing Director of MYDAWA, a revolutionary e-health solution and the first licenced e-pharmacy in Kenya ensuring access to quality products at an affordable price which are consistently available to consumers, delivered directly to you conveniently and with privacy, all from the palm of your hand.

Tony comes to the Pharmaceutical Industry with a successful technology background and is ably supported by a very strong Pharmaceutical team to ensure that we meet all our Operational and Regulatory requirement to provide a fully customer focused solution.  Prior to MYDAWA, Tony was the Chief Operating Officer for Wananchi Business Services, responsible for driving growth across all sectors of the business. Before this he led Alcatel-Lucent East Africa and has been based in Nairobi for over 8 years.  Internationally, he has also held numerous leadership roles across Europe focusing on corporate growth and transformation following a successful career in the UK Royal Air Force.

He holds a master’s degree in Business Telecommunications from University College London (UCL) and has a drive to positively impact lives through the use of technology.

Natasha Haavi - Member

Natasha worked in the oil and gas industry for more than five years offering advice to international companies looking to come into the Kenyan market. She also run the training program for a local oil and gas consulting firm offering non technical training in the extractives industry.

Natasha holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration and currently works with LK Consulting that assists international companies across different sectors and regions to support their expansion into Kenya.

LK Consulting is the local representative for Enterprise Ireland which is the Irish trade promoting agency that has enabled the setup of numerous Irish business in East Africa. Enterprise Ireland offers constant support on the ground and organises: trade missions, market analysis and recommendations as well as engagements that introduce the Irish offering into the market.

Lisa Doherty - Member

Lisa is the Deputy Head of Mission at the Irish Embassy with responsibility for Trade and Development. Born in Kenya, Lisa grew up in Ireland and has lived and worked in Kenya and a number of other African, Asian and American countries.

Lisa studied business, economics, social studies and French at Trinity College Dublin and has a Masters degree in International Relations from Dublin City University. Before moving into the field of international development and humanitarian action, she worked at Microsoft’s European Operations Centre in Dublin. This was followed by over 12 years working in development and humanitarian response with the UN and with Irish Aid at HQ before being posted to Embassy Nairobi in 2017.