Meet the Co-Chairs

Margaret Kobia

Since December 2012, Professor Margaret Kobia is the Chairperson of the Public Service Commission (PSC) of Kenya. Prior to this position, she was Director General of the Kenya Institute of Administration (KIA) and oversaw its development as the now Kenya School of Government (KSG).

She graduated with a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed, Hons) Degree from the University of Nairobi followed by a Master of Education (MED) Degree from Kenyatta University in 1991. As a Leadership Grant Scholarship recipient, she enrolled at the University of Illinois where she received a Ph.D. in Human Resource Education and Entrepreneurship in 2003. She later joined Strathmore University, Nairobi, in 2003 as a Senior Lecturer in management, entrepreneurship and research methodology and simultaneously served as a management training consultant. Professor Kobia’s research interests include Public Sector Reforms, Performance Management Training and Knowledge Management. Professor Kobia was the Chief Editor of the refereed African Journal of Public Administration and Management (AJPAM) for five years.

In October 2014, she was elected as the Vice President and board member of Commonwealth Association of Public Administration and Management (CAPAM). Professor Kobia sits on a number Public Sector Management Boards that include the Judicial Service Commission and the Independent Office of the Auditor General Commission. She is also the Chair of the Kenya Accountant Secretaries National Examinations Board (KASNEB). Prof. Kobia is a fellow at the Kenya Institute of Management and the Institute of Certified Public Secretaries, Kenya.

Per Nordlund

Dr. Per Nordlund is the Lead Policy Specialist for Democratic Governance and Human Rights (2014 onwards) within the Department for International Organisations and Policy Support, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). He has more than 25 years of experience with bilateral and inter-governmental development work, and political science research and teaching. Dr. Nordlund has represented Sweden and Sida at the OECD/DAC Participatory Development and Good Governance (PDGG)-network 1998-2000, and GovNet 2014 onwards. As lead for Sida’s work in the sector, constituting 30 per cent of Sida’s disbursements in 2016, Dr. Nordlund has been responsible for coordinating input and support to the World Bank 2017 World Development Report Governance and the Law, and UNDPs Strategic Plan 2018-21. Nordlund is also a member of the Swedish National Commission for UNESCO.

Dr. Nordlund has extensive expertise on issues pertaining to democracy, governance, and policy development. From 1998- 2010, he served as Sida’s Senior Democracy Advisor where he was responsible for policy development, learning and operational implementation on democratic governance, public administration and local democratic development. He has been stationed in Zimbabwe 2000-04 as Sweden’s Regional Advisor on democracy and human rights to the Swedish Embassies in Southern Africa, and in Cambodia 2008-10 where he was the chair of the development partner group for the democratic decentralisation programme.

Alongside his work with Sida, from 2004 – 2008, Dr. Nordlund served as the Senior Programme Manager for International IDEA where he managed programmatic work, including the development of an international database on political parties. From 2011 – 2013, he served as a Visiting Associate Professor in the Political Science Department at Uppsala University where he taught courses and conducted research pertaining to democracy, decentralization and development studies.

Dr. Nordlund has co-authored articles and books regarding democratic development in a development context and fragile states such as his publications for IDEA and UNU: Political Parties in Africa: Challenges for Sustained Multiparty Democracy and Political Parties in Conflict Prone Societies: Regulation, Engineering and Democratic Development. In 1996, he received a doctoral degree in Political Science and Government from Uppsala University where his dissertation research focused on democratisation in Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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