AMI Leadership Team
Jonathan Cook, Chairman
Jonathan has over 25 years experience in management education, facilitation, coaching and consulting. Prior to founding AMI, Jonathan spent almost 10 years at GIBS, one of Africa’s leading Business Schools, where he served at various times as a senior lecturer, the Director of Executive Education, Academic Director, Executive Director and finally Director of the Business School until December 2013. He developed a faculty development programme (‘Teaching the Practice of Management’) which was rolled out to top business schools across Africa, and chaired the African Association of Business Schools (AABS), leading activities dealing with faculty member training and Dean/Director development.
Before that, he’d spent 14 years as a faculty member at Wits Business School, where he founded the Management Development Unit and later became Director of Academic Programmes. A qualified counselling psychologist, Jonathan also spent 10 years with the National Institute for Personnel Research in Johannesburg, finally as Head of Assessment and Counselling. Jonathan continues to teach part time at GIBS in the areas of leadership and personal development, and is chief consultant of Thornhill Associates, where he advises companies in developing and implementing leadership development processes using customised 360-degree questionnaires.
Rebecca Harrison, CEO
Rebecca Harrison is the CEO and Co-Founder of AMI and has led the team since inception. She is passionate about democratising skills development and supporting entrepreneurship in Africa through our practical and affordable learning tools. Under Rebecca’s leadership, AMI has developed a large and growing portfolio clients across Africa, and has raised equity, debt and grant capital from African and internatonal impact investors and foundations. She represents AMI globally at various forums, and is global co-chair of the Talent committee at the Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE)
Previously, Rebecca spent 9 years as a foreign correspondent and manager for Reuters News Agency, where she led business coverage in Africa and reported on politics, markets and development from 13 countries in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Rebecca completed her MBA (cum laude) in Entrepreneurship at South Africa’s Gordon Institute of Business Science, where she graduated first in her class and was awarded a Kellogg Foundation grant to conduct research into innovation in low-income markets. She also has a BA (Hons, 1st class) from the University of Manchester. Rebecca is British, and lives in Kenya with her husband and 2 young sons.
Bronwen McConkey-Nwandu, CPO
Bronwen McConkey-Nwandu is the Chief Product Officer at African Management Initiative (AMI). At AMI, Bronwen is responsible for overall product development. Bronwen has overseen the design and development of AMI’s formal and social learning platform and an innovative model to develop localized, low-cost, highly effective educational content focused on practical application on-the-job.
Bronwen has been working on education technology in Africa for over 10 years - beginning in Ghana's Volta region where she was made Queen Mother in recognition of her efforts to support education and connectivity. Before joining AMI, Bronwen was the Managing Director of The Virtual School – where she developed an ambitious online education project aiming to deliver video based learning to one million students across Africa. She has a Bachelors degree from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada and Masters degree from the London School of Economics in the UK.
Klara Michal, Chief Learning Officer
Klara has been helping organizations and individuals learn for over 15 years. As a certified executive coach and an internationally recognized expert in adult learning and leadership development, she’s led learning initiatives in corporates, non-profits and higher-education institutions around the world. As Chief Learning Office, Klara is responsible for AMI’s learning philosophy and methodology, the development of integrated learning programmes, tracking and monitoring of impact, and the development of AMI’s facilitator network across Africa.
Before joining AMI, Klara founded Khwela Learning, a training company based in South Africa that focuses on developing front-line managers, and was Chief Learning Officer at African Leadership University, where she was responsible for leading the university’s new approach to learning and curriculum development. Previous to that, she was the global Dean of Organizational Learning at McKinsey & Company, responsible for curriculum development for key leadership development programmes, training of McKinsey’s facilitators, development of capability building and transformation programmes at global clients, and continuous improvement of McKinsey’s global training offering.
Joan Kamau, General Manager East Africa
As General Manager – East Africa, Joan is responsible for leading the strategic partnerships to strengthen the entrepreneurs’ ecosystem through learning and development across East Africa. Joan joined AMI from Equity Bank where she was Head of Entrepreneurship Club - SME Non-Financial Services & Diaspora Banking & Investments. With over 14 years in the banking and entrepreneurship sector, Joan brings a wealth of global experience in capacity building and entrepreneurship development having worked in USA, Europe and East Africa.
Joan holds a Bachelor Degree in finance and international business from the University of Alabama. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Entrepreneurship at California Miramar University. She is a member of the American Women Association, Kenya chapter. And also a member of the Kenya Institute of Management.
Andrea Warriner, General Manager Southern Africa
Andrea leads the Southern African office at AMI, and is passionate about skills development as a mechanism for creating positive social change. Prior to joining AMI, Andrea was the Interim Deputy Director at the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford, where she developed learning programmes for Oxford graduate students who planned to pursue careers focused on social impact.
Andrea has also worked in strategy at Africa Health Placements - a South African NGO - and as a consultant in the Johannesburg office of McKinsey and Company. At McKinsey, Andrea’s worked focused on organisational change management and leadership development.
Andrea holds an MBA from the University of Oxford, where she was a Saïd Foundation Scholar, and an honours degree in Organisational Psychology from the University of Cape Town.
Investors and Supporters
Founded in 2005, the Lundin Foundation is a private foundation with headquarters in Vancouver, Canada and offices in Nairobi and Accra. The Foundation provides seed grants, technical assistance, and patient risk capital to innovative, scalable SMEs and social enterprises across Sub-Saharan Africa. Please visit www.lundinfoundation.org for more information.
The Isibindi Trust works to strengthen local initiatives in education, policy, and social development throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Rockefeller Foundation's mission is to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world. It pursues this mission by advancing inclusive economies that expand opportunities for more broadly shared prosperity, and building resilience by enabling people, communities and institutions to be prepared for, withstand, and emerge stronger from shocks and chronic stresses.