Luis M. Prieto, Chief Executive Officer

Luis has nearly 30 years of international experience at leading multinationals in education, consumer goods, and manufacturing. He was recently Senior Consultant at Mayeutica responsible for higher education projects in the Caribbean. Previously, Luis contributed to the expansion of Laureate Education as Vice-President of Business Development Andean Region and as Chief Executive Officer Central America. He formerly served as Finance Director at Trane Latin America, Amadeus GTD North America, and Yum! Brands Southern Europe and North Africa. His prior experience includes progressively leading roles in Finance at Philip Morris International and Kraft Foods. Luis speaks Spanish and English and has MSE and BSE degrees in Civil Engineering from Duke University and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.

 

Prof. Olubayi Olubayi, Chief Academic Officer

Prof. O. Olubayi was born and raised in Kenya and educated at Rutgers. Prior to joining Maarifa Education, he was the Vice Chancellor/President of the International University of East Africa (IUEA) in Uganda. He is a scientist and an expert on bacteria, education, learning, leadership and social-entrepreneurship. As a scientist and eclectic scholar, Olubayi earned his Ph.D. on bacteria-and- plant cell interactions at Rutgers University, holds a research patent on the flocculation of bacteria and has published several scholarly articles in microbiology, biotechnology and social science.

As an educator he taught at Middlesex College and at Rutgers University for 16 years, and has taught critical thinking in the IUEA MBA program. He has been an advisor and consultant to government officials in Kenya and South Africa, and UNDP on matters of literacy, education, biotechnology, sustainable development and global citizenship. He is an external advisor to PhD students in the Oxford University-Kemri/Wellcome Trust Research Program in Kilifi, Kenya. 

As a social entrepreneur, Olubayi co-founded the nonprofit Kiwimbi International and the widely respected American nonprofit Global Literacy Project which sets up libraries worldwide and provides global service learning opportunities. As a thinker, he is the author of the book “Education for a Better World.”

 

Wambui Maina, General Counsel & Compliance Officer

Wambui has nearly 15 years of successful experience in legal, regulatory, compliance, private equity, and M&A transactions in Africa. She has a proven track record in various industries, including banking, insurance, consumer goods, telecommunications, media, and technology. Some of her major achievements include: leading complex corporate restructurings and turnarounds, raising capital funds, securing intellectual property rights and operational licenses. At Maarifa, Wambui is driving multiple projects in the areas of legal, regulatory and administrative compliance, including the development and implementation of codes of conduct, conflict of interest policy, by-laws, statutes and other policies. She is also playing a leading role in securing long-term debt facilities as well as structuring and managing partnerships. She is native/proficient in Swahili, English and French. Wambui graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Law with honors from the University of Nairobi where she also earned an MBA in Strategic Management. She holds post-graduate diplomas in insurance and EU competition law from the Chartered Insurance Institute, London and King’s College London respectively. Wambui is a member of the Law Society of Kenya.

 

Reginald Rainey, Director of Operations

Reggie spent 25 years building Strayer University, serving most recently as the Vice President of University Admissions, and previously as the Regional Vice President of Operations. In his role as Vice President of University Admissions, Reggie created and led the University Admissions Department, guiding Strayer to record new enrolment. Additionally, Reggie managed 25 campuses in multiple regions, and was responsible for annual revenue in excess of US$100m and regulatory compliance at the state and federal level. The Strayer business model is transferable to the African market. Reggie graduated with a BS in Accounting and an MBA from Strayer University.

 

Peter Kagunye, Director of Finance

Peter has more than 17 years of experience serving as Chief Financial Officer and Investment Manager in the private equity industry in the U.S as well as extensive accounting and auditing experience as a licensed CPA. As CFO for a Boston-based private equity firm specialising in providing acquisition and growth capital to lower middle market companies, he successfully led the firm’s accounting, finance and human resource operations. In his previous role as a Finance Manager at Bain Capital, Peter developed expertise in developing finance and accounting reporting systems and managing financial audits. He was previously a senior auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Additionally Peter brings his start-up and entrepreneurial experience as founder of a beverage company and a youth leadership organization to the Maarifa team. Peter is a CPA and holds a BS in Accounting and Finance from University of Massachusetts Boston and an MBA from Babson College. He is fluent in Swahili and Kikuyu.

 

Oscar Correia, Director of Technology

Oscar has more than 20 years’ experience in Information Technology spanning various sectors including education, telecommunications, mobile financial services, IT outsourcing and product management. His last assignment was leading one of the largest mobile money managed services as Vice President, Financial Services at MahindraComviva. Prior to that he spent 10 years at Airtel Africa working in Kenya where he played various roles from IT Director to Head of Products. Oscar has a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Nairobi, a Post Graduate Diploma in Telecommunications from Ashton University and an MBA from Warwick Business School. He also holds certifications in ITIL and Cisco as well as PRINCE2 certification.

 

Anthony Bonnett, Director Real Estate & Facilities Management

Anthony is a C-level executive in the Property Investment, Development, and Construction sectors. He has more than 20 years of experience in these areas covering extensively Southern, West and East Africa in senior level roles from board member appointments to consultancy and advisory services. Anthony has further served in senior consultancy and associate roles in London and South East England. Prior to joining Maarifa, he was Managing Director of JSE-listed Sable Homes, Regional Development Director at Lordship Africa, and Associate Designate at Rider Levett Bucknall. Anthony was educated at Wits University in South Africa and is a full member of the International Chartered Institute of Builders. He has also completed Environmental Auditing and Health & Safety qualifications in the UK.