Staff of the Rift Valley Institute


Cedric Barnes

Cedric Barnes is the RVI Director of Research and Communications. He was formerly Horn of Africa Project Director at International Crisis Group, Senior Research Analyst with the Africa Research Group at the Africa Directorate of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and a research fellow at the School of African and Oriental Studies in London. He has taught on the RVI Horn of Africa course and been involved in the development of the Nairobi Forum project.

Magnus Taylor

Magnus Taylor is Senior Publications and Programme Manager at RVI, based in London. Previously, he was Horn of Africa analyst at International Crisis Group—working from Nairobi, Kampala and Khartoum—focused on conflict and political developments in Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda. Prior to this, he was editor of the Royal African Society's online analysis portal, African Arguments. He has a Masters degree from SOAS in African politics.

Connor Clerke

Connor Clerke started working with the Rift Valley Institute in February 2016. He holds a BA in International Development from the University of Guelph and an MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.


Mark Bradbury

Mark Bradbury is a social analyst with over 20 years’ experience in international development and humanitarian aid. He has worked in and written about Somalia, Somaliland, Sudan, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Uganda, and Kosovo as a development worker and researcher. He is author of Becoming Somaliland (Indianapolis, Indiana University Press, 2008). He was the RVI Regional Director for the Horn of Africa and East Africa from 2012–2016, and is the RVI Executive Director since January 2017.

Benedict Keya

Benedict joined RVI as Head of Finance and Operations in June 2018. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree, specialising in Strategic Management, as well as a Bachelor of Commerce Degree, Accounting option. He is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Prior to joining RVI, he was the Grants Manager-Finance at the Somalia Stability Fund, a multi-donor fund managed by Adam Smith International Ltd. Benedict has previously held various finance and audit roles at Deloitte and Touche, Mumias Sugar Company Ltd and PwC Kenya.

Pauline Otieno Skaper

Pauline Otieno Skaper joined RVI in April 2016 as Forum Manager. Pauline holds an MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development from the School of Oriental and Africa Studies (SOAS) and an LLB from Birkbeck College, University of London. Pauline has worked on various programmes as a researcher and coordinator in the UK, East Africa and the Horn of Africa on reproductive health and rights, Violence (SGBV), Gender (understanding masculinities and their construction in relation to conflict) and Development.

Sylvia Kitema

Sylvia Kitema is the Finance Manager at the Rift Valley Institute, Nairobi. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) and a Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (CPA-K) II degree.

Amina Abdulkadir

Amina is the Programme Officer for the Rift Valley Forum at the Rift Valley Institute office in Nairobi. She has experience in strategic communications, having worked as a Communications Officer and Media Liaison Officer for local NGOs operating in Kenya and Somalia before joining RVI. She holds a BA in Development Communications from the University of Nairobi. She is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in International Conflict Management from the same university.

Richard Mbui

Richard joined RVI in February 2016, after working in the commercial sector for seven years as an accountant. He holds a Bachelor of Finance degree from Strathmore University, Nairobi, and is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Elizabeth Mahiri

Elizabeth Mahiri is the Programme Officer for Education at the Rift Valley Institute. Previously, Liz was the editor for Ghetto Mirror, a newspaper that focuses on social, political, and economic issues in informal settlements. She trained slum youth in journalistic writing and photography, and empowered them to design and produce high-quality media material. She holds a BA in International Studies from Kenyon College in Ohio.

Fatuma Abdishukri

Fatuma Abdishukri Ahmed is an intern at the Rift Valley Institute, Nairobi office. She is also a fellow at the Emerging Leaders Foundation-Africa. She previously interned at Kenya’s Department of Immigration and Red Cross Nairobi. She holds a BA in International Relations from United States International University-Africa.


Ana Rowett

Anna joined RVI as the South Sudan Programme Manager in January 2017. She has been working in South Sudan since 2012 and has experience managing and coordinating programmes in the country with national and international NGOs, and with the UN. In 2015, Anna established a Human Resources company in South Sudan focused on developing opportunities for South Sudanese job seekers. She completed her MSc in International Development at the University of Utrecht and has a BA in Geography from the University of Leeds.

Mimi Bior

With several years of work experience both in the UK and South Sudan, Mimi has worked in the fields of media and marketing, cultural exchange, gender analysis, project implementation and communications. Before joining RVI in February 2018, Mimi worked as a consultant and recently developed the national five-year strategy (2018-2022) to tackle the multiple social, cultural and economic barriers that affect girls’ education in South Sudan. She holds a BA (Hons) in Marketing and an MBA from the University of the West of England, Bristol.

Thiik Giir Thiik

Ambassador Thiik Giir Thiik has been a senior associate with the RVI since 2009. He works in the South Sudan Ministry of Foreign Affairs with responsibility for the Great Lakes region.


Adan Abokor

Dr Adan Abokor was born in Hargeisa, Somaliland, and grew up in Aden, Yemen. He graduated from Warsaw Medical School, Poland, in 1976. He was the director of the Hargeysa Group Hospital in the early 80's and together with young professionals was arrested and imprisoned by Siad Barre's regime from 1981 to 1989. He was Country Representative for Progressio, a British NGO, from 1998 to 2012.