Newly appointed director of NIRAS’s Africa office, Irene Karani, is facing a challenging but rewarding job.
From the new Head Office in Nairobi, she and her team will provide support to five NIRAS country offices in Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, and Ethiopia as well as our representatives in Benin, Burkina Faso and Uganda.
“I am also responsible for consolidating and representing NIRAS Africa’s voice to management and enhancing the NIRAS footprint across the continent to enable African countries to realise their SDG objectives and target,” she explains.
From wildlife management to development work
Irene Karani was born in Nairobi, Kenya, where she also gained a master’s degree in Wildlife Management. She loves to explore the diverse wonders of nature that Kenya has to offer.
“One of my biggest achievements outside career development has been to climb Mt Kenya, which I accomplished in 2014.”
Her wish to take on new challenges also led Karani into the field of development work. Her career spans 25 years, and in 2010 she became the director of the LTS Africa office, a position she has held until the merger between LTS and NIRAS last year.
Learning from people of various backgrounds
Irene’s passion for learning informs her love for the work she does at NIRAS. She says, “Here, I get to work with diverse people from various backgrounds, nationalities, and experience. I gain something new every day from the people I work with because life is a continuous learning process, and there is so much that we as individuals do not know. But with a curious mind and an interest to better oneself, you gain knowledge and wisdom, which makes one a better person.”
This has been a very exciting career journey for me. I wouldn’t have traded it for anything!
Studying PhD in Climate Change Adaptation
Karani is an avid reader and has a strong passion for learning. She is currently busy with her PhD in Climate Change Adaptation. Her field of interest is in the social elements of climate change adaptation in urban areas.
“I hope that, after the completion of this degree, I will have added knowledge to this field from the African continent.”
She’s looking forward to conquering the new challenges that her time as NIRAS Africa’s Director is sure to bring. Let’s hope it’s easier than climbing Mt Kenya!