Dr. Utheri Kanayo (née Susan Kiragu) holds a PhD in Education from the University of Cambridge in the UK. After eight successful years in the UK, she relocated back to Kenya in 2014 to actively serve African children and be part of the change she wanted to see. Currently, she is Co-Founder and Principal of Children In Freedom School (CIFS), the only Afrocentric school in East Africa. CIFS strives to nurture children who own their African heritage, are competent in their talents, and are ready to change the world. Utheri aims for CIFS to be a gold standard of what education should be for the black child, and hopes that in future the CIFS model will be absorbed by other schools in Africa and the world.
Utheri is also the Co-Founder of Children in Freedom (CIF), an international educational charity registered in Kenya and the US. CIF has directly impacted 300 children through scholarships and mentorship, and mentored 10,000 others. She is also the Regional Coordinator for The Beacon Scholarship, an outstanding leadership programme for gifted African children. In addition, Utheri offers an array of services that range from educational advisory, qualitative research consultancy, and Afrocentric culture change workshops. She is well published in the social sciences and has managed diverse qualitative research projects. Utheri is well travelled, and her professional roles have seen her partner with teams in nine countries. She is also a Metis fellow.