Top 25 Most Influential Chair of Board Impacting Business

Ms. Karuku is a dynamic business leader, with strong management experience spanning over 25 years in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and non-governmental organizations,


Jane Karuku MGH


At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Ms. Karuku was appointed by HE The President, to head the Kenya Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund Board to support the government’s efforts in the procurement of medical supplies and equipment (also referred to as PEE) for front line health workers as well as alleviating the welfare support to the vulnerable communities and individuals especially in the informal settlements. The Fund helped raise over Kshs 1.3 billion shillings in cash and in-kind donations directly which has already been distributed and fully utilized. The donations were mainly from private firms and individuals in their private capacities. The Fund also coordinated the distribution of an additional Kshs 500m worth of in-kind donations through its secretariat from various charity groups, individuals and corporates across the country, a no mean feat.

With her at the helm of a group of prominent players in the private sector, the Kenya Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund Board fulfilled its mandate with utmost transparency, having adopted good corporate governance theory and embedding this in practice, working with professional audit, consulting, financial advisory and tax services firms PwC Kenya, KPMG, Deloitte Kenya and EY Kenya to support operations and providing pro-bono assurance and audit services. The involvement of these leading firms was to ensure proper documentation and auditing of the funds, from the onset.

Ms. Karuku is the Chair of the Vision 2030 Delivery Board, a government agency tasked with the mandated to deliver a policy making and advisory role and provide overall leadership, oversight, guidance and policy direction in the implementation of the Kenya Vision 2030 Strategy.

Vision 2030 Delivery Board also drives sustenance of the momentum in realizing the goals and aspirations under the Vision’s three pillars, political, economic and social, in addition to setting sectoral and national targets, evaluating the results and influencing policy direction.

Always polite and unassuming, Jane has been recognized and awarded for her contribution to the country’s social and economic development by HE the President of Kenya. She was recently awarded the Presidential Order of Service, Uzalendo Award in May 2020 and conferred the award of the Order of the Moran of the Golden Heart (MGH) in December 2020.

 Ms. Jane Karuku is Group Managing Director and CEO at East African Breweries PLC. Prior to this position, Jane was Managing Director of KBL, Kenya’s biggest manufacturer and one of the oldest companies which is celebrating a centenary this year. She is currently among the most senior women leaders in East Africa, steering East and Central Africa’s largest alcohol beverage business to greater heights with iconic brands such as Tusker, Bell, Serengeti, Senator, Guinness and Johnnie Walker.

Ms. Karuku has also been driving one of Kenya’s biggest investments in recent times by a single company – the Kshs 15 billion Kisumu brewery—to produce the Senator, a low-cost beer made from sorghum. The Senator value chain has spawned a significant multiplier effect in the economy with 30,000 farmers supplying the Nairobi Brewery and nearly 15,000 more from Western Kenya region delivering to KBL Kisumu Brewery. The new brewery is estimated to have created over 100,000 jobs in the Western Kenya.

Ms. Karuku is a dynamic business leader, with strong management experience spanning over 25 years in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and non-governmental organizations, stretching from Cadbury East Africa to Telkom Kenya to the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). Her expansive experience straddles strategy development, operational management, marketing, brand management as well as change management.

Ms. Karuku is leading a company whose performance ambition is to be the best performing, most trusted and respected consumer products companies in Africa. She is also guiding EABL’s significant contribution to the community and the positive role of alcohol plays in society as part of a balanced lifestyle.

Jane has served on several boards including Barclays Bank (now ABSA Kenya) and is currently a Trustee of Precious Sisters, a Not-for-profit organization that empowers bright and underprivileged girls through education scholarships.


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Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Kenya’s Dr Hanningtone Gaya, holds a PhD in Commerce in Business Management from Nelson Mandela University (NMU), is viewed as an authority in country branding and is the founder chairman of the Brand Kenya Board.

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