Top 25 Most Powerful Women in C-Suite Impacting Business

Maria Mbeneka

Maria Mbeneka enjoys voluntary work to give back to the community and a Life member of the Kenya Red Cross Society, where she serves as a member of its Election Grievances Committee.


Maria Mbeneka


Maria Mbeneka is a name Partner with the firm Kimani Kabucho Mbeneka and Company (KKM) Advocates and boasts of over eighteen years in private practice, with extensive experience in Family Law, Conveyancing, Intellectual Property Law and Litigation.

In her capacity as an Advocate, she was appointed as a member of the Industrial Property Tribunal, a court of first instance in matters industrial designs, patents and other matters, in 2010 where she served diligently until 2013.

In 2016, Maria was elected as Vice President of the East Africa Law Society (EALS) a position she served until 2018 and headed the Public Interest/Strategic Litigation Committee which filed cases at the East African Court in Arusha.

Maria was elected a council member at the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) in 2018, serving as the Treasurer and General Member Representative for the period of 2018-2020. While serving at the LSK, Maria convened the ICT/IP Committee which took on Public Interest Litigation such as the NIIMS Petition, the Housing Levy Petition of 2018, consultative and public participation forums on Data Protection among other initiatives.

Maria Mbeneka

Her passion around technology has seen her champion the use and adoption of technology in the legal profession. You can catch Maria on the Dijiti Podcast, a digital rights podcast which she produces and features in with her colleague Mercy Mutemi.

Maria vied for the position of LSK President in February 2020 and came in second in a hotly contested election. She is currently serving as a Council member of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA) representing East Africa and Seychelles and is a member of the Co-operatives Tribunal.

Maria Mbeneka is a multi-faceted individual with several interests away from the legal profession. She is the Chair and director of Ghetto Radio, a youth empowered urban media House started in 2007 to give voice to the urban youth. Today, Ghetto Radio is recognized as the official sheng station in Kenya with a massive audience that includes the youth and those who have the interest of the youth at heart, including parents with a passion for all matters affecting the youth.

As the spouse to the Governor of Laikipia County Hon. Nderitu Muriithi, Maria took to the role of First Lady in 2017 effortlessly. She champions several initiatives within the county such as maternal health with a hugely successful campaign dubbed the “Hongera Mama” initiative which provides an incentive to mothers to deliver their babies at the primary health facilities in a bid to reduce maternal and infant mortality.  The initiative promotes the universal health care (UHC) model through the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), incorporates traditional birth attendants as champions of hospital deliveries and ensures mothers and children access pre- and post-natal care at their primary health facilities.

She is the current Chairperson of the County First Ladies Association of Kenya, an organization which draws its membership from the Governors spouses. The organization champions various initiatives around health, women and youth enterprise and empowerment. The most popular of the Association’s initiatives are the Menstrual Health Management (MHeM) in partnership with Red Cross Society and the Empower Cancer Clinics projects, which has seen the successful launch and implementation of seven cancer clinics across the country.

Maria holds a Bachelor of Social Legislation (BSL) and a Bachelor of Laws Degrees from Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Maharashtra-India and the mandatory post graduate Diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law. She is a trained Mediator and holds a certificate from the Mediators Training Institute (MTI). Maria is a Certified FIDIC practitioner (Finance, Development Construction) expert.

Maria enjoys voluntary work to give back to the community and a Life member of the Kenya Red Cross Society, where she serves as a member of its Election Grievances Committee. She is a mother, wife, daughter and lover of life.

She is passionate about public service, leadership and mentorship.  You will find her enjoying organic farming as a favourite past time or playing golf in some of the country’s very scenic golf ranges. As a hobby, Maria enjoys football and supports local teams in Laikipia and is Patron of the Emerging Law Firms (ELF) FC.

Maria applies the Motto “Carpe Diem” which is Latin for Seize the Day and says that this is what drives her to achieve and reach for more.    


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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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