Who is Mercy Odongo?
Growing up as a young girl in rural Kenya in a large family, Mercy experienced challenges that constantly propelled her to defy deeply held societal beliefs, values and expectations. Excellence became her mantra and she discovered her oyster in disrupting the system and being the best in all she did. Through all this, she leant that having firm resolve with determination every dream is within reach. She has a firm belief in God and continues to push boundaries on behalf of the current and future generation fully aware of the sacrifices made to get her this far.
Mercy is a diplomat and public servant spanning 21 years with over 16 years of illustrious diplomatic service at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya. Mercy brings rich experience in foreign policy and statecraft, diplomacy, intergovernmental relations and multilateral policy development. She is a head of the curve in strategic visioning, exercising adaptive leadership, building partnerships, and getting things done in a development context. Prior to joining Foreign Service, she worked in academia, private sector and Non-Governmental Organization.
She is a coach in Transforming Leadership for 21st Century Africa in collaboration with Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government Executive Education in 2019 trained 70 and 2018 trained over 70 emerging leaders from across Africa on Adaptive Leadership for Africa: Chaos, Complexity and Courage. As the founder of ALF, Mercy is co creating a digital platform envisaged to empower and grow a network of people through a core set of shared values in the virtual space that has so far produced 34 videos and 7 sessions of leadership lessons and 7 e- books on leadership, https://www.adaptiveleadershipfoundation.org.
Mercy is one of the 200 young leaders selected from a pool of over 10,000 applicants from across 44 countries in Africa for the inaugural class of Obama Foundation for Emerging Leaders in Africa in 2018. She is an Edward S. Mason Fellow 2017 and one of the distinguished women selected for the Women in Public Policy Program From Harvard Square to Oval Office at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2017.
She is a member of Adaptive Leadership Network; Global Diplomatic Forum Youth Working Group; Member of Leadership and Peacemaking Global Network; an Odyssey Member of the Room; Co- Founder of Global Mandela Leadership Movement; a Mentor for Harvard Women in Defense; Diplomacy and Development (W3D); Member of Working Group on Gender Equality in Digital Economies and Environment; Co-Designer in the You & AI on Board, a game on Political Economy of AI; and Member of the Cultural Diplomacy Initiative Study Group at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University and Member of Advisory Council of Alumnae-i Network for Harvard Women.
Mercy has a Master in Public Administration, Harvard University; a Master of Arts in International Studies, University of Nairobi; Bachelor of Arts in Language and Literary Studies, Moi University; and currently enrolled for Doctor of Philosophy in International Relations with focus on Foreign Policy and Diplomacy. Mercy is married and a mother of two.
2021 - 2023
Global Affairs & Diplomacy
2018 - 2021
Global Diplomatic Forum Youth Working Group
2018 - 2021
Founder of Adaptive Leadership Foundation
As a founder of Adaptive Leadership Foundation, I am co- creating an organization to empower and connect generation of people through a core set of shared values and skills, to be part of the transformation they want to see. I am building a growing network of people exercising adaptive leadership to drive change in their communities, counties, countries and globally. Build capacity within government, regional and international organization to bolster leaders to deal with rapid changes in providing services to the public. I provide the platform to share information, mentor and train, use the podcast segment and zoom to invite transformational leaders to share experiences and inspire the next crop of leadership.
2018 - 2019
Coach Transforming Leadership for 21st Century Africa
As a coach in Transforming Leadership for 21st Century Africa in collaboration with Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government Executive Education trained 70 in 2019 and 2018 trained over 70 emerging leaders from across Africa - Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Egypt, The Gambia, Somalia and United States of America on Adaptive Leadership for Africa: Chaos, Complexity and Courage. These trainings were instrumental in helping people in authority exercise power and diagnostic capacity in figuring out adaptive challenge the group and organization face, that invades the values, habits and priorities of people to enable them to mobilize adaptive work for change.
2018 - 2019
Obama Foundation Emerging Leaders Africa Program
As one of the 200 young leaders selected from a pool of over 10,000 applicants from across 44 countries in Africa for the inaugural class of Obama Foundation for Emerging Leaders in Africa for a one year program, She has inspired, empowered and connected with the next generation of leaders.Mercy is currently a member of Obama Foundation Community of Practice in Education, Obama Foundation Community of Practice in Climate Change,Community oof Practice in Democracy and Community of Practice in Social Entrepreneurship.
2017 - 2017
Graduate Marshall for MC/MPA
2016 - 2017
Harvard Kennedy School Student Ambassador
Contributed to the student panels' discussion for New students and investment opportunities in Africa.
2016 - 2017
From Harvard Square to Oval Office : Apolitical Campaign Practicum
I was honored to be among the students selected across Harvard Kennedy School to undergo training for 9 months for a women and public policy program From Harvard Square to Oval Office: A Political Campaign Practicum.
2014 - 2014
Young Diplomats Forum 2014 London
2007 - 2009
Adjunct Faculty United States International University- Africa
She lectured undergraduate students on Foundations of International Relations, International Organization and Research Methods in International Relations as an Adjunct Faculty at the United States International University Africa.
Participation in EVOLVE Mastery in Design, Teaching and Facilitation of Leadership Development Experiences in Virtual and Hybrid Environments
Harvard Kennedy School Certificate in Management, Leadership and Decision Sciences.
The Edward S. Mason Fellow Certificate in Public Policy and Management-Harvard University
Recognition of my work and leadership as Class Marshal during Harvard Kennedy School’s 2017 Commencement week.
Certificate in recognition of completion of From Harvard Square to the Oval Office A Political Campaign Practicum.
Distinction in Foreign Service Induction Course.
Awarded Certificate of Recognition for participating in the organization of successfully concluded UN High Level Conference held on 1st -3rd December 2009 in Nairobi Kenya.
Excellent performance in academics – St Albert’s Ulanda Girls’ High School 1993 -1996.
Head Delegate of France- Model United Nations – 2002.
Certificate of Appreciation Coach Transforming Leadership for 21st Century Africa
Work of merit
Member of Adaptive Leadership Network, a community of most dynamic and influential leaders in the world.
Member of 2018 Obama Foundation Leaders Africa Program.
Member of Global Diplomatic Forum Youth Working Group 2018.
Harvard Kennedy School Alumna
Edward Mason Fellow Alumna.
From Harvard Square to Oval Office 2017.
Young Diplomats Forum London 2014.
Member & a Mentor for Harvard Women in Defense, Diplomacy and Development (W3D)
Member Lean in Kenya Ivy League Women Network.
Member of Leadership and Peacemaking Global Network.
Work of merit
Mercy Odongo's Articles
PRINCIPLE THAT GUIDE ADAPTIVE LEADERSHIP:
IDENTIFY THE ADAPTIVE CHALLE...
PRACTICING ADAPTIVE LEADERSHIP