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Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity
Irene Wakarindi AFSEE

Irene Wakarindi

Program Officer on Resettlement and Integration, International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Irene is a Program Officer on Resettlement and Integration with the International Organization for Migration - UN Agency for Migration. She currently works on a collaborative project between IOM, UK government, and a policy think tank, with the aim to expand labour mobility pathways for refugees coming into the UK; a blueprint which will be replicated across Europe.

Until 2020, Irene worked as the Partnerships and Development Manager at Food for Education, a Kenyan social enterprise that provides low-cost and high-quality nutritious meals to vulnerable school children, with the aim of reducing inequalities in education in Kenya. In her role, Irene focused on supporting, strengthening and identifying high-impact fundraising strategies to mobilise for resources from statutory and institutional funders and private foundations and trusts, as well as community fundraising.

Prior to that role, Irene was a Senior Program Manager in Church World Service – Resettlement Support Center - Africa, a U.S. Department of State-funded refugee resettlement programme. She led a team of 45 staff across sub-Saharan Africa and, in streamlining the programme’s operations in Uganda, built a strategy that now saves the U.S. government approximately $100,000 annually. She also actively engaged in discussions and the monitoring of key policy, political and economic reforms that have affected refugee resettlement since 2017, and created opportunities to encourage refugee youth and women to undertake meaningful participation in politics and governance issues.

Drawing on insights from her experience living and working in ten African countries, Irene has significant expertise in policy analysis and implementation, fundraising and resource mobilisation, monitoring and evaluation, and project and non-profit organisation management, as well as strategy formulation and alignment. She has worked with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Kenya) and has a keen interest in policies and their effect on development. One of the central aims of her work has been to leverage policies that enable governance structures at all levels to become more transparent, accountable and inclusive.

Irene holds a BA in International Relations from the United States International University – Africa and a MSc in Inequalities and Social Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Inequality is a non-zero sum game. Inequality affects us all - poor or rich. Global interconnectedness is making it easier for people to see this. More people are realising that addressing inequality is not about being altruistic, but necessary. It is necessary to support public investments in education and job training. It is necessary to create a world-class infrastructure. It is necessary to address the intersectional nature of inequality. It is necessary to support basic research that will make our societies more productive.

Irene Wakarindi


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