0ur Team


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Evanna Hu

CEO and Co-Founder


Evanna has been involved in international development in Sub-Saharan Africa for the past seven years through various non-profits and her academic studies in African comparative politics. Through her work experience at the Academy for Urban School Leadership and her involvement as an ICT consultant for the Kenyan Ministry of Education, she has a deep understanding of the education and labor markets and of the hardships faced by disadvantaged, low-income youths.


A graduate of the University of Chicago, she has lived on four continents and attributes her passion for the world and a nomadic lifestyle to her mom, with whom she moved more than 20 times before college. Evanna is a 2013 National Leaders Council 40 Under 40 Fellow, 2013 Echoing Green finalist, and 2012-2013 Empact100 Honoree at the White House, USA. She is based out of Nairobi, Kenya.


Specialty Areas: NGOs, Government Institutions, East Africa, Francophone Africa, and East Asia.



Andrew Leventhal

CFO and Co-Founder


Andrew spent three years as a management consultant managing projects in the energy, telecom, industrial construction, and healthcare industries, including multiple projects in South Africa. Andrew left consulting in 2009 to start a London-based trading firm’s US operations for a year and a half, during which time he helped lead significant growth initiatives for the firm. He subsequently spent a year traveling the world to understand different emerging markets and the challenges of operating businesses in such environments.


In 2011, Andrew returned to the US to pursue his MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he co-chaired the Emerging Markets and the Chicago African Business Groups. In addition to his studies, Andrew currently works with two private equity funds in Chicago and Nairobi. Andrew is passionate about finding solutions to some of the most fundamental problems facing people in the developing world. His involvement with g.Maarifa stems from his deeply held belief that there is significant unmet demand for educational services throughout the world and that current technology provides the mean to meet that demand.


Specialty Areas: Corporations, Academic Institutions, Latin America, East and South Africa



Elizabeth Lyons

Data Guru


Elizabeth Lyons is g.Maarifa's data guru as an attache from the University of Toronto Rotman's School of Business, where she is currently a PhD candidate in Strategic Management, having already completed her thesis. Her research focuses broadly on the intersection of technology and innovation, economic development, and behavioral economics, with labor and entrepreneurship as common underlying themes. Elizabeth’s research has been presented at a variety of institutions including the National Bureau of Economic Research, Northwestern University, and ESADE Business School. Elizabeth is excited to be working with g.Maarifa on developing a better understanding of digital education in the developing world.


In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys watching ice hockey, reading, and going for jogs with her Miniature Schnauzer.




Vincent Maraba

East Africa Director


Vincent is an avid developer and is passionate about building effective and engaging platforms.He has eight years of experience working on application development for a number of Kenyan firms including: Flashcom Limited, Intellect Group and Tracesoft Limited, and the richness of his experience is apparent in his work. With an expertise in Python and Java programming languages, he recently completed his coursework in MSC degree in Mobile Telecommunications and Innovations from Strathmore University.


Vincent believes in g.Maarifa as he is confident that our intuitive and interactive platform is an amazing tool with great potential to boost human capital developement in the developing world.His hobbies include watching movies and soccer, traveling, and going out with friends.




Seth Kigen

Senior Developer


Seth joins g.Maarifa and brings with him vast technical experience in building mobile/web based solutions. He has over 8 years experience developing software solutions using a range of technologies, 4 years focused in developing mobile related solutions. He has gained most of his experience working as an independent consultant for various organizations in Kenya and Uganda.


He is a strong believer of giving back and spend his extra time contributing to open source initiatives. He currently leads the Ushahidi community in building windows 8/Phone client apps for Ushahidi platform.
Having worked as an independent training consultant in the past, Seth believes that g.Maarifa has an amazing potential in changing how training is delivered. He spends his fun time reading and reverse engineering stuff.




Jacob Shavia

Senior Developer


Jacob brings an impressive tech background to the g.Maarifa team. He has had extensive experience developing innovative applications on a range of platforms, including mobile and web, over the course of his career as a mobile applications developer and telecommunications engineer. Prior to joining g.Maarifa, he was building programs for organizations such as Kenya Power Limited and Kenyaweb.com. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Telecommunications Engineering and recently finished his Master’s degree in Mobile Telecommunications and Innovation at Strathmore University’s Safaricom Academy.


Jacob is excited to be working on the g.Maarifa because of its innovative approach to continuing education and commitment to making a social impact in the developing world. Jacob spends his free time helping out as a high school coach; he is passionate about nurturing young rugby and basketball talent here in Kenya.




Evelyne Nyambura

Developer + Designer


Nyambura doubles up as developer and our resident design guru. She brings nearly six years of experience working in the mobile tech space from her experience developing mobile applications for Kenyaweb.com. She holds a Bachelor’ degree in Computer Technology and is currently enrolled in a Master of Science program in Mobile Telecommunications and Innovation at Strathmore University.


She’s passionate about g.Maarifa’s vision and believes that she can be an integral part of its realization.In her spare time, Nyambura pursues a passion for music and particularly, the guitar. Being quite the enthusiastic beginner, she is the proud owner of two guitars! She looks forward to honing her musical talent.




Shiru Wachira


Shiro is a Summer Associate from the University of Chicago with a broad-based career interest in community and international development. At UChicago, she is involved in Amnesty International and the UChicago Political Review. She is particularly passionate about gender issues and education. She is excited to join the g.Maarifa team this summer, so as to have the opportunity to learn about the way through which mobile technology is being used to expand the capabilities of the mwanainchi. She is confident that her experience working in a variety of capacities for g.Maarifa will offer her numerous opportunities to challenge herself, expand her skillset and gain a whole new range of competencies – hopefully with only minimal disasters along the way!


She likes to unwind with a good book, or with some crayons and coloring sheets. Shiro has also recently developed a theoretical interest in hiking, which she is excited to pursue. She hopes to bring some more laughter to the g.Maarifa team with her remarkable ‘talent’ for drawing motivational stick figures!