Dr. Catherine Adeya, a Senior Digital Transformation and Governance Specialist, is an experienced leader and advocate who has worked over 25 years in technology and development. She has rich experience across academia, civil society, government, and the private sector. Catherine was the Director of Research at the World Wide Web Foundation until November 2022. She was responsible for coordinating a global research team, dedicated to achieving a web that is safe and empowering for everyone. She oversaw the organization's groundbreaking research in areas of Internet access, privacy and data rights, and women's rights online, focused on low- and middle-income countries. Catherine has extensive knowledge of ICT for Development, and has numerous publishing and speaking credits on the topic. After her doctoral studies, Catherine began working as a Research Fellow at the United Nations University's Institute for New Technologies in Maastricht, The Netherlands, in 1998.
In 2002, driven by a commitment to tackling global inequality, Catherine moved back to Africa to advocate for the use of digital technologies to expand opportunities and drive development. She was involved in research linking ICT and poverty, critical success factors for the business process outsourcing industry, and collaborated with organizations like the International Development Research Centre. In 2005, she moved from academia to work with civil society on ICTs for Development. Catherine has also been involved in the Kenya ICT policy process since 2006 through the Kenya ICT Action Network, which was the beginning of ICT networks for participatory democracy and economic growth in Kenya.
Catherine was appointed to the first Board of Directors of the Kenya ICT Board (now the ICT Authority of Kenya) in 2007. She has also served as the Director of Business Process Outsourcing/Information Technology Enabled Services at Kenya's Ministry of ICT, in addition to serving as founder CEO of the Konza Technopolis Development Authority. She was also instrumental in the development of the East Africa Centre for Internet Governance and Policy at Strathmore University in Nairobi.
She is an independent Non-executive Director at Standard Chartered Bank Kenya and Old Mutual East Africa Holdings, where she is the Chair of the Technology and Innovation Committees (with a core focus on cybersecurity oversight). She also serves on the advisory board of the East Africa Infrastructure Platform.
Catherine received an undergraduate degree in Information Sciences from Moi University in Kenya. Her postgraduate studies culminated in a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Information and Development from Edinburgh, Scotland. She has certifications in corporate governance, Cybersecurity Audits Training, and Board Governance and Leadership Masterclass.
Catherine has executive education training in Women's Leadership from Yale University; Cybersecurity and Executive Strategy training from Stanford University; and has taken an Innovation-Driven Organizations Masterclass from the Institute of Directors in Kenya.
Catherine was selected in 2023 to serve on the ICANN Board of Directors by the Nominating Committee for a three-year term. Her term will expire at the Annual General Meeting 2026.