Damaris Parsitau

Gender and Equality Specialist

Damaris Seleina Parsitau is an Echidna Scholar at Brookings, as well as an affiliated Research Associate and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of South Africa. She previously held Visiting Research Fellowships at the University of Cambridge and the University of Edinburgh. Dr. Parsitau has over twenty years’ experience in teaching, research, leadership training, advocacy, affirmative action, and mentorship.

She is the founder and convener of the Kenya Women Rising, and the Youth and Transformational Leadership Development Programs, both leadership and mentorship incubation programs that invest in women and youth. A thought leader in girls’ education in Kenya, she is also the founder of Let Maasai Girls Learn, an initiative that seeks to rally global, regional, and local action for girls’ education throughout Maasailand in Kenya. Dr. Parsitau’s research at Brookings focuses on girls’ education in Maasailand, aiming to illuminate promising approaches to working with Maasai leadership to advance the educational opportunities of Maasai girls. She holds a PhD from Kenyatta University on religion, gender, and public life in Kenya, as well as an MA from the University of Nairobi and a BA from Egerton University.