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Kathryn Nwajiaku-Dahou

Director of Programme (Politics and Governance); Co-Director, Centre for the Study of Armed Groups

Leadership Team, Politics and Governance

Portrait of Kathryn Nwajiaku-Dahou

Kathryn is the Director of ODI’s Politics and Governance programme. She has been a widely acknowledged expert on conflict, fragility and governance as well as the role of business in fragile situations for 25 years, and has written extensively in these fields. A common thread of her thinking has been the importance of bringing a shrewd political lens to the development endeavour and ensuring that ‘developing country’ contexts are understood and engaged with as ‘complex’ political societies like any other.

Before joining ODI, Kathryn was a senior independent consultant in Paris. She has also worked for the OECD for five years, most recently as Head of Unit and Head of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Secretariat. She co-authored their 2015 States of Fragility report.

Kathryn previously worked for the Irish Government and spent eight years as a researcher and policy advisor for Oxfam and ACORD. As a consultant, Kathryn worked with various bilateral and multilateral institutions, including DfID, Danida and AfDB. 

Kathryn has an MA from the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies, specialising on Africa, and a PhD in Politics and International Relations from Nuffield College, University of Oxford. Kathryn is Chair of the Bayelsa State Oil and Environmental Commissions’ Expert Working Group in Nigeria and is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. 

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