Vivian Onano is a women and girls’ advocate and youth leader who was born and raised in rural Kenya. Her arduous upbringing has forged her strong commitment to education, to women, and to leadership. Vivian has a deep interest in re-defining Africa’s growth and development. A Moremi fellow, she is recognized as one the top 25 emerging women leaders with the courage to lead change on the African continent.
Vivian is an Ambassador at Water Aid, Women Deliver Young Leader and a Youth Advisor to the UN Women Civil Society Advisory Group. New African Woman Magazine featured her in 2016 as one of the “30 under 30: Faces Changing Africa Now” and Forbes Woman Africa profiled her as “Ones to Watch”. She is a recipient of the 2016 MTV Africa Award under category “Africa Re-imagined” for her relentless work as a youth advocate and leader.
Vivian has also held various other leadership positions, including serving as a Congressional District Leader for ONE Campaign in Wisconsin, a campus advocate for the United Nations Association-USA, and a Half the Sky Movement community ambassador. She was also the Education Spokesperson for Moremi Africa, a Global Youth Ambassador for A World At School, and a 2014 Change Maker Fellow with the Nantucket Project.
Vivian has a diverse background working with a variety of organisations, including the MasterCard Foundation, where she served as an external reviewer for their youth scholarship program in Sub-Saharan Africa. As a blogger for Huffington Post, she uses her oral and written communication skills in service of her passion –– providing holistic and innovative approaches to solving community problems. Vivian actively advocates for women and girls’ issues and youth empowerment.
She is also is a respected speaker who often speaks on global education, finding one’s passion and purpose, gender equality, youth entrepreneurship/empowerment, and international development. She has presented at the United Nations General Assembly, Women Deliver 4th Global Conference, Nexus Global Youth Summit, and the Clinton Global Initiative, among others. She also served as a United Nations Youth Representative and was profiled as one of the 70 outstanding leaders of United Nations Association -USA. Intel featured Vivian as a Girl Rising hero.
A graduate of Carthage College and currently a Partnerships Manager at SEED Project and Vice-Chair of the Global Youth Empowerment Fund Board of Trustees, Vivian has a vision and dream to help create an inclusive world for everyone.