Julie Gichuru

Chief Public Affairs and Communications Officer, Mastercard Foundation

"Julie is the Chief Public Affairs and Communications Officer at the Mastercard Foundation" overseeing corporate, programmatic, policy & thought leadership communications, and a team spanning Africa and Canada. Prior to her role at the Foundation, Julie had a two decade career in the fields of broadcast, print, digital media and development communications.

At the start of her career Julie pioneered investigative news television and programming. She conceptualized and launched numerous top news and current affairs shows and developed the pan-African television show, Africa Leadership Dialogues. Following the 2007 elections, Julie’s peace specials resonated with viewers. As a result of her calls for non-violent action in 2008 she was awarded the Martin Luther King Salute to Greatness. Following this pivotal period, determined to contribute towards a more informed and responsible generation, Julie established the Great Debaters Contest, a high school debate platform focused on teaching students that differences need not result in conflict and violence. Her career focus then shifted to curating impactful engagements and driving conversations focused on African leadership, growth, and development.

Over the past decade Julie has worked with key institutions, including the World Bank Group, the African Development Bank, various UN agencies, and the World Economic Forum. Julie is part of a number of Fellowships, including the Tutu Fellowship, the Aspen Global Leadership Network/Africa Leadership Initiative and is an alumni of the Young Global Leaders under the World Economic Forum.

Julie has received numerous awards and recognitions. Avance Media listed her as one of the 100 Most Influential African Women of 2019, and New African listed her as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans of 2019. Julie was born in Nairobi, Kenya. She attended university in the United Kingdom where she earned her LLB Law and MBA from Cardiff University’s Law and Business Schools respectively. Julie is a dedicated wife and mother and a passionate afro-optimist