INTRODUCING THE VIRUNGA POWER TEAM.
Brian Kelly is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Virunga Power. He is responsible for overseeing all project development and financing activiites.
Brian has 10 years of experience in developing-world power and infrastructure project financing and development. He has been developing and investing in power projects in East Africa since moving to the region and starting Virunga Power in 2011. During that time, he also acted as a Principal focused on structuring, financing, and transactions during the launch years of the responsAbility Renewable Energy Holding fund, an equity investor in small-scale renewable energy projects in Africa.
Prior to moving to East Africa, Brian spent five years working at leading global financial institutions in Asia covering the power sector. Most recently, he worked with Barclays Capital in their Hong Kong-based Asia Power & Utilities team advising on cross-border M&A transactions and conducting debt and equity financing for the leading power firms in China, India, and across the Asia-Pacific region. He previously worked in a similar capacity at Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers. Prior to that, Brian worked with the International Finance Corporation in Beijing while on a fellowship in China.
Brian graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese.
Barrett Gold is a Principal of Investments for Virunga Power. He is responsible for coordinating with investors, assembling marketing materials, financial modeling and business and strategy analysis.
Prior to joining Virunga Power, Barrett worked as an Investment Banker with the TMT group at J.P. Morgan in the San Francisco office. Barrett worked on teams that advised on over $20 billion in debt and equity capital raising transactions from the public and private markets for notable large cap clients including Apple, Inc., Uber Technologies and Oracle Corp. Notably, Barrett played a key role for the renewable energy franchise, advising various YieldCo's in raising over $1 billion in debt and equity capital.
Barrett graduated with a BBA in Banking and Finance from the University of Georgia.
Laurent Nahmias-Leonard is Senior Vice President of Projects at Virunga Power. He is responsible for the development, construction and operation of Virunga Power's portfolio of renewable energy projects across East Africa.
Prior to joining Virunga Power, Laurent worked in Canada as the commercial director for Enercon, one of the largest wind turbine manufacturers, installers and operators in the world. Laurent led the team responsible for national sales and contract negotiations for utility-scale wind farms. In addition to his strategic and managerial duties, Laurent led the negotiations for over 500MW of wind energy projects across Canada.
Laurent holds a B.Eng in Mechanical Engineering from McGill University in Canada and graduated with Distinction with an MBA from the University of Oxford, England.
Steve Wasira is the Vice President, Business Development at Virunga Power. Steve has over 10 years of work experience in infrastructure project development in emerging markets. He specializes in energy project development and transactions in emerging markets, leading a suite of projects in their development from the conceptual stage to financing.
Prior to joining Virunga Power, Steve served as a full time Resident Advisor to the Tanzanian Rural Energy Agency under the Power Africa Transactions and Reforms Program (PATRP), a US government initiative. In this capacity, Steve provided advisory and business development support for the private sector undertaking renewable energy projects supplying to rural communities in Tanzania. Steve worked to develop country-wide strategies, enabling policy, regulatory frameworks and other instruments used to foster private sector energy project development. Steve has also previously served as a Business Development Manager at Sithe Global Power LLP, a US based power development company with focuses on new business opportunities in emerging markets. Under this role, Steve was responsible for identifying and developing new project opportunities in Africa. In this role, he also regularly liaised with the local utilities, senior government officials and multilateral agencies in connection to the project portfolio.
Steve is a graduate of the University of Maryland Baltimore County with a BS degree in Information Management Systems and MS degree in Business Management and Leadership from City University of New York.
Kevin Doyle is Head of Environmental, Social and Land Management at Virunga Power. He is responsible for the oversight of Virunga Power's compliance with environmental laws and regulations, conformity with social safeguards, health and safety, land acquisition for its renewable energy projects across East Africa.
Having grown up along the Blackstone River in Rhode Island, home to Slater Mill, the first successful water powered cotton-spinning factory in the United States (built in 1793) and the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, Kevin is a professional manager with extensive experience and expertise in program and project management, natural resource management, environmental regulatory compliance, community engagement, land tenure and property rights and corporate social responsibility.
He holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Journalism from Ohio Wesleyan University and earned a postgraduate diploma from the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa. He has over 30 years of experience in Kenya, Burundi, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Zimbabwe and the United States. He is fluent in English and French.
Samuel Mwangi is a Senior Development Manager for Virunga Power. He is responsible for evaluating the technical viability of projects, overseeing construction and community outreach.
Sammy has a broad energy development background, previously working as an electrical engineer with SMEC International, an Australian based infrastructure consulting firm. While at SMEC, Sammy worked as a project supervisor on a 430km high voltage Transmission Line for KETRACO with multiple substations. Prior to that, Sammy worked as a Project Manager at Energycom Enterprises gaining experience in multiple renewable energy technologies.
Sammy graduated with a BSc in Energy Engineering from Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya. Sammy speaks fluent English, Swahili and Kikuyu.
Bernard Moulins is a Manager in Project Execution at Virunga Power. He is responsible for the development, construction and operation of Virunga Power’s portfolio of renewable energy projects across East and Central Africa.
Bernard has over 4 years of commercial development experience within the renewable energy industry. As Commercial Manager at Enercon – a top five global producer of wind turbine technology – Bernard headed large on-grid project accounts across Canada and the US, leading to the sale and negotiation of over $300M of EPC and long-term service contracts. He also led off-grid market development within the Canadian and US Arctic, the Caribbean, and Greenland. He has contributed to the success of complex off-grid hybrid systems, which combined wind, hydrogen, battery, and flywheel technologies. He is fluent in French and English.
Bernard holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics from McGill University, Canada, and a Master of Engineering specialized in Structural Engineering from the University of Toronto, Canada.
Brian Mwanjila is a Projects Coordinator for Virunga Power. He is responsible for coordinating development and partnership activities, including legal, structural and stakeholder contracts & relationships.
Brian has enjoyed an extensive career with multiple multinational corporations in a legal capacity in Kenya most recently in private sector development and strategy/policy development. Concurrent with his work at Virunga Power, Brian is a Business Environment Reform Specialist with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group where he was extensively involved in the design of various regulatory reforms that have led to Kenya being ranked top ten reformers according to the World Bank Group’s Doing Business report. Among these reforms is that he was also charged with a key role in structuring and implementing of the e-construction permit systems in Kiambu and Nairobi Counties. Prior to that, Brian worked with the IFC on the East African Community Investment Climate Program where he played an instrumental role in coming up with the first scorecard that measured East African Community Partner States compliance in implementing the Common Market Protocol. In addition, Brian gained significant experience in the private sector working in the legal & compliance departments at Ecobank & Safaricom and in commercial litigation in the law firm of Raffman, Dhanji, Elms & Virdee Advocates.
Brian holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in from the University of Nairobi and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Law. He is admitted to the bar in Kenya and is a member of the Law Society of Kenya.
Annah Jabesh is an Associate in Legal for Virunga Power. She is responsible for project development in the ambit of legal frameworks and regulations, stakeholder contracts and relationships.
Annah’s prior experience includes commercial litigation at the law firm of Mohamed Madhani Advocates, work in the energy commercial practice at Daly & Inamdar Advocates and consulting at the U.K. consulting firm Integreon Managed Solutions Ltd. In the course of her consultancy, she contributed to the project development team by providing legal support in due diligence, permitting and licensing, project analysis and contract forms for offshore windfarm projects in the North Sea.
She has a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) degree from the University of Hull (UK), a Master of Laws Degree (LL.M) in Energy Law from the University of Aberdeen (Scotland) and a Post-Graduate Diploma from the Kenya School of Law. She has been admitted to the bar in Kenya and is a member of the Law Society of Kenya.
Kelvin Mungai Ndungi is the Finance Manager Virunga Power. He is responsible for leading finance, accounting, tax, and similar functions of the company and developing and implementing policies to that effect.
Prior to joining Virunga Power, Kelvin worked at Deloitte East Africa as an Audit Senior. He led group audit engagements for various companies in the banking, insurance, manufacturing and utility sectors.
Kelvin holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from The University of Nairobi, C.P.A (K) , C.S.I.A (East Africa) and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Finance from The University of Nairobi.
Martha Wakoli is a Development Manager for Virunga Power. She is responsible for leading development activities of renewable energy and rural electrification projects allocated to her.
Martha has over 5 years of engineering work experience with 4 of those being within the energy sector. Prior to joining Virunga Power, Martha worked as an assistant engineer at Kenya Power. Her responsibilities included leading a team tasked with the installation and replacement of energy meters and the analysis of customer data to generate monthly reports on consumption, losses and unit sales. Prior to that she interned with us at Virunga Power while working as a short term consultant at the IFC on the “Kenya Market Assessment for Off-Grid Electrification” study where she helped to review the technical reports on solar micro-grids and organized review workshops to present the findings to stakeholders.
Martha holds a BSc. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the University of Nairobi and graduated with Distinction with an MSc. in Energy and Sustainability and Electrical Power Engineering from the University of Southampton (UK). She is a graduate member of the Engineers Board of Kenya.
Walter Angano is a Development Manager for Virunga Power. He supports various aspects in project development, builds relationships with communities and relevant government bodies, and assists in preparing project approvals and documentation.
Prior to joining Virunga Power, Walter was a Convectional Cargo Trainee with the Kenya Ports Authority (Mombasa, Kenya) where he specialized in the operation and maintenance of mobile harbor cranes.In addition, he was a mechanical and automotive engineering trainee with the Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited in Mombasa and the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure in Nyeri, Kenya, respectively, where he specialized in the maintenance and inspection of turbo machinery, internal combustion engines, Health, Safety and Environment training.
Walter graduated with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Dedan Kimathi University of Technology (DeKUT) in Nyeri, Kenya.
Edmund Njagi is a Development Manager for Virunga Power. He supports in all manner of technical planning and project development required, and builds relationships with communities, relevant government bodies, and assists in preparing project approvals and documentation.
Prior to joining Virunga Power, Edmund was a Trainee Civil Engineer with the Kenya Electricity Transmission Co. and was involved in the implementation and construction of the Nairobi metropolitan ring sub-stations. The project would increase the transfer capacity to meet the city of Nairobi's rising demand and enhance power security by providing alternative electricity paths. Edmund has also worked as a Trainee Civil Engineer at Kenya Electricity Generating Company where he was involved in the implementation of the Olkaria 280 MW project, the largest geothermal project in Africa world and largest power plant ever undertaken in our country`s history. The project commenced Ken Gen`s shift of its base load mode from hydro to geothermal, setting the country on a firm foundation of stable, renewable, clean and affordable power.
Edmund graduated with a BSc in Civil Engineering from The University of Nairobi.
Juliah Karimi Mbaya is the Administrative Assistant for Virunga Power. She is responsible for office administration and key human resource functions.
Juliah has more than 7 years of administration and human resource experience gained in real estate, manufacturing and advertising combined with experience in media. Previously, Juliah worked in the media publication industry at the Daily Nation where she had a column on careers for recent graduates and fresh hires. Recently, she worked for the International Livestock Research Institute as the HR Administrative Assistant for Learning and Development where she supported the development of institutional skills for over 700 local and international staff. Prior to that, she was with the Bioinnovate Program as the Administrative Assistant supporting 9 Projects across Africa.
Juliah has a Diploma in Human Resource Management from Nairobi Aviation College and is currently pursuing a BA in Mass Media and Communication from Mount Kenya University, Nairobi.