About us





Joint Management Committee (VU, SEKU and MU)


Dr. Denyse Snelder obtained her PhD in 1993 at the University of Toronto, Canada, based on her research focusing on vegetative control of soil erosion in the semi-arid Baringo District, Kenya.She holds a full-time position at the VrijeUniversiteit Amsterdam as senior advisor and director of various research and capacity building projects, such asSpatial Planning for Agribusiness and Public Policy Development in greater Western Kenya (SPADE), funded by NUFFIC; Natural Resource Management and Conflict Resolution for Stability and Inclusive Growth in the Greater Virunga Landscape (3CProject), funded by NUFFIC; ASustainable Approach to Livelihood Improvement in Kenya (ASALI), funded through a legacy by VU Amsterdam.Until 2009, Dr Snelder was the coordinator and later head of the Cagayan Valley Program on Environment and Development (CVPED), the joint research and education programme of the Leiden University and the Isabela State University in Philippine). Dr Snelder has conducted extensive research in the Philippines, and, over the past few years, extended her activities through projects in sub-Saharan Africa. She further contributes to various courses and training in the field of food and water security, sustainable land and water management, research design and proposal writing, and curriculum review and development.

Prof. Nanguluis the Principal and Chief Executive Officer of Bomet University College, Kenya. Until her appointment to the position this year, she was an Economic Historian in the Department of History, Political Science and Public Administration at Moi University, Kenya. Prof. Nangulualso served as Deputy Secretary for Quality Audit and Standards at Kenya’s Commission for University Education from 2014 to 2019. She attained her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in History from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, in 1986 and 1990 respectively; and PhD in History from West Virginia University, USA, in 2001. Prof Nangulu is the Kenya country coordinator and Moi University’s Principal Investigator for A Sustainable Approach to Livelihood Improvement (ASALI) Project. Besides, Prof Nangulu has participated in European Union funded projects, includingAfriQ’Units (EDULINK Project I): “Sustainability of Quality Culture in East African High Education Institutions through Centralized Units”– Focus: Training University Staff to Run Quality Units; ENRICH (EDULINK Project II), “Enhancing Energy Accessibility & Efficiency through Establishing Sustainable Science, Technology and innovation (STI) Support National Networks with a Regional Dimension in East Africa”; and SUCCEED Network (EDULINK Project II) – “East Africa Higher Education Network on Sustainable Energy and Energy Efficient Campus Development.

Colette Gerards studied Cultural Anthropology at the Universiteit van Amsterdam, specializing in Medical Anthropology and Development Studies. She joined VrijeUniversiteit from NWO/WOTRO in 2010 to coordinate the SKILL-programme that ended in 2014. She continued her work at CIS coordinating the VU part in the EMA2SA consortium and as coordinator for many of the activities and projects with the South Africa VU Strategic Alliances Programme. Large scale projects in South Africa include project management for EPE (Enhancing Postgraduate Environment – Erasmus Plus Capacity Building for Higher Education)and KA1 Mobility South Africa (also Erasmus Plus). Besides, she is involved in two large scale projects in Kenya, the Nuffic NICHE funded SPADE project as well as the ASALI project funded through the legacy of late MsGrietjeWille. Other engagements include the Management and facilitation of a number of Tailor-Made Training and assisting Nuffic in setting up the NESO office South Africa, with vast experience and wide network within the South African academic circles. Colette is accountant manager for the region ‘Africa’ for VU International Office, facilitating partnerships and maintaining contracts. Sheis also the coordinator for the VU programme for Academic Freedom/Scholars at Risk.

Prof Mburu is the SEKU-ASALI Project Principal Investigator and coordinator. She is a trained agronomist, with a PhD degree in agronomy from the University of Reading, United Kingdom, Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. Her teaching career spans over a period about 30 years, 14 of which were at the University of Nairobi and close to 10 at South Eastern Kenya University, where she also holds the post of Registrar, Administration and Human Resource management. Besides her role as the SEKU-ASALI Project principal investigator and coordinator, Professor Mburu is the activity lead for the project’s AWP&B. He research interests include growth of leguminous crops, agro-forestry, animal pastures and range management.

Sabina is a sustainable land management specialist at the Centre for International Cooperation at the VrijeUUniversiteit (VU). Her work focuses on food security, natural resource management, climate-smart agriculture, indigenous knowledge, local farmer innovation and rural development. Sabina is a certified university teacher (BKO), with a MSc in Environment and Resource Management from the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) of the VU Amsterdam and a BSc in Business and Economics from the University of Catania, Italy. She is currently pursuing her PhD studies at the Athena Institute of VU Amsterdam, with her research focusing on comparative case study analyses and the development of a generic framework to scale-up Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture (NSA) interventions in different contexts. Since 2014, she has co-facilitated three Preparatory Doctoral tailor-made trainings held at the VU for potential PhD students from Ethiopia and Kenya. She has field experience in technical backstopping and oversight of rural development projects mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa. She was member of the Technical Advisory Group for the UNEP-GEF funded project: “Stimulating Community Initiatives in Sustainable Land Management” (SCI-SLM) from 2009 to 2016. She was also a member of the International Support Team and the Programme Oversight Group for the DGIS funded international network programme PROLINNOVA from 2006 to 2010.