Linda Ochiel is a program officer in the foundation’s Nairobi office. She works with the Civic Engagement and Government team, focusing on the Eastern Africa region.
Before joining Ford, Linda served on the Kenyan government’s National Cohesion and Integration Commission, representing youth and spearheading research, policy, and planning. Prior to that, she held senior and midlevel positions with Kenya’s Office of the Ombudsman, the Kenya National Human Rights and Equality Commission, and the Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa. At these institutions, she helped catalyze and nurture the growth of local social justice movements to push for government accountability and responsiveness, helped build a network of human rights and accountability institutions, put in place mechanisms for handling public complaints to improve resource distribution and service delivery, and helped mediate and resolve internal and cross-border conflicts over resources.
An accomplished poet, actress, and producer with a background in documentary filmmaking, Linda has been at the forefront of video advocacy, championing the use of digital technologies to document and expose violence, human rights violations, and injustices. She initiated the annual Human Rights and Democracy Awards, the Huduma Kenya Public Service Awards, and the Taifa Awards. She also founded human rights journals for the Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights.
Linda holds an MA in communications studies, an MA in diplomacy, and a post-graduate diploma in mass communications and public relations from the University of Nairobi. She also holds BEd arts degree from Moi University and diplomas in human rights and video advocacy from national, regional, and international institutions. She is an alumna of the Women in Public Service Project, the Equitas International Human Rights Training Program, and the Witness Video Advocacy Institute.