Prof. Maria Nzomo is a prominent scholar and professor of International Relations and governance and Director of the Diplomacy Institute. She has contributed immensely to development of the study of diplomacy in Kenya.
Professor Maria Nzomo holds the distinction of being the first Kenyan woman to attain a PhD in political science, which she earned in 1981 from Dalhousie University in Canada. She has over 30 years of teaching experience at the University of Nairobi, starting out as a Tutorial Fellow in 1979 and rising up the ranks to become an associate professor of political economy and international studies in 1995.
Between October 2003 and January 2009, she held a number of ambassadorial posts in southern Africa (Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe) and at the United Nations. In 2006, she was appointed the Kenyan ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, a position she holds to date.
Maria Nzomo is also well known as an ardent promoter of gender and human rights and has published several articles on these subjects in peer-reviewed journals as well as newspapers and magazines.
She was awarded the 2nd Class of the Elder of the Burning Spear (EBS)