The board is pleased to announce the appointment of Nat Manning as interim Executive Director of Ushahidi. 

Nat as been part of Ushahidi since 2011. For the past three years, as Chief Operations Officer (COO), Nat has been an integral part of the growth of Ushahidi, both in product and services capabilities and financial sustainability.

He initially joined Ushahidi having heard Juliana Rotich, a co-founder and then CEO of Ushahidi, speak at a tech conference in Silicon Valley earlier that year. The conference was about how technology could solve the big problems of the developing world.  Nat was impressed by Juliana’s passion for the social justice role played by Ushahidi and her commitment to building Ushahidi into a social enterprise.

His interest was also piqued by the fact that Ushahidi’s products were developed collaboratively by people from all over the world. On the basis of a discussion he and Juliana had about how the company planned to drive revenue, Juliana invited him to join us as the first Director of Business Development.  He was tasked with building Ushahidi’s business model and turning us into a social enterprise with a diversified income stream that went beyond grant funding. This was achieved by establishing a software as a service business model and, between 2011 and 2015, the company’s earned revenue grew by an average of 70% year over year.

In 2012 Nat was chosen as one of the first Presidential Innovation Fellows at the White House, working with President Obama’s Chief Technology Officer and heading up open data at USAID; he then went on to become the first Chief Data Officer at USAID.

However, in spite of the remarkable career path ahead of him in Washington DC, he found he couldn’t shake his commitment to the transformative role Ushahidi plays in society. His enthusiasm for our ethos of providing marginalized communities with the means to be heard and of enabling those who serve them to better listen and respond caused him to return to us, this time as COO with a focus on business and strategy.

Based on the significant contribution he made in that leadership position, we have now asked him to step into the role of Executive Director.  We know that he will enhance Ushahidi’s ability to serve the rights of vulnerable people with integrity and conviction.