Catherine Gicheru appointed to MDIF Board, Jim Egan joins as CIO

Catherine Gicheru, founder and director of the Africa Women Journalism Project (AWJP) and an International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) Knight Fellow, has joined Media Development Investment Fund’s Board of Directors.

As head of AWJP, Catherine leads a team of journalists, mentors and data analysts in five African countries (Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda), driving coverage of underreported gender, health and development issues affecting marginalized groups. The project works to strengthen the voices of women journalists by helping them to become innovators in their newsrooms.

“We are thrilled that Catherine has joined our Board of Directors,” said Harlan Mandel, MDIF CEO. “Catherine is one of the most influential women in news media in Africa and brings world-class experience of reporting, newsroom management, data journalism and independent media to our Board. Her insights and experience will help guide our new investments in media that hold the powerful to account, combat misinformation and provide a platform for debate.”

Catherine was the first woman bureau chief and first female news editor of the Nation Media Group and was the founding editor of The Star daily in Kenya. She co-founded East Africa’s first budget and public finance fact-checking and verification initiative, PesaCheck.

Catherine is an advisory board member of several international journalism organisations, a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, and a Reuters Institute Journalism Fellow at Oxford University. In 1992 she was awarded the Courage in Journalism award by the International Women’s Media Foundation .

Meanwhile, Jim Egan, former CEO of BBC Global News, the BBC’s commercial international news subsidiary which owns and operates the BBC World News television channel and its digital counterpart, has joined MDIF as Chief Investment Officer. At BBC Global News, Jim led an organisation regarded as the world’s most trusted source of international news which reaches more than 120 million adults globally each week and a business, which is solely commercially funded, that now generates around $140m in annual revenue and has been profitable since 2014/15.

As CIO, Jim will spearhead MDIF’s new investments and manage the current portfolio of $110 million invested in more than 40 companies in 28 countries. Jim, who is a former MDIF Board Member, also brings senior experience in business strategy and corporate development, as well as in regulation and public policy from prior roles at BSkyB and Ofcom (the UK’s media and telecommunications regulator) where he was Director of Strategy.

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