Energy Leader & Entrepreneur Elsie Mbugua Elected Vice Chair of BOMA Board of Directors

Apr 26, 2022

WASHINGTON, DC — The BOMA Project, a Kenya and U.S. based nonprofit that empowers women, youth, and refugees in Africa’s drylands to escape extreme poverty, is thrilled to announce the election of Elsie Mbugua, Founder and Managing Director of Leadwood Energy — an award-winning specialist energy advisory company focusing on renewable energy and the oil and gas sectors in Africa, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya — as Vice Chair of the BOMA Global Board of Directors. Ms. Mbugua is a passionate entrepreneur specializing in financial and technical advisory for energy and infrastructure transactions on the African Continent.

“BOMA is truly working at the ‘last mile’ of extreme poverty and exemplifies the powerful synergy between private capital, foundation funding, and partnerships committed to solving complex societal issues,” said Ms. Mbugua. “I am proud to have been elected as Vice Chair of BOMA’s Board of Directors and look forward to building on the incredible vision and work that this amazing team continues to do to transform lives.”

“BOMA is truly working at the ‘last mile’ of extreme poverty and exemplifies the powerful synergy between private capital, foundation funding, and partnerships committed to solving complex societal issues,” said Ms. Mbugua. “I am proud to have been elected as Vice Chair of BOMA’s Board of Directors and look forward to building on the incredible vision and work that this amazing team continues to do to transform lives.” Elsie Mbugua

Board Vice Chair, Founder of Leadwood Energy

Ms. Mbugua was unanimously elected as Vice Chair of the BOMA Board on April 22, 2022, assuming the role previously held by Mr. William Ambrose, who will remain an active member of BOMA’s Board of Directors. Mr. Ambrose is principal of Stone Silo LLC, a consultancy that supports industry-insight start-ups, and is founding partner and chairman of Bluefield Research, a start-up in the global water sector.

“[Mr. Ambrose’s] longstanding leadership within BOMA has been vital as our impact and scale expands,” said BOMA CEO John T. Stephens. “We’re incredibly thankful for his contributions and I’m glad he’ll remain as a guiding force for BOMA.”

“Elsie embodies BOMA’s entrepreneurial spirit and has contributed powerfully to BOMA’s work since joining our Board of Directors in September 2020,” he continued. “I’m proud that her insight, passion and expertise will be amplified as Vice Chair and greatly look forward to her partnership as BOMA grows.”

Ms. Mbugua is the Founder and Managing Director of Leadwood Energy; a specialist energy advisory company focused on renewable energy projects. She was also one of the financial transaction advisors to the Government of Kenya on the country’s crude oil and natural gas prospects and is considered a thought leader and a key policy maker in Africa’s energy markets. She is well known for working on what she terms as ‘first of a kind’ energy transactions in the region. She has been involved in restructuring various parastatals in Kenya through Financial Independent Business Reviews, developing the framework for a local currency Power Purchase Agreement, negotiating the Heads of Terms for Kenya’s Upstream Crude Project, overseeing critical infrastructure projects, and driving the energy transition discussions on the African Continent.

In Jan 2022, she was awarded Africa’s most notable contribution to the Oil and Gas sector by the Association of Women in Energy and Extractives. In 2019, she was voted Young Emerging Energy Leader and received an award recognition for her exceptional leadership in Africa’s energy sector. In 2020, her Firm was voted Best Renewable Energy Consulting Firm in East Africa and won the East Africa Green Future Leadership Award. Her thoughts on Africa’s energy transformation are widely published in numerous energy journals.

Elsie embodies BOMA’s entrepreneurial spirit and has contributed powerfully to BOMA’s work since joining our Board of Directors in September 2020. I’m proud that her insight, passion and expertise will be amplified as Vice Chair and greatly look forward to her partnership as BOMA grows.John T. Stephens

CEO, BOMA

Elsie started her career as a physical energy trader for some of the world’s largest trading houses – Goldman Sachs and J.P Morgan – covering markets in coal, emissions, power, natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and crude oil. During her time as a trader, she participated in the first market-based effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the US. She also assisted in the management and optimization of 3000 MW of power generating assets in California.

Her success at quickly learning the intricacies of physical energy markets as well as how to derive value from assets provided her with an opportunity to build J.P Morgan’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) business as lead North America LNG trader. The business had LNG import rights for up to 2 billion cubic feet per day of gas at the Cheniere Sabine Pass import terminal in Louisiana.

In 2012, she relocated to London as a physical crude oil trader covering the dated Brent and West African
crude oil markets. She was one of the youngest physical oil traders in London.

In 2015, with her heart drawn to improving and transforming East Africa’s energy sector, she moved to Nairobi to start her energy entrepreneurship career. Today her firm is involved in some of the largest energy transactions in the region and plays a central role advising on Africa’s energy policies. In addition to this, Ms. Mbugua was appointed to the Board of State Corporation Kenya Pipeline Company by the President of Kenya H.E Uhuru Kenyatta and made Chair of the Technical Committee responsible for oversight and governance of all KPC capital projects and technical matters. She is the co-founder of a US 501c3 called Ekenywa, which builds water infrastructure projects with the goal of ensuring all rural public schools in Kenya have access to clean water. So far, more than 70,000 Kenyans rely on this infrastructure for their daily access to clean water.

Founded 15 years ago to eliminate extreme poverty among pastoralist women in Kenya, BOMA has since transformed the lives of more than 350,000 women, youth, and refugees in multiple countries. BOMA stands out for its focus on last mile populations of the drylands of Africa, who are most at risk to shocks from climate change and COVID-19, as well as its tech savvy and data driven approach, impressive graduation rate, and 99% local structure based in Africa.

BOMA’s poverty graduation approach — the Rural Entrepreneur Access Project, REAP — empowers women, youth, and refugees by mapping the barriers to overcoming extreme poverty and then implementing a series of sequenced interventions with a defined exit strategy. Upon graduating from REAP, participants report marked increases in wellbeing, resilience to shocks, and quality of life. BOMA is on a mission to lift 3 million people in the drylands of Africa out of extreme poverty by 2027.

Please Direct Press Inquiries To:

Cherise Forbes

Director of Communications

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