Stephen Kiama Gitahi holds a doctorate degree in structural biology from the University of Bern, Switzerland under the mentorship of Peter Gehr. His Ph.D. marked a culmination of a long journey of sustained personal illumination driven by an abiding curiosity to broaden the horizons of knowledge. As Kiama pursued his scholarly and teaching roles, leadership duties seemed to beckon at every turn. It is in delivering these tasks that he garnered broad hands-on skills, practical knowledge and fundamental proficiencies in key structural, legislative and regulatory frameworks crucial to the effective management of institutions of higher learning. He has accumulated a vast wealth of administrative experience, honed his skills in management of people and programs for set outputs, cut his teeth in leadership and distinguished himself as a capable leader. His progressive rise in leadership roles where he has served in senior management positions at the University of Nairobi over the past 17 years speak to this fact.
Prior to his appointment as the eight vice chancellor of the University of Nairobi, Kiama served as the deputy vice chancellor in charge of human resource and administration and acting deputy vice chancellor in charge of finance, planning, and development.
Kiama has also served in several administrative positions including principal, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences (2016 to February 2019); acting dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (2014); founding director of Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies (2010 to 2016); chairman of the Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology (2005 to 2010); and v. associate dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (2003 to 2010). He has served as a member of the University of Nairobi Senate since 2003.
In addition, Kiama was appointed a juror for the Wangari Maathai Institute Campus and University of Nairobi Tower design competitions, the Golden Climate Awards organized by Light Academy, and the Wangari Maathai Scholarship Award.