Martin Kimani

Mbugua Martin Kimani[1] (born 1971) is a Kenyan government official and diplomat.[2] He has served as Kenya's Permanent Representative to the United Nations since December 2020.[3] He previously served as the Director of the National Counter Terrorism Centre and as a Special Envoy for Countering Violent Extremism in Kenya.[2]

Mbugua Martin Kimani
Freedom of religion or belief (30134586570).jpg
Kimani at a DFID event 19 October 2016 on freedom of religion and prevention of violent extremism
Kenyan Permament Ambassador to the United Nations
Assumed office
December 2020
Appointed byUhuru Kenyatta
Personal details
Martin Kimani Mbugua

Mombasa, Kenya
Alma materUniversity of New Hampshire (BA)
King's College London (MA, PhD)
Known for2022 speech about Russia's actions in Ukraine

Early LifeEdit

Kimani was born in 1971 in Mombasa.[4]

Kimani has a bachelor's degree from the University of New Hampshire (1996).[3][5] He has a master's degree (2003) and a PhD (2013) in War Studies from King's College London, University of London.[3][6][7]

He wrote his master's thesis on oil marketing in Kenya.[8] His PhD thesis was about the role of Christian symbolism, the Catholic Church, and racialism in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.[4][9]


Previous rolesEdit

Kimani has worked in Nairobi, Addis Ababa, and New York City[4] and has been employed by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme and the United Nations Environment Programme.[5]

He was an Associate Fellow at the Conflict, Security & Development Group at King’s College London.[4]

From April 2011 to December 2012, Kimani was the Director of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Conflict Early Warning and Response Mechanism in Ethiopia.[5]

Current rolesEdit

Kimani is the Kenyan Presidential Special Envoy for Countering Violent Extremism, and was appointed as the Director of Kenya's National Counter Terrorism Centre[6][7] in 2015.[5]

He became the secretary for the Building Bridges Initiative in December 2018.[5]

Kimani is Kenya's Permanent Representative to the United Nations and has been in that post since December 2020.[3] He was president of the United Nations Security Council for October 2021.[10]

22 February 2022 speechEdit

Kimani delivered a speech to the UN Security Council on 22 February 2022, in which he criticised Russia's recognition of separatist-held areas of Ukraine, and drew comparisons between the borders of Europe and those of Africa,[11] saying:

"This situation echoes our history. Kenya and almost every African country was birthed by the ending of empire. Our borders were not of our own drawing (...). Today, across the border of every single African country, live our countrymen with whom we share deep (...) bonds. At independence, had we chosen to pursue states at the basis of ethnic, racial or religious homogeneity, we would still be waging bloody wars these many decades later. Instead, we agreed that we would settle on the borders that we inherited (...), rather than form nations that looked ever backward into history with a dangerous nostalgia, we chose to look forward (...). We believe that all states formed from empires that have collapsed or retreated, have many peoples in them yearning for integration with peoples in neighbouring states. This is normal and understandable. (...) However, Kenya rejects such a yearning from being pursued by force (...). We rejected irredentism and expansionism on any basis (...), we reject it again today."[12][13]

The speech went viral on social media.[14][15]


Kimani's writing has been published in Chimurenga, Farafina, Granta, Juxtapoz, Kwani, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and The East African,[4] and The Guardian.[16]

His book The Work of War was published by Granta Books online.[17][18]

Awards and fellowshipsEdit

Kimani was awarded the honour of Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear by the President of Kenya in 2016.[1]

Kimani is a Fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network and of the Africa Leadership Initiative.[4]

In 2013, Kimani was a Distinguished African Visiting Fellow at the South African Institute of International Affairs.[5]

Family lifeEdit

Kimani and his wife June Arunga Kimani have two children.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Gazette Notice No. 10265: Award of Orders, Decorations and Medals, Jamhuri Day, 12th December, 2016" (PDF). Kenya Gazette. CXVIII (154): 4850. 12 December 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2022.
  2. ^ a b Kurgat, Paul (22 February 2022). "Martin Kimani: Profile of Kenyan Envoy Who Boldly Told Off Putin". Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d "New Permanent Representative of Kenya Presents Credentials". United Nations (Press release). 3 December 2020. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Martin Kimani – Sommerakademie at Zentrum Paul Klee". Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Martin Kimani: Profile of the Kenyan envoy who boldly denounced Putin". The Bharat Express News. 22 February 2022. Retrieved 23 February 2022.
  6. ^ a b "Kimani, Martin (Amb. Dr.)". International Institute for Counter-Terrorism. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  7. ^ a b c "Martin Kimani". Aspen Institute. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  8. ^ Kimani Kamenju, Martin (November 2015). "Effects of Response Strategies on Competitiveness of Oil Marketing Companies in Kenya" (PDF). Retrieved 23 February 2022.
  9. ^ Scheipers, Sibylle; Strachan, Hew (2011). The Changing Character of War. Oxford University Press. p. 131. ISBN 9780199596737.
  10. ^ "Martin Kimani (Kenya, SC President) on Security Council Agenda, MINURSO – Security Council Media Stakeout". United Nations Media. 13 October 2021. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  11. ^ "Kenya's clarion call on Ukraine". Fareed Zakaria GPS. CNN. February 27, 2022. Retrieved February 27, 2022.
  12. ^ UN Web TV (22 February 2022). "Kenya's envoy to UN cites colonial past as he condemns Russian move into Ukraine – video". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  13. ^ "US, allies lambast Russia over Ukraine at UN Security Council". France 24. 22 February 2022. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  14. ^ Lutta, Geoffrey (22 February 2022). "Kenya's Powerful Speech on Ukraine-Russia Crisis at UN Event Goes Viral [VIDEO]". Kenyans. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  15. ^ Chappell, Bill (2022-02-22). "Kenyan U.N. ambassador compares Ukraine's plight to colonial legacy in Africa". NPR. Retrieved 2022-04-03.
  16. ^ "Martin Kimani". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 February 2022.
  17. ^ "Two buys for Allfrey at Granta". The Bookseller. Retrieved 23 February 2022.
  18. ^ "The Work of War". Granta. 14 January 2010. Retrieved 23 February 2022.

External linksEdit