Dr. Mercy Mwangangi
Fanatically positive and militantly optimistic, Dr. Mwangangi works in the Ministry of Health, Kenya as the newly appointed Chief Administrative Secretary. In this role, she supports the Cabinet Secretary in providing oversight and stewardship in the implementation of health sector policies and in building collaborative partnerships with a diverse range of sector stakeholders.
Dr. Mwangangi believes in the crucial and catalytic role that health plays in the social and economic development of Kenya, and it is with this affirmation that she put down her stethoscope and pursued a master’s degree in Health Economics and Policy at the University of Adelaide in South Australia in 2015.
In addition, Mercy received the Australian Leadership Award, a supplementary fellowship offered to applicants who demonstrate leadership skills and the potential to influence development outcomes in their home country. Dr. Mwangangi, contributed to the design, and implementation of the Universal Health Coverage pilot program, that form part of the presidential Big Four Agenda.
Having previously worked as the head of the Health Financing Division in the Ministry of Health, her focus in the design of the UHC Program has centered on the health financing architecture of the program and its alignment to intergovernmental service delivery priorities. With an indulgence for analytics and design thinking, Mercy has also contributed to the development of an array of policy frameworks in the health sector, including the primary healthcare strategy. She also served as the joint secretary of the Health Benefits Advisory Panel that was commissioned with the design of the essential health benefit package for Kenya.
She is also a member of African Women in Leadership Network (WILN), a forum that offers Australia Awards female alumni a platform to engage in discussions on issues affecting women and to share valuable insights for the advancement of African women. In her role as part of the stewards of the Kenya’s risk communication strategy in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic, and an emerging face of solace and resilience, Dr. Mwangangi has gained an appreciation for the role that the youth can play in public service as communication and behavior change champions. Using this lived experience, she is in the processes of setting up a platform for the participation of young people in health promotion.
Mercy is an adrenaline sport enthusiast having taken to Sky diving and now setting her sights on shark cage diving in Australia. She is also a novice salsa dancer and in her younger days was an amateur diving medalist. She escapes it all by retreating to her tiny-home office, which houses her diverse collection of books ranging from Ganong’s review of Medical Physiology, speeches by Eisenhower, to African Architecture and her favorite, melancholic poetry by Mary Oliver.