Kelechi Vera Olawoyin [Nee Okeahialam]

Kelechi is currently the Head, Novartis Africa Corporate University, responsible for Capability and Leadership Development for Novartis Africa, Sandoz Africa as well as Alcorn Africa; a role she took on in November 2015. Prior to this, she was the HR Business Partner to the Customer Development and Marketing Functions of Unilever Nigeria for two years; after leading the Talent Management agenda of Unilever Nigeria, Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire as the Leadership Development Manager for Nigeria and West Africa. In this role, Kelechi managed the Talent, Capability building, Performance, Recruitment and Learning function for Unilever Nigeria, Unilever Ghana and Unilever in French Speaking West Africa. In addition to this portfolio, she led the Employer Brand Strategy for Central Africa from 2011 to 2012.

She had previously worked as a Project Manager in the Learning & Development Unit of MTN Nigeria; where she managed the project Portfolio of the Human Resource Division of the organisation. Her interests are in talent management, strategy, business transformation, content development, capacity building, and training. She is passionate about Transformational Leadership and has attempted to include this in her work as a key component to personal and social development. Kelechi cut her teeth in consulting with ReStraL Consulting, where she was a Client Business Development Manager in addition to managing the FranklinCovey franchise in Nigeria. Kelechi has vast experience in Programme research, development, conceptualization, design and implementation. She has used these skills extensively in her work with Civil Societies in Nigeria; acting as Consultant / Facilitator for DFID / World Bank Consultative process on ‘Improving Better Service Delivery in Nigeria’ as well as Lead Facilitator on the Debate to Action programme organised the British Council and the World Bank Institute from September 2006 to March 2008. She also volunteers on the team of a few Non for profit organisations. Kelechi graduated from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka with B.A (Hons) Mass Communication (1994) and has an M.Sc Mass Communication from the University of Lagos.

She is a pioneer participant and alumni of the British Council / LEAD InterAction Leadership programme in Nigeria and served as a Mentor for the Vital Voices Pan-African Leadership Initiative for Women and Girls. She also served as Member of the Shadow Working Committee of WIMBIZ (Women in Management and Business) from 2006 to 2007. She is currently a mentor for WISCAR (Women in Successful Careers) where she mentors young women who are looking to grow in their careers. Kelechi is a certified MBTI®, Firo-B®, and TKI® facilitator. Kelechi is passionate about change, improving systems, processes and providing solutions. She also believes in Excellence, Innovation and the Power of ideas.

A published poet, she enjoys singing and expressing herself through creative writing, ballet and singing. Kelechi is enthusiastic about inspiring people to “find their voice” and has found a deep satisfaction in mentoring and coaching young people. She’s married to Adewale Olawoyin.