Dr. Kunow Sheikh Abdi

Dr. Kunow Sheikh Abdi

Kenya Country Director

Kunow has 18 years’ experience working in the dryland ecosystem of the Horn of Africa region. Kunow rejoined Mercy Corps in 2023 after a 10-year absence. He previously worked for the Mercy Corps Somalia program for five years. In the later 8 years of his career, he worked with the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (Horn of Africa Regional Program) as Senior Food Security Advisor, where he worked directly with different partners, including government, non-governmental organizations, UN agencies, and the private sector. 

Kunow is a dedicated leader in the areas of livestock sector development, livelihoods, climate change, sustainable food systems, and enhancing social inclusion. He has a wealth of technical knowledge, experience, and diverse networks in the Horn of Africa region. As a Kenyan from the pastoralist-inhabited drylands, he has deep contextual knowledge and experience that enables him to provide strong leadership to the country team. He is enthusiastic about institutional development, innovation, transformative change, and impact at scale. 

Kunow is currently the Country Director for Mercy Corps Kenya and is based in Nairobi; he joined in January 2023. He works with a team of more than 200 people who support Kenyans affected by poverty and conflict to be resilient and productive and to drive peace and development in their communities. 

Kunow received a Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery from the University of Nairobi and a Master's of Science degree in Food Security and International Development from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom.