Michelle Geis Wallace
Vice President and Director, Nairobi Office, Global
Michelle is Director of the Nairobi Office, where she manages a growing portfolio of Africa-focused work and develops strategies to help bring awareness to some of the continent’s most pressing issues. Since joining Burness in 2009, she has focused on issues ranging from immunization and reproductive health to agriculture and climate change, to urban and rural development.
Though based in Africa, Michelle also leads communications campaigns for organizations based in Latin America, Asia, Africa, the United States, and Europe. Michelle has organized and staffed press events in Washington, DC; Paris, France; New York; Nairobi, Kenya; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Kigali, Rwanda; Accra, Ghana; Lusaka, Zambia; Lombok, Indonesia; and Cancún, Mexico. She has trained dozens of community leaders, advocates, and experts on media and messaging at international organizations in Mexico City, Cali, Washington, Addis Ababa, Accra, Nairobi and Johannesburg.
As the daughter of a career foreign service officer, Michelle had the great fortune of growing up abroad (Belgium, Argentina, and Paraguay) and developing her passion for diverse cultures, food and travel early on in life. Michelle received her B.S. in Commerce from the University of Virginia in 2006, with a concentration in international business and marketing. She is fluent in Spanish and is trying to learn Kiswahili.
Why I'm at Burness
I get to work on issues that matter, and I interact daily with interesting, passionate, and creative people.
What Drives You?
Learning. Mostly about people and cultures.
Bucket List Item
Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
Half of a Yellow Sun, by Chimamanda Adichie. Her TED talk, "The danger of a single story" is also a favorite.