Meet Our Team!
The The National Council for Higher Education is managed by a team of experienced administrators led by the Executive Director. The ED is assisted by a Deputy Executive Director (DED) and three Directors for (I) Quality Assurance, (II) ICT, Research and Innovation and (III) Finance, Planning and Administration directorates.
Prof. Mary J. N. Okwakol
Prof. Mary J.N Okwakol
Professor Mary J. N. Okwakol is currently the Executive Director of the National Council for Higher Education. She previously served as the founding Vice Chancellor of Busitema University, a public University in Uganda focusing on science and technology, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Gulu University – another public University of which she was one of the founding leaders, and held various positions at Makerere University where she rose through the ranks to full Professor of Zoology.
Professor Okwakol has extensive experience in higher education, having served in various other capacities, at national and international levels. They include: Chairperson of the African Institute for Capacity Development (AICAD) Members’ Forum; Member of AICAD Board; Member of the Executive Committee of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM); Member, Executive Committee of the Inter-University Council for East Africa; Member of Council of the National Council for Higher Education; Chairperson of the Forum for African Women Vice Chancellors and; Member of the Organizing Committee of the World Women University Presidents Forum.
As a researcher, Professor Okwakol has participated in many projects as a Scientist, Research Manager or Team Leader and published extensively. She served as Chairperson of the International Board of Management of the Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Programme (TSBF), an international programme of collaborative research under UNESCO that covered tropical regions of Africa, Asia and Latin America. She was also Chairperson of the Global Steering Committee of the GEF/ UNEP-funded research project on Conservation of Below Ground Biodiversity for Sustainable Land Production, and a member of the project’s Global Advisory Committee, in addition to being the project’s National Project Director.
Professor Okwakol has served on many professional related Boards, Councils and committees. They include being Member of the Board of Trustees of the Uganda National Parks (UNP); Board Member of the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA); founding member of the Board of Trustees of the Environmental Conservation Trust of Uganda; Board Member of the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre; Vice Chairperson of the Natural Science Committee of the National Council of Science and Technology; Member, UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB) National Committee; Vice Chairperson of the Wildlife Clubs of Uganda; Member of the Important Bird Areas (IBA) Advisory Council; founding Chairperson of the Uganda Wildlife Society; Member of the National 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) Taskforce; Member of Council of the African Soil Science Society; Vice Chairperson of the Governing Council of the East African Wild Life Society; Chairperson Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) Uganda Chapter; Board Member/Honorary Secretary of FAWE Africa (Regional); and now, Chairperson of the National Examination Board (UNEB).
In recognition of her contribution to development, she has received various awards at national and international levels.
Professor Okwakol, is a zoology scholar specializing in Ecology. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Zoology and Botany, Master of Science in Zoology and Doctorate in Zoology from Makerere University, and an Honorary Doctorate, “Honoris Causa Doctorate” from Josai International University (Japan). She became a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society of London in 1992 and a Fellow of the Uganda National Academy of Sciences in 2009.
Professor Okwakol is a wife, mother and grandmother.
Rev. Canon Dr. Alex Mugisha Kagume
Rev. Canon Dr. Alex Mugisha Kagume
Deputy Executive Director
He holds a Doctor of Philosophy from Bristol University, UK. Dr Alex worked at Uganda Christian University as a DVC Academics. Currently, he is a Board member of Higher Education Financing Board.
Mr. Arthur Babu Muguzi
Mr Arthur Babu Muguzi
Director Finance Administration and Planning
Arthur Babu Muguzi is A certified Public Accountant of Uganda (CPAU); A fellow of the Chartered Certified Accountant of UK (FCCA-UK) and holds a Masters in Business Administration- Finance, Makerere University; Bachelors of Commerce, Makerere University;
Arthur worked at Tax Appeals Tribunal, Ministry of Finance for three years and served as an Accountant. At the Inception of NCHE on 1st April 2003 joined the Team as a Finance Officer and later served as Principal Finance Officer for six years.
He has vast experience in Government Accounting, Higher Education Finance Management and Quality Assurance
Dr. Pius Coxwell Achanga
Dr. Pius Coxwell Achanga
Director Quality Assurance and Accreditation
Pius Coxwell Achanga is the Director Quality Assurance and Accreditation at National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), the Higher Education Regulator of Uganda. His current role involves overseeing the licensure and establishment, planning, development and strategic guidance of all Higher Education Training Institutions (Universities, Other Degree Awarding Institutions and Other Tertiary Institutions) in the Country. These include, institutional and curriculum accreditation, monitoring and evaluation and coordination and mentorship of the leadership and governance of over 250 accredited Higher Education Training Institutions (both public and private). Prior to joining NCHE, Dr. Achanga was a Research Associate at the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) in the School of Engineering, University of Cambridge (UK).
Achanga holds a PhD in Manufacturing Systems (process optimization using fuzzy logic) and a Master of Science Degree in Manufacturing Management and Information Systems both from Cranfield University (UK); a Bachelor of Business Information Technology from the University of Hull in the (UK) and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) from Canterbury Christ Church University (UK).
Dr. Achanga has attended a number of continuous professional development trainings that include Fellowships in University Administration Support Program by the International Research and Exchanges (IREX) Board, Washington DC (2014) and the EducationUSA Leadership Institute, North Carolina State University (2017).
On 3rd November 2014, Dr. Achanga was Appointed and Commissioned, an Honorary Tennessean by Bill Haslam, Governor of the State of Tennessee. He was also the Winner of the Emerald Literati Network Awards Excellence, 2007 – for the most outstanding and highly commended paper in 2006 Series. Dr. Achanga is a Member of the Higher Education Research and Advocay Network in Africa (HERANA), the East African Higher Education Quality Assurance Network (EAQAN) and the Ugandan Universities Quality Assurance Forum (UUQAF).
Dr. Achanga is a Visiting Professor of Higher Education Studies with a Special focus on Research & Innovation in University Systems for Socio-Economic Development at the Institute for Post-School Studies, the University of the Western Cape, October 2017 – Current. He is also the National Focal person to the National Planning Team for Developing the Nuclear Human Resource Strategy under Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Uganda. He has a number of scholarly publications, with the latest being, Higher Education Systems and Institutions: Uganda, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2018.
Dr. Nora Mulira
Dr. Nora Mulira
Director ICT, Research and Innovation
Dr. Nora Mulira is the Director of ICT, Research and Innovation (IRI). She has extensive professional experience as a Systems Analyst, academician, and researcher in the ICT4D areas of ICT Policy Analysis and digital reform. Among her notable research contributions are the World Bank /(InfoDev Initiative for the Development of Uganda’s Information Infrastructure Agenda (DIIAUP), which developed the foundation of Uganda’s national ICT policy framework:
Her research work in ICT policy analysis and digital reforms has been published widely in professional journals, and books and she serves on several boards in this capacity. She also represents NCHE on the RENU board, Sida Sarec Makerere-Sweden Bilateral Research capacity Program and Digital Agenda Technical committee under the MoES.
Her academic tenure at Makerere University includes: Director, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Computer Science and Director, Directorate of Information and Communication Technology (DICTS) followed by Director ICT Research incubators, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Nairobi.
She holds a PhD. in Service Systems Development, Delft University of Technology (TUDelft), Netherlands, Master of Science (MSc.) and PGD Information systems, London School of Economics (LSE), University of London, UK, Technology executive training from the Judge Institute of Management Studies, School of Engineering and Technology, University of Cambridge, U.K and the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Dr. Mulira has been recognized with awards for her research work in digital reforms notably by UNIDIR (2019) and the International Women Forum (IWF) Leadership Foundation (2005) http://iwforum.org/leadership-foundation, http://www.allafrica.com/stories/200312090149.html “for the Development of Uganda Information Infrastructure Agenda”