Faculty and Staff
Prof Lawrence Pintak
Dean, Graduate School of Media and Communications
Lawrence Pintak, PhD is an award-winning journalist and scholar who has reported from four continents, including 18 African countries and 15 Arab states. He is dean of the Graduate School of Media and Communications at Aga Khan University in East Africa and was previously the founding dean of The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University (2009-2016). Pintak was named a Fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2017 for “outstanding service to the profession of journalism" around the world and received the AEJMC Senior Scholar award in 2019.
A former CBS News Middle East correspondent, Dr. Pintak been called the foremost chronicler of the interaction between Arab and Western media. His books and articles focus on America's relationship with the Muslim world, the role of the media in shaping global perceptions and government policy, and the global challenges to press freedom.
Dr. Pintak reported on the birth of modern suicide bombing and the rise of Hezbollah in Beirut, the Iran-Iraq War, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and a variety of other stories across the Middle East. His career extends from the Ford White House to the Indonesian revolution, the Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict to Zimbabwe's independence war. He has won two Overseas Press Club awards and was twice nominated for international Emmys.
In the years leading up to the Arab Spring, Dr. Pintak directed what was then the pre-eminent journalism training center in the Middle East at the American University in Cairo and helped develop Karachi's Centre for Excellence in Journalism. He has also advised journalism schools in the Caucasus, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, and South Asia.
His work appears in The New York Times, ForeignPolicy.com, CNN.com, Axios.com, Vox.com, The Seattle Times and a variety of other publications and he is frequently interviewed by NPR, CNN, Al Jazeera, the BBC, and news organizations around the world.
Dr. Pintak hosted The Murrow Interview, a series of broadcast conversations with leading figures in international affairs and global journalism and was founding publisher of the online journal Arab Media & Society.
He is the author of five books, including America & Islam: Soundbites, Suicide Bombs and the Road to Donald Trump (2019), Islam for Journalists (co-editor, 2014); The New Arab Journalist (2011); Reflections in a Bloodshot Lens: America, Islam & the War of Ideas (2006); Seeds of Hate: How America's Flawed Middle East Policy Ignited the Jihad (2003); and Beirut Outtakes (1988). He holds a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and is a non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute.
Dr Nancy Booker
Director, Academic Affairs
Dr. Nancy Booker is an Assistant Professor and the Director of Academic Affairs at GSMC.
She has had a distinguished career as an academic, teacher, researcher and media practitioner with over 18 years teaching and academic administration experience. Dr Booker specializes in broadcast journalism, multimedia storytelling, media management and health communication, and has several academic publications in these areas. She has also been trained in leadership at Harvard.
Nancy was head of the Department of Journalism and Communication at Multimedia University, and was actively involved in teaching, mentorship, research, and curriculum development. She previously taught at Daystar University and ABC University in Liberia.
She had stints at the national broadcaster, KBC, and later Nation Media Group’s flagship, NTV, where she honed her skills. Presently, she is a regular commentator on local TV stations.
Nancy has served in various leadership positions, and is currently a juror for the Annual Journalism Excellence Awards organised by the Media Council of Kenya. She is currently the treasurer of the East African Communication Association that she helped found. The organisation is involved in harnessing regional synergies and capacity building for media and communication scholars in the region.
As part of her service to the community, Nancy is the chair of the Kenyan board of Amani Ya Juu, a social economic enterprise committed to peace and reconciliation for women from several African nations and cultures.
Dr Sam Kamau
Dr. Sam Kamau is a media and communications scholar and practitioner based at Aga Khan University’s Graduate School of Media and Communications with 12 years’ experience in academia. Sam joined AKU in 2015, after 8 years at the University of Nairobi, School of Journalism as a faculty member.
Sam holds a PhD in Communication Studies with a specialisation in social media and political communication. His experience, teaching and research interests revolve around; political communication, audiences, journalism studies, innovation in media, social media, digital advocacy, media and social impact, among others
Dr. Kamau is a media and communications trainer and consultant. He has trained communication professionals and organisations on communication strategy, social media management, digital advocacy strategy, political risk analysis and management, dealing with misinformation and disinformation, crisis communication among others.
A regular conference speaker, Sam is a common face in many industry and academic conferences, roundtables and panel discussions. He is also a regular guest on television and radio shows offering commentary and analysis on contemporary and topical issues.
Dr Peter Kimani
Dr. Peter Kimani is a founding faculty member of the Graduate School of Media and Communications. An award-winning journalist and author, he has put in 20 years on Kenya’s vibrant national press, rising to senior editor at The Standard, where he still writes a weekly column. His work has also appeared in The Guardian, The New African, and Sky News, among others.
As a writer and columnist for the Daily Nation, Peter toured Kenya and the region extensively, covering conflicts from Darfur to Somalia, while documenting reconstruction efforts, from South Sudan to Somaliland.
He is the author of three novels, Before The Rooster Crows, Upside Down and his latest, Dance of the Jacaranda which are widely studied in Kenyan schools and the region and was one of only three international poets commissioned by the National Public Radio to compose and present poems to mark Barack Obama’s inauguration in January 2009.
Click here to view his publications.
His major responsibilities are to provide project management and administrative support in setting up GSMC. This entails managing the development and implementation of the school’s strategic plan, marketing plan and operational policies; managing the teaching programs; managing the budget and preparing periodic reports; and managing the staff and facilities.
Prior to joining GSMC, John spent nine years at KCA University one of the largest private universities in Nairobi. He joined the university as an adjunct lecturer and rose through the ranks to be the founding chair of the Department of Accounting and Finance. By the time he left the university he was the university registrar. Prior to this he had worked as a consultant on local government management and as college principal.
Thomas Ombech is responsible for the daily financial operations and management in the Graduate School of Media and Communications (GSMC) at Aga Khan University. His duties include financial feasibility studies of the different projects undertaken by GSMC, the financial compliance of grants, fee structure set up for the different programmes, and other responsibilities.
He is a trained accountant with a Master of Commerce degree from Strathmore University. He has over eight years’ experience in graduate school financial management in the region with a passion for using education to empower the people of Africa.
Augustine re-joined the AKU fraternity from a sister AKDN organisation, the Nation Media Group, where he was working as the Print Librarian overseeing the Print Library collection and user services.
Mr. Gitonga previously worked as a Librarian at the Faculty of Health Sciences between 2005 and 2012 where he was in charge of Technical services. During this time, he successfully championed the rolling out of various library operating systems and the development of procedure manuals and policies. He also played a key role in library collection management and reference work.
Earlier he worked as head librarian Presbyterian College where he laid the groundwork for the present Presbyterian University of East Africa.
Augustine holds MA in Communication Studies (University of Nairobi) and Bachelor of Technology (BTech) in Library and Information Studies (Technikon, SA -UNISA).
Augustine has interests in research and writing as well as in information services and communications.
Technical Operations Manager
Marion Njoki is the Technical Operations Manager at the AKU Graduate School of Media and Communications (GSMC). She has a wide experience in the Telecommunications and broadcast engineering field in Kenya.
Ms. Njoki was the Head of Technical Services at Mediamax between 2008 till 2014 after which she joined Ebru TV from 2014 till 2016. During her career she has been involved in the setting up of TV and Radio studio and transmissions for other stations such as K24TV, Ebru TV, Kameme FM, Milele FM, Meru FM and Mayian FM.
Marion has also worked as a consultant engineer with other international TV Studio System Integrators to install equipment at Kenya’s NTV, KTN and Malawi’s Times Television.
She is also a member of “Audio Visual Gadgets”, a Telecommunications and Electronics Engineers organization that is involved in resolving broadcast technological problems affecting those in the field.
Marion is an Executive Board Member of Habel Nyamu High School in Kirinyaga County, where she is actively involved in mentoring female students on how to excel in science subjects.
Marietta Musyoka is a Project Officer at Aga Khan University – Graduate School of Media and Communications (AKU-GSMC). In this position, she primarily manages the accounting and logistical requirements of Giving Nature a Voice (GNV) filmmakers (often in different parts of the Kenya and other countries) which is housed in the Environmental Reporting programme of the school.
Additionally, Marietta facilitates the outreach programmes and advocacy campaigns of GNV. She also supports the building of partnerships between GSMC and its stakeholders.
Ms. Musyoka has a MA in Project Planning and Management (Catholic University of Eastern Africa) and Certificate in Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) from Strathmore University. Her undergraduate is a BA in Leadership and Management (St. Paul’s University). She also has Diplomas in Social work & Counseling as well as Secretarial Studies & Office Management.
She is a monthly Environmental columnist in “The Catholic Mirror”, a monthly magazine for the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Sanday is an administrative assistant at AKU Graduate School of Media and Communications (GSMC). In this capacity she supports the executive and administrative teams. She is a graduate in Business Administration at Graffins College and has over 10 years’ experience in this field.