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Meet Agnes Shikuku, Kenya's highest-ranking woman in NIS

Agnes Shikuku etched her name in history as the first female Deputy Director-General of Kenya's National Intelligence Service (NIS).

President William Ruto meeting U.S. intelligence chief and Kenyan intelligence bosses

Appointed by NIS Director-General Noordin Haji in November 2023, Agnes Shikuku's ascendancy to this high-profile position marked a significant milestone for gender inclusivity in the nation's security apparatus.

Agnes Shikuku joined the ranks of Kenya's powerful women in security, a list that includes figures like President William Ruto's National Security Advisor Monica Juma and Major General Fatuma Gaiti Ahmed, the highest-ranking woman in Kenya's Defence Forces.

This group of accomplished women reflects the evolving landscape of Kenya's security architecture and signals a departure from traditional norms.

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A lawyer by training, Agnes Shikuku's journey within the NIS has been marked by notable achievements.

Prior to her historic appointment as deputy director-general, Shikuku served as the spy agency's director of administration.

Her experience in the administrative department equipped her with a deep understanding of the internal workings of the organization.

According to report from Parliament, she played a pivotal role in the investigation into the conduct of the controversial Artur Brothers and their associates, showcasing her commitment to upholding the principles of justice and national security.

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In 2006, Kenya was rocked by the arrival of the two Armenian brothers, Artur Margaryan and Artur Sargsyan, whose actions sparked a major scandal. The brothers were controversially appointed as deputy police commissioners, granting them power and influence.

The Artur brothers' stay in Kenya was shrouded in mystery and raised serious questions about their true agenda and the extent of their connections within the country before they were eventually deported.

Despite her groundbreaking role as the first female deputy NIS DG, Shikuku remains an enigma, consciously avoiding the glares of the media and opting for a low-profile approach to her public image.

Shikuku's deliberate avoidance of the media spotlight aligns with the nature of her work in national intelligence.

The clandestine and sensitive nature of intelligence operations demands a certain level of discretion.

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Much of Shikuku's contributions within the NIS occur behind closed doors, away from the scrutiny of public attention.

She was recently spotted in a meeting between President William Ruto, United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director William J. Burns, NIS Director General Noordin Haji and other security official at State House, Nairobi.

Before stepping into administrative roles, Shikuku rose through the NIS ranks as a principal intelligence officer.

In 2013, she served on the technical committee tasked with reviewing the terms and conditions of service for the National Intelligence Service.

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Her expertise in intelligence matters and dedication to service were evident in her contributions to this critical committee.

In 2018, Shikuku was a member of the selection panel responsible for nominating candidates for the position of Chairperson of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.

After her appointment as deputy DG in 2023, David Karanja, her former deputy in the administrative department was promoted to the director of administration position.

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