Esther Obonyo, Ph.D.

Senior Fellow, Local Climate Action and Just Transition

Dr. Obonyo is the Director of the Global Building Network, a partnership between the UNECE and Penn State. She is also an Associate Professor of Engineering Design and Architectural Engineering. Dr. Obonyo was a 2015/ 2016 Jefferson Science Fellow placed with the USAID Global Development Lab in DC. Between August 2005 and July 2015, she was a faculty member at the University of Florida's (UF) Rinker School of Construction Management. Dr. Obonyo has extensive industry experience, having worked as a Construction Engineer, Project Manager and Innovations Analyst in several engineering and construction companies in Kenya, the United Kingdom and the United States. Dr. Obonyo has successfully completed several externally and internally funded research, including several awards by the National Science Foundation (NSF). All these projects include a social-impact focused international education component.

Dr. Obonyo's calling is in international research and education. She has created social impact-related international educational experiences for over 2,100 students. Throughout her career, she has strived to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion in our traditionally white, male-dominated building sector. Against that backdrop, she is proud of the fact that over 40% of the students and over 50% of the professionals who have participated in the programs she has led are female. In addition, four out of her five current PhD students are female. Over 70% of the students she has advised are international. She is also contributing to the celebration of our global diversity through teaching dance fitness using international music and choreography. Dr. Obonyo's work has been disseminated through over 160 journal papers, conference proceedings and presentations. She is on the editorial board of three Journals – Journal of IT in Construction, Buildings and Intelligent Systems.