Chief Executive Officer
Dr Willy Kiprotich Tonui, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Biosafety Authority (NBA), is one of the leading scientists in Africa and the only Registered Biosafety Professional (RBP). Prior to his appointment, he served as a Principal Research Officer and Environment Coordinator (Immunology), Health and Safety at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI). His work specializes in the safety and security of high-risk pathogens, occupational health, fire safety, environmental audits, hazardous chemicals and risk management in laboratories.
Dr Tonui is the chair of the International Federation of Biosafety Association (IFBA). This is a forum for biosafety professionals of different nations aiming to coordinate and develop a global biosafety agenda aimed at international harmonization, sharing of information, development of common standards and collaboration in all aspects of biological safety.
He is also the Founder and President of African Biological Safety Association (AfBSA), a professional association that seeks to congregate practitioners of biological safety, promote biosafety and biosecurity as a discipline through awareness and facilitate sharing of biosafety and biosecurity information in the African region. Additionally, Dr Tonui is also a member of the American Biological Safety Association (ABSA) and the Asia Pacific Biosafety Association (APBA).
Dr Tonui studied for his BSc (Biological Sciences and Chemistry) at Kurukshetra University (India), MSc and PhD in Immunology (specialty in recombinant vaccine development) from Kenyatta University (Kenya) and did his Post-doctoral training at the School of Veterinary Medicine at Colorado State University, USA.
His is a career-long history of consistently supporting national programmes, regulations and policies in Kenya. He is a registered Expert in Environmental Impact Assessment and Audit (EIA/EA) by the National Environmental Authority (NEMA). In general his work at KEMRI supported national programmes in developing laws and regulations in hazardous waste management, biosafety, occupational health and safety, disaster management, quality management and cleaner productivity enhancement.
The CEO is also proficient in laboratory CEN Biorisk Management Standard (CWA 15793), ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 17025, ISO 18001 and 15189 systems; World health Organizations (WHO), Centres for Disease Control (CDC), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) Regulations in Biosafety and Biosecurity; WHO’s International Health Regulations, Good Laboratory Practices and Accreditation systems.
In Kenya he is a member of several national committees including: Kenya Medical Laboratory Quality Assurance Advisory Body (MLQAAB), Kenya National Accreditation Services (KENAS) and National Biosafety Committee (NBC). He is currently the Vice Chairman, National Biological and Toxins Weapons Convention Committee (NBTWC), that aims to implement UN 1540 in Kenya. He is an author of laboratory safety handbook and three other books on Fire Safety and Prevention.