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Captain William Ruto: From Cadet Marine Deck Officer To KPA Managing Director

Captain William Ruto took over as the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Managing Director bringing to an end years of uncertainty at the state agency.

The position had been vacant for three years following the resignation of Daniel Manduku in March 2020 under a cloud of controversy.

In a Gazette Notice dated March 10, 2023, Transport Cabinet Secretary (CS) Kipchumba Murkomen, announced he had appointed Captain William K. Ruto the new MD of KPA.

“After a rigorous and intensive recruitment process, the Board of Directors has this morning (Friday, March 10) submitted a report and recommendation to my office for the appointment of Captain William Kipkemboi Ruto, having attained the highest aggregate score from the interview process,” Murkomen said in a statement.

According to CS Murkomen, the Authority’s board had received over 75 applications for the position during the recruitment exercise but settled for Ruto as the most qualified candidate. Until this appointment, he was the General Manager of the Kisumu Port.

“It is my belief that his wealth of experience spanning 32 years will be instrumental in ensuring the Authority delivers on its mandate to the people of Kenya and continues to contribute towards the growth of the Kenyan economy,” CS Murkomen said.

Captain Ruto will serve in his new capacity for the next three years.

Career life of Captain William Kipkemboi Ruto

Captain William K. Ruto has 32 years’ experience in the marine sector under his belt. 

He started his career at KPA in 1991 as a Cadet Marine Deck Officer before rising through the ranks to be a Senior Marine Pilot, General Manager, Operations and later a Harbour Master.

Captain Ruto is a trained Mariner by profession. He scaled through the heights from Cadetship to Ship Master. He has worked on board various foreign going vessels for over 9 years. 

Throughout his more than three decade service Captain Ruto has served at sea as a deck officer on board a variety of vessel types, including tankers, container and General Cargo vessels before finally taking command on a General Cargo Ship. 


Capt. William Ruto studied at South Tyneside Marine College, UK for an HND in Nautical Science and attained the highest qualification as a Ship Captain (Class 1 Master Mariner) in 2001. 

He holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) Strategic Management option from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).

He is an associate fellow of the Nautical Institute (AF-NI) and a member of the International Harbour Master’s Association (UK).

Capt. Ruto has also attended various local and international seminars and workshops on shipping, maritime, transport and logistics matters. He has done Port Security course at the University of Maryland (USA), IMO course on Port Management and Operations, in France – Port du Havre and several other short courses on port maritime and management.