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Prof. Lukoye Atwoli: Rich Academic And Professional Profile Of Francis Atwoli’s Son

Francis Atwoli is the longest serving Secretary General of the Central Organization of Trade Union (COTU) and a political maverick. However, very little is known about the success story of his children. His son Prof Lukoye Atwoli is an academic giant with an enviable career. 

Here is his academic and professional journey as told by WoK.


Professor Lukoye Atwoli is the firstborn son of the no holds barred Francis Atwoli. He attended Moi University for his Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery degree in 2001. He joined the University of Nairobi where he graduated with a Master of Medicine in Psychiatry in 2006.

He proceeded to South Africa where he earned his PhD from the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town in 2015.

Career Journey

He began his career journey as a Provincial Psychiatrist and Deputy Medical Superintendent at the Provincial General Hospital in Garissa in September 2006.

In July 2007, he joined Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital as a Mental Health Medical Specialist, a position he held for 11 months. In May 2008, he joined Moi University School of Medicine as a lecturer, a position he held until August 2012.

He was then promoted to become a Senior Lecturer and later was appointed Dean of the School of Medicine in August 2014. He worked in the position for 5 years and 1 month before being promoted to become an Associate Professor of Psychiatry, a position he holds to date. 

Joining Aga Khan University and Achievements

In August 2020, he was appointed to join the Aga Khan University Medical College, East Africa as the Dean and Professor of Psychiatry. Aga Khan University is a leading private medical university in the entire East African region.

He is also an associate professor at Moi University, a Visiting Scientist at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and Honorary Associate Professor at the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town. 

According to a post appearing on aku.edu website on December 1, 2020, Prof Lukoye Atwoli was appointed to serve on the board of Global Health by the US National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.

While accepting his appointment he stated:

“It is a great honour to me and to the Aga Khan University family to be nominated to serve with other eminent personalities in the National Academies’ Board on Global Health. I look forward to working with the other members and executing my role to the best of my ability.”

He is an International Faculty member at the Duke University, Global Health Institute and an external examiner at local and international universities. He is a registered member of the WHO World Mental Health Surveys Consortium and previously served as the Global Technical Director for the citiesRISE initiative.

He has over 50 publications, supervised the completion of 17 Masters Candidates and is currently supervising four PhD and four Masters students at various universities across the world.

He has in the past served as the Vice President of the Kenya Medical Association and currently holds various positions at the African Association of Psychiatrists, the African College of Neuro-psychopharmacology and the World Psychiatric Association.