Dr James Mwangi is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Equity Bank, the largest bank (by customer base) in East Africa with more than seven million customers across Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda and Tanzania.
Mwangi also serves as Chairman of the Equity Group Foundation, which is the CSR arm of the Equity Group.
Dr. James Mwangi won the 2012 Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year, becoming the first business leader from Sub Saharan Africa to win this prestigious award. He was also among the finalists who were inducted to the Entrepreneur of The Year Hall of Fame and the World Entrepreneurship Academy.
The Equity Business model won him the Global Vision Award in 2007 at the G8 Summit in Germany with the citation “a concept of the future that will transform the world economy”. The Financial Times in 2009 named Dr. Mwangi among the top 50 thought leaders of emerging markets and among the top 20 most influential people in Africa.
At the continental level, The Africa Investor Awards named him Africa CEO of the Year in 2015 and in 2009 and Innovation Leader of the Year 2012 while the African Banker named him African Banker of the year in 2010 and 2011. He is the inaugural winner of the African Leader of the Year by the African Leadership Network and the Forbes Person of the Year 2012. Dr. Mwangi was named the African Person of the Year Runners up in 2009 by the Commonwealth Business Council.
He serves as a board member of the Africa Leadership Academy and is the current Chair of the Steering Committee of the YALI Regional Leadership Center, East Africa. Dr. Mwangi serves at the Global Advisory Council of VISA Inc, the Clinton Global Initiative, the G8 New Alliance for Food Security & Nutrition and the Global Agenda Council on New Economic Thinking of the World Economic Forum.
Dr. Mwangi has been instrumental in shaping global development policies by serving on the UN Advisory Groups on Inclusive Finance as well as on Global Sustainability. He also served as an external advisor on inclusive finance in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He is a member of the G20 Advisory Board on Agriculture and Initiative for Global Development (IGD).
He is a guest lecturer at Stanford University, Columbia University, MIT, Harvard University, IESE and Lagos Business School where the Equity Bank business model is a case study.
He holds five honorary doctorate degrees in recognition of his contributions to the Kenyan society. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, is a Certified Public Accountant and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Programme (Strathmore - IESE Business School, Barcelona Spain).
He is the Chancellor Meru University College of Science and Technology.
He is the current Chairman of Kenya's Vision 2030 Delivery Board charged with the responsibility of ensuring Kenya becomes a middle-income country with global high standards of living by the year 2030.
In September 2020, he was honoured with the prestigious 2020 Oslo Business for Peace Award which is also described as the “Nobel Prize for Business.” Honourees are chosen by a prestigious Award Committee consisting of past Nobel Prize winners in Peace and Economics.