Irene Ovonji-Odida is currently CEO, FIDA Uganda. In the past she was Director, Legal, Directorate of Ethics and Integrity, Uganda; legal officer, Uganda Law Reform Commission and researcher, Constituent Assembly Commission. As a Member, East African Legislative Assembly (2001-06) she spearheaded regional initiatives on transparency, accountability to groups like women, pastoralists and small holder farmers, regional conflict resolution and for effective oversight of legislators in international trade negotiations focussing on WTO and EPAs.
Ms Ovonji-Odida has provided leadership on various boards including International Chair of ActionAid International (2009-15); Chair, Center for Basic Research Trustees (2013 to date); Member and Vice Chairperson, Makerere University Council (2013 to date) and Slum Aid International Uganda (2012 to date). She has served on several national and regional expert task forces including EAC regional consultative team on Political Federation, and the AU/ UNECA High Level Panel on Illicit Financial flows chaired by H.E Thabo Mbeki (2012-15). She participated in successful advocacy to reform the draft EAC Treaty in 1997/8 led by Akina Mama wa Afrika to broaden the narrow trade focus to inclusive development. She has been active in numerous campaigns including the Free and Fair Elections, Black Monday and Domestic Relations reform from conviction that social justice, gender equality and human rights are key for real development.