Nicky Wako

Business Development & Partnerships Lead

Nicky joins Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI) with a robust and diverse background in advocacy, diplomacy, community engagement, and social entrepreneurship to drive IOI’s mission forward.

Previously, as the Advocacy and Donor Engagement Manager at GÉANT in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, she led initiatives that significantly advanced the digital transformation of research and education sectors across Africa, securing vital policy recognition and support for future projects. 

Nicky also brings valuable diplomatic experience from her tenure as a foreign service officer, where she adeptly represented her country in high-level diplomatic engagements and negotiated humanitarian and development aid, further honing her strategic communication and relationship-building skills with diverse stakeholders.

As a passionate advocate for social entrepreneurship and community-driven initiatives, Nicky co-founded VYRE, a youth network that amplifies the voices of individual refugees and refugee-serving organizations across Europe. She is also a board member of Impact Direct, a social enterprise that connects donors with impactful NGOs.

Nicky is eager to leverage her extensive experience in fundraising, partnership development, and strategic planning to support IOI’s growth and impact on the research community.

When not working, Nicky loves to travel and remix recipes on the go.