Jean René Shema, Rwanda Country Director

The intentional networking and collaboration of young leaders who want the world to be a better place for every human being increase my motivation every day. I’m happy to be part of the efforts to identify, support and catalyze the impact of these leaders across the globe.

Shema joined the GHC team full-time in August 2011 to launch the GHC office in Kigali, which currently supports fellows, alums and partner organizations in Rwanda. He has previously worked as the National Volunteering Program Manager at Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) in Rwanda, where he also managed a Multicultural Global Exchange program, and nurtured, and led a Diaspora volunteering scheme bringing Rwandan experts living in North America to work in Rwanda. Shema also worked with Partners in Health (PIH) in Rwanda for more than 3 years managing PIH growth in Kirehe District regarding health care services, health access systems and health infrastructure. He also served as the Chairperson for the Program on Social and Economic Rights, and later Chief of Staff and Public Relations for PIH/IMB Rwanda.

Shema, who represented the Rwandan Youth in the second sitting of the International Youth Parliament held in Sydney, Australia in 2004, is deeply passionate about social justice, health equity, youth leadership, and developmental solutions uplifting people from poverty. He holds a Master of Public Health from the University of Roehampton, London; and a bachelor’s degree in History and Politics from the National University of Rwanda, where he served as Secretary General for the General Students Union from 2003 to 2004.