Alumni Spotlights

Rahma Hersi, LL.M., '08

Director, Awal Consulting Limited (Kenya)

Rahma Hersi, LL.M. ’08, is A Founder and Director of Kenya’s First Islamic Advisory and Consulting Firm

Rahma Hersi, LL.M. ’08, is an Islamic finance lawyer, consultant, and trainer now working as director of Awal Consulting Limited. She is a founding member of the organization, which is the first Islamic advisory and consulting firm in Kenya. In her career so far, she’s worked in the United States and Kenya, as well as for the Gulf Cooperation Council, a political and economic union of Arab states that border the Persian Gulf.

She received her diploma in Arabic for non-Arab speakers, with distinction, from International University of Africa (Sudan) in 2002. She received her LL.B., with honors, from International Islamic University Islamabad (Pakistan) in 2007.

While taking part in her LL.M. studies at IU McKinney, Hersi was a student of Professor Karen Bravo, and served as one of Bravo’s research assistants.

“During her studies at the law school, Rahma was a student in a couple of my classes, and I hired her as one of my research assistants,” Bravo said. “She brought an open curiosity about the world, her studies, and her new surroundings, as well as a sharp intellectual and a truly international perspective. I am so very proud of all her achievements.”

While working with Ernst & Young’s specialized Islamic Finance Services Group in Bahrain, Hersi was instrumental in the drafting of the Islamic Banking Rules of Oman with the Central Bank of Oman, specifically the manuals on General Obligations, Sharia Governance, Power of Supervision and Control, and the miscellaneous manuals.

Hersi has also drafted policy and procedure manuals for Islamic banks both in Africa and the Middle East. She recently completed the first comprehensive write up on Islamic finance and its growth in Kenya to be published in the John Wiley Islamic Finance Series: A Whistle Stop Tour of All the Key Markets, which comes out in March 2014. She is also an Islamic Finance trainer having been the solo trainer for the largest and top ranked law firm in Kenya, Anjarwalla & Khanna, part of the African Legal Network.