Mrs. Nkeiruka Obi
Mrs. Nkeiruka (NK) Obi is Smile Train’s Vice President and Regional Director, Africa. NK is a development specialist who has spent more than two decades fusing her experiences in the banking and non-profit sectors. She engages governments and community-based organizations delivering on health and child-focused projects within the humanitarian, social impact, and philanthropy spaces and is passionate about making the strengthening of surgical systems a priority through policy, infrastructure development, service delivery, training, and research.
NK joined Smile Train in March 2011. Under her leadership as Program Director for West and Central Africa, access to cleft and craniofacial surgery increased in 22 countries. Her efforts lobbying national ministries of health to make multi-level strategic investments led to the establishment of the first Cleft and Surgery E-Registry and the first Cleft Centre of Excellence in Africa. She continues to pioneer disruptive innovations, leveraging local partnerships with key professional bodies to scale up surgical and anesthesia care capacity through evidence-based practice and patient-centered care. When the COVID-19 pandemic came to her region, she helped pioneer new uses for telehealth to ensure vulnerable children had uninterrupted access to the cleft care they needed.
NK graduated with honors from the University of Calabar with a BSc in physics. She went on to obtain an MBA from her alma mater, and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in health psychology. NK is a certified management consultant and Global Professional of Human Resources, and an alumnus of Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos and the Haggai Institute of Advanced Leadership in Hawaii, USA. She is a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management (Chartered), as well as a member of several other organizations, including Rotary International. She is an author and community philanthropist and uses the proceeds from her award-winning books to sponsor the education of vulnerable children on the street. She has received many awards in recognition of her work for children and communities.
Her devotion to underserved, poor, and vulnerable children brings the world closer to the day when every child has access to safe, high-quality, and affordable healthcare services.
NK is based in Nigeria and is a proud wife, mother (including triplets), and grandma.