FCS Appoints Justice Novati Rutenge as New Executive Director

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – March 5, 2024– Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) proudly announced the appointment of Mr. Justice Rutenge as its new Executive Director. Dr Ally Laay, Chairman of the FCS Board, introduced the new appointee who has served a nearly 7-year tenure as an advisor to FCS, where he contributed significantly to results management, program and strategy development, strategic communications, resource mobilization, among other areas.

Dr. Laay expressed enthusiasm about the appointment, highlighting Mr. Rutenge’s wealth of knowledge and expertise in local, regional, and global programming. Dr. Laay emphasized that Mr. Rutenge’s appointment ushers in an exciting chapter for FCS, building upon its past successes and steering towards a dynamic future for the organization.

‘’Following a rigorous, five-month search process, the Board is fully confident in the appointment of Mr. Rutenge. He has the full support of the Members and Board of FCS to lead in contemporary times, cement FCS’ position as a facilitator of people-centered development in Tanzania, and an important voice within the global development discourse. We invite all our stakeholders and the general public to accord Mr. Rutenge and the new management at FCS the necessary cooperation as they execute their duties’’, he said.

Dr. Laay further recognized the outstanding contributions of Mr. Francis Kiwanga, the outgoing Executive Director who has dedicated the past nine years to FCS. Under his leadership, FCS has made remarkable progress in realizing its vision and mission, thanks to his strategic direction and commitment.

Mr. Rutenge assumes his new role on May 1, 2024, succeeding Mr. Francis Kiwanga, whose forthcoming exit was announced in October 2023. He becomes the fourth Executive Director since FCS was founded in 2002.

Commenting on the appointment, Mr. Francis Kiwanga, the outgoing Executive Director, expressed confidence in Mr. Rutenge’s appointment, stating,

‘’Mr. Rutenge will be charged with leading a bold vision of one of Tanzania’s key civil society institutions. He takes the leadership role at FCS at a critical juncture of shifting aid sector dynamics and a rapidly evolving technology landscape. Having worked with Mr. Rutenge, I am confident that his dynamic vision and proactive approach will elevate our organization to unprecedented success.”

Mr. Rutenge expressed his deep honor and enthusiasm for being appointed as the Executive Director of FCS. He emphasized the crucial role of collaboration with stakeholders in achieving the strategic objectives of FCS and upholding its commitment to people-centered, inclusive, and sustainable development.

I am delighted with the opportunity to guide our organization towards achieving our strategic goals. I am deeply passionate about upholding the great legacy of FCS, and I vow to lead with integrity, innovation, and an unwavering commitment to our goals. Facilitating partnerships for development, the ethos of FCS, deeply aligns with my conviction that collaboration is key to sustainable development. Therefore, I will rely heavily on the engagement and support of all our stakeholders to achieve our shared goals.”

Mr. Rutenge is a thought leader in development policy and practice. For the last ten years, he has served as the Managing Consultant at iDev Tanzania Ltd and iDev Consulting to leverage his passion for serving the international development sector with his creative and analytical skills. He has provided advisory services to national NGOs, donor agencies, multilateral organizations, global philanthropies, and corporates. His work has earned him recognition, including being selected as a Mandela Washington Fellow in the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), as well as a Program for African Leadership (PfAL) Scholar at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Mr. Rutenge holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Integrated Community Development from Daystar University, a Master of Science (MSc) in Media, Communication, and development from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Business and Management, with a specialization in Marketing Research, at Strathmore University Business School.