A social and criminal justice reforms and system change influencer, Teresa has a background in banking and finance. She served a prison sentence between 2009-2011 at the Langata Women Maximum Security Prison accompanied by her then one-year-old daughter. Her first-hand experience of prison led her to found Clean Start Solutions Kenya. She leads Clean Start as CEO in order to equip and empower vulnerable children and women who end up in conflict with the law or imprisoned within the criminal justice system in Kenya.
Teresa received the Head of State Commendation Gender 2022 Trailblazer Award. She was also among the 2022 Top 50 Africa Women in Development by Donors for Africa in 2022. Teresa is an inaugural Ford Foundation Global Fellow 2020, a Vital Voices Lead Global Fellow 2015, a TED Women 2017 Speaker, and the recipient of the African Female Leader 2018 Excellence Award by The Global Thinkers Forum, UK. Women & Girls Lead Global recognized Clean Start’s efforts as outstanding advocates for marginalized groups. Her efforts at Clean Start led her to be a 2020 finalist for the Diversity and Inclusion Award for Best NGO Program on Human Rights Promotion by Daima Trust Kenya and she received the Bold for Impact Award Jacob’s Well Foundation. She has been an Acumen East Africa Fellow and a Spark* Kenya Change-Maker of the Year. Teresa was presented with the Timeless Woman of Wonder Award by Her Excellency Director General – UN, Ambassador Sahle-Work Zewde and the Inspirational Woman of the Year Award, Kiambu County by the Ministry of Devolution.
Clean Start Solutions Kenya