Meet the leader – Jacqueline Onalo

Jacqueline Onalo, barrister and solicitor of England and Wales

Jacqueline Onalo is a barrister and solicitor of England and Wales. She is a senior human rights lawyer involved in consultations with the Home Office related to changes in legislation, policy and procedure in asylum, immigration and human rights. She is the Women4Africa 2016 “Motivational Speaker of the Year” and recipient of the BRAAD Award for Community and Social Development 2015. African Women in Europe 2015 conferred on her a humanitarian award and she was a Women4Africa 2015 Career Woman of The Year finalist.

Read on to find out why Jacqueline is a leader…


Country of birth:


African countries you have visited:

Ghana, Tanzania, Nigeria, Uganda and South Africa

Languages spoken:

English and Kiswahili

Your family background:

I have three siblings and a wonderful daughter who is the making of me. My mother is a nurse and counsellor, my father was a lawyer. I inherited their work ethic, resilience, community spirit and intellect.

Tell us something about your leadership roles (employed or voluntary):

I am the founder and CEO of JOLT International Ltd, a leadership development organisation that has trained hundreds of leaders.

I established and run Chapel Court Solicitors for three years.

I am the chair of Community Development Initiatives, a charity that operates in the UK and a Kenya. Our recent successful projects.

  • Conversion of a colonial building into a medical centre.
  • Getting sponsorship for 28 orphans
  • Supporting youth entrepreneurs to establish new businesses whilst getting their voices heard on social, cultural and economic issues through performing arts.
  • Supporting Dandora women slum dwellers to get livelihood security for themselves and their children

Running of Maana meals which led to the befriending and support of some of the most vulnerable in Harold Hill, our volunteers on that project have now established an independent charity to continue this work.

What recent achievements (in the last 3 years) are you proud of and why. Give examples of the positive impact you have made in the diaspora and/or on the continent:

I mentor individual Diaspora youth and have supported many to achieve their ambitions. I have also mentored hundreds of young people through my leadership development sessions at Kingston University, University of Roehampton, Face of Kenya, the Powerlist Foundation and recently through JOLT International Ltd. This is my passion; supporting emerging and future leaders, sustainable leadership.

I sit on the Midlands NHS Leadership Academy Think Tank on equality, diversity & inclusion issues.

My research informed North East London FoundationTrust’s (NELFT’s) Ethnic Minority Network (EMN) Stronger Together Strategy 2020.

I worked with Barnet, Enfield & Haringey Mental Health Trust (BEH) and North Essex Partnership NHS Trust (NEP) in establishing their BAME staff networks to tackle racial discrimination and seek career advancement for their members.

A few words of advice to young leaders (age 5-11):
  1. Do your best in everything.
  2. Try new things.
  3. Treat everyone well, treat them like they would like to be treated especially those that no one wants anything to do with.

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