Past Executive Directors of ASEC

Sr. Draru Mary Cecilia, LSMIG, Ph.D. ASEC Executive DirectorSr. Draru Mary Cecilia, LSMIG, Ph.D.

Executive Director

November 2017-present: Sr. Draru Mary Cecilia, LSMIG, Ph.D. is of the congregation Little Sisters of Mary Immaculate of Gulu (LSMIG) in Northern Uganda and began her role as ASEC Executive Director in November 2017.

Interim Executive Directors

  • September 2017-November 2017: ASEC Board Member Sr. Marcia Sichol, SHCJ, Ph.D.served as ASEC's Interim Executive Director from September to November 2017.
  • March 2017-September 2017: ASEC Board Members Dr. Jane Farr, Ph.D. and Sr. Margaret Gannon, IHM, Ph.D. served as ASEC's Interim Co-Executive Director for six months, after the departure of previous Executive Director, Sr. Jane Wakahiu.

Sister Jane Wakahiu, LSOSF, Ph.D.Sr. Jane Wakahiu, LSOSF, Ph.D.

2011-2017: Sr. Jane is a member of the institute of the Little Sisters of Saint Francis, Kenya. Jane earned a Bachelor of Education Degree from Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Kenya, a Master of Arts Degree from Saint Bonaventure University, Olean, New York, and Ph.D. in Human Development/Higher Education Administration from Marywood University, Scranton, Pennsylvania. Jane has extensive teaching and administrative experience gained from leading at a high school in Kenya, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses at Marywood, and as a leader of women organizations. As the Executive Director of ASEC, Jane implemented the Higher Education for Sisters in Africa (HESA) program, joining together conferences of religious superiors, religious congregations and institutes, major foundations, and over twenty partner colleges and universities in the USA and Africa. She also expanded the Sisters Leadership Development Initiative (SLDI), and initiated funding for ASEC scholarship program. More than 5,300 sisters have benefited from ASEC’s educational programs under her leadership, which are funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. 

An accomplished author and editor, Sr. Jane’s peer reviewed articles are published in national and international journals, focuses on higher education administration, capacity building, leadership development, Catholic sisters, research methodology, program design and evaluation, and best instructional practices that encourage skills transfer to workplaces.  Jane is the lead editor of, “Voices of Courage: Historical, Sociocultural and Educational Journeys of Women Religious in Africa,” and co-author of, “Fundamentals of Research Methods in Education: A Students’ Handbook.”  She is also a contributing writer for the Global Sisters Report. She has served on schools and HIV/AIDS program boards in Kenya and, advisory boards and university diversity committees in the USA. Aware that God gives and loves graciously and generously, serving sisters in Africa through ASEC provides fulfillment and bringing meaning to her vocation as she endeavors to make a difference in the lives of sisters and the people they generously serve.

Sr. Jackie Ernster, Past Executive Director of African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC)Sr. Jacquelyn Ernster, OSB, Ph.D.

2007 – 2011: A Sister of St. Benedict, Yankton, South Dakota, Sr. Jacquelyn Ernster obtained her Ph.D. at Ohio State University.  She served as the Executive director for ASEC from 2007-2011, was previously president of Mount Marty College, Yankton,  SD, and was prioress of her community from 1997-2005, she is currently serving as Administrator at St. Gertrude Monastery, Ridgely, MD.

Sr. Anne Munley, Past Executive Director of African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC)Sr. Anne Munley, IHM, Ph.D.

2006-2007: A sister of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM), Sr. Anne Munley holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, History and Government from Marywood; a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from the Catholic University of America; and a Ph.D. from Boston College. She has taught at both high school and college levels.

A co-founder of ASEC and its first Executive Director, Sr. Anne worked on behalf of ASEC from its envisioning in 1995 through completion of Board service in 2016. She also served as the Director of Programs and Social Mission for the International Union of Superiors General, Rome, Italy. For eight years, she was the President of the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In 2007, she was inaugurated as the eleventh President of Marywood University, a Catholic university in Scranton, PA. Sr. Anne led Marywood through its highest enrollment growth, establishment of the first School of Architecture in the region, expansion of its business program to become the School of Business and Global Innovation, and philanthropic support leading to a Centennial year in 2015 that included the completion of the largest expansion project in the university’s history. She retired from Marywood in 2016.