Carnegie Mellon University Africa

Senior Project Manager | Kigali, Rwanda | Completed as an employee of CMU


orange circle outline with orange arrow inside pointing down


Carnegie Mellon University Africa was established in 2011 in partnership with the government of Rwanda, and in 2019 celebrated the opening of its new Kigali Innovation City Campus, funded by the African Development Bank. The 6,000 square meter (65,000 SF) building can accommodate up to 300 students in graduate programs in information technology and computer engineering.

Nicole with her colleague, who works for the Rwandan Development Board, and his family

Large blue Arrow pointing right

"The Rwandan people lived through the worst of humanity during the genocide of 1994. So, for this campus to bring new life to them and the continent is profound to me. As of March 2020, 98% of graduates are working in Africa. Africans educated in Africa working for Africa. That’s truly beautiful – and truly transformative.”

Blue arrows in the shape of a triangle pointing down and to the left

While employed by Carnegie Mellon University, Nicole represented the university’s interests for over four years from before the beginning of construction through move-in coordination. This involved approving all materials in China before exporting to the site. She traveled to Rwanda to document construction progress and enforce quality control. She also collaborated with the international design and construction team, as well as local university staff, to ensure successful project delivery.

Large blue Arrow pointing right

"It was eye-opening to spend 10 days traveling through China visiting each factory, approving materials before they were put on a boat and exported to site. In Rwanda, site visits included the local kids following me around with their goats.”