HERS-EA was initiated by Dr Margaret Khaitsa, Professor of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, based at Mississippi State University in the USA and graduate of HERS-Denver Institute (2011).
On 15th October 2012, a group of women that attended the first HERS-EA inaugural meeting at Sheraton Hotel Kampala, Uganda (supported by African American Higher Education Partnerships -AAHEP) agreed to establish a HERS-EA Planning Committee which would actualize HERS-EA. At that meeting, Makerere University in Kampala Uganda was identified as a host institution for HERS-EA. In 2013 A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between HERS – parent organization in the USA and Makerere University to host HERS-EA during its formative stage. HERS-EA is expected to establish a fully staffed secretariat and to relocate to an independent appropriate site in Kampala, as soon as is practically possible.
HERS-EA has set itself an ambitious goal:
‘To raise the proportion of women in leadership and managerial positions in HEIs in East Africa to at least 50 % by 2025.’
In order to achieve this goal HERS-EA has drawn up specific objectives which are to:
Offer opportunities for leadership and management training for women at various career levels in HEIs in order to equip them for participation in institutional leadership and management.
Increase the numbers of women at high levels of decision making in government and nongovernment organisations.
Drive cultural change in universities so that they are welcoming and appreciative of women's unique contributions.
Provide a forum for informal networking and formal mentoring for members.
Be a resource for HEIs seeking able women leaders.