Dr. Nkiruka Ohaegbu
President, Adaptive Strategies
The pandemic forced many parents of young children to reduce their volunteer time. Dr. Nkiruka Ohaegbu was not one of them. While guiding an essential government service from her home computer and overseeing her children’s remote education, Ohaegbu maintained her extensive commitments to the community.
“I loved working with Metro Edge. I was chair of the Empower Committee. My task was to promote civic engagement and get more involved in civic affairs. We had an event where we taught how to get appointed to the state, county and city levels, which a lot of people attended, and it was great.”
Ohaegbu has an impressive resume of government service and recently left a key role at Pacific Gas & Electric to start her own public affairs company, Adaptive Strategies. Her roles at PG&E involved her in public affairs, government relations and enterprise project governance, advocating for clean energy and sustainability. She says her parents gave her a strong work ethic.
“They’ve always been really encouraging to me,” says Ohaegbu. “They said it doesn’t matter what you want to do; just keep going and try your hardest to do the best. If you want to be a dancer, then just be the best dancer. You want to be a singer, be the best singer. … You know, you want to do government, be the best in itself. That’s always been in the back of my mind.”
As a young child growing up in Michigan, Ohaegbu volunteered with her parents. “I just had that great example growing up. It’s just kind of ingrained in me to just kind of do the same thing,” says Ohaegbu, who is married and has two children.
Ohaegbu serves on the board of several nonprofit organizations, including the YMCA of Superior California, the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce Foundation, PBS KVIE and the Sacramento State Alumni Association. “I make the time, and it doesn’t feel like it’s a drain on my time because I enjoy what I’m doing,” she says.
Before joining PG&E, Ohaegbu served as a business loan specialist in the U.S. Small Business Administration, working with businesses recovering from economic loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She previously was a gubernatorial appointee at Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency, serving as assistant director of planning and policy and managing the development and implementation of special projects. She also served in several positions in the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., including special assistant to the governor and first lady.
She earned her doctorate of business administration from Georgia State University, her MBA from Sacramento State and her bachelor’s degree in business administration and strategy from Wayne State University. Ohaegbu says she traveled a lot “jet setting around the world” before the pandemic but now spends time with her husband, Chin, 10-year-old son Arinze and 6-year-old daughter Adaeze.
Ohaegbu said she is excited to take on the challenge of starting her own public affairs company with the support and encouragement of mentors. “I’m going to use my expertise and many years of working in state and federal government, and working on the corporate side in government affairs and public affairs, with companies looking for public affairs experts.”
“I’m really excited. I’ve been wanting this for a while,” she says. “It seems like it’s the best time now to get started.”
Correction July 18, 2023: A previous version of this article stated that Dr. Nkiruka Ohaegbu was chair of the power committee and on the board of the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce. She was chair of the Empower Committee and on the board of the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
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