Life at Elsevier:
Kelechi Okere

locationNew York, USA

“For me, Elsevier stands for the advancement of science, but also so much more than that.”

Photograph of Kelechi Okere

What’s your role in helping the company achieve its goals?

I’m a Global Sales Director for Pure, which is Elsevier’s research management information system. Pure helps universities aggregate all the information about their researchers in one place to help them work more efficiently; my role is to look after how we can make the system commercially available globally.

What does Elsevier, as a company, mean to you?

For me, Elsevier stands for the advancement of science, but also so much more than that. Scientific advancement informs technological, medical and health innovation—this ultimately means the advancement of society. That’s why the company is so important to me; Elsevier is such a big part of the ecosystem that makes strides in scientific research possible. Without companies like Elsevier, the dissemination of new knowledge on such a large scale just couldn’t happen.

What’s your favourite memory from your time at Elsevier?

I’ve been working here for about 14 years, and my favourite memory is definitely when I got a bike tour of Amsterdam from the company’s General Counsel. Basically, I was in Amsterdam two years ago for a management course at a hotel and happened to run into him; he’d asked me if I had visited the Rijksmuseum yet and I hadn’t. Not only did he take me to the museum, but we also rented bikes and explored the city together. To have a senior executive be that down to earth, that for me really stood out.

How do you balance your career with life outside work?

Outside of work, I dabble in amateur photography. Recently, a friend of mine who’s an author got her publisher to commission me to take the portraits for the back of the book she was publishing. So, the picture I took of her made it onto the back of the book, and that photograph is also the official one they use for reviews and all similar communications—it’s been published in the New York Times and the Guardian UK. For something I only did on the side casually, that was really great to see.

Besides photography, I’m really into literature. I have a Youtube channel and web series that I started in 2013 where I gather people together and have conversations about African literature with leaders in the community—when we’re lucky, the writers of the works join us for these discussions, too. I get to moderate conversations about the different themes that these authors are exploring in their novels and short stories and that, along with my other hobbies, helps to cultivate the artistic side of me.

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