Awamaki Executive Director: Kennedy Leavens

Kennedy Leavens

Executive Director


Hometown: Seattle, Washington USA

Kennedy has always been passionate about women's rights and independence. She connected this passion with Latin America at a young age, when she went on a school trip to Ollantaytambo, Peru - where Awamaki is now based - in 2001. That trip inspired her interest in Latin America and international development, and set her path to Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. There, she studied Latin America and economic development. After graduating, she moved to Ollantaytambo to work as a volunteer for a local Peruvian weaving non-profit, and ended up founding Awamaki with her colleagues and the weavers from that project. After four years in Peru, Kennedy left to pursue a Masters in Public Administration, specializing in non-profit management, at the University of Washington, and split her time between Seattle and Peru. Now, Kennedy is based mostly in the U.S. where she promotes the artisans' work and supports our team in Peru. She and her husband dream of moving their family back to Ollantaytambo one day.

Favorite Peruvian Dish or Meal: Adobo

Favorite Place to Visit in Peru: Lares hot springs via hike

What they love about Awamaki: We have a tight-knit team and I really appreciate the way we work together to support each other, troubleshoot problems and work towards our mission.

About Awamaki

Awamaki is a nonprofit fair trade social enterprise dedicated to connecting Andean artisan weavers with global markets. We collaborate with women artisans to support their efforts towards educational and financial independence by co-creating beautifully handcrafted knit and woven accessories using hertiage techniques.