Sammy Mwiti Mbuthia earned a bachelor's degree in social work from the University Of Nairobi (1994) and a post-graduate diploma in mass communications from the University Of Nairobi (1996). In 1993, he started his career in development work, serving with African Education Fund International with branches in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. He also worked as a feature writer and columnist with the East African Standard, a daily Kenyan newspaper. In 1999, as a United Nations volunteer, he was deployed in East Timor as part of a team sent to prepare the country for the referendum that paved the way for East Timor's independence from Indonesia. He worked in East Timor as a district electoral officer and information officer. Since 2001 he has been writing and editing articles for the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea.