The daughter of a teacher and ethics
professor-turned-clergyman, I grew up with a strong sense that I should do what’s
right. Most importantly, this means to treat others how I want to be treated. I
now express this commitment by supporting communities where all have
opportunities to thrive. I work with nonprofits promoting health and education
services and with small businesses.
Most recently, I helped create and
implement an annual fund strategy for Building Goodness Foundation
resulted in the largest annual
fund in the organization’s history, raising 10% more than their original goal.
I also wrote grants for BGF, building on past success winning grants from the US State Department, private foundations,
churches, and other community initiatives.
I am now consulting Faculty Development
at the University of Virginia's School of Medicine, building their online
presence in order to engage faculty. I previously assisted with communications
strategy and online content for a UVA department focused on translational
research and clinical practice.
My recent experience additionally
includes working with small businesses to develop personalized marketing
strategies, using online resources as well as traditional means of outreach.
In the past, I have worked with human
rights campaign groups and nonprofits, helping them build their organizations
and new projects from the ground up. In 2005, while studying for a master’s in
international relations at the War Studies
of King’s College London
began a research internship with Waging
, which lobbies against genocide and systematic human rights abuses.
My first assignments included exploring microfinance options in post-conflict
environments and compiling a summary on the history of war in the Democratic
Republic of Congo.
In 2006, having completed my
master’s, I was hired as Waging Peace's first in-office director. I grew our
grassroots support into a full-time campaign machine that lobbied government
officials and provided education to local community groups. I helped
coordinate the first global Day for Darfur
enlisting speakers, planning logistics, and promoting the event in London. I
liaised with colleagues to found Sudan Divestment UK, encouraging companies to
withdraw from investments perpetuating the genocide in Darfur.
Additionally, I helped create Network for Africa
, which assists
survivors of war and genocide in rebuilding their lives. N4A’s projects are locally
led by our African partners, based on the needs of their communities – as
expressed by the community, not by outsiders. While we have offered some
short-term assistance in refugee camps elsewhere in Africa, our main projects
are in Rwanda and Uganda. We offer job skills training; literacy, math, and
business courses; seminars in legal rights and civic participation; and
assistance with accessing health services. In northern Uganda – where the
Lord’s Resistance Army, infamous for its abduction of children to use as
soldiers and sex slaves, has ravaged villages - we have pioneered a
first-of-its-kind trauma counseling program. We train lay counselors and give them
bikes so they can visit surrounding villages, offering counseling and making
people aware of positive options, such as local business cooperatives that we
are assisting with training.
As a director of N4A, I have
developed and evaluated projects with our local African partners and worked
with our team to implement fundraising strategies. After moving to California
in 2007, I oversaw the application process for nonprofit status for Network for
Africa US. I spearheaded a partnership between N4A and US clothing company
Doncaster, which has supported Aspire, N4A’s yearlong training program for
vulnerable women, by buying beaded necklaces that the Aspire women make by hand
and selling them in the US. I have also written successful grants for several
N4A programs. I currently serve on N4A’s board of directors.
Top photo: Gary McConnell Photography