Current Speakers

Adam Szafran
Adam Szafran

Chief Information Officer

Adam Szafran brings over 15 years of experience in the Information Technology sector with an extensive background in Network Engineering, Project Management, Strategy, Development, and Design.  He served over 8 years in the United States Army, deploying to Mosul, Iraq in 2004-2005 with the 133rd Engineer Battalion and has been a regular volunteer with Team Rubicon USA since 2012.  Adam is a Clay Hunt Fellow and was the 2014 recipient of the Clay Hunt Spirit of Service Award. He is a Registered Maine Guide, serves on a number of local boards and enjoys spending his free time outdoors with family and friends.

Adele Waugaman
Adele Waugaman

Senior Advisor, Digital Health

Adele is Senior Advisor, Digital Health, at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where she is leading the development of a new strategy guiding the Agency’s investments in digital technologies to support global health programs and outcomes. She is co-chair of the 200-member Digital Health & Interoperability Working Group and serves on the advisory groups of a variety of development and humanitarian initiatives including the Global Digital Health Network, the GSK mVaccination initiative, the Humanitarian Innovation Fund, and TechnologySalon.org.

An affiliated expert and former fellow at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, she has appeared in news outlets including the BBC, Financial Times, National Public Radio, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal. Previously she was founder and managing director of Catalyst Advisory, LLC, providing strategic, technical, and advisory support to organizations using communications technologies to strengthen global health, humanitarian assistance, and global development efforts. Prior to that she was Senior Director of Technology Partnerships at the United Nations Foundation, where she managed a $30 million partnership with Vodafone that leveraged digital technologies to strengthen global health and humanitarian work.

Adele has authored and edited numerous reports on trends at the intersection of digital technologies and international development, including Fighting Ebola with Information: Learning from the Use of Data, Information, and Digital Technologies in the West African Ebola Outbreak Response (co-author) and Disaster Relief 2.0: The Future of Information Sharing in Humanitarian Emergencies (editor).

A native of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area she now resides in her hometown after a decade spent living in New York City, Paris, and Cape Town.

Alain Leroy
Alain Leroy

Senior Manager

Alain solves complex problems on the boundary of business and technology. He excels at helping clients transform their vision into reality, providing insights into the people, process and technology that affect their organization, and delivering action-oriented plans that lead clients toward desired outcomes. Alain has driven marketing and innovation in large corporations including IBM, Deloitte Consulting and Anthem Health. He is experienced in program management, new product development, market strategy, business development, due diligence, organizational change management and process improvement. Alain relocated to U.S. Virgin Islands in April 2014 to expand his consulting business in the Caribbean. He was working as a Director for a leading economic development company in St. Thomas during the two category 5 hurricanes in September 2017 (Irma and Maria). In the aftermath of the hurricanes, Alain volunteered his skills in support of the Governor’s USVI Hurricane Recovery and Resiliency Task Force. In May 2018, Alain went on to lead a territory-wide capital improvement program assessment to help the Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands account for $217M local and federally funded projects and establish a centralized program management function across 24 agencies. Alain currently resides in St. Thomas with his wife and daughter.

Alexis Bonnell
Alexis Bonnell

Chief Innovation Officer & Director of the Office of Engagement and Communication

Alexis Bonnell is the Division Chief of Applied Innovation and Acceleration in the U.S. Global Development Lab of USAID. Alexis has delivered humanitarian and development programming in over 25 countries, in almost every sector from education to stabilization. Her more than 20 years of experience in management and communications has provided her incredible opportunities to work on/with: Wall Street, “Dot.coms”, Middle East Peace Plan, Afghan and Iraq Elections, global emergency response coordination  and major logistics operations. Her focus is how to leverage science, technology, innovation, and partnership for greater impact. Alexis founded the Global Innovation Exchange, and has been lucky enough to see USAID invest in more than 1,000 social innovators and entrepreneurs, changing millions of lives around the world.

Andrew Lustig
Andrew Lustig

President/Founder

Dr. Andrew Lustig is a worldwide humanitarian Naturopathic Doctor/EMT/I and the President/Founder of Global Outreach Doctors.

He has provided medical care in hospitals, ambulances, local clinics, mud huts and even under trees around the globe. For the past ten years Andrew has worked in disaster and poverty conditions in remote regions of the world including Haiti, Africa, Nepal, the Philippines, Nicaragua, Lesvos (GR), Syria border (JO) and the Amazon Jungle.

He was a member of the Disaster Medicine Assistance Team of NM. Andrew provided medical care for many years at annual large scale events including Bataan Death March (attended by 20,000 participants), Burningman (attended by 50,000 participants) and LovElution (attended by 10,000 participants).

As a humanitarian, Lustig has worked with solitary confinement, life sentence and death row inmates at the super max State Penitentiary of New Mexico.
He’s organized large scale events and raised substantial funds for his dear friends, the Maasai people of Kenya to build schools and provide food. Lustig and has given speeches and appeared in print, radio and television.

For two decades in Andrew’s prior life chapter, he was an owner/CEO of a diversified media corporation with 1000 associates in NYC and locations across the country. He lives in Venice, California and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Andrew Schroeder
Andrew Schroeder

Director of Research and Analysis

Dr. Andrew Schroeder is responsible for all analytics programs, monitoring and evaluation, data collection, business intelligence and data visualization, geographic information systems, and geospatial analytics. Schroeder has developed and implemented a number of projects at Direct Relief to demonstrate programmatic impact, including Mapping Global Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV/AIDS; Spatial Analysis of the Global Diflucan® Distribution Program; development of GIS-based laboratory monitoring in Ethiopia; and USA Safety Net Mapping, which was cited in the New England Journal of Medicine. Schroeder has also presented findings from his research at Direct Relief at prominent conferences, including the Global Health Council and the InterAction Forum.

Schroeder earned his Ph.D. in Social and Cultural Analysis from New York University and his Masters of Public Policy (MPP) from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, specializing in quantitative and qualitative social analytic methods, information technology policy and international development. Prior to Direct Relief he worked as an assistant professor of communications at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and as a research fellow in globalization and communications at the City University of Hong Kong.

Belete T. Mazengia
Belete T. Mazengia

Senior Technical Advisor, Cash and Market Based Programming

Belete Temesgen is the Senior Technical Advisor for Cash and Market based programming at WVI. His roles include providing technical support to field programs during market analysis, program design and operations. He is also responsible in building capacity on CVA and developing/updating manual/guidelines and tools. Belete worked in Africa, Asia and Middle East Regions.

Benjamin Phillips
Benjamin Phillips

Director, Emergency Management Unit

Ben Phillips has worked in the international humanitarian and development sector for more than 27 years.  This work includes field-based postings in seven countries, and support or oversight of those in many others.  He first implemented cash-based assistance in Tajikistan in 2007, and for the past four years has promoted the expanded use of cash-based programming in his current capacity with ChildFund. He currently lives in Maryland, with his wife of 25 years and two daughters.

Bob Ottenhoff
Bob Ottenhoff

President and CEO

Robert G. Ottenhoff, a veteran in philanthropy, nonprofit leadership, and entrepreneurship, is president and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP). Prior to joining CDP, Bob spent a decade as president and CEO of GuideStar, an industry leader in the use of providing high-quality data to help donors make better decisions and improve nonprofit practice. While there, Bob developed a sustainable business model which supports free and fee-based services to more than 10 million users. He also led efforts to build partnerships with more than 150 leading U.S. and community foundations, and oversaw the development of www.guidestar.org into a nationally respected, comprehensive source of reports and services on more than 1.5 million nonprofits.

Bob has more than 25 years of management experience in public broadcasting and high-tech companies, including nine years as chief operating officer of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

Bob is known for his entrepreneurial spirit, strong technology focus, and quest to make an impact on the world. In addition to his role at CDP, he serves on the board of Inspirit Foundation (formerly Vision TV); Link TV; and Write on Sports. He also serves on the advisory committee of the Netherlands-America Foundation. He previously served on the board of the Grameen Foundation, USAAAFRC Trust for Philanthropy and the e-Philanthropy Foundation. Bob holds a bachelor’s degree from Calvin College and a master’s degree in planning from Rutgers University. He frequently writes and comments on nonprofit and philanthropic issues, and has been quoted in a variety of media, including television, radio and print publications such as NPR, the New York Times, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Wall Street Journal, and Forbes.

Brent D. Anderson
Brent D. Anderson

Liaison Office at World Bank Headquarters

Brent D. Anderson has worked in the global procurement market for over 30 years serving in various capacities at the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the United Nations.  He currently heads the United Nations Development Business office in Washington, DC and works closely with the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) with a specific focus on the World Bank and the IADB.  He oversees publication of procurement announcements and the World Bank and IADB Monthly Operational Summaries.

Christian Malota
Christian Malota

Child Protection Coordinator in Emergency

Christian Malota is a Child Protection Coordinator in the emergency for Save the Children International Malawi Office. Since 2015 Christian has been working as Child Protection Coordinator in the Emergency where she coordinated all the activities in strengthening the protection systems in the disaster affected areas, making sure that Children are more protected and are a priority in as far as response is concerned. She has also been in the forefront of building the capacity of the victims in Disaster Risk Reduction, and equipping the communities with resilient interventions to make sure they adapt to the changes after disaster.

Daniela Giardina
Daniela Giardina

Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience Advisor

Daniela Giardina is Oxfam’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience Advisor with specific focus on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, activities based in Boston. She has over ten years of experience working in the water, environment and sanitation sector with non-governmental organizations in East and West Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, and Central Asia in humanitarian relief and in recovery/development programs. This work has included technical assessments, project design and proposals writing, project management and coordination, monitoring and evaluation, and capacity building of local partners among other tasks. In 2015 she was involved in the Ebola prevention and preparedness program in West Africa and in 2016 in the new displacement in Northern Darfur. She holds a PhD in Sanitary Engineering and Sustainable Development and Master Degree in Engineering for the Environment and the Territory.

David Hartshorn
David Hartshorn

CEO

David Hartshorn has more than 25 years of experience in the communications industry. He serves as CEO of Geeks Without Frontiers, a non-profit technology-neutral organization that applies financially sustainable innovation to solve connectivity challenges worldwide. Mr. Hartshorn leads the organization as it catalyzes public and private sector initiatives to bridge the “Digital Divide” and reach the UN “Sustainable Goals”

David Meltzer
David Meltzer

Secretary General

David Meltzer has 30 years of experience in the satellite and humanitarian industries.  Mr. Meltzer currently leads GVF which is the largest global trade association for the commercial satellite industry.  As GVF’s Secretary General, he leads advocacy efforts on behalf of the industry with national and international regulators while providing members with benefits in areas such as online and classroom training, organizing industry conferences, and leading industry working groups on topics that include international regulatory matters, sustainable space operations, and disaster relief.

Prior to leading GVF as its Secretary General, Mr. Meltzer worked for sixteen years at the world’s largest communications satellite operator — Intelsat — and served as Intelsat’s General Counsel and Executive Vice President for Regulatory Affairs.

Following Intelsat, Mr. Meltzer served for thirteen years at the American Red Cross leading its international disaster relief and development activities and served as the American Red Cross’ General Counsel for over five years.

Mr. Meltzer has extensive experience working with senior members of government and has made numerous appearances before media, the U.S. Congress, the United Nations, ITU, and other national and international organizations.

Dina Simon
Dina Simon

Chief Executive Officer

Dina Simon was appointed CEO of the USVI Hurricane Recovery & Resilience Task Force by the Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands in November 2017, responsible for leading the initiative to produce a comprehensive report on the impact and recommendations for effective USVI recovery and resilience after the two 2017 category 5 hurricanes, Irma and Maria.

Prior to the 2017 hurricanes, Ms. Simon served as Senior Advisor to Governor Kenneth E. Mapp, providing him strategic counsel, helping to lead special projects in the areas of philanthropy, and strategic public-private partnerships and serving as the Governor’s liaison between cabinet members, special interest groups, elected officials and stakeholders.

Dinese Hannewald
Dinese Hannewald

Managing Director

“Being raised in a loving family that emphasized treating others as you wish to be treated combined with the act of sharing and giving back is in my blood. For me, it is like nature, simply a purely natural thing to do.”

Dinese learned very early how to give back via volunteering and engaging in social responsibility. In the 60s and 70s, both her mother and father worked as volunteers for the US Peace Corps and for local NGOs. Dinese tutored children and youths from lower socio-income families as a volunteer during her high school years in New York City and later during her university years studying at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In Germany, she worked on a voluntary basis as President and Vice President of the MIT Club of Germany e.V. from 1999 until 2004. Under her leadership as president, the number of dues paying members doubled. She also led the MIT Club of Germany’s first Biotech Conference with more than 140 participants. This conference raised over 35,000 Euros and this sum was donated for scholarships.

During Dinese’s previous career in the investment banking sector, she forged strong relationships with C-Level executives at global corporations and built an international network of debt and equity funding sources including venture capital and private equity funds, and banks.

Since founding Grace Impact gGmbH in 2014, Dinese has invested her own money in social projects and companies together with donations received.

Donna Mederios
Donna Mederios

Health Information Systems Head for International Development

Focusing in global digital health architecture, policy and standards. Specifically national and regional information systems (HIS, IS, MIS), data science, interoperability, integration, analytics and visualization.

Specialties:
Co-creating digital health architectures for national scale health system transformation working extended periods of time in countries with ministries and development partners.
Providing strategy in investing in digital health for governments and multi-laterals.
Establishing partnerships and collaborative efforts for accelerated progress in standards and interoperability, data science including AI.

Elizabeth Ashbourne
Elizabeth Ashbourne

Executive Director

As Executive Director of PQMD, Elizabeth (EJ) Ashbourne is responsible for furthering PQMD’s commitment to championing and advancing standards in medical supply and service donations by developing the vision, strategy, and execution of the organizations five pillars of work.

Prior to joining PQMD, EJ was most recently the Managing Partner for EJA Consulting, a small private firm specializing in strategic planning, fundraising, international development and joint venture support, mission driven event management, and all aspects of non-profit turn-around. Prior to that, EJ spent 17 years at the World Bank in a number of senior level positions, in the areas of private sector partnerships, global public health, infectious disease, and health management information systems.

Goulda Downer
Goulda Downer

Associate Professor

Goulda A. Downer, PhD, FAND, CNS, LN, RD is an Associate Professor in the College of Medicine at Howard University. Currently, at the helm of the Howard University Telehealth Training Center (HU-TTC) she is tasked developing and managing a national eLearning technology training program. The Center is designed to help strengthen the U.S. HIV clinical workforce and to provide culturally competent clinical care within racial and ethnic minority communities and thus reduce HIV disparity. She builds on two previous successful federally funded multi-million dollar National Centers which she designed, implemented and directed with consortium of national partners.

Dr. Downer has conducted joint venture with Boston University’s Healthcare Emergency Management Program to develop and conduct a “hybrid” exercise for the Uniformed Health Services Medical School. She has also supported efforts by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in their training workshop program to integrate Emergency Management into Higher Education Minority Serving Institutions.

Holly W. Radice
Holly W. Radice

Cash and Markets Technical Advisor

Holly Welcome Radice is the Cash and Markets Technical Advisor at CARE. She leads the NGO’s  global cash and voucher assistance strategy, capacity building and technical assistance globally. Holly has over 20 years’ experience in humanitarian and development contexts with experience Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

Imani Daniels
Imani Daniels

Executive Director

The St. Thomas Recovery Team is a non-profit coalition of diverse community stakeholders that are cooperatively coordinating St. Thomas’ long-term recovery, resource management, resiliency planning, and training in response to hurricanes Irma and Maria. Tthe STRT has two parallel missions. First and foremost, the STRT assesses the unmet needs of vulnerable homeowners in St. Thomas and provides spiritual, physical, financial, and emotional support, as able, to facilitate rehabilitation. Secondly, the STRT works with local government, federal government, and community partners to boost community engagement and facilitate longer term community-based sustainability projects. The STRT operates with over $1.5mill in funding, in-kind donations, and volunteer hours.

Jennifer Poidatz
Jennifer Poidatz

Director of Humanitarian Response Department

Jennifer Poidatz is the director of the Humanitarian Response Department. She provides agency-level leadership for programming in emergency preparedness, response and recovery.

Jessica Camburn
Jessica Camburn

CEO

As Elrha’s CEO, Jess has developed and led the organisation from its early beginnings in 2009 to its place today as a leading global actor in humanitarian research and innovation. Jess works closely with our Board of Trustees and leadership team to ensure we have the vision, strategy, talent and experience to deliver transformative results in humanitarian action.

Jess serves on a number of strategic Boards for UK research and innovation, including the UKs Disaster Research Group, and the Strategic Advisory Group for the Global Challenge Research Fund.

Jess is passionate about challenging the lack of investment in research and innovation in the humanitarian system, and is committed to working with others to make sure the the challenges faced by people affected by crises get the attention they need, so they can be addressed by the very best that global science, research and innovation can offer. Jess drives Elrha to explore and demonstrate how meaningful partnerships between people affected by crises and scientific and innovative communities can become transformative agents of change and ultimately realise their right to humanitarian action informed by evidence of what works.

Jessie Clyde
Jessie Clyde

Director of Grantmaking and International Partnerships

Jessie oversees IWHC’s grantmaking to feminist organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe working to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights. She has over a decade of experience supporting programs to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Prior to joining IWHC, Jessie worked as a program officer for adolescents with International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region (IPPF/WHR). Jessie also worked for Catholics for Choice in its International Partnerships Division and volunteered for the Batey Relief Alliance in the Dominican Republic.

She is a co-author of “It’s All One Curriculum: Guidelines and Activities for a Unified Approach to Sexuality, Gender, HIV, and Human Rights Education.”

Jessie holds an MPH from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, and a BSc in Spanish and Latin American studies from Georgetown University. She speaks Spanish.

John Robins
John Robins

Director of Business Development UN

For 25 years, Mr Robins has helped large and small organizations find answers to their communications problems in austere, remote and hostile locations across the world.  Over the years, embedding with the teams in the field, John has come to understand the challenges in these environments. Together with the entire Codan team, John provides the best fit communications solutions for disaster response teams and for organizations providing aid in conflict zones around the world.

Joseph Burton
Joseph Burton

Counselor for Technology and Security Policy

As Counselor for Technology and Security Policy at the U.S. Department of State, Joseph Burton works to promote U.S. national policies concerning the continuity and protection of information and communications technology (ICT) services across cable, satellite and cyber networks, while ensuring that evolving technologies are considered during the development of national technology policies.   Mr. Burton also serves as Executive Secretary of the U.S. Department of State’s Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information Policy.  Previously, Mr. Burton was with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration where he held positions as a Senior Telecommunications Industry Analyst, and as an International Trade Specialist with the U.S. Commercial Service.  As an International Trade Specialist, he counseled U.S. companies on international market entry and promotion strategies and was selected for temporary assignments as head of the Commercial sections at the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Malaysia as a Commercial Officer.

Kathleen Callaghy
Kathleen Callaghy

Senior Program Associate, Humanitarian

Kathleen Callaghy is Senior Program Associate for the Alliance’s Humanitarian team.  Since 2015, Kathleen has been helping to implement the Alliance’s goal of reaching the world’s most vulnerable populations with clean and/or efficient cooking solutions through technical assistance, communications, fundraising, and project management.  As chair of the Safe Access to Fuel and Energy (SAFE) Humanitarian Working Group, Kathleen is a primary advocate for the formal inclusion of energy access as a priority in humanitarian assistance. She has led global SAFE workshops to train field implementers on humanitarian energy programming, developed policy guidance on cookstoves and fuel for the Sphere Handbook, and currently serves as a technical lead in the ongoing development of a global plan of action on energy access for displaced people.

Prior to working with the UN Foundation, Kathleen served as Program and Operations Coordinator for CLASP, where she supported the development of appliance energy efficiency standards in India, China, the US, and EU. She has a background in international peacebuilding, with a Masters in Comparative Ethnic Conflict from Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, and a BA in Government and Legal Studies from Bowdoin College.

Kimberly L. Fogg
Kimberly L. Fogg

Founder

I’m a social entrepreneur/impact leader who is a “connector” and brings over twenty-five years of public-private sector experience resulting in specialized knowledge of cultivating and implementing partnerships, international field/country development, understanding cultural nuances to navigate partnerships, program management, fundraising, conference planning and supply chain management. My organization, Global Sustainable Partnerships (GSP) promotes and advocates sustainable community development solutions (e.g. innovative water technologies, rain-water harvesting systems, drone technology to map water sources/humanitarian/disaster relief and basic technological building blocks (e.g., electricity, phone/internet connections and cold storage) that aide in empowering girls/women, resulting in positive economic, social/political change throughout Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. I am responsible for organizing and conducting PR/social media outreach strategies for several high-profile world-wide conferences, special events and by-invitation forums, which gathers, policy makers, world leaders, CEO’s, Senior Management across industries and best in class Academics. I deep dive into the latest emerging trends and look beyond today’s realities & envision tomorrow’s infinite possibilities to maximize how to help clients reach new business prospects, cement client relationships and position their brand with unparalleled exposure. Thus, helping reshape and sustain the future clients want. I am the Chair of the Women’s Program Engagement Council (WPEC) for the African Trade and Investment Global Summit (ATIGS) to be held in Dubai 2020. Our mission will be to engage women/men globally to pledge their financial inclusion support for women owned business and empower them to promote economic and social well-being to the millions of girls living in poverty worldwide, thus inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs and social impact leaders.

Laura Walker McDonald
Laura Walker McDonald

Senior Director of Insights and Impact

A collaborative, empathic, and detail-oriented leader and bridgebuilder,
I combine humanitarian and development experience with deep knowledge of tech for social change.

I work to realize technology’s potential to bring about better aid, development and social justice practice. This means addressing systemic gaps in accountability, ethical requirements, capacity, infrastructure, and capital, and unjust and unequal concentrations of power in the Global North. I believe in patient progress through principled process.

Mostly, this means that I help people understand and solve problems together. To do this, I draw on twelve years’ global experience in technology, social change work, and entrepreneurship. I lean on ideas and methodologies from humanitarian aid and development, applied research, software product management and human-centred design, to create spaces people can think, perform, and collaborate in. I share what I learn, and pay my blessings and privilege forward wherever I can. And I lead close-knit and high-performing teams.

I contribute substantive research at policy and systems level, particularly
around data ethics, monitoring and evaluation, context analysis, and inclusive and accessible technology. I also lead close-knit and high-performing teams. My approach is to set clear goals together, and create a culture of accountability, team spirit, and compassion. This usually works well, when combined with access to snacks.

I started my career at the British Red Cross, working on humanitarian policy, accountability, and learning. In 2010, I joined FrontlineSMS, where I helped turn open-source desktop software into a non-profit business and cloud platform in just two years. At SIMLab, I lead a team that translated that experience into practitioner-facing tools and frameworks, and argued for improved, more ethical and more evidence-based practice. In 2018 I consulted on responsible data, evidence, and product, project and organizational strategy, and joined the Global Alliance for Humanitarian Innovation, working on data ethics and new technologies like blockchain. In March 2019 I join the Digital Impact Alliance as Senior Director of Insights and Impact.

I have served on the Board of ELRHA and am a trustee of the CDAC Network and a funding committee member for the Humanitarian Innovation Fund. I live in Washington, DC, with my husband and daughter and our yellow lab. I love to grow things, read things, and host chaotic but delicious feasts.

Liz Bloomfield
Liz Bloomfield

Humanitarian Programs Director

As Director of Humanitarian Programs, Liz leads Airlink’s operational responses connecting nonprofits and the aviation sector to deliver disaster responders and supplies in the wake of humanitarian crises worldwide. She joined Airlink from InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) focused on disaster relief and sustainable development programs. While with InterAction, Liz deployed to the field on a number of occasions to advise on humanitarian policy and program implementation.

Liz previously worked within the private-sector, managing renewable energy infrastructure programs with Siemens Wind Power, which required close collaboration and partnership with a range of international stakeholders. She has also delivered significant change programs within the UK public sector, and served for eight years as a logistics officer with the British Army, which included a deployment to Iraq in 2003, where she worked closely with the local civilian population on infrastructure reconstruction projects. Liz recently completed a Master’s Degree in International Humanitarian Affairs from the University of York, UK.

Liz lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and son, and enjoys running and cycling.

Lydia Nylander
Lydia Nylander

Senior Risk Management Advisor / Director, 1kwomen project

Ms. Lydia Nylander is a born and bred Londoner who uprooted and moved to Washington DC, over a decade ago. Lydia gained her Bachelors of Law at the University of London and has a Masters in International and Comparative Law from the George Washington University Law School. Since arriving in the US, Lydia has worked in various capacities in the non-profit and public policy arena. Prior to joining the Justice Department monitoring and compliance wing, Lydia was Director of Grants Management and Resource Development at the National Association of Consumer Advocates – the nation’s leading consumer advocacy organization. In this capacity, she oversaw the Institute for Foreclosure Legal Assistance, $15 million dollar foreclosure defense project which provided legal representation to families facing foreclosure due to abusive subprime mortgages. She moved to the US as the first stop in her quest to crisscross the world, living and working globally.

Mahnaz M. Harrison
Mahnaz M. Harrison

President CEO and Co-founder

Mahnaz M. Harrison, President, CEO and Co-founder of Last Mile4D, is a seasoned health executive that designs innovative community-centric health, education and economic empowerment solutions using mobile solar technologies and ICT. She has worked in international development projects in Georgia (Fulbright Scholarship), Uganda, Ethiopia, and Kenya among other locations.  Her many years of experience includes managing or advising officials, non-profit and profit organizations and boards on business strategy, organizational alignment and strategic change. She has led the process and guided the clients to strategic action, and performed management skills training for top tier management. She is a seasoned health executive with a broad range of work in health management, health system strengthening, health policy development, women’s health and women in health, gender-based and domestic violence, project design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. She has devised innovative health care programs, collaborating with many stakeholders to successfully move these projects from the pilot phase into full implementation. Her health management and familiarity with the political economy of the Caucasus led to her having been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to the Republic of Georgia, where she worked with governmental and nongovernmental Georgian stakeholders to draft a Comprehensive Cancer Control Policy. She co-edited the Country’s Non Communicable Disease (NCD) Policy. She also has worked with the Georgian National Museum, an umbrella organization managing 12 museums and three research institutes to assess their competency areas critical to change management and transition from Soviet era operation to modern management. In addition, Mahnaz sits on the board of World Pulse among other international and national boards.  She has consulted with the World Bank.  She is a graduate of Johns Hopkins School of Advance International Studies/SAIS.

Michael Mylrea
Michael Mylrea

Senior Advisor

Dr. Michael Mylrea is a Senior Advisor for Cybersecurity and Blockchain Lead and at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Dr. Mylrea has over 17 years of experience working on cybersecurity with leadership positions in industry and government. He leads several cybersecurity R&D and blockchain projects, including the largest federally funded blockchain cybersecurity project. He is a Senior Advisor to WA IoT Council, George Washington University (GWU) I3P and Rocky Mountain Institute. He completed his Doctorate at GWU focused on cyber resilience, graduate degrees and coursework at Tufts Fletcher School, Harvard Law School, WGU (MSIA), Tel Aviv University (Fulbright); and double majored at University of Wisconsin – Madison. Dr. Mylrea is proficient in several foreign and computer languages.

Mike OBrien
Mike OBrien

Global Director for Health and Nutrition

Mike O’Brien is the Global Director for Health and Nutrition for Relief International. Mike has been working in domestic and international health for 17 years and has a primary interest in the transition of humanitarian programs to development. He has a B.S in Health Education and an M.S. in Community and Public Health.

Ray Short
Ray Short

Director, Institutional Partnerships

Direct USAID Global Innovation Lab-funded program focused on expanding mobile and broadband Internet access to poor and rural areas in developing nations to increase access to digital platforms and applications supporting economic development, government accountability, improved health and educational services, and mobile money solutions. Partnering with CSR programs from a wide range of private sector technology companies (including Cisco, Microsoft, HP, Intel, Facebook, Oracle, & EMC) and some of the largest humanitarian NGOs (including CARE, the International Rescue Committee, Oxfam, & World Vision) to identify innovative ways to leverage technology and improve public policy to address this digital divide.

► Support regulations and policies that enable the safe, robust growth of digital financial systems and build critical market infrastructures.
► Support USAID’s goal of building strategic partnerships to create enabling policies and regulations, develop new business models, and provide relevant local content that makes mobile technology accessible to underserved populations.
► Facilitate the use of mobile data tools that empower decision makers to adapt their programs, eliminate errors in collecting and transcribing paper forms, and perform power analyses and visualization.
► Develop monitoring & evaluation strategies, performance frameworks, and project outcomes; and lead periodic implementation reviews to assure progress and identify remedial actions.
► Ensure compliance with USG regulations and private partner needs, including establishing compliance standards for new projects.
► Serve as primary focal point with USAID, private sector CSR programs, and NGO partners.
► Manage budget pipelines and conduct monthly reviews to ensure accountability of all project activities and timely reporting of finance deliverables.
► Identify prospective business development opportunities across both private and public sectors

Samson Williams
Samson Williams

Professor

Professor Samson Williams

Principal Consultant, Axes And Eggs – A Think Tank & Digital Advisor based in Washington, DC

Adjunct Professor, University of New Hampshire School of Law – Blockchain, Cryptocurrency & Law Program

Adjunct Professor, Columbia University – Blockchain, AI, Cryptocurrencies and FinTech

Email: samson@axesandeggs.com

Samson is a classically trained anthropologist, finance and public health expert who advises Fortune 100 companies, Executives and startups in Dubai, Washington, DC and Dublin, Ireland.  Samson’s focus is helping firms understand the latest trends in  fintech, alternative investments, blockchain, AI, health and digital transformation, so that they can make strategic and profitable decisions for their bottom lines. Follow Samson on Twitter/Instagram @HustleFundBaby or reach out to him on LinkedIn to follow the latest insights in his academic and market research.

Sam Stephens
Sam Stephens

Chief Executive

Sam Stephens is the chief executive of the Clean the World Foundation, overseeing all aspects of the organization globally. He has over 15 years of international development experience and is actively engaged in several global institutions including the World Health Organization, Global Impact Council, and World Economic Forum.

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