Program Manager for West Africa @ Hirondelle Foundation
Macroeconomist @ United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Bachelor of Arts, Political Science @
I lead Media Matters for Women (MMW), an NGO addressing the unmet information needs of women and girls in rural Sierra Leone. In two pilot projects we successfully demonstrated a new kind of information network which is inexpensive to build and maintain, especially in comparison to radio. We have received a second round of funding from the
I lead Media Matters for Women (MMW), an NGO addressing the unmet information needs of women and girls in rural Sierra Leone. In two pilot projects we successfully demonstrated a new kind of information network which is inexpensive to build and maintain, especially in comparison to radio. We have received a second round of funding from the African Women's Development Fund (Ghana), Indigo Trust (UK), and Oak Foundation (Switzerland) to continue our work, taking into account the constraints posed by the Ebola crisis. MMW was selected to present our innovative concept at the February 2015 UNESCO / UN Women global conference on women’s empowerment and technology in Paris.
I previously managed complex journalism and public service radio projects in Liberia, Timor and Sierra Leone for the Hirondelle Foundation, Media for Peace and Human Dignity, based in Switzerland. I have a master's degree in agricultural economics and extensive experience in combining economic analysis and project development for the World Bank, United Nations, and USAID. I have worked in Rwanda, Turkey, Macedonia, the West Bank and Gaza, Bosnia, Zambia, and Guinea-Bissau. I am also an experienced American diplomat, including ten years with the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service.
Founding Director @ I founded and manage Media Matters for Women (MMW), a U.S. nonprofit working in Sierra Leone to link traditional systems of radio broadcasting with mobile phones for those who are excluded from the information age due to extreme poverty. We are building a new kind of public service information network which creates and distributes radio-styled news programming in multiple languages for female audiences living without access to the Internet, electricity or generators.
Media Matters for Women uses Bluetooth technology on cell phones to digitally connect Sierra Leone’s women and girls so they can share information, learn from each other, entertain each other, hear crucial messages, give feedback, and join in a network that begins in their village and extends across their country.
West Africa currently has the highest maternal mortality and illiteracy rates in the world and most women lack regular access to radio-style programming in their own language that is relevant to their lives. MMW enables female journalists to earn a living and at the same time we significantly expand news and information services for the world’s poorest women. We hope to scale this new approach to public service media throughout West Africa.
Our goal is to connect rural women and girls with information that empowers and enables them to access and fully enjoy their rights.
MMW was chosen to present our innovative concept at the 2015 UNESCO / UN WOMEN conference on leveraging technology to empower women and girls at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/themes/icts/m4ed/mobile-learning-week/ From August 2010 to Present (5 years 4 months) Program Manager for West Africa @ The Hirondelle Foundation, Media for Peace and Human Dignity, is a global nonprofit which builds radio stations in areas of crisis and post-conflict situations. It is known for its ability to quickly set up high-quality radio stations in complicated situations, often in partnership with the UN, and then to provide back-up to the national staff from its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. I worked as Project Manager of several of Hirondelle’s anglophone media projects, including Cotton Tree News (CTN) in Sierra Leone which trains journalists and broadcasts daily news and information. I also managed Hirondelle's public service radio projects in Liberia and Timor. From February 2006 to July 2010 (4 years 6 months) Macroeconomist @ West Bank/Gaza. I served as the Macroeconomist on a food security assessment of the Palestinian Territories during the spring 2003 invasion of Iraq. I analyzed Palestinian agricultural production, evaluated food availability, and made recommendations concerning food security. From 2003 to 2003 (less than a year) Senior Trade Advisor @ Zambia. I served as a senior advisor to the Zambian Ministry of Commerce, Trade, and Industry to develop its position on agricultural issues under negotiation in regional trade organizations. From 1999 to 1999 (less than a year) U.S. Diplomat @ Rome, Italy. I was seconded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service to work within the Investment Center of the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). I served on teams sent to Turkey, Macedonia, Bosnia, and the West Bank/Gaza to finalize agricultural proposals and projects for the World Bank. For example, just after the signing of the Dayton Accord, I traveled three times to Bosnia to work with the Bosnian Ministry of Agriculture to develop a monitoring and evaluation system for a World Bank emergency reconstruction project which distributed cows and tractors to 8,000 Bosnian and Croatian farmers.
Geneva, Switzerland. I served as the U.S. Agricultural Attaché.
Washington, D.C. I joined USDA to work with a small team of analysts focused on harmonizing food safety standards among countries. From May 1988 to May 1998 (10 years 1 month) Marketing Specialist @ West Bank/Gaza. I served as a marketing consultant to the Palestinian National Authority to assist in the development of a World Bank investment plan. I identified the investments needed to improve government services to Palestinian producers and exporters in the marketing of high-value horticultural products. From 1998 to 1998 (less than a year) Agricultural Economist @ Kigali, Rwanda. I trained economists in the Rwandan Ministry of Agriculture to use computers to analyze data from the national agricultural census, completed an econometric study of the integration of Rwanda’s food markets during periods of drought, and assessed the feasibility of implementing a system of quality standards within Rwandan bean and sorghum markets. From 1986 to 1987 (1 year)
Master of Science, Agricultural Economics @ Michigan State University From 1984 to 1985 Bachelor of Arts, Political Science @ Rollins College From 1977 to 1981
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