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Atlas Corps Alumni Council

Atlas Corps Alumni

Akhil Khurana, India, Class 17

Akhil holds an honors degree in Economics from Shri Ram College of Commerce, University of Delhi, and comes with a unique mix of private and social sector experience. In his most recent role, Akhil worked as a strategy consultant with a social enterprise in India to develop and execute their expansion plans, while simultaneously managing their global partnerships. Akhil previously worked as a consultant at two leading global human capital consulting firms, Towers Watson and Marsh & McLennan Companies. At the same time, Akhil managed social impact experiences for students and professionals across the globe. Over the past three years, Akhil's work involved developing a model for using MBA students and young professionals as pro bono consultants to fill human capital gaps for nonprofits and social enterprises in India. Through this work, Akhil maintained a strong network of nonprofit leaders, pro bono consulting chapter leaders, and MBA program directors at top 10 and Ivy League Universities.With his strong passion for human capital development and social entrepreneurship, Akhil hopes to bridge the talent access gap faced by nonprofits and social enterprises.

Host: Creative Associates International

Fellow Role at Creative Associates International:
Akhil will work on business development, partnership management, and communications strategies at Creative Associates, an international development firm. He will be engaged on one of their initiatives called CreativeU, which is positioned as a process to integrate blended learning for “people in development” across the world.

Anna Ayvazyan, Armenia, Class 8

Anna has nine years of nonprofit experience with different NGOs in Armenia and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Finances from Economics and Law University of Stepanavan, Armenia. While working as an Operations Manager at the Full Life NGO, she actively participated in projects focused on advocating for human rights and equal opportunities for people with disabilities, promoting principles of inclusive education within the USAID-funded “Strengthening DPO’s for Greater Outreach” project, and developing new projects and fundraising strategies. She was awarded with the Letter of Acknowledgement from the Governor of Lori Region for her efforts. Anna has worked at the Stepanavan Area Development Program regional office of World Vision Armenia as an accountant and volunteered with local environmental non-profits. In 2007 and 2008 she worked as an interpreter-assistant with international observers of OSCE at the parliament and presidential elections in Armenia. As a volunteer advisor she participates in pre-arrival orientations with students of the “Golden Bridge” Georgian-American Exchange Visitor Center. Through these experiences, Anna developed attention to detail, flexibility in cross-cultural communication, as well as strong skills in developing project proposals, budgeting, accounting and project coordination. Anna has a strong passion for human rights, equal opportunity, and gender issues. Above all, she champions sustainable development and social responsibility.

Host: Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota

Arturo Gonzalez, Mexico, Class 15

Arturo earned his Master of Arts in International Relations from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, where he was awarded with the Vice-Chancellor’s Commendation for Academic Excellence. He received a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Tecnológico de Monterrey, where he graduated top of his class and received the highest honors for his performance in dramatic arts and social development projects.

Arturo has four years of experience in the nonprofit sector. He currently co-directs the community building education program LiberArte, which he co-founded in 2013. Born of a word play between freedom and art, LiberArte’s mission is to strengthen community through creative expression. The curriculum provides a creativity-intensive ten-week experience for elementary-aged children in marginalized schools in Monterrey. It empowers children to build their identity, tell their story with confidence, and develop a strong sense of belonging to their community. In less than three years, LiberArte has served over 485 children in 5 schools and trained over 80 university student facilitators.

Arturo served as an Atlas Corps Fellow in Class 15 at Kids’ Food Basket in Grand Rapids, Michigan from May 2014 to October 2015. Arturo was elected by his peers to serve as Chair of the Atlas Corps Fellow Executive Committee.

As Projects Manager at Kids’ Food Basket, Arturo proposed, designed, implemented, and evaluated projects to empower communities to attack childhood hunger in West Michigan. Arturo’s most important contribution to the organization was designing a youth civic engagement education program. His role was also focused on breaking down cultural barriers to make the organization more inclusive of the Latin American community.

During his Fellowship, Arturo was awarded the “2015 Young Professional of the Year” award by the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He was also selected to participate as one of fifteen nonprofit leaders in the American Express – Aspen Institute Academy 2.0: A Fellowship for Emerging Nonprofit Leaders.

Danielle B. Goldberg, USA, Class 3

Danielle Goldberg is a conflict resolution educator, trainer/facilitator, and specialist in human rights, peace-building and gender equality.

She currently serves as Deputy Director of Community Mobilization for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, engaging Americans to support the world’s children through its initiatives on advocacy, adult volunteer engagement and the End Trafficking Project.

She previously served as Program Officer at the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders, where she was lead author of a global survey of civil society organizations, which fed into the United Nations High Level-Review on Women, Peace and Security. She also published research on Equal Representation of Women through the Lens of Leadership and Organizational Culture as a consultant for the UN’s Focal Point for Women.

As Program Coordinator for Columbia University’s Program on Peace-building and Rights, Ms. Goldberg authoredcurriculum on conflict resolution, social harmony and women’s empowerment, which she transferred to universities and non-profit organizations throughout Sri Lanka, Myanmar, the Western Balkans and Indonesia. She also served as Faculty Advisor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, overseeing a graduate project to support NGOs in Myanmar to prepare a CEDAW shadow report on gender-based violence.

She is an executive board member of Atlas Corps, for whom she served as an Atlas Corps fellow in Bogota, Colombia for the non-profit Give to Colombia. (2009-2010). She is also currently an executive board member of the Friends of the Association of War Affected Women. As a previous board member of Voices for Sudan, shehelped the organization to establish a U.S.-based Sudanese coalition dedicated to peace and development in Sudan and South Sudan.

Ms. Goldberg previously served as Assistant Regional Director the Anti-Defamation League, directing anti-bias and multi-cultural education programs in schools throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. She has also served as an educational adviser to the United States Institute for Peace (USIP) Global Peacebuilding Center and as a USIP trainer offering workshops on negotiation and civilian protection to UN peacekeepers in Africa. Ms. Goldberg was selected as one of the Top 99 under 33 Foreign Policy Leaders in 2012 by the Diplomatic Courier and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP). She graduated from American University with a B.A. in International Relations and an M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution.

Dipanwita Das, India, Class 10

Dipanwita is Founder and Director at Das Social Strategies. She has previously worked as a communications consultant, trainer, public relations strategist, and a social entrepreneur. With an education rooted in development studies and a fierce passion for the nonprofit sector, she has consulted globally on issue led marketing and communications programs. Dipanwita’s core focus area is to build and optimize digital-first solutions for her clients. Her expertise ranges from research & program design to real time reporting and analysis on global issues for social impact organizations. As an Atlas Corps Fellow, she managed the training program for the next generation of global social impact leaders and prior to that she led on Google+’s nonprofit and outreach strategy. She enjoys focusing on women’s and minority rights and studying the unorganized labor sector in India. Dipanwita enjoys traveling, reading constantly and arguing about the finer points of Tolkien’s works.

Donald Bodzo, Zimbabwe, Class 4

Donald Bodzo is a versatile project manager and business developer with over 7 years of experience in Latin America, Southeast Asia, North America, and Sub Saharan Africa. He is passionate about social protection and global youth employability issues, which drove him to establish an organization in Zimbabwe (paNhari) that empowers youth through providing economic opportunities, non-cognitive life and workforce skills. Donald has worked on several global initiatives that deliver operational approaches and evidence-based solutions that help youth manage risk, cope with chronic and transitional poverty, and access better livelihoods and jobs. He is familiar with the extensive policies, multi-sectoral solutions and institutional landscapes around social protection, youth employability, poverty and shared prosperity. Donald also has a proven track record in research, advocacy, advisory work in the context of social inclusion, monitoring and evaluation, capacity building, innovative data collection, and measurement systems.

Eric Njoroge, Kenya, Class 12

Eric is currently the Development Director at Tangaza University College, Kenya. Eric also serves as the Chairman of Consolata Mission Hospital Mathari and School of Nursing Management Board. Eric is passionate for mentorship and health issues at the community level, he has partnered with Project Cure and other institutions to offer more than 40 free medical camps in Kenya and Tanzania. Eric earned a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from UrbanianUniversity, Rome and a Master’s degree in Philosophy and Religion from Kenyatta University, Kenya. He is currently pursuing his PhD on ethnicity and national cohesion from Kenyatta University, Kenya. Previously, Eric was the Executive Director of Furukombe Initiative in Nairobi, Kenya and Emergency Coordinator with Sudan Catholic Bishops in Juba, South Sudan. Eric is interested in fundraising and capacity building in nonprofit sector. His hobbies are swimming and cycling.

Foluke Ojelabi-Hammer, Nigeria, Class 6

FolukeAdetolaOjelabi is a Public Health Advocate and Development Specialist with over nine years of experience in public health advocacy, project implementation/management and non-profit organizational development. She grew up in Northern Nigeria and has experience working on Malaria, HIV/AIDS, TB, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Maternal and Child Health, and Sustainable Development projects for women and girls at national and community level.

Foluke started her experience in Non-Profit Organizations as a teenage volunteer and later while working in Kebbi and Niger states for the USAID funded PROACT HIV/AIDS and Health Systems strengthening project with Management Sciences for Health, she distinguished herself and was selected as one of four Nigerians for the prestigious Atlas Corps fellowship for young professionals. Foluke served as an Atlas Corps fellow with the International Advocacy Department of Population Action International in Washington D.C where she contributed to the multi-country Integration Partnership Project, the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition and the Maternal Health Supplies Coalition.

Returning home after Atlas Corps, Foluke volunteered as an independent consultant coordinating the “Making mothers visible- Inside out project, she has worked with Friends of the Global Fund in Africa to mobilize resources in support of the Global Fund and the fight to end HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria through global level advocacy and domestic resource mobilization. She has been trained by the Roll Back Malaria Partnership for Advocacy and resource mobilization, and also received leadership training by the Common Wealth based on the selection of 100 young African leaders in 2012.

She briefly worked with the African Management Services Company for the UNDP ATMS project and currently directs programs for the family foundation CHEF (Community Health Education Foundation). Foluke is an advisory board member for the youth led communications and PR firm 3’Afrique in Lagos, Nigeria and she consults as an Independent Consultant with Development Aid International, she has degrees in Microbiology (B.Sc); Field Epidemiology (MPH) and is currently studying Sustainable Development.

Foluke has expertise in project management and implementation; strategic partnerships and high level advocacy, research for development, data collection for monitoring and evaluation, capacity building, network building and health systems strengthening.

Hajira Khan, Pakistan, Class 13

Hajira has 5 years of experience in international development, working with non-profit organizations around the world. She is currently working as a Program Manager at Amal Academy a Stanford University & Acumen Fund venture where she manages Career-Prep Fellowships that help university students from low socio-economic backgrounds develop business skills needed to get a job. Previously she was on the Advisory Board of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust's program Queen's Young Leaders. As the Advisory Board Member she assisted in selecting 60 award winners who received their awards from Her Majesty the Queen at the Buckingham Palace. As an Atlas Corps Fellow she served at Meridian International Center and has worked with City & Guilds and as a Steering Committee Member of British Council's program ILMpossible. In 2010 she founded an initiative that taught English to underprivileged children in Lahore.

She was awarded the Active Citizen Award by the British Council and the Study of the U.S. Institutes scholarship on Women's Leadership by the U.S. Department of State.

Janice Cashia Pratt, Liberia, Class 12

Janice has been working in the international nonprofit and governmental sectors for over seven years in the areas of economic reform, poverty reduction, and development. In her native Liberia she works with the Governance Commission of Liberia as one of the youngest female Policy Analysts with the Government of Liberia. She has developed policy recommendations that addressed the issues of health, education, the economy, and sustainable development in Liberia and the sub-region. She is also the founder of a small non-profit in Liberia that promotes technological and economic opportunities amongst disadvantaged youth. Janice is currently studying for a Master of Science in Political Economy of Late Development at the London School of Economics (LSE).

Jonathas Freire Barreto, Brazil, Class 7

Jonathas is helping to create a global Culture of Service by putting people at the center of change, creating opportunities, breaking collaborative barriers, and facilitating methodology transfer among different volunteer organizations around the world. In 2011 he served as an Atlas Corps fellow at Points of Light — the largest organization in the world dedicated to volunteering and service — where he currently works as Global Director focusing his efforts on accelerating the growth of global citizen engagement by strengthening and growing Points of Light’s global footprint.

He brought to Points of Light more than 8 years of experience promoting social entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility and sustainability in the private and social sectors in both Brazil and the United States.

Over the years, he has worked for premier organizations and gained extensive experience in designing strategies for sustainable development, stakeholder management, corporate social responsibility, strategic social investment, development of business plans, conception and implementation of impact indicators / results, etc. In 2013, he was awarded as one of the Top 99 under 33 young foreign policy leaders in the world by Diplomatic Courier and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy in USA.

He holds a degree in Business Administration from the Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, and specialization courses on Corporate Sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility and Non-profit management.

Joyeta Goswami, India, Class 8

Joyeta is an urban development and affordable housing enthusiast from India. She graduated with a Masters in Public Administration from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).

While at SIPA, Joyeta consulted with the New York City Housing Authority's Section 8- Quality Assurance and Performance Management Team where she conducted Business Analysis on several internal processes and developed process guides for the same. She also interned with the New York City Mayor's Office of Operations and conducted due diligence analysis on their Capital Projects.

Joyeta is working with the Best Development Group LLC on Affordable Housing Finance arena and is well versed with financial analysis tools required for the same. She has in depth knowledge of models like Low Income Housing Tax Credits, 421 (A), etc.

To contact Joyeta, please email her at: joyeta@bestdevelopmentgroup.com

Karuna Dayal, India, Class 14

Karuna is an Atlas Corps Alumni from India, she served as a Policy Fellow at CARE USA with their Gender & Empowerment unit in Washington DC where she contributed in policy advocacy, research and analysis around implementation of donor and government policies addressing early, forced child marriages in Bangladesh and Nepal and contributes to the development of an international advocacy strategy to influence key stakeholders at global and national level.

As a social development professional, she has been working with Non-Profit sector in India since over 7 years on access to justice projects, policy advocacy, good governance, legal empowerment of communities, combating human trafficking and the Right to Education. She is currently working as a Manager - Programmes with Multiple Action Research Group (MARG) in New Delhi, India. She serves as a board member with the Center for Legal Aid and Rights (CLAR).

Karuna also holds a volunteer position as the Director-South Asia Region for the Nexus Working Group on Human Trafficking & Slavery, a part of the Nexus Global Youth Summit. She served as member on Atlas Corps Fellow Selection Committee and the Communications Committee.

Lara Palmisano, Italy, Class 16

Lara is a multilingual media and social media specialist with more of 7 years experience with international organizations and civil societies in conflict and post-conflict environments in Africa, Europe and the Americas.

She is working in Haiti as the Communication Specialist on environmental sustainability and disaster risk reduction projects funded by the Disaster Preparedness ECHO program for the International NGO COOPI - CooperazioneInternazionale, in close collaboration with UNISDR.

Recently at the United Nations Foundations in Washington DC, she was the co-editor of Global Daily, the online community resource for all up-to-date content about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from sources and organizations around the globe. Prior to that, she served as the External Relations Officer at the UNHCR in Cote d'Ivoire, and as a Public Information Officer at the United Nation Missions in Sudan and in South Sudan.

She was also was the Media Relations Officer for COOPI’s headquarters in Milan, Italy.

She has a wide knowledge in communication, web and social media and in working closely with Governments, and international organizations worldwide. In addition, she holds a Master’s degree in Multimedia Communication and has two UN formal trainings in writing for the Web and Social Media.

Luckmore Jalisi, Zimbabwe, Class 9

LuckmoreJalisi is a Zimbabwean national, currently working as the Youth and Governance Advisor for ActionAid Denmark based in Monrovia, Liberia. He holds an International Development Masters from Wageningen University, Netherlands- Disaster Studies, Emergencies and Fragile States Specialization and a Masters and Bachelor of Sociology from the University of Zimbabwe. As the Youth and Governance Advisor, his role involves technical policy advice to the ActionAid country management team, and civil society in stream lining youth led policy change and democratic governance, systems strengthening, policy analysis and policy design. Using participatory methodologies, he engages youth at all levels in understanding their risk levels as well as analyzing the efficacy of the existing national framework like for their well-being as part of the post conflict reconstruction process in the country. He is part of the small team researching and drafting the 2015 UN Habitat/ActionAid State of the World Urban Youth Report where is focusing on urban emergencies and disasters. On a personal note, he is passionate about LGBT rights, has written extensively about LGBT individuals in disaster contexts and has pushed for LGBT equity within and outside ActionAid. He is an Atlas Corps Fellowship Program alumnus form class 9, where he served at Management Systems International based in Washington DC; he is currently on the selection board for new fellows. He previously worked for the German Foreign Ministry International Development Agency- GIZ in Uganda and Restless Development in Zimbabwe. He is a Toastmaster, an AIESEC alumnus and currently serves on the advisory Boards for AIESEC in Liberia and Sierra Leone. He is the founding member of United African Students at Wageningen University.

Maksim Karliuk, Belarus, Class 11

Maksim has six years of research experience and four years of consulting and training experience with civil society organizations. He holds an LL.M in European Law from the College of Europe, Bruges Campus (Belgium) and is working on his Joint PhD project at Ghent University (Belgium) and Belarusian State University (Belarus). Maksim is currently based in Moscow doing research on Eurasian integration at the HSE-Skolkovo Institute for Law and Development at the Higher School of Economics. Maksim also continues consulting civil society organizations trying to help developing their capacity and skills in drafting project proposals and implementing projects. The CIPE-Atlas Corps Think Tank LINKS Fellowship had a strong influence on developing strong leadership, research and productivity skills and reinforced his enthusiasm to bring about a positive change in his region and the world.

Marcela Calle, Colombia, Class 18

Marcela is a public policy and civil society expert with over 7 years of experience in the Latin American Region. Marcela has participated extensively in technical assistance processes and has worked with different governments and civil society organizations to improve their capabilities in the design, implementation and evaluation of public policies and projects in citizen and physical security, human rights and peace building to increase the governability in Colombia. In addition, she has been a lecturer in multiple universities and public entities in the areas of urban security, introduction to public policy, government and democracy. During her Atlas Corps Fellowship, Marcela successfully served at Internews as part of the LAC/ICT team in Washington DC. She earned a Bachelor´s Degree in Government and International Relations from the Externado de Colombia University, and a Master of Arts in National Defense and Security.

Medha Sharma, Nepal, Class 16

Medha Sharma is currently the President and CEO of a nonprofit named Visible Impact that works for leadership development of girls and youth, especially in post-earthquake situation in Nepal. As an Atlas Corps fellow last year, she served as Grant Manager at Nike Foundation. She has also worked as Capacity Development Specialist at H4L Logistics/ USAID and Program Coordinator for youth SRHR at YUWA.

Medha has over 10 years of experience in nonprofit sector and has considerable experiences in designing, developing and implementing programs for youth, girls and women regarding their health, advocacy, community development and leadership. She has obtained her International Masters in Public Health from Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Post Graduate Diploma in Women Studies from Tribhuvan University, Nepal.

Medha has also presented her experience and research related to program management, grant management, and gender and development at several national and international forums. As a writer in national dailies and blogs, she often expresses her advocacy and activism on critical social issues.

Meher Rehman, India, Class 2

I am a seasoned international development professional from India with 15 years’ experience in the areas of CSO capacity building, Women and Youth Leadership, Public Health, and Community Development across South Asia, USA and East Africa. I have managed large-scale projects on good governance, post-disaster recovery, women’s empowerment, health, youth and civic engagement, and education, with strong advocacy and capacity building components. Being committed to advancing gender equality in programs and organizations, I have led portfolio expansions on gender and developed Gender Integration Strategies for various non-profits. To this end, I have also developed programs on Girl's Education, Violence against Women, Women and HIV/AIDS, and Male Engagement, in India, using a gender and rights lens. In the course of my career I have had the opportunity to consult for premier institutions such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), London School of Health and Tropical Medicine, World Bank, IIM-Bangalore, UN Women, and All India Institute of Medical Sciences on a range of social development issues in South Asia.

I bring a unique blend of grassroots and managerial experience in community development across diverse populations and cultural settings. A skilled writer and strategic communicator, I am organized in my work, believe in achieving results and carry a positive attitude and passion in my work on community empowerment. My dedicated work in the social sector has earned me two international recognitions, the Atlas Corps Fellowship and the Muslim Leader of Tomorrow by American Society for Muslim Advancement. I am currently based in Chicago with my husband and pursuing an active consulting career that allows me to work on the issues that are close to my heart.

Natasha Uppal, India, Class 11

Natasha has five years of professional experience in the nonprofit sector. She is currently the Operations Manager at the Joint Initiative for Village Advancement (JIVA) where she is responsible for supporting and guiding organizational capacity building, project implementation and monitoring, knowledge management, and sustainability planning. Implemented by PYXERA Global, JIVA is an integrated community development program focused on improving agricultural productivity, educational opportunities, and basic infrastructure in three villages in Rajasthan, India. Natasha was an Atlas Corps Fellow from January 2013 to July 2014 during which she served as a Program Coordinator at PYXERA Global’s Center for Citizen Diplomacy in Des Moines, Iowa and Washington, DC. Prior to the Fellowship, Natasha worked at CARE India where she designed and implemented a youth engagement program, ‘Power to Empower’, aimed at sensitizing the youth about gender issues and mobilizing thought and action around women’s empowerment. She has also worked at the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) International Program on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), Ashoka: Innovators of the Public, and AIESEC. She is a StartingBloc Fellow and a member of the Nexus Global Youth Network and is passionate about social innovation, gender equity, and affordable and quality education for the poor.

Nilanjana Chowdhury, India, Class 2

I am a non-profit professional from India. I am passionate about women's rights and child rights. I am especially interested in issues related to Health and Protection. I have worked with international non-profit organizations like Save the Children, Oxfam India and the Brooke India during my eight years of professional journey. I like taking up new challenges with each of my assignments. I believe it gives me opportunity to learn about new practices in the industry and test my own creativity. As a newborn child survival campaigner at Save the Children I engaged with local government, media and celebrities from various walks of life to ensure better impact of the campaign messages. I remember with great pleasure my time developing the very first ‘Donor Services Manual’ for Oxfam India to bring uniformity in donor relations all across the country. My role in the Brooke India gave me the opportunity to be the bridge between India program teams and overseas PR & fundraising teams in the UK, USA, and Netherlands. Atlas Corps fellowship program gave me opportunity to come out of my comfort zone, challenge myself and understand the social issues of larger nature, which helped me, develop a global perspective. I am presently developing a project to support young mothers, abandoned by their husbands, helping them to meet their basic needs and secure a future for their children, learn a life-skill to earn living and save themselves from traffickers in remote areas by the India-Bangladesh border. Had it not been my exposure during the Atlas Corps Fellowship and now my involvement as Atlas Corps alumni, it would perhaps not been possible for me to do so.

Blog- http://beyondourprism.blogspot.com

Niza Castañeda, 25, Monterrey, Mexico (Host: AYUDA)

Niza has three years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Law from the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon (UANL), in Mexico, and a Master's degree in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law from Pantheon-Assas University in France. While working for the International Forum of National NGO Platforms (IFP), based in France, she provided legal advice on the legal incorporation of the IFP and helped promote an enabling environment for nonprofit organizations. Previously, she undertook an internship at the OHCHR in Switzerland, where she reviewed and analyzed National Human Rights Institutions independence, legal mandates, and cooperation with nonprofit organizations. In Mexico, she worked at the Human Rights Commission of Nuevo Leon, where she handled and processed complaints for human rights violations. Niza has also worked as a professor for the Mexican Ministry of Public Education and the UANL for 2 years. Throughout her career, she has volunteered in two projects, nationally and internationally: at Peace Brigades International France, for protecting Latin-American human rights defenders, and at the Penitentiary Institution for Minors of Nuevo Leon, for teaching computer and English courses. As a result of these experiences, she developed strong skills on project coordination, monitoring and implementation, as well as analytical reasoning and legal research. Niza is fluent in written and spoken Spanish, English and French. She enjoys focusing on the topics of human rights, education and social development.


Fellow Role at AYUDA
Niza will conduct interviews with clients and draft client statements. She will prepare applications, petitions and forms collecting documentary evidence. She will perform statutory, case law, public records and country conditions research, and she will also prepare certified translations of legal documents.

Olga Smolenchuk, 32, Tomsk, Russia (Host: Youth for Understanding)

Olga has more than four years of experience in the non-profit sector as a youth development professional, and more than six years of research experience in international affairs and policy studies. She earned a Bachelor's Degree in International Relations from Tomsk State University, Russia, in 2004. In 2005, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs awarded Olga a prestigious “MATRA” scholarship for her study at the University of Amsterdam, where she earned an Executive Master Degree in International and European Relations and Management. In 2009, Olga began her PhD in Modern History at Tomsk State University, where she has been conducting research on international peacekeeping and humanitarian affairs. In 2012 and 2014, through a fellowship at the Netherlands “Clingendael” Institute for International Relations in The Hague, and the Indian Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) for sustainable development, Olga conducted interviews with international peace studies professionals. While working as a Project Manager at Tomsk State University of Control Systems and Radioelectronics (TUSUR), Olga led an English Language E-learning Project. She also acted as a youth development consultant, preparing students for exchange programs and internships abroad. Since 2015, Olga has continued working in the youth development and education field at National Research Tomsk State University (TSU) as an International Programs Officer. There, she has developed and strengthened international cooperation with educational institutions from abroad by attracting foreign students and monitoring and analyzing the international educational services market. Through these experiences, she has matured as a project manager with a series of published articles. Olga enjoys focusing on the topics of youth development, humanitarian affairs, and international peace and conflict resolution.

Host: Youth for Understanding

Fellow Role at Youth for Understanding
Olga Yuryevna Smolenchuk will have the primary responsibility of developing and driving the evaluation for the exchange experience forward. Additionally, Olga will work with the team to refine and improve processes around YFU’s National Standards of Care by monitoring, training, and supporting students, families, and volunteers.

Phillip Mlanda, Zimbabwe, Class 5

Phil Mlanda is a software architect with an academic background in Computer Science & International Development. He is the Co-founder & Program Manager of paNhari (www.panhari.org), an organization that prepares young people for leadership in the workforce & strengthens self-employment initiatives for educated youth to build and scale their enterprises. He currently works as an IT project manager for an insurance company.

Pinky Pradhan, India, Class 3

Pinky has nearly eight years of experience of non-profit as well as corporate sector. Her core skills are development communication, networking and partnership building, advocacy and project management. She is actively engaged with human rights issues related to drug use, anti human trafficking and empowerment of women and children. Since 2007, Pinky has been working with United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Regional Office for South Asia. During her term, Pinky assisted the Office in mainstreaming and addressing its mandates. She has also closely worked with the South Asian media, parliamentarians, corporates, civil society and advocacy groups. Along with a media advocacy group, she helped set up the National coalition of Nepali journalists and artistes to combat human trafficking in Nepal. She has also been involved in sensitizing journalists from the South Asian (SA) region on rights based reporting. She played a critical role in mobilizing and building the capacity of 140 grassroots level NGOs on drugs and HIV/AIDS prevention. Pinky has closely worked with the marginalized communities and women groups of backward states of India such as Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Bihar, UttarPradesh, and Orissa among others. Her previous assignments have been with WWF-India, NERCRMP-IFAD and E, lexicon. Pinky is voluntarily associated with Development Consortium, an NGO that works on development issues, National Media Coalition against Gender Violence, Human Trafficking and HIV/AIDS (media group which promotes rights based reporting in the SA region) and Dishoooom.com, which provides a platform for citizen voice, action and journalism. Pinky holds a B.A. from Cotton College, Assam, India, and a postgraduate degree in advertising and public relations from the Indian Institute of Mass Communications in New Delhi.

Pinky is also an active blogger and uses her blog http://solidarityfordevelopment.wordpress.com/ to highlight the development issues of her country and the region.

Most recently, until August 2009, she was a communication and advocacy officer at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Regional Office for South Asia.

She has also closely worked with the various advocacy media groups and has helped set up the National coalition of Nepali journalists and artistes from film and music industry against human trafficking in Nepal. She has also been involved in sensitizing journalists from the South Asian region on rights based reporting.

Host: Population Action International

Prem Sagar, Pakistan, Class 16

Mid-level program management professional who has executed projects in Education, Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health (MNCH), child rights and youth empowerment in Sindh at the provincial levels for 12 years with In-depth technical experience in project management, coordination and leadership. Has knowledge in the development, implementation, management, and evaluation of integrated and multi-million programs. Experience in engaging public and private sector for leveraging resources and communication and advocacy for child rights and access to quality education. Skilled in managing team and financial resources (already managed US$ 10 Million) to meet complex program needs and limitations to achieve strategic outcomes. Proven experience in establishing relationships and coordinating with stakeholders, including but not limited to: Government officials and representatives, private sector organizations, implementation partners, communities, and donor agencies.

Rehema Z Namukose, Uganda, Class 14

Rehema Z. Namukose is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Sustainable Development at the graduate School for International Training (SIT) in Vermont, USA. She recently completed a one year fellowship with Atlas Corps and served at Women Deliver, a global nonprofit organization in New York City. Rehema co-founded the Youth Mentorship Initiative, a youth-focused nonprofit organization addressing the rising levels of employment through mentorship and capacity building. With four years’ experience and a professional background in communications for the non-profit sector, Rehema has served under various communications and public relations capacities, leading grassroots awareness creation campaigns at national and local levels to promote social issues like conservation, sexual and reproductive health and rights, renewable energy technologies, and youth empowerment. She is passionate about social change issues that link youths, especially adolescent girls to skills and life opportunities to enable them achieve their dreams. She is also passionate about nature and conservation.

Samita Thapa, Nepal, Class 17

Samita has a strong background in research, writing, and communications. Samita has previously assisted the communications and marketing teams ofTechChange, a social enterprise providing online courses for international development professionals. Prior to TechChange, she worked at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants where she communicated with 33 affiliate agencies around the U.S. and was responsible for an online training to ensure compliance-based refugee resettlement. Samita earned a Bachelor’s degree in History from Goshen College in Indiana, and as a senior in collegeshe initiated a semester-long internship with the local office of the Mennonite Central Committee, a relief and development organization. There, she researched and reviewed documents for a training for U.S. immigration advocates. Before starting college, she volunteered as a teaching assistant in an international school in Nepal. Samita is passionate about assisting in the development of Nepal, especially in the education sector. She is especially interested in the empowerment of women through education.

Host: TechChange

Fellow Role at TechChange:
Samita will communicate with TechChange's domestic and international clients on a daily basis as well as manage TechChange's social media accounts. She will create marketing campaigns for TechChange's courses and approach new partnership opportunities.

Sudeshna Mukherjee, India, Class 6

Sudeshna Mukherjee is an alumni representative on the Atlas Corps Board of Directors. With nearly 9 years of professional experience in program management and resource mobilization across national and international nonprofits, Sudeshna was awarded the Atlas Corps Fellowship in March 2011 as part of Class 6 to serve at GlobalGiving Foundation in Washington, DC. As part of the project team, she learned the inner workings of an international non-profit cum online fundraising platform with presence in 120+ countries. An independent international development consultant, Sudeshna recently concluded a global health project working with Assist International [core partner for GE Foundation] to support the partner interface, managing communication and analysis of the Developing Health Globally™ funded projects. She lead the Stories from the Field initiative collecting stories of change and impact of DHG's work in the field, visiting Honduras, Kenya and Rwanda. She also worked on developing key communication material and benchmarking studies for the donor. Her other recent consultancy assignments have included managing a social media initiative on behalf of London-based Management Centre, devising resource mobilization strategy for the Democratic Governance Group, a unit of the United Nations Development Programme in New York and finally, managing outreach and PR for the recently concluded Bach In the Subways Day 2014 that was eventually featured on the Daily Beast. Sudeshna is also a published contributor to Global Fundraising, written by a team of philanthropy leaders and considered a must-have for INGO leaders and anyone, anywhere, interested in the future of philanthropy and effective fundraising practices. Sudeshna earned a Masters in Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences and a Masters Certificate in Resource Mobilization and Management from S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai, India. As a travel-enthusiast, she enjoys exploring different cultures and communities and embracing their practices.

Taha Sharif, Sudan, Class 11

Taha Sharif has more than eight years’ experience working in the nonprofit sector. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Sciences and Technology in 2006 in Sudan. He also obtained Microsoft Certified System Administrator (MCSA) and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certifications at the American University in Cairo (AUC). In 2007, Taha volunteered in various youth initiatives where he developed sound skills and training in leadership and program management in relation to youth rights and education, community development, and corporate social responsibility. Taha co-founded I-Care nonprofit organization in 2008. Through I-Care, he actively participated in projects focused on advocating for human rights and equal opportunities for children with disabilities, and youth development. In 2010, Taha volunteered to work as an IT election monitor at the Sudan Vote Monitor platform where he utilized his IT skills for the benefit of the community. In 2013, As an Atlas Corps Fellow, Taha served as an IT manager at Mobilize.org and Public Foundation where he handled and developed all IT-related activities. Taha now works at a consulting firm in DC as a cyber-security specialist.

Trina Talukdar, India, Class 15

Trina Talukdar started working in Kalighat, one of Asia's oldest and largest red light areas, at the age of 18. Her interaction with commercial sex workers spurred her passion to spend her life working on gender empowerment. After graduating with a major in English Literature, Political Science and Sociology, she went on to do a Masters in Social Work, specializing in Medical and Psychiatric Social Work.

Trina co-founded a non-profit, Kranti at the age of 22, in Mumbai. Kranti identifies the potential in girls who have been trafficked to become agents of social change, as they have survived the worst social adversities, and have the passion and understanding to solve these social problems. Trina moved to Ashoka: Innovators for the Public to explore other areas and models of work in the development sector, through Ashoka’s fellow selection process.

In 2014-2015 Trina took a yearlong sabbatical from Ashoka to work with American Express, Philanthropy, in Washington, D.C. and New York, as an Atlas Corps Fellow.

Virginia Campo, Panama, Class 12

Virginia Campo is a social entrepreneur passionate about the economic empowerment of vulnerable communities. Her experiences vary from banking, startups and international cooperation in 4 different countries: Panama, Colombia, USA and Kenya.

Virginia studied International Relations in Florida State University and is currently the MD of two projects: LittleBigMoney and Campus de Innovacion.

Vithika Yadav, India, Class 1

Vithika Yadav is a human rights professional, with over ten years of experience of working on human trafficking, modern day slavery, sexual rights and gender rights. In 2007 she was awarded the Atlas Corps Fellowship to serve at Free the Slaves in the USA. In 2012 she was awarded as one of the Top 99 under 33 young foreign policy leaders in the world by Diplomatic Courier and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy in USA. Over the years, she has worked for premier organizations such as the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, BBC World Service Trust, Free the Slaves and MTV EXIT.

In 2012 her work ‘Standard Operating Procedures for rehabilitation work with victims of human trafficking, sexual violence and abuse’ was selected as a best practice model which allowed her to represent India at the 2nd World Conference on Women’s Shelters, held in Washington DC. Both nationally and internationally, Vithika is seen as an expert on survivor care and protection services and in this context she is focused on advising NGOs/INGOs regarding how to create rights based programs of recovery through which women and girls can emerge from being victims to being human rights advocates in their own right. She conceptualized and worked on a TV series 'TRAFFIC', (addressing human trafficking through five case studies) that was broadcast on MTV India and it won the Best Public Service Program Award under Indian Television Academy Award in year 2014. Currently Vithika works for RNW Media (The Dutch International Broadcaster) as the Head of India Operations on the Project Love Matters, which is the first ever website in India to give complete, honest and unbiased information on love, sex and relationships in India in both Hindi and English language. Through the project, she has been articulating the compelling value of the work on sexuality and sexual health issues, assessing and understanding community/target audience needs, creating content to be culture specific, helping fight myths, misconceptions and stereotypes and setting standards of promising practices, exploring strategic multi-stakeholder partnerships and envisioning sustainable impact of the program.

In year 2013, Love Matters won the Award for Excellence & Innovation in Sexuality Education from the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS).

Yaw Adu-Gyamfi, Ghana, Class 6

Yaw Adu-Gyamfi, is a co-founder of Centre for Social Innovations (CSI), and leads efforts at localizing the sustainable development goals-SGDs, focusing on skills development, innovation and entrepreneurship. CSI empowers change-makers in Ghana making use of design thinking and asset based community development approaches.

An expert in Cluster formation, Yaw has successfully supervised the following programs:

- Muskoka Initiative Partnership- sponsored by Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development(DFATD)to improve maternal and child health for over 9000 women and their new-born in middle and Northern Ghana(2013-2014) - Business Advocacy- sponsored by DANIDA/USAID/DfID) to provide Information Technology and Business Development services to Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organization (SMIDO)- an enclave of over 200,000 artisans in Kumasi(2007-2010)

As the first Ghanaian Atlas Corps Fellow, Yaw in 2011 served in Strategic Communications, supporting the initiatives of CentroNia- a Washington D.C. based organization that supported 2,500 low income families. He is a member of the Pan African Competitiveness Forum (PACF) that works to enhance the competitiveness of local organizations in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda and also serves on the board of LDI Africa. In October 2015, Yaw was awarded as an IMF Youth Fellow and attended the 2015, IMF and World Bank Meetings to provide perspectives on global economic and development issues.

An alumnus of Catholic University of Ghana, University of Cape Coast and the Institute for Social Change in Washington D.C., Yaw enjoys reading, traveling as well as public speaking engagements.

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Scott Beale, The Founder and CEO

Scott Beale is the founder of Atlas Service Corps and an experienced social entrepreneur who has started three citizen sector organizations and helped...
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