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Class 29: March 2018 Atlas Corps Fellows

Caroline Needles, 27, Waterloo, Canada (HOST: Council on Foundations)

Caroline has worked in international development for three years. She obtained a bachelor's degree in Global Studies while pursuing development projects abroad and domestically. After graduation, she started working for World Vision Canada where she gained managerial experience in fundraising. In September 2015, she continued her education by completing a postgraduate degree in International Development Business in Toronto, Canada. Focusing on health and education, Caroline worked on projects in the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Mexico aimed at HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention, social enterprise projects and coordinating cultural exchanges. She aspires to continue evolving her career in the international sector and utilize her education and professional experiences to grow as a social leader.

Host: Council on Foundations

Fellow Role at Council on Foundations:
As the Global Philanthropy Fellow, Caroline will work closely with the Council’s Global Philanthropy Senior Director to grow a portfolio of internationally focused programming, including launching a new capacity building program for global grantmakers. Caroline will also support preparation for the 2019 Annual Conference.

Chaudhary Talha Waseem, 26, Lahore, Pakistan (HOST: Points of Light)

Talha has four years of experience working in the nonprofit sector and has expertise in using technology for social impact. He has a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology in Lahore, Pakistan. While working with Chanan Development Association, he developed and implemented a digital strategy to optimize multiple projects in the sectors of sexual and reproductive health and rights, democracy and HIV/AIDS. He has also developed websites and mobile apps in the healthcare, medical, utilities and lifestyle sectors. He is passionate about solving world problems using technology and he has accomplished this by starting ibjects.com, a digital agency that leverages technology for social impact and innovation. He also co-founded and managed projects like Cafe Entrepreneurship, which engages young people to use technology in the development of solutions that can solve social issues of Pakistan.

Host: Points of Light

Fellow Role at Points of Light:
Talha will develop and manage a digital marketing and optimization strategy for the Points of Light Civic Accelerator (CivicX) program. He will further develop digital optimization skills and have the opportunity to implement strategy and create recommendations for senior program staff.

Esther Monchari, 27, Nairobi, Kenya (HOST: American Red Cross)

Esther has more than four years of experience in the nonprofit sector, and she has a bachelor’s degree in business information technology from Mount Kenya University. She is a tech enthusiast, an entrepreneur, and a speaker. Most of Esther’s work revolves around technology because she believes that technology can solve most of the problems faced by society today. She is fascinated by global technological ecosystems and works to support entrepreneurs like herself to scale their work and impact on society. As one of the founders of sokonect, a platform that links small-scale farmers to buyers using mobile technology, she builds strong partnerships to solve these societal problems. Esther also serves as a board member for Girls in Tech Kenyan Chapter, a nonprofit organization that seeks to increase the visibility of women in the technology space through workshops, training, and conferences. Through these experiences, Esther has developed skills in project planning and management, event planning, coordination, and implementation. Her passion is to empower women, youth and the marginalized communities through technology.

Host: American Red Cross

Fellow Role at American Red Cross:
Esther will collect and disseminate knowledge from around the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) via preparecenter.org, Twitter, Facebook and other social media. She will continue to build a strategy and system for enhancing knowledge management while also reaching out and capturing knowledge from relevant external organisations including NGOs.

Freeha Ihsan, 29, Sialkot, Pakistan (HOST: Women’s World Banking)

Freeha Ihsan has six years of experience in the nonprofit and education sector. She earned her master’s degree in public administration from Fatima Jinnah Women University in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. To tweak her skills further, Freeha obtained her Master of Science with a specialization in management. She has developed expertise in project management, training and development, education, and economic empowerment. Most of her experience is based on projects specially design for underserved communities of Pakistan. As a Program Officer for the USAID funded education and economic empowerment for women project, she proved herself as a valuable team member because of her effective project management and communication skills. She also worked at the Parliament of Pakistan, on projects funded by the British Council & European Union, and with different universities as an educationist. Freeha has collaborated with diverse people, including elected leaders, bureaucrats, and people from underserved communities. Freeha is enthusiastic to help people, and she is always infatuated with opportunities to go out of her comfort zone.

Host: Women's World Banking

Fellow Role at Women’s World Banking:
Freeha will join the Women’s World Banking Strategy & Market Solutions teams. She will deliver solutions for the organization and its network member institutions concerning an array of microfinance initiatives including: credit, savings, youth products, financial education and microinsurance.

Gashaye Melaku Tefera, 31, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (HOST: United Way Worldwide)

Gashaye has five years of experience in the nonprofit sector and earned a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Gondar and a master's degree in social work from Addis Ababa University. While serving as the executive director of Guraghe People´s Self-help Development Organization (GPSDO), he developed and effectively implemented various projects focusing on women's empowerment, education, social accountability, reproductive health, and population and health issues. As the executive director of GPSDO, he takes the lead role in transforming the lives of women, children and marginalized people in the rural areas of Ethiopia. Prior to GPSDO, Gashaye worked for different nonprofit organizations on child education and protection, HIV/AIDS and youth empowerment projects funded by USAID, UNICEF, DFID and other donors. He also worked as a lecturer in two public universities in Ethiopia where he developed strong research and training skills. Besides his professional career, Gashaye is a songwriter and enjoys writing poems on socio-spiritual issues.

Host: United Way Worldwide

Fellow Role at United Way Worldwide:
Gashaye will represent the Africa & Caribbean Team as part of International Network (IN) Operations & Engagement. He will support Caribbean Expansion, identify funding opportunities for Network partners and drive data collection processes for the regions to inform strategic planning and recommendations.

Gayathri Suren Rajeevan, 34, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka (HOST: ChildFund International)

Gayathri has ten years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She holds a degree in social science from Madurai Kamaraj University. For seven years, she served as a project officer with Save the Children and specializes in child protection, education, disaster risk reduction and emergency humanitarian response. She has experience in proposal development, monitoring and appraising of project sites, and report writing. She also worked as a monitoring and evaluation and communications officer at the Child Development Fund and focused on child and youth development. Through these experiences, Gayathri has developed technical competencies in planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of programs. She also acquired skills in training and report writing. She is passionate about working with children.

Host: ChildFund International

Fellow Role at ChildFund International:
Gayathri will support ChildFund’s Emergency Management Unit and improve the organization’s preparedness and response to emergencies and humanitarian crises. She will support global strategic functions, develop innovative tools and methods, and resource acquisition.

Issam Alzinati, 32, Gaza, Palestine (HOST: BMW Foundation)

Issam has three years of experience in the nonprofit sector and earned a Master's of Science in Big Data & Knowledge Management from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. While working as the Community Engagement & Innovation Officer with UCAS Technology Incubator (UCASTI) in Gaza, he improved external engagement between UCASTI and the entrepreneurial ecosystem. He planned and executed three initiatives that targeted enrolled and graduated entrepreneurs, ICT graduates and companies, and girls & women respectively. Previously, Issam designed and implemented an incubation model which recruited over ninety startups, led them through an incubation pipeline of pre-design challenges, that resulted in nine successful startups. Before that, he was an IT Project Manager and led a broad range of web, mobile, machine learning, and data warehouse solutions. Issam utilizes highly attuned analytical skills to develop IT and business strategies and employs cutting-edge technologies to increase productivity. He has volunteered as speaker, mentor, and organizer for several technology initiatives like Google Developer Group and Facebook Developer Circle. He was also an organizer for the first Gazan education startup and AI/Big Data community driver. Issam enjoys focusing on the topics of business and social entrepreneurship, new technologies such AI, Blockchain and Big Data, and has a strong passion for youth empowerment.

Host: BMW Foundation

Fellow Role at BMW Foundation:
Issam will work with the BMW Foundation Network Driver(s) to develop strategies and execute on an action plan to coordinate and lead engagement opportunities throughout the United States and Canada. He will set up systems to document and formalize best practices in event marketing and impact reporting.

Lida Minasyan, 25, Yerevan, Armenia (HOST: Global Fund for Children)

Lida Minasyan has seven years of experience in the human rights and nonprofit sector. She has a bachelor’s degree in social work from Yerevan State University and obtained her master's degree in Human Rights at Central European University. Lida is the Board Chair of the Non-discrimination and Equality Coalition in Armenia. Since 2012, she has been involved with Society Without Violence, which is a nonprofit organization focused on women's rights, as the Project Coordinator and Executive Director. Lida supervised the implementation of gender education and women's empowerment projects, and she advocated for the elimination of domestic violence and LGBTIQ rights. She also authored a toolkit called ''Advocating for the Implementation of UNSCR 1325'', which relates to women's involvement in peacebuilding processes. Previously, Lida worked in World Vision Armenia as a social worker and created a leadership school for teenagers. Through these experiences, Lida has developed strong skills in grant proposal writing, strategic decision making, and developing human rights advocacy strategies.

Host: Global Fund for Children

Fellow Role at Global Fund for Children:
Lida will will help to research, define, and develop a refreshed strategy for grantmaking in Eurasia and Eastern Europe to support grassroots organizations that promote child rights in education, freedom from violence and exploitation, gender equity and youth empowerment. She will also contribute to the design of capacity building services for partners in the region and help to drive improvements in grantmaking operations across the global portfolio.

Maryem Rahim, 29, Rawalakot, Pakistan (HOST: Global Communities)

Maryem has 5 years of experience in the development sector and earned a master’s degree in business administration from Bahria University in Islamabad, Pakistan. Maryem’s association with the development sector has been diverse both in terms of thematic and functional areas. While working as a program officer in USAID’s Small Grants and Ambassador Fund Program, she provided assistance to the grassroots level organization in designing initiatives in education, health, economic development, entrepreneurship, disaster, women's issues, culture, and the environment. As the regional manager at a consultancy firm, she helped with research and monitoring and evaluation. She also carried out institutional assessments and conducted capacity building exercises for DFID, EU, World Bank, UNDP, UNICEF and USAID funded projects. Through these experiences, she developed strong project coordination and implementation skills. Maryem enjoys focusing on the topics of economic empowerment and social entrepreneurship and has a strong passion for women's empowerment.

Host: Global Communities

Fellow Role at Global Communities:
Maryem will provide support to Global Communities’ economic development portfolio with a particular focus on entrepreneurship, enterprise development including cooperative development, access to finance, workforce development and private sector partnerships. She will develop specific technical products and tools, including programming frameworks/models for business advisory services and workforce development; cooperative enterprise development tools; and research briefs.

Mays Iseed, 25, Jericho, Palestine (HOST: Square Roots)

Mays has six years of experience in the nonprofit sector and graduated from Birzeit University in Palestine with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics. While working as a media coordinator and fundraiser with Good Shepherd Youth Club under the USAID-funded "Partnership with Youth" program, she focused on empowering youth, promoting quality education, professional development, and job skills. She helped youth become community leaders and active, informed citizens. Mays also started a private practice to assess, treat and evaluate patients and help translate the science of nutrition into everyday understandable information about food. As a community nutritionist and educator for rural areas in Palestine, she helped raise awareness of maternal and child health through workshops and by using the power of social media. Through these experiences, Mays developed strong skills in community-based projects, including nutrition, health, media, and youth empowerment. She has a strong passion for the arts and sports. Mays believes in the power of community and the will of its youth to achieve positive change.

Host: Square Roots

Fellow Role at Square Roots:
Mays will research, identify and establish relationships with best maternal and infant health products, both nationally and internationally. This work will directly contribute to the establishment of the Square Roots Maternal Health Standard, a multi-tiered platform that will directly impact the lives of women, mothers and children by identifying and curating best products, practices and practitioners around healthy pregnancy, delivery and childhood.

Miguel Aguirre, 33, Quito, Ecuador (HOST: American Red Cross)

Miguel has ten years of experience in the nonprofit sector and with social corporate responsibility projects. He earned a master's degree in organizational government and culture through the Enterprise and Humanism Institute at the University of Navarra in Spain. Miguel also holds a bachelor's degree in communication, public relations and media at the Catholic University of Ecuador - PUCE. Since 2009, Miguel has been the Head of Communication at Telefonica Foundation in Ecuador. He has implemented communication strategies and social campaigns pertaining to child labour, youth entrepreneurship, digital education, disaster prevention, and corporate volunteerism. Miguel has extensive experience in marketing for nonprofit organizations, media, publications, and research. His passion is to help vulnerable people in Ecuador and Latin American region through social, educational, and technological development projects. He enjoys meeting people from different cultures around the world.

Host: American Red Cross

Fellow Role at American Red Cross:
Miguel will collect and disseminate knowledge from around the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) via preparecenter.org, Twitter, Facebook and other social media. She will continue to build a strategy and system for enhancing knowledge management while also reaching out and capturing knowledge from relevant external organisations including NGOs.

Nawal Abusultan, 34, Gaza, Palestine (HOST: Microsoft)

Nawal is an education reform advocate who has more than seven years of experience in the education sector and co­author of two published works. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from the Islamic University of Gaza and a Master’s degree in Education. While working as a teacher of technology, Nawal improved not only her students’ skills in technology but her colleagues’ too. Later, Nawal launched her own education-oriented startup called Menaship, which helps Arab students find scholarships outside of the MENA region. In addition to running Menaship, she is a mentor for the Technovation program, which supports young girls interested in the information technology field by helping them build their own mobile applications. Recently, she worked in the Disability Services Center of the University, focusing on the inclusion of disabled people in STEM education. Through these experiences, Nawal has refined skills in research, leadership, communication, social media management and fundraising.

Host: Microsoft

Fellow Role at Microsoft:
Nawal will serve on the Microsoft Learning and Readiness team (L&R) Content team as a software developer and trainer. She will create and publish online courses for Microsoft’s developer portfolio.

Patrick Okwir, 28, Oyam, Uganda (HOST: PowerPlay NYC)

Patrick Okwir is a public health professional with five years of experience in the nonprofit sector. He holds a bachelor's degree in public health from Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda. Patrick worked as Monitoring, Evaluation and Grants officer at Global Health Corps where he supported national partners in the development and strengthening of monitoring and evaluation systems, design and implementation of projects for health equity and social justice, fundraising, and partnership development. Patrick also worked as a Community Health Fellow at the African Union during the 2014 Ebola Outbreak in Guinea; he supported data-driven epidemiologic investigations and rehabilitation programs in HIV/AIDs and reproductive health. Patrick is the founder of “Healthy Women West-Nile”, a $300,000 community-owned micro-health insurance program that has supported and inspired access to anti-retroviral therapy among 327 orphans, women and girls living with HIV/AIDs in North-West Uganda. Working at the intersection of project management, fundraising and M&E, Patrick has raised over $900,000 for non-profit projects, managed and led monitoring and evaluation of six country-wide projects, fee-for-service M&E contracts and published five medical research papers. Patrick enjoys working in data science with a passion for community-driven, and evidence-based approaches to development. He is passionate about women and girls’ empowerment and envisages a fair, equitable, and just society for all women and girls. Patrick is curious, adventurous, flexible, and fluent in English and basic French.

Host: PowerPlay NYC

Fellow Role at PowerPlay NYC:
Patrick will serve as the Monitoring, Evaluation, Assessment and Learning (MEAL) Fellow, supporting PowerPlay NYC’s capacity to collect, process, and use information about our programs, operations, and external environment to further our mission. He will use data to drive program design and decision-making within the organization and collaborate with other staff to promote a culture of continuous improvement across the organization.

Precious Chinanga, 34, Harare, Zimbabwe (HOST: Atlas Corps)

Precious Chinanga has more than nine years of experience working with students, youth and young women in Zimbabwe and helps them address their evolving financial and socio-economic needs. She is a transformational leader and social change agent who believes in turning her vision into reality through strategic alliances and coordinated action. Precious earned a master's degree in business leadership from Bindura University of Science Education and a Bachelor of Commerce Honours Degree in Finance from the National University of Science & Technology. As the Finance & Administration Officer for eight years and Acting National Coordinator at the Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe, she has helped to mentor more than 3 000 high school and tertiary students over the years with the majority of them taking up leadership positions at tertiary institutions and in society at large. Precious has also worked closely with local authorities, students and youths in communities and tertiary institutions to promote inclusivity and helps strengthen the transparency and openness of public budgets, thereby helping promote social accountability and restore the public's confidence in public service. Through her work both within and outside her formal organization, she has honed invaluable skills in financial and grant management, leadership growth and development, capacity building and youth development.

Host: Atlas Corps

Fellow Role at Atlas Corps:
Precious will be a key member of the Atlas Corps finance team. She will have the opportunity to learn about and have an impact all the major accounting and finance functions including accounts payable, accounts receivable, cash management, general ledger, and reporting.

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