Selma BardakciTurkey (Host: John D. Evans Foundation)
Selma has five years of experience in Turkey’s non-profit sector. She earned a Bachelor’s of Political Science and International Relations from the Bahcesehir University in Turkey, during which she was an Erasmus exchange student at European University Viadrina in Germany for one semester. She also holds a Master of Global Politics and International Relations from Bahcesehir University. She most recently served as Deputy Director of International Leadership Application and Research Center. There are two departments in this center: the School of Government & Leadership, and the American Studies Center. She worked closely with the government to facilitate dialogue among policy makers, experts, civil society leaders and academics on regional and global issues. She also helped to organize Bahçeşehir University’s School of Politics U.S. program, which is a two week program for graduate school students to meet with political and business institutions including nonprofits, the U.S. Congress, think tanks, media organizations, and lobbying groups. Selma also organizes the Global Leadership Forum, which gathers international policy makers, academics and experts from around the world. In 2012, Selma led the Young Turkey – Young America Program, representing both Turkish young professionals as well as her own university. Selma enjoys focusing on the topics of leadership development, global politics, diplomacy and youth empowerment. She is also a Co-Opinion Young Professional Fellow, which is a policy-oriented youth solidarity network that advocates an integrated approach for youth policies in the Middle East and North Africa region to improve the agency of youth and to enhance their economic and social prospects. She has a strong passion for human and social capital development. Through these experiences, she has developed strong project coordination, implementation and management skills. In addition to her professional roles, Selma works on a social project to help Syrian refugees. Selma has been continuously contributing opinion pieces and interviews to Project on the Middle East and the Arab Spring (POMEAS), an online open forum for reflecting on and analyzing the various dimensions of the Arab Spring and its echoes in the region today. Selma has a passion for soccer, theatre and urban exploration.
Host Organization: John D. Evans Foundation
Role at Host Organization: Selma will be maintaining relationships for the foundation’s Grantees. In addition, she will attend various meetings with the Foundation. She will conduct necessary research and will also help with the Board work of the Executive VP’s foundation duties.
Said HassanPalestine (Host: LaunchGood)
Said has 9 years of experience in the nonprofit and business sectors and and holds a BBA in Business Administration. Said is the acceleration and community engagement manager at Gaza Sky Geeks, the first and only accelerator in the Gaza Strip. He has worked on co-designing and overseeing the execution of Gaza Sky Geeks’ acceleration and incubation program, leading to Gaza’s first real equity investment. He also oversees and executes events like Startup Weekend, Startup Grind, multiple entrepreneurship bootcamps, and Gaza’s first ever “Hack-a-thon.” Said began as a junior marketing consultant at Sadaf Technology Development in Gaza, one of the fastest growing tech startups in the Arab world. Later, he worked as a Marketing Manager for Souq.com, the largest e-commerce platform in the MENA region and the best IT company according to the 2013 Gulf Business Awards. Said is an award-winning graphic designer from Linux and winner of the 2013 Best Facebook Marketing Award by the Pan Arab Web Awards.
Host Organization: LaunchGood
Role at Host Organization: Said will serve as a general campaign coach and assist with MENA outreach strategy. He will support campaign creators from across the world in achieving their dreams by helping them execute successful crowdfunding campaigns.
Raiza CusiPhilippines (Host: Heartland Alliance International)
Raiza has six years of experience in the nonprofit sector, and earned a Master’s Degree in Political Economy with a specialization in International Relations and Development from the University of Asia and the Pacific in the Philippines. While working as the Executive Director for the Philippine Center for Civic Education and Democracy, she led the implementation of Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid programs in various local government units and in the disaster-affected communities of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Previously, Raiza worked for numerous civic education and good governance initiatives to address critical issues and challenges related to rule of law, participatory budgeting, and disaster risk reduction and management. Raiza also taught courses on Philippine Politics and Governance and Political Theories at the Institute of Political Economy of the University of Asia and the Pacific. Through these experiences, she strengthened her skills in community research, project planning and management, resource mobilization, and training and workshop facilitation. Raiza enjoys focusing on the topics of good governance principles, organizational and leadership development, and mainstreaming gender and human rights issues. She recognizes these topics as important elements in transforming communities into ‘schools of citizenship’.
Host Organization: Heartland Alliance International
Role at Host Organization: Raiza will support the Director of Learning/Program Quality by providing research on the wider field of organizational learning, the development and dissemination of learning tools, the development and administration of HAI’s intranet-based learning landing page, and some administrative support related to HAI’s Technical Team. She will also provide some direct support to HAI’s Technical Advisors, specifically with research related to HAI’s technical areas (gender, mental health, and access to justice), and with the administration and management of HAI’s technical communities of practice.
Amani Al-NsairatJordan (Host: Peace First)
Amani Al-Nsairat has six years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She earned a B.A. degree in International Relations and Strategic Studies from Hashemite University in Jordan, an M.A. degree in Media, Peace and Conflict Studies from the United Nations Mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Social Innovation from Amani Institute in Brazil. Amani’s work has focused on the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan, a country which now hosts more than 600,000 registered refugees. Her recent work at SPARK organization focused on the implementation of two educational programmes, which address the educational needs of Syrian and Jordanian youth living in Jordan. Prior to this, she worked at Generations For Peace, implementing peacebuilding and conflict transformation programmes in schools and community centers in a number of governorates in Jordan. She focused on utilizing non-formal education tools, such as sport and art, for peace activities to foster positive behavioural change. Through her educational background and work experience, Amani has honed professional skills and key strengths in the areas of programme management, project management, content creation, field work, and facilitation. She is interested in the areas of peacebuilding, education, youth and community development. During her spare time, she enjoys meditation, yoga, reading, journaling, and taking photos.
Host Organization: Peace First
Role at Host Organization: Amani will help identify, secure and engage international partners to grow the numbers of young people who are supported to turn their ideas into real peacemaking projects. She will provide key insights to inform Peace First’s evolving international growth strategy as the organization adapts its domestic program to better serve international partners.
Alaeddine OueslatiTunisia (Host: Planned Parenthood Global)
Alaeddine has three years of working experience in the nonprofit sector in Tunisia and beyond. He earned a B.B.A. from University of Tunis and has taken several language courses at Instituto Cervantes, Bourguiba Institute of Modern Languages, and University of Liverpool. In 2015, he joined the Women Deliver Young Leaders Program to advocate for women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in the MENA region through e-courses, capacity-building workshops and training sessions. He was also selected by UN Women as an Empower Women Global Champion for his work advancing women’s economic empowerment. In addition, Alaeddine has been named a 120 Under 40 Family Planning Award Winner by The Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health, and was selected as a Youth Media Professional by the African Union Youth Division. Alaeddine contributes to several media outlets and blogs as a freelance journalist and blogger such as Youth Time Magazine, UNICEF’s Voices of Youth blog, the Huffington Post, YaLa Press. He writes about gender equality, women’s SRHR, peacebuilding, human rights, as well as culture and society. Through these experiences, he was able to strengthen his policy and advocacy skills and acquire in-depth exposure to youth capacity building, women empowerment, and leadership development. Alaeddine has a strong passion for women’s rights, health, and wellbeing, and enjoys working on advocacy and civic engagement through media and public relations. Alaeddine also enjoys traveling, meeting people, and playing piano.
Host Organization: Planned Parenthood Global
Role at Host Organization: Alaeddine will provide logistical and technical assistance to the global communications team. He will support the organization’s existing social media properties by writing and developing sexual and reproductive health and rights content, as well as providing key translation support. Additionally, Alaeddine will be a critical part of launching two new social media properties.
Alaa SaqerPalestine (Host: Affinis Labs)
Alaa Saqer is a technology entrepreneur and one of the founding leaders of Gaza’s startup and technology community. An IT graduate from the The Islamic University Of Gaza, Alaa was a winner of Gaza’s first Startup Weekend in 2011 and went on to launch Datrios, a game and social network for sports fans. Datrios was one of the first two startups in Gaza to receive venture capital investment from Oasis500. In 2010, he co-founded Google Developers Group Gaza, a grassroots student organization that trains youth in tech and connects them to Google resources. Alaa previously worked with Nana Direct, a well-known startup company in Saudi Arabia, as their Product Manager and Business Development Manager. Alaa is well-versed in agile product development and has served as a mentor at startup events in Gaza, including the bootcamps at Gaza Sky Geeks. Prior to becoming a tech entrepreneur, he worked for Mercy Corps (the largest humanitarian organization in Gaza after the United Nations) as a program officer, providing psychosocial support to children via sports activities.
Host Organization: Affinis Labs
Role at Host Organization: At Affinis Labs, Alaa will help with the product development lifecycle for various projects at emerging startups and will help Affinis Labs build, cultivate, and strengthen entrepreneurship ecosystems including Minbar.
Aida MerabetAlgeria (Host: Atlas Corps | American Express)
Aida Merabet has over ten years working experience with different nonprofits and corporations in the fields of business empowerment for women and youth educational programs in Algeria. She earned an MBA in Management Marketing from ESG Paris. Aida is the Founder of the social enterprise “Power Harmony Solution.” Previously, Aida worked as the Middle East Partnership (MEPI) Alumni Local Chapter Coordinator, where she strengthened commitment to civic activism, thus creating an environment where alumni can work together to bring positive change to the region. She helped empower young people to work for their economic success as an Education & Training Officer at Injaz El Djazair. As a Hub Manager for the Middle East and North Africa Business Women Network (MENABWN), she was responsible for leading and managing a program to support business women in Algeria. She has also served as an Algerian Country Officer Alwane-Algeria, with Women’s campaign International, an initiative that seeks to empower Algerian women to hold decision-making positions and to enhance their leadership roles so that they can become role models for the region. She also enjoys volunteering, whether it be as the Under Secretary General for Algeria’s national Model United Nations conference or as the Algeria Country Coordinator for the World Peace Initiative Foundation’s Project Peace In and Peace Out (PIPO).
Host Organization: Atlas Corps | American Express
Role at Host Organization: Aida will support the overall strengthening of leadership development in the nonprofit sector through a partnership with American Express. In her role, Aida will help to expand the American Express Leadership Academy franchise. Building on the American Express role in supporting best-in-class leadership practices and capacity building, she will coordinate and grow the alumni network; manage and coordinate the global Alumni Summit, help develop and improve communication and dissemination of best practices and provide overall project support for the Leaderstories.org website.
Abigail BokoyeiboNigeria (Host: World Vision US)
Abigail Bokoyeibo has five years of experience as an advocate for women and girls development, renewable energy access, and business development in the nonprofit sector. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Calabar in Nigeria. While working as Business Coach and Facilitator at the International Institute of Tourism and Hospitality, Bayelsa, Nigeria, she trained students on vocational skills, entrepreneurial skills and business development, and also consulted for the business unit of the Institute. As the Founder and Team Lead of a Nonprofit Young African Women Connect initiative, she developed and led programs that build the capacities of young women on hand skills and empower them through trainings on self-growth, entrepreneurship, business, career, leadership, personal finance, and advocacy. Previously, Abigail worked at Solar Sister as a Business Development Associate, where she recruited, trained and mentored rural women to become energy solution providers and solar entrepreneurs. Through her work, 30 women became active renewable energy advocates and solar entrepreneurs; each making an average of $1,000 annually through her mentorship. Abigail has volunteered in different organizations as a facilitator, youth advocate, and agent of change, including CornerStone Leadership Inspiration Transform foundation, Great Reformers Initiative, and Agent of Change Initiative. Through these experiences, Abigail has developed skills in capacity building, leadership development, business development and project planning and implementation. Abigail is interested in entrepreneurship, leadership, rural energy access, social entrepreneurship, business development, and management.
Host Organization: World Vision US
Role at Host Organization: Abigail will focus on the holistic youth workforce development project model called “Youth Ready: For Work, For Life”. She will particularly work on improving the learning activities and materials that make up the project’s extensive curriculum that focuses on life skills development, livelihood preparation(employability and entrepreneurship), financial education, digital literacy, and citizenship.