Atlas Corps Virtual Leadership Institute is a seven-month online program includes keynote speakers, interactive workshops, self-led activities, discussion groups, and community-building activities with leading U.S. organizations and leaders. Learn more at institute.atlascorps.org
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- El Salvador
- Palestinian Territories
- Republic of Moldova
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- South Korea
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
- The Gambia
- United States
- Social Issue
Abdalrahim AbuwardaPalestinian Territories
Abdalrahim Abuwarda earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in English Literature and focused his studies on literary works and translation. Abdalrahim found links between the literary works, development, management, and leadership. Then, to empower the Palestine’s youth, he led a project with Pal-Think, a non-profit organization, that aimed to raise awareness among youth on democracy and entrepreneurship. The project included conducting lectures, launching art exhibitions, and carrying out workshops. Abdalrahim facilitated 25 events and each event targeted 25 Palestinians from different backgrounds. Abdalrahim used his experience at Pal-Think to engage in one of his proudest endeavors, co-founding Al-Frarabi for Multilingual Services. As the co-founder and co-director of Al-Farabi, he translated, edited, and proofread many English-to-Arabic texts. He contributed to the translation of two books in human development: Read Artists Do Not Starve and Steal Like an Artist. Mr. Abuwarda managed interns, new employees, and college students. Moreover, he moved to occupying a position as a social worker at Almajd Association for Development. He was responsible for 350 cases including orphans, people with special needs, and needy families. He wrote up assessments, which met specified standards and timescales. He made decisions about the best course of action for the beneficiaries. Most recently, Abdalrahim managed to work as a Social Media (Freelancing) Mentor at Gaza Sky Geeks (Mercy Corps). He managed to train four cohorts on how to use social media platforms to get job opportunities. The results of the 240 participants were promising as over 54% of them managed to obtain paid opportunities, both short and long term.
Alena Udalenkova is a fundraiser, fundraising consultant, and project manager. She has got three degrees — Specialist of Marketing from Saint-Petersburg State University of Economics, Master of Management from the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, and Master of Arts in Urban Studies from the University of Manchester. Her professional experience includes employment at NGOs, government, and business. Most recently, she has been a self-employed fundraising consultant and project manager. In 2021, she started to work for an NGO called Need Help which helps to fundraise for more than 300 NGOs in Russia and support the awareness of social problems in the country. Alena has also worked for World Wide Fund for Nature as a senior project manager at the fundraising department. Afterwards, for almost a year, she travelled across protected nature areas in Russia. Her areas of interest in the social change sector are environmental issues and education.
Brian Makani earned a Master of Science in Safety, Health and Environmental Management and a degree with honors in Geography and Environmental Studies at Midlands State University in Zimbabwe. Brian has served as an Environmental Officer for the Environmental Management Agency-Zimbabwe for seven years and is currently based at the Provincial Office in Masvingo City. His responsibilities include environmental education, publicity, planning and monitoring, and environmental law implementation. Brian is also tasked with developing sustainable waste management strategies, implementing Coping with Drought and Climate Change Projects, writing environmental reports and newspaper articles for publication, and formulating and implementing sustainable waste management practices and projects. His areas of particular interest in the nonprofit sector include environmental conservation, sanitation, and education.
Elizaveta Evstifeeva has more than four years of experience in the administrative sphere and is currently working at McKinsey & Company as an executive assistant. Elizaveta earned her first Master’s degree in law in 2014 at Plekhanov Russian State University in Moscow. During her studies, she was granted the Chinese Government Scholarship and went to China for one year to study Mandarin. In 2016, Elizaveta graduated from Xiamen University in China with a Master’s degree in Chinese civil law. After graduation, Elizaveta worked as junior counsel in an IP law firm where she developed her communication and administrative skills. One year later, she moved to Poland to start her new role as an executive assistant where she translated and edited an online magazine for Chinese and Russian-speaking community. Since then, she has been interested in freedom of speech and migration problems in China and Russia. In her current workplace, Elizaveta participates in events by helping foreigners socialize and raise problems of migrants in Poland. Through these experiences, she has developed strong communication, planning, and self-management skills. It also brings her understanding of the importance of freedom of speech and protection of foreigners’ rights abroad.
Elza Ozhegova has four years of experience in the nonprofit sector and earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Business Informatics at the Higher School of Economics. For the last two years, Elza has worked at Friends Foundation as a product manager of ProCharity, a skill-based volunteering platform. She is responsible for the platform’s development, interviewing volunteers and nonprofits, and managing the team of IT developers and designers. Earlier, she was a college program coordinator in Best Buddies Russia Foundation that helped Moscow students make friendships with people with intellectual disabilities; she arranged events, coordinated volunteers, and managed projects. Through these experiences, she developed strong analytical and product management skills. Elza is strongly motivated to make Russia’s non-profit sector more professional, technology-oriented, and efficient. Lastly, Elza is passionate about ecology and environmental issues.
Emily BrandtUnited States
Emily Brandt is a doctoral student at the University of Texas, Arlington, where she studies non-profit and citizen participation in poverty alleviation policy implementation. She previously earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of North Texas, where her capstone project researched the Yugoslav Wars’ domestic policy implications. With eleven years of experience in non-profits working in domestic violence prevention, economic development, women’s financial independence, and arts education, Emily is passionate about sustainable non-profit growth, financial transparency, and community support for development initiatives. A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Emily credits her time working with the YWCA of Armenia with igniting a passion for grassroots development, women-led initiatives, and non-profits’ role in improving lives.
Fizza Nadeem SiddiquiPakistan
Fizza Siddiqui is pursuing a Master of Science in Technology Management and Entrepreneurship from Lahore University of Management Sciences in Pakistan, focusing on Data Analysis and Python. Fizza has three years of experience in the nonprofit sector and research industry. She has served AC Nielsen as a Research Executive and researches several social issues, including the impact of sexism in Pakistan and the emergence of financial technology. Fizza gained experience in community engagement by working with the world’s largest interest-free microfinance institute, Akhuwat, as a Community Outreach & Government Affairs Executive. She helped improve the lives of people living below the poverty line by introducing several projects, including the Interest-Free Business Loans Program, to support SMEs led by underprivileged people. She launched the pilot phase of the project with a portfolio of $150,000 in total. With the help of the network that she had built, she initiated a financial literacy program for over 1,000 active loanees from across Pakistan to promote financial and money management for underprivileged communities. She was fortunate enough to receive support from the State Bank of Pakistan and built a partnership for the project’s funding and execution. Fizza was also selected as a cultural ambassador to represent Pakistan in the United States for four months. She aspires to launch a crowdfunding platform to deploy an ecosystem for emerging entrepreneurs who otherwise struggle to secure funds, consequently boosting Pakistan’s economy.
Ksenia Makovetskaya has seven years of experience in both the private and non-profit sectors. She has earned a Specialist’s degree in Law from one of the leading law schools in Russia. She also obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Translation from the same university. Since joining an international law firm in 2014, a major part of Ksenia’s work includes cooperation with non-profit organizations and providing them legal advice pro bono. Ksenia advised the biggest Russian non-profit organizations, such as World Wildlife Fund Russia and Enjoyable Aging, which provides care to elderly people. In addition to pro bono work, Ksenia coordinates donations to non-profit organizations on behalf of her company’s office and organizes the participation of her firm in charitable events in Russia. Through the unique combination of for-profit and non-profit experiences, Ksenia mastered the art of effective communication with people from different backgrounds, developed strong organizational skills, and learned how to ease the engagement of corporate professionals in community services. Ksenia is enthusiastic about the implementation of IT solutions in the non-profit sphere, especially she is interested in using technology for easement of animals’ adoption from shelters, development of e-democracy, and protection of civil and political rights.