About Us

Who We Are

Our Vision

We envision a world in which every East African community has the capacity to implement dynamic, sustainable solutions to the challenges they face.

Our Mission

Advancing community-led initiatives that improve education and public health in East Africa.

Our Team

Global Partners is committed to advancing fair and equitable partnerships in global development.

100% of our field staff are East African. We are continuing to invest in our staff through more meaningful leadership roles and professional development opportunities and are shifting more decision-making power to East Africa.
Kenya Country Director
Kenya Technical Director
Programs Manager (Kenya)
Field Engineer (Kenya)
Accountant/Bookkeeper
Consultant Enumerator
Consultant Enumerator
Community Facilitator
Executive Director
Program Evaluator
M&E specialist
GPFD Tanzania Consultant
Editorial Producer
Director of Marketing and Communications
Programmatic Communications Manager
Co-Vice President
Co-Vice President
President Emeritus
Director
President
Executive Director Emeritus
Director
Secretary
Advisory Board Member

Rene Bagaygay

Advisory Board Member

Abigail Bridgman

Advisory Board Member

Arianna Clyde, CPA

Advisory Board Member

Wendy Greene

Advisory Board Member

Linda Lea, PHD

Advisory Board Member

John Malago

Advisory Board Member

Alexis Martin

Advisory Board Member

Alais Morindat

Advisory Board Member

Mary Morindat

Advisory Board Member

Maanda Ngoitiko

Advisory Board Member

Naome R. Ruhombe

Advisory Board Member

Amon Ariyo Tusingwire

Advisory Board Member
Consultant
Consultant
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Festus Juma

Festus Juma is the Kenyan Country Coordinator for Global Partners. He manages ongoing partner relations, identifies new partners and projects, and monitors ongoing development work. He also oversees the KC WASH program, which is funded by the Vineyards to Villages initiative and provides clean water at schools in western Kenya.

In addition to his position at Global Partners, Festus is the Executive Director of Society Empowerment Project (SEP) in Nyanza Province of Kenya. Festus has a diploma in Sports Management and Project Management and a number of certifications in Business and Sports Management and Administration.

Joseph Ochieng

Joseph is our Lead Technical Adviser in Kenya. With numerous engineering degrees, eight years of government service, and seven years of nonprofit experience, Joseph brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Global Partners. He has facilitated the construction of over 500 sanitation facilities in schools and communities throughout Kenya and has conducted numerous sanitation and hygiene trainings. He has extensive knowledge in ecological sanitation technology, operation and management. Joseph is married and has four wonderful children.

Dora Achieng Okeyo

Dora is our Programs Manager residing in Mbita, Homabay County. She holds a Professional Certificate in Strategic Management in Leadership from The Kenya Institute of Management and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the United States International University-Africa. With over five years of field experience in education, young girls and women’s rights, she is skilled in community engagement, data collection and project evaluation. She is also a talented Writer and Communicator. 

Elias O. Njoga

Elias O. Njoga is a Technical Assistant and is based in Homa Bay County, Kenya. He has five years of experience in the field including previous roles as a technical assistant, site manager, and structural engineer. He has worked with several construction firms where he completed structural designs and supervised project implementation. Elias holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Kenyatta University and is an accredited and registered member of The Engineer Board of Kenya.

Victorine A. Abuto

Victorine Achieng Abuto is the accountant/bookkeeper for GPFD-Kenya. She ensures the seamless day-to-day running of our financial operations and bookkeeping work in Kenya. Victorine attended Kisii College of Accountancy and is currently also working as an accounts clerk for Agora Sare High School. Victorine is a married mother of three children and enjoys listening to gospel music and participating in community service projects.

Mwajuma A. Ally

Mwajuma A. Ally is a Facilitator and is based in the Singida Region of Tanzania. Mwajuma holds a Bachelor Degree in Community Development with a concentration in Management of Community Development Programmes. Prior to joining Global Partners, she gained experience in community engagement by volunteering at two Tanzanian organizations: Pastoral Women’s Council (PWC) and Support For International Change (SIC). In her spare time, she enjoys pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors and reading.

Jeremiah Mwakasonda

Jeremiah is a Community Facilitator in Singida, Tanzania. In his previous job as the Field Operations Manager at Total Land Care Tanzania, Jeremiah identified communities with low education indicators and helped support them to improve enrollment at their schools. Jeremiah has extensive experience with developing work plans alongside communities, implementing participatory rural appraisals, and supporting communities in developing their own priorities in order to realize their goals. He has also worked for the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and for World Vision Tanzania.

Jeremiah holds an MA in Regional Development Planning and a BA in Community Development. His favorite hobby is soccer, and he is a staunch fan of Chelsea!

Clara Millicent Onyango

Clara is a Community Facilitator based in Homabay County, Kenya. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Community Development and experience in mobilization and facilitation.

Daniel Casanova

Daniel has more than 25 years experience working with non-profit community based organizations with extensive expertise in board and community relations, fundraising, resource development, program and clinical services management and planning.

He began his career while still in high school volunteering at a syringe exchange program called Clean Needles Now (CNN) in Los Angeles. As a result of that work he was then hired by Beth Israel Medical Center as a researcher on the nation’s first study surrounding IV drug use and Hepatitis C.

Throughout his teens and early 20s Daniel thought he was a professional adventurer. He built two traditional wooden boats, one in Indonesia and another in Bangladesh, which resulted in a shipwreck in the Indian Ocean and rescue during the fall of 2002. As a 19 year old he bicycled from Barcelona to Madrid and then from Madrid to Gibraltar; he then continued down the West Coast of Africa from Ceuta and into the Western Sahara. He has a love for languages (speaking English, Spanish and Bengali well) and grew up in a family that collected ethnographic art so he has a slightly above average understanding about material culture.

He is passionate about the movement of displaced peoples around the globe and a lifetime advocate for social justice. Someday he wishes to be referred to as the world’s leading expert on William James and John Dewey (at least by his wife). He loves playing basketball, swimming and he actually likes spending time with his wife and kids. Daniel comes from a philanthropic family his father has been the Executive Director of Homeless Healthcare Los Angeles for the past 35 years and his maternal great great grandfather Siegfried Marshutz was President of B’nai B’rith (todays Wilshire Blvd Temple) and founder of the Federation of Jewish charities

Emmanuel Nene Odjidja

Emmanuel Nene Odjidja is a program evaluator, knowledge broker and academic researcher with over nine years of experience working in development, conflict and fragile settings. He has consulted and worked with several organisations in Ghana, South Sudan, Burundi, Mali, Burkina Faso, Tunisia and Sri Lanka. His research and professional interests lie in using participatory methods to develop evaluation methods that enhance inclusivity and empower communities while promoting learning. At the Global Partners for Development, he supports design, implementation and analysis of impact evaluations mainly using robust quasi-experimental and experimental methods. He has published widely in reputable journals and periodically reviews three of those. He holds an MSc in Global Health (Distinction) from the Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, UK. He speaks English and French. 

George Okwir

George is an M&E specialist with a B.A. in Social Sciences from Makere University. He has extensive expertise and experience in institutional capacity building, program development, monitoring and evaluation, training, results-based management, and community partnerships. He has worked in the field of rural development with a focus on orphans and vulnerable children, education, health, and policy-related issues. He has held positions with Mango Tree Education Innovations, the World Bank Group, Pathfinder International, the Uganda Network of AIDS Service Organizations, and Opportunity International EduFinance.

Anne Angarola

Anne Angarola joined GPFD in June 2017 and serves as the Community-Driven Education (CDE) Manager. Currently based outside of Arusha, Tanzania, Anne has been involved with community projects in the region for over a decade. After working in her hometown of Washington, DC on large-scale international development projects for several years, she decided to move to the field full-time.

Anne holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Vermont and an M.S. in Conflict Analysis & Resolution from George Mason University with concentrations in narrative approaches to conflict resolution and monitoring and evaluation in restricted environments.

Marisa Mazria Katz

Marisa Mazria Katz is a reporter and editor who has contributed to numerous publications, including the New York Times, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Vogue, NPR, Marketplace, Time and the New York Review of Books, on subjects as wide-ranging as culture and heritage in conflict zones and the geopolitics of the Middle East and North Africa. She has been awarded major grants from the Keith Haring Foundation, the Trust for Mutual Understanding and the Andy Warhol Foundation for her editorial work. In 2009 she received funding from the US State Department for a four-year-program that taught journalism to teenagers from a marginalized community in Casablanca, Morocco. In 2018 Mazria Katz served as one of the first Kickstarter Fellows, and later that year she founded the Craig Newmark Philanthropies–funded program the Eyebeam Center for the Future of Journalism, an award-winning program whose central mission is to place writing by artists in major media publications like the New Yorker, the Guardian, Wired and the Atlantic. Marisa holds a dual BFA degree in film and TV and theater from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and an MA (magna cum laude) in Middle East history from Tel Aviv University.

Ria Pullin

Communications Director, joined Global Partners in October 2021. She holds a Master in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and International Leadership and Management from Holy Names University. Ria has experience in a range of industries from Accounting, Financial Planning, Hospitality, and Entertainment. She has been a commercial actress and model in the San Francisco Bay Area for over a decade. Ria is an on-camera host for computer based learning courses and trains executives in the areas of Marketing, Business Ethics, Leadership, Management, Inclusivity, and Sales. 
 
Ria is an Air Force brat that has lived in five countries and has attended 12 different schools. She is a mom of two, a sailor’s wife, and resides in Petaluma, California. 

Andrea Mendoza

Andrea holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Media Studies from Sonoma State University. With a background in marketing, she brings a creative approach towards content creation and outreach. When she’s not working, Andrea is likely to be found hiking or camping in the woods.

David J. Castenholz

Board member since 2012, and former board president 1993-1998. David joined World Runners in 1979 and became a board member in 1989. Using marathons as a vehicle to raise funds, David became a major contributor to Global Partners for Development. Being deeply committed to making a difference in East Africa, David has significantly multiplied Global Partners contributions through his advocacy. His leadership was pivotal in the emergence of Global Partners for Development from World Runners. David has traveled to East Africa several times. A practicing attorney in the State of California since 1987, David holds a B.A. from Stanford University and J.D. from Boston University.

Rosemary Chengson

After working for the University of California for over 25 years Rosemary retired as a Director of Budget and Finance and changed career paths to start her own personal training business helping people feel comfortable moving and improving their health. She believes in the importance of building community and helping others help themselves. She has been an active volunteer in educational programs and the Special Olympics, and has served as treasurer on the boards of both the Women’s Cancer Resource Center and the President’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women for the University of California’s Office of the President. Rosemary is a graduate from UC Berkeley where she studied biological sciences and she also has an M.B.A. from the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business. She has traveled to Africa twice and looks forward to future trips there.

John S. Cullison

John retired in 2015 after 42 years in banking, including a decade in international banking based in London. John has had an interest in Africa since serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural development in Ethiopia and later as Manager of the Commercial Bank of Malawi Ltd in Blantyre. John has traveled extensively throughout Africa and the world both in his banking capacity and personally.

John presently serves as a Consultant to XiO Water Systems. John is a former member of the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross Bay Area, the San Francisco Opera Association, and former Parks and Recreation Commissioner of the Tamalpais Community Service District.

John and his wife, Diana, enjoy tennis, hiking and travel. John holds B.S. and MBA degrees.

Marie Gewirtz

Marie Gewirtz’s career in marketing, brand development, and public relations in the wine and food industries has spanned more than three decades and as many continents. Her namesake-marketing firm passionately advocates sustainability as a way of life for current and future generations by promoting organizations with a commitment to land stewardship, economic viability, education, and community involvement. Marie’s forte lies in guiding clients in identifying authentic themes that set them apart, and developing innovative outreach strategies that resonate with media, trade, and consumers.

An adjunct teacher for Santa Rosa Junior College Agriculture/Natural Resource department since 1990, Marie continues to teach marketing and communications for the wine industry. Also one of the first adjunct teachers for Sonoma State University Wine Business Institute, Marie initiated the Sustainable Marketing class in April 2015.

Understanding that fresh, locally grown food is the most important ingredient for a healthy, vital life and community, Marie is on the Advisory Board for the Healdsburg Farmers’ Market. She served on the Sonoma County Harvest Fair Board, ending her 9-year tenure as President. A proponent of wellness, Marie is a Bureau Speaker for City of Hope medical research center. Her favorite hours of the week are when volunteering in the local schools teaching youth strategic thinking through writing. http://www.mgpr.com/

Michael Glaser

Michael Glaser has been a Global Partners Project Committee member since 2014 and board member since 2017. Michael first traveled to equatorial Africa in 1971 where he experienced the lack of life’s basic needs, which influenced him to become an engineer graduating from Cal Poly SLO in 1985 with a B.S.C.E. He holds engineering licenses in CA, and CO. Recently retired from a 30-year consulting career, mainly in the Bay Area, as project and program manager in water, soils, and wastewater. He is fulfilling his 40-year vision to collaborate and mentor our partners and associates, and he has traveled several times with GPFD to East Africa. Now living in the Colorado Rockies, situated on the precipice of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP, he has immersed himself in his outdoor interests of skiing, climbing, riding, and white water paddling.

Anna Haight

Board member since 2012 and former board member 2000-2004. Anna brings broad management and human resources experience through her 20+ years at a global Japanese owned conglomerate with its US headquarters in San Francisco. Anna has traveled with Global Partners to Africa three times in the last two decades deepening her commitment to community-driven development and education as proven ways forward for self-sustainability.  She currently provides consulting services to a variety of businesses as a partner in Groundwork in Mill Valley, CA.

Don Harris

Board member since 1993. Don is co-founder of Elk Creamery LLC, California’s first certified organic goat dairy. Partnership was key to his successes and leadership development in the dairy, healthcare, and hi-tech industries. His educational background is in art, architecture and medicine. In 1981, Don started running marathons to fundraise for non-profit organizations focused on ending world hunger. Don has traveled to East Africa multiple times. He did his undergraduate studies at College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley, and California State University, Hayward.

Steven Hurt

Board member since 2011. A civil engineer from Columbus, Ohio with over 15 years in engineering consulting and construction, Steven, along with his wife, Keely Croxton, founded the Tour de H2O cycling event to raise funds for water projects in Western Kenya. He enjoys the design and evaluation of rural water supply systems and personal visits to the project villages in East Africa.

David Stare

Board member since 2009. David is founder and board chair of Dry Creek Vineyards. He received engineering degrees from MIT and Northwestern before moving to California where he attended UC Davis and founded Dry Creek Vineyard. After a successful 35 years in the wine business, Dave pursues the arts, travels, and serves on several community Boards.

Peter Verbiscar-Brown

Returning board member 2012 and former executive director and board member of World Runners and Global Partners 1982 – 2010. A graduate of Loyola University, Chicago (BA) and the University of Hawaii School of Public Health (MPH), Peter worked for federal and local governments in health planning and been president of community and international charitable foundations. He oversaw hundreds of fundraising running events and guided the disbursement of $10+ million toward ending hunger and poverty. Peter remains dedicated to partnering donors with African communities toward practical, sustainable solutions to better lives. He has run 60 marathons and ultra-marathons for pledges, and is now an avid bicyclist.

Yvette White

Yvette White is the Director of Training at Upstream where she brings more than 15 years of experience developing thoughtful, high-impact applied learning programs. Her background combines a diverse range of skills—bringing together work in organizational strategy and operations, partnership development, and training across respected healthcare, higher education, and public sector institutions. Grounded in human-centered design methodologies, Yvette‘s expertise lies in taking complex projects from ideation to implementation with measurable impact. She is especially inspired by the power of evidence-based practices to improve and transform healthcare.

Prior to joining Upstream, Yvette managed a portfolio of national leadership development and process improvement programs at Kaiser Permanente where she played a role in transforming healthcare through clinical and operational improvement learning programs for physician and nurse leaders, administrators, and frontline teams. Previously, she worked with NYU’s Graduate School of Public Service, World Learning for International Development, and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 

Yvette earned an M.A. in History from Howard University and a B.S. in International Business and Politics from Georgetown University. She serves on the board of Global Partners for Development and is a member of the Board of Young Trustees at Atlas Corps. She lives in Oakland, CA with her delightful toddler and the two of them can be found exploring the Bay area one food truck at a time.

Andy Witthohn

Board member since 2013 and current Secretary, Andy’s connection to the people of Africa was ignited during his college year abroad at the University of Nairobi.  He formed such a connection with the people of East Africa that he embraced a Peace Corp assignment which took him to Somalia.  As a 30 year educator and lifelong traveler of the world, he knows the far-reaching benefit schools, clean water in proximity to villages, and self-sufficiency provide in raising the quality of life for women, children and men of East Africa.  Global Partners For Development, with its professionally managed grassroots work in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda provides these kinds of services, and he is committed to the mission.

Jeremy Walker

Jeremy Walker has strong business sector contacts and is an experienced advocate. He has been involved in the Philadelphia business and political community since arriving in 2003 and is already an emerging leader. In 2006, Jeremy started his own law firm and worked on dozens of campaigns, forging strong relationships with a wide range of elected officials and their counterparts in the business community. He has built one of the area’s best-respected minority-owned law firms in Philadelphia.

Jeremy has expanded his expertise and work in Real Estate and Development and transportation. In 2013, he launched STSC Transportation Services, Philadelphia’s first minority-owned and operated bus company, with a fleet of fives buses. In 2014, Jeremy brokered a deal and became one of three owners to take over the original Chinatown Bus Terminal. He started running a travel agency, Focus Travel, out of the location as well as his new company Yep Tour. Today, Jeremy has 93 buses that run more trips to NYC, SC, NC, FL and GA than any other bus company.

In 2017, Jeremy created National Driver Solutions a trucking company that services some of the largest companies in the region such as Shoprite, Nissan and General Motors. Jeremy brokers new contracts, renegotiates current contracts, and oversees finances with accountants. He also optimizes human resources, meets with customers and oversees various departments. Jeremy’s extensive business expertise will be a tremendous asset to Global Partners’ board.

Robert Demler

Robert Demler, is currently retired from a 46 year career as an International Banker and a Diplomat-Advisor with the U.S. Department of the Treasury. He received a Meritorious Honor Award from the U.S. State Department for his advisory work at the (central) Bank of Algeria and received a Meritorious Honor Award from the U.S. State Department for his advisory work at the Central Bank of Liberia.

Prior to Liberia, he was attached to The National Treasury of South Africa in Pretoria. Prior to Pretoria, Demler was in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the U.S. Treasury’s Diplomat – Advisor to the Governor of the Central Bank and to the Director of the Deposit Insurance Agency, He received a special award from the Bosnian Government for his drafting of the national level law and regulations for the Deposit Insurance Agency and was also a co-author of that country’s Banking Law.

Prior to his joining U.S. Treasury in 2000, Mr. Demler held senior credit positions with Bank of America and Standard Chartered Bank, retiring as bank-wide Head of Credit Policy for Standard Chartered Bank. Mr. Demler was, additionally, an Examining Officer with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, overseeing large international bank holding companies.

Mr. Demler’s commercial banking career spanned three continents, with three separate postings to London and others to Nairobi, Lagos, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami.

Robert and his wife, Leslie, are long-time residents of Sonoma, CA, where Robert has been active in civic affairs. He is the immediate past City Historian, a past President of the Sonoma League for Historic Preservation and is currently the Archivist for the Sonoma Sunrise Rotary Club.

Amy Holter

With a master’s degree in international development and experience working for local and international, large and small organizations, Amy Holter is a monitoring, evaluation, and learning consultant at Global Partners. She has extensive experience designing, analyzing, and producing reports on qualitative and quantitative impact evaluations and specializes in community-led programming. Amy is also the Director of Integrative Programs at Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa.

Sara D. Henning

Sara Henning, Director of Strategy, joined Global Partners in April 2016. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from the University of Missouri and J.D. from the UCLA School of Law. She has expertise in developing and managing programs and extensive experience working with international organizations.

After working as a litigator, Sara changed career paths and ended up traveling for several months in East Africa, training teens to become peer educators in Santa Monica, CA and eventually helping to plan and implement a HIV/AIDS Treatment Summit in Los Angeles. Sara next moved to South Africa to serve with the U.S. Peace Corps. As a Peace Corps volunteer, Sara conducted life skills trainings for young women, established a legal aid clinic in her rural village, taught classes at a primary school and developed training programs and monitoring and evaluation tools for a NGO supporting people living with HIV/AIDS.