Donella Rapier is the President and CEO of BRAC USA, the North American affiliate of BRAC, one of the largest humanitarian and development organizations in the world. Originally founded in Bangladesh, BRAC now touches the lives of more than 120 million people through programs in 11 countries across Africa and Asia. BRAC has also provided advisory services to governments and others on implementing its signature Ultra-Poor Graduation program in 9 additional countries. Donella brings more than 30 years of experience in finance, fundraising, and strengthening and scaling nonprofit organizations.
Before joining BRAC USA, Donella served as the Chief Development and Administrative Officer at Accion, a pioneer and global leader in microfinance and financial inclusion whose work spans nearly two dozen countries. Prior to that, she was the Chief Financial Officer at Partners In Health, a global healthcare organization working in remote places where healthcare alternatives are limited or otherwise nonexistent, such as Haiti, Rwanda, and Malawi. Earlier in her career, Donella spent more than a decade in senior leadership roles at Harvard University, including Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development and Chief Financial Officer for Harvard Business School. Donella received her MBA from Harvard Business School and began her career at Price Waterhouse.
An outdoor enthusiast, Donella enjoys bicycling, hiking and kayaking. She also serves as a Trustee and Treasurer for the Lake Titus Protective Association in the Adirondacks, where her family vacations. She lives in Boston, MA, with her husband, Andy Pickett, a practicing attorney. They have three successful grown children.
Lindsay Coates is Managing Director of BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative, a holistic, time-bound approach to reach the poorest people and help them on a pathway out of extreme poverty.
Lindsay has nonprofit executive experience and a legal background in civil rights, which bring together her passion for human rights, the social sector, and global development. She is active as a speaker and writer on a range of topics around equity and inclusion.
Lindsay leads BRAC’s advocacy agenda to leave no one behind using effective, innovative, and multidimensional approaches to change the lives of the most marginalized people. She is also responsible for its learning agenda and technical assistance activities worldwide in the 10+ countries where BRAC is currently implementing or assisting with Graduation programs.
Before joining BRAC, Lindsay served as the president of InterAction, where she oversaw management and institutional outreach to InterAction members and partners. Lindsay has also served on the steering committee of the World Bank Global Partnership for Social Accountability, the executive committee for Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network, and the boards of Episcopal Relief and Development, United States Global Leadership Coalition, and Development Gateway. She also served on the Obama administration’s Task Force on Global Poverty.
Prior to her work in the nonprofit sector, Lindsay practiced civil rights law in various capacities, including beginning her law practice in Mississippi. She is a graduate of the University of the South (Sewanee) and the University of Mississippi School of Law.
Dan Stoner is the Chief Program Officer (CPO) at BRAC USA, where he serves as key leader in providing technical support that builds the capacity of all BRAC entities to design quality programs. He also leads the development of programs for the U.S. Government, Global Affairs Canada, and private foundations. Dan is a member of the senior leadership team of BRAC USA.
Dan is a seasoned international development professional with more than 25 years of experience, including 17 years working and living in South America and East Africa. Dan spent eight years at Save the Children, where he was the Vice President for Education and Child Protection at its U.S. headquarters. In his 15 years at Plan International, he worked at its headquarters, in regional offices in Nairobi and Quito, and in country programs in Tanzania, Bolivia, and Brazil.
Dan has served on many boards of directors, including the Basic Education Coalition, the Global Alliance for Children, and several microfinance organizations in Bolivia. He has extensive experience winning and managing U.S. Agency for International Development and U.S. Department of Agriculture programs, as well as experience managing programs and teams working with a wide range of institutional and private donors.
Senior Vice President Sharad Aggarwal works with the President and CEO to guide and strengthen all BRAC USA activities related to programs and development. He joined BRAC USA in September 2015, after more than 15 years with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).
As Director of International Programs at UMCOR, he identified and implemented strategies for program, organizational and resource development, while overseeing staff and program operations in the Balkans, Caucasus, Africa and Asia. He also led program alignment with headquarters business development, monitoring and evaluation, human resources and finance and risk management units, while ensuring systems promoting program quality were developed and applied consistently at UMCOR’s country offices.
Sharad has almost 20 years of experience in overseas and domestic PVO relief and transitional development programs, serving previously with the International Rescue Committee in Washington, D.C., Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and with Mercy Corps/Scottish European Aid in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
He holds a master’s in Public Administration from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service with a concentration in International Public and Non-profit Management and Policy. Sharad completed his undergraduate studies at Brown University, where he concentrated in International Relations as well as Modern Literature and Society.
As Communications Officer, Sarah builds brand awareness in North America and strengthens BRAC USA fundraising efforts through content creation, program communications, and public relations.
Sarah previously worked with Outreach360, an NGO focused on education and youth empowerment in Latin America, and with Community Empowerment Network, a nonprofit implementing economic development programs related to financial inclusion, agriculture, and community-based tourism in Brazil. She has also worked in the education sector as an early childhood educator at a bilingual school, and as an English teacher in Querétaro, Mexico and Jinotega, Nicaragua.
Sarah graduated summa cum laude from Western Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and minors in Spanish Language and International Business.
As an Associate for the Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative, Isaac supports the Graduation team through knowledge management, business development, and administration. His work enables an ever-growing pipeline of contracts with governments and NGOs to operate smoothly and furthers global adoption of the Ultra-Poor Graduation approach.
Isaac brings experience from a variety of NGOs in the New York area. At the Catholic Medical Mission Board, he designed a recruitment strategy to increase the number of French-speaking medical volunteers. At Global Health Corps, he improved safety and security for international fellows through programmatic and operational support. At Impact Network, he designed and implemented communications strategies and supported business development efforts through grant writing and research.
A recent graduate of Fordham University, Isaac holds a dual Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and French Studies. His senior thesis explored sociomedical norms in Senegal through the lens of disease management, and he studied abroad in both Senegal and France. In his free time, you can find Isaac at thrift shops, indie and electronic concerts, or improv theatres.
As Senior Communications Manager, Courtney Calardo oversees the overall development and implementation of BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative (UPGI) communications strategy. Prior to joining BRAC UPGI, Courtney was the Communications Manager at Family Planning 2020, where she worked to promote greater access to and information on sexual and reproductive health for women and girls around the world. Courtney brings 10 years of experience in strategic communications with a primary focus in international development. Courtney has provided strategic communications and partnership development support to social entrepreneurs with innovative, evidence-based solutions for major global issues, as well as key implementing partners, and she worked to promote the integration of innovation in development programming overall during her time at USAID. With additional experience in the private sector as a consultant, Courtney has supported the development and execution of communication strategies for academic institutions, international governments, NGOs and the private sector. Courtney graduated from Indiana University Bloomington with a B.A. in Journalism and International Studies, focusing on human rights and photojournalism.
As the Program Officer for the Health and Agriculture team, Annie provides strategic program support in the areas of health, nutrition, WASH, agriculture and rural livelihoods.
Prior to joining BRAC USA, Annie was a Global Health Corps fellow at Save the Mothers in Uganda. During her one-year fellowship, she designed, implemented, and evaluated projects for ten partner hospitals, including a research study to evaluate the effectiveness of a toll-free hotline on maternal and child health outcomes.
Annie is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist. She holds a Master’s in Nutrition with a concentration in Public Health as well as a Bachelor’s in Nutrition, both from Saint Louis University.
As the Regional Advisor for Youth Empowerment, Carrie provides technical support to BRAC International countries in Africa on youth programming, including program design, proposal development, and quality program implementation. She is based in East Africa.
Prior to joining BRAC, Carrie was the COO of Kepler, an innovative higher education program serving vulnerable students in East Africa. Carrie led the drive to prepare for expansion and ensured graduates were ready for transition to employment. Carrie was also the inaugural Country Director for the Akilah Institute for Women in Bujumbura, Burundi. She started with Akilah as the Academic Director in Rwanda.
Before beginning her work in East Africa, Carrie served as the National Program Director of Girls for a Change for seven years, overseeing strategy and program implementation. She also served two terms in the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, worked for the Girl Scouts of Silicon Valley, and was a consultant to NGOs for more than seven years.
Carrie earned a Master’s in International and Multicultural Education with an emphasis in Human Rights Education from the University of San Francisco. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. She is also an American Association of University Women Career Development grant recipient.
Lauren Godfrey is the Program Manager, Education at BRAC USA where she develops proposals and provides technical assistance for BRAC’s education and youth empowerment portfolio, manages grants and key partnerships, and advocates for BRAC’s work in education.
Before joining BRAC USA, Lauren managed USAID-funded cooperative agreements and contracts at EnCompass LLC and World Learning. She brings expertise in gender and social inclusion, capacity development, training and facilitation, monitoring and evaluation, program design, and project management. Lauren is a co-author of the Transforming Agency, Access, and Power Toolkit and Guide for Inclusive Development. She has designed and facilitated virtual and in-person training on inclusive development and USAID rules and regulations for youth leaders, civil society organizations, and non-governmental organizations.
Lauren has worked in Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. She also taught adult ESL in the San Francisco Bay Area and secondary school English and Biology in Tanzania. She holds a Master of Development Practice from Emory University and a B.A. in International Relations from Syracuse University.
Emily Gosselin is the program manager for agriculture and rural livelihoods at BRAC USA, where she oversees a multi-million dollar portfolio of agriculture and skills development projects in Africa and Asia and supports North American business development for BRAC International’s $200 million USD microlending portfolio.
Emily previously worked in global operations at One Acre Fund in Kenya, a social enterprise and microcredit provider working to alleviate poverty in rural Africa. At OAF, she helped rapidly scale new policies and processes across an organization spanning more than eight countries, impacting hundreds of staff and over 400,000 clients. Earlier in her career, she managed digital publishing projects at the Council on Foreign Relations, a foreign policy think tank.
Emily holds a Master’s degree in development administration and planning from University College London and a Bachelor’s in international relations from the University of Southern California.
Jenna Grzeslo is the Program Manager for Research & Learning at BRAC USA, where she supports the Women’s Economic Empowerment and Digital Finance (WEE-DiFine) initiative.
Jenna comes to BRAC USA from SUNY New Paltz, where she was an Assistant Professor of Media Management. Her background is in academic and applied research exploring the intersection of technology, society, and development. Her doctoral dissertation examined the use of M-Pesa by youth entrepreneurs in Kenya. She has published her work in numerous journals including Computers in Human Behavior and Digital Policy, Regulation, and Governance. She has also served as the managing editor of the Journal of Information Policy and the coordinator for the Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) Consortium at Penn State.
She holds a PhD in Mass Communications and a graduate certificate in Applied Statistics from Penn State University. Jenna completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin, where she majored in Political Science and Communication Arts.
As an Associate at BRAC USA, Jess provides direct support to the Executive Director of BRAC International and the Senior Vice President of BRAC USA to drive BRAC’s global operations and advance BRAC’s poverty alleviation programs.
Before joining BRAC, Jess worked as a Research Associate at Whisnant Strategies, a small philanthropic advising firm in Washington D.C. Jess was a previous intern at BRAC USA and also spent three years working with The Grassroot Project working to develop, organize, and deliver innovative game-based health programs to at-risk youth in Washington D.C.
Jess graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Political Science and Socio-cultural Anthropology from The George Washington University where he was also a four-year Division 1 student athlete on the Men’s Rowing team.
Jihoon Im is a Development Coordinator at BRAC USA, where he supports the individual giving team’s efforts to mobilize private philanthropy for BRAC’s programs.
Prior to joining BRAC USA, Jihoon supported the development team at UC San Diego, working closely with senior fundraisers to coordinate the advancement of the University’s academic divisions. He also gained international experience at the International Food Policy Research Institute, where he worked for HarvestPlus, a global leader in the research and delivery of bio-fortified staple food crops. There, he supported the Chief Executive Officer to facilitate the management of over 160 staff across 10 countries, and worked closely with external relations and program teams to coordinate fundraising and advocacy efforts with institutional partners and donors.
Jihoon received his Bachelor of Science in International Agricultural Development from the University of California, Davis, where he also worked with the UC Davis Agricultural Sustainability Institute and the Land Use and Natural Resources extension program.
As a Communications Officer for the Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative, Bobby provides communications support for the Graduation Approach, promoting global advocacy efforts and contributing to technical assistance for its implementation.
Before joining BRAC USA, Bobby lived in Thailand, working on a variety of issues, including human rights, climate change, and migration. Previously with the Center for Social Development Studies, where he focused on policy and research projects in Southeast Asia, Bobby developed communications and engagement strategies to create opportunities for local activists and researchers to better engage with the public, sharing their knowledge to improve impact and drive change. Prior to that, he worked at a learning and development organization in New York and for the 2010 World Exposition in Shanghai.
Bobby holds a master’s degree in International Development from Chulalongkorn University as well as bachelor’s degrees in Chinese and Political Science, with a focus on International Relations, from Rutgers University.
Bobby is a passionate advocate for the underrepresented, and his experiences learning about and working with marginalized communities around the world deeply informs his approach to communications. Happy to once again reside in New York, you might find him playing volleyball or dancing to funky beats on the weekends.
Before joining BRAC USA, Julie worked with CARE International in Sri Lanka to develop and implement a handloom weaving entrepreneurship program for women-headed households in post-conflict regions. She also worked with the International Water Management Institute in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to design a livelihoods survey and participatory mapping project for smallholder farmers.
Matt Kertman is the Senior Manager for Communications at BRAC USA, where he finds creative ways to tell the BRAC story to a North American audience.
A returned Peace Corps volunteer (South Africa, ’10-’12), he brings a decade of experience in nonprofit outreach, development and communications to BRAC USA. Matt cut his teeth producing documentaries for veteran journalist Bill Moyers at New York’s WNET and today retains an interest in how we all tell our stories.
Matt earned his bachelor’s from Wesleyan University. You can find him on the trail, most weekends, punishing his Nikes.
Scott works as a senior advisor for BRAC USA with a focus on knowledge management and dissemination. He manages BRAC USA’s portfolio of research grants along with other special projects.
As a writer and former journalist, his work has taken him to over 50 countries. He covered the transition from communism as a business journalist in central and Eastern Europe in the 1990s, then worked as an editor and freelance writer in the Middle East in the 2000s. His stint as a travel writer took him to Southeast Asia, China, India, and Africa. He joined BRAC USA in 2011.
Scott earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Amherst College. His work has been published in Slate, The Boston Globe, and The Chicago Tribune.
As Senior Manager for Business Development, Alexandra supports the expansion of multilateral and bilateral program opportunities and other new partnerships for BRAC countries. In addition to leading new business development, this includes providing technical assistance to build the capacity of BRAC’s global entities, delivering quality program design, and deploying to countries to support project start-up activities. Alexandra began her career at BRAC, supporting the development of new social enterprise models in Bangladesh and Tanzania, and continues to support BRAC International in this capacity.
Prior to joining BRAC, Alexandra worked for the City of Chicago, supporting the development of a new investment fund and other economic development initiatives for underserved communities in Chicago. Alexandra was also a fellow at the Kresge Foundation in Detroit, where she supported inter-program initiatives and research to promote urban opportunities for low-income communities. Alexandra began her career managing corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs in the U.S. and Middle East.
Alexandra holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School, and an MPhil in Environment, Society and Development from the University of Cambridge. She received a bachelor’s degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.
As the Digital Marketing Manager, Meghan is responsible for supporting the implementation of marketing, communications, and public fundraising initiatives through digital media. She leverages the digital ecosystem to promote BRAC and cultivate and steward BRAC donors in North America.
Before joining BRAC USA, Meghan worked in association management at the American Health Information Management Association and the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. She developed and implemented integrated marketing and member recruitment and retention campaigns to translate business goals into relevant and compelling content for the website, e-mail marketing, event promotion, brand strategy, and social media.
Meghan graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies, a minor in Spanish, and certificates in Nonprofit Management and Human Rights.
Devon McLorg is the Director of Education at BRAC USA where she oversees BRAC USA’s portfolio of education grants and leads strategic advocacy efforts on behalf of BRAC in North America and beyond. Along with her team, she also supports BRAC with technical assistance and strategic fundraising.
Previously, Devon was the Head of Education and Workforce Development at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York, where she advised CGI members on planning, designing, and partnership brokering for their education and workforce development projects. Devon also worked for USAID’s Office of Education as an Education and Youth Development Specialist, where she worked across the agency’s education portfolio to design, monitor and evaluate equitable access programs for children and youth worldwide.
Prior to completing her graduate studies, she lived in Mexico City, where she worked in educational advising at the Institute of International Education, and taught Latin American History and Creative Writing at the Tecnológico de Monterrey, a Mexican preparatory school and university. She earned her master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, with a concentration in Economic and Political Development. Devon also holds a bachelor’s degree in Latin American and Latino Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Devon is fluent in Spanish and has worked on development projects extensively throughout Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. She enjoys yoga, travel, cooking, and running around Brooklyn with her dog, George.
Nazia Moqueet provides technical assistance to governments, multilateral institutions, and NGOs adopting the Graduation approach worldwide. She specializes in program design, implementation oversight, and monitoring and evaluation. She currently provides technical support on integrating economic inclusion initiatives with social protection in Kenya, Egypt, Pakistan, and Guinea. She has previously assessed the impact of the 2011 political revolution on the implementation of a government-led Graduation program in Yemen.
Prior to joining BRAC, Nazia worked at the World Bank on a technical advisory project aimed at increasing access to basic services including water and sanitation among the extreme poor in Bangladesh. She has also worked with various organizations including Human Rights Watch and the Middle East Institute. Nazia holds a Master’s in International Trade and Development Economics from the George Washington University and a Bachelor’s in Economics from Colgate University.
Rasha is the Senior Advocacy Manager for BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative where she oversees efforts to influence key decision-makers and promote policy change that better serve the extreme poor. She has over 12 years of experience in the non-profit sector, including work in Palestine, Mauritania, and in the U.S. with underserved and refugee communities. Before joining BRAC, Rasha worked with CARE in various functions related to organizational strategy development, advocacy, knowledge management, and research and communications.
Rasha holds a Master’s in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and received her Bachelor’s in Political Science and Peace and Conflict Studies from Wayne State University.
Rasha holds a Master’s in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and received her Bachelor’s in Political Science and Peace and Conflict Studies from Wayne State University.
As the Contracts and Grants Coordinator for the Ultra Poor Graduation Initiative, Nate manages contracts and grants administration, facilitates business systems, and supports business development for the UPGI team’s growing technical assistance consulting practice.
Throughout his career, Nate has managed operations for international and domestic nonprofits that empower communities in need. Before joining BRAC USA, Nate worked as a Project Manager for the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation supporting the Rebuild Texas Fund, a Hurricane Harvey relief effort. He has also worked as the Operations Associate for the Clean Cooking Alliance, an initiative of the United Nations Foundation that supports the development and adoption of clean cooking solutions around the world.
Nate holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of California, Santa Barbara and will pursue a Master’s in Public Administration in Development Practice, from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in the fall.
Cait O’Donnell is a Technical Officer for the Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative at BRAC USA, where she promotes global advocacy, technical assistance, and research around the Graduation Approach.
Cait has over five years of experience with expertise in inclusive development, rural livelihoods, and environmental policy. Prior to joining BRAC, she was a specialist on the World Economic Forum’s Food Security and Agriculture initiative, where she led stakeholder engagement and strategy development to promote public-private cooperation. She researched emerging trends in technology innovation and their impacts on smallholder farmers, consumers, and the planet.
She previously worked with the World Wildlife Fund on energy access and rural electrification in Myanmar. She also has experience supporting corporate climate leadership with the Carbon Disclosure Project, and with World Resources Institute to promote access to environmental information, public participation, and justice. Cait served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine and has worked in multiple countries in Africa and Southeast Asia.
Cait holds a Master of Arts in International Affairs with a focus on energy and environmental policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Global Poverty and Practice from the University of California, Berkeley.
Linda Patentas is a Program Manager at BRAC USA, where she oversees the design and implementation of projects related to urban development, migration, and the ready-made garment industry in Bangladesh. She also supports higher education institutes at BRAC University, including the Center for Peace and Justice and the Center for Entrepreneurship Development. Linda works closely with BRAC USA’s senior leadership to build partnerships and execute business development strategies across BRAC’s eleven countries in Africa and Asia.
Linda brings more than six years of professional experience working in international development and related fields, including finance, strategic programming, research, community engagement, and communications, at a variety of institutions including the World Bank, the United Nations, the Synergos Institute, and Slum Dwellers International. Prior to joining BRAC, Linda served as a research associate at a New York-based private equity firm, where she furthered her understanding of investments and market-based solutions to complex global development challenges.
Linda earned a Master of Arts in International Affairs with concentrations in Economic Development and Urbanization & Social Justice from The New School. She holds a dual bachelor’s degree in Global Affairs and Spanish Language & Literature from Loyola University Maryland, where she was inducted to the Alpha Sigma Nu honor society for scholarship and service.
Mia Perez is a Program Associate with the Education team at BRAC USA, where she supports the proposal development, project design, and evaluation of BRAC’s portfolio of education programs in Africa and Asia, focusing on early childhood development, education in emergencies, primary and secondary education, and skills development.
Prior to joining BRAC USA, Mia earned her master’s degree at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs, where she completed a final capstone project in Nicaragua on NGO social and financial sustainability and homeless youth workforce opportunities. Mia also gained experience working at Ivy Camps, an education start-up in Shanghai, China, and Progreso Latino, a US-based non-profit that serves vulnerable youth and immigrant populations in Rhode Island.
Outside of BRAC, Mia is also involved in local community engagement work in Brooklyn local government, where she is leading a community assessment in both Spanish and Chinese that will guide local policy decision-making around education, affordable housing, and economic development.
Mia earned a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies at Columbia University, where she focused on comparative studies of affirmative action policies and minority access to education in China and the United States.
Whitney Reichenbacker is the Director of Finance and Administration at BRAC USA, where she oversees finance, operations, benefits, HR and technology.
She has more than 10 years of experience in finance and operations in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors.
Whitney earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Evansville in Indiana.
Dr. Adam Schwartz is the Senior Program Manager for Health at BRAC USA, where he oversees the organization’s health portfolio.
Prior to joining BRAC USA, Adam worked as a researcher and clinician in Botswana and India, with a focus on health systems strengthening, primary care expansion and mHealth implementation. A physician by training, Adam splits his time between BRAC USA and Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City, where he is a primary care doctor. He is also on the faculty at the New York University School of Medicine.
Adam received his M.D. from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and completed his residency training in internal medicine at Weill Cornell Medical Center/New York-Presbyterian Hospital. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University.
Walid is the finance and administration manager at BRAC USA, where he is responsible for managing the revenue and expenses for the organization, contributes to donor reporting and budgeting, and maintains local, state and federal registrations.
With previous roles at several educational organizations in New York City, Walid possesses more than seven years of experience in non-profit finance and accounting. He brings direct knowledge of day-to-day financial management of non-profits, including state and federal grants management, payroll, financial reporting, and budgeting.
Walid earned a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics from the City College of New York.
As a Technical Advisor with the Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative, Dristy promotes advocacy and supports communications and technical assistance delivery. Previously, Dristy was a Consultant at World Bank Nepal, where she conducted field research to investigate factors affecting individuals who are eligible to receive but unable to access social protection allowances.
She has extensive fieldwork and consulting experience, including with Pact on Sajhedari Bikaas, a project funded by USAID that aims to improve local governance in Nepal. She also supported AmeriCares on their emergency response efforts after two major earthquakes hit Nepal in April 2015. Dristy has worked as the technical officer at Root Change, where she supported the design and implementation of various development projects in Mexico, Nepal, and Nigeria.
Dristy holds a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy, with a certificate in International Development focusing on Social and Political Change, from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, and a bachelor’s in Psychology and Economics from Middlebury College.
Megan Tait is a Finance and Administration Coordinator at BRAC USA, where she provides financial support to the Finance and Administration team, as well as administrative support to the BRAC USA office.
Before joining BRAC USA, Megan served as an Administrative Assistant at Gates Capital Management, a private investment management company. Prior to that, she gained non-profit development experience in her role as the Donor Relations and Communications Coordinator at Shadhika, a non-profit that advances gender equality in India by investing in the education, empowerment, and economic self-sufficiency of girls and young women living in poverty.
Megan earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the University of Colorado in Denver.
Rosa is the Program Officer on the Learning, Empowerment and Adolescent Development (LEAD) team at BRAC USA, where her responsibilities include proposal development and project design, implementation, and evaluation to support education and girls empowerment programs, with a focus on early childhood development, primary and secondary education, skills development, and empowerment and livelihoods for adolescents.
Prior to joining BRAC USA, Rosa gained experience on the development and communications teams at the British Council, Human Rights Watch, and C4Q. While at C4Q, Rosa led grant writing, grant management, and event planning efforts, including launching the organization’s inaugural HackFemme conference to support women pursuing careers in technology.
Rosa earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Columbia University, where she focused her studies on international relations and human rights.
Ashley Toombs is the Director of External Affairs at BRAC USA where she supports technical assistance efforts, public engagement, and strategic fundraising initiatives.
Previously, Ashley was part of the fundraising team at the Nature Conservancy’s New York office. She also spent four years working with the Peruvian Environmental Ministry first as a Peace Corps Volunteer and, after, as a technical facilitator specializing in community-based environmental management and youth development.
She holds a master’s in Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, with a concentration in Environmental Science and Policy. Ashley completed her undergraduate studies at Fairfield University, where she majored in International Studies and Spanish, with a minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.
Alexander Wheeler is a Development Associate at BRAC USA, where he works closely with senior leadership to cultivate individual and institutional partnerships that strengthen BRAC’s development programs, research, and emergency response efforts across 11 countries.
Prior to joining BRAC USA, Alexander was a Princeton in Asia Fellow at AIP Foundation in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where he developed corporate, philanthropic, and government partnerships to implement child injury prevention and road safety projects in Cambodia, China, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. He was also instrumental in writing project proposals and evaluation reports, and developing sustainable and innovative programs. Alexander also brings a breadth of experience in research and programmatic capacities, including with the American Red Cross’ Restoring Family Links program, the Brookings Institution’s Center for Universal Education, and BRAC’s Health, Nutrition, and Population program.
Alexander holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy from Georgetown University, with focuses on international development, anthropology, and ethics.
As Special Assistant for Strategy on the Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative, Isabel works closely with leadership on aligning the technical advisory practice and advocacy work stream with strategic objectives and opportunities. During her time on the team, she has also supported on technical assistance delivery and business development.
Before joining UPGI, Isabel spent two years based at BRAC’s headquarters in Dhaka, where she led communications and knowledge management for the microfinance program, with a focus on innovation. During that time she conducted several field assignments for BRAC in Myanmar, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Externally, she represented BRAC on the Microfinance CEO Working Group’s Microfinance Communications Council as co-Chair, and served as Director of the Microfinance Network. She has previously worked at various institutions including UNESCO, UK Parliament, and CARE Bangladesh.
Isabel possesses formal competencies in management, knowledge management and human-centered design, and has participated in the Boulder Microfinance Training program. Isabel completed her undergraduate degree in Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, and earned a master’s in International Public Policy from University College London.
As Director of Technical Assistance, Lauren manages a talented technical team to design and deliver high quality technical assistance, advisory services, and policy advocacy to clients including governments, UN agencies, bilateral and multilateral institutions, and international NGOs. Currently, Lauren provides critical expertise to the design and implementation of technical assistance contracts integrating economic inclusion and social protection with the Governments of the Philippines, Rwanda, and Lesotho; oversees donor and client relationship cultivation with multilateral and bilateral institutions; leads business development strategy and client and partner acquisition; and acts as an external representative in relevant global fora including the United Nations, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and before national governments.
Prior to joining BRAC USA, Lauren was seconded to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Ecuador to facilitate baseline evaluation and launch of a Graduation program targeting refugees, now scaled nationally and expanding throughout UNHCR’s global portfolio. She has worked with a number of for-profit and nonprofit organizations in Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Sub-Saharan Africa, including Accion International, Mercy Corps, the Inter-American Development Bank’s Inter-American Investment Corporation, d.light design, InterAction’s Alliance for International Youth Development, HelpAge International, Tomorrow’s Youth Organization, and others.
Lauren holds a master’s from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Global Human Development, with certificates in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies and Global Social Enterprise and Development, and a bachelor’s from Princeton University in Spanish & Portuguese, with minors in Latin American Studies, Near Eastern Studies, and Theater & Dance.