Our Team

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Working at the crossroads of social entrepreneurship, international education and international development, Global Citizen Year has built a team of passionate, results-oriented professionals who share a commitment to unleashing to potential of the next generation of global leaders through a transformative bridge year before college.

 

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  • Abby Falik

  • Founder & CEO
  • As Founder and CEO, Abby leads the team by developing the vision, strategy and resources to make a global bridge…

  • As Founder and CEO, Abby leads the team by developing the vision, strategy and resources to make a global bridge year after high school a common expectation and opportunity.

    Prior to founding Global Citizen Year, Abby spent more than a decade as an educator and entrepreneur in communities across the U.S. and around the world. One of her most notable achievements was designing an initiative that empowers youth to address global poverty, a model which has now become a flagship program of Mercy Corps.

    A frequent speaker on social innovation and global education, Abby’s work has been featured in leading forums including the Clinton Global Initiative, the Aspen Ideas Festival, Pop!Tech, and The New York Times. For her achievements as a social entrepreneur, she has been recognized as an Ashoka Fellow, a Draper Richards Kaplan Entrepreneur, a Mind Trust Fellow, and a Harvard Social Enterprise Fellow.

    Abby holds a B.A. and M.Ed. from Stanford University, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

    What inspires you?

    Passion, innovation, and human potential.

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  • Jonas Mok

  • Vice President of Operations and Finance
  • As Vice President of Operations and Finance, Jonas is responsible for building the team, systems and core operations to enable…

  • As Vice President of Operations and Finance, Jonas is responsible for building the team, systems and core operations to enable Global Citizen Year’s ambitious growth in the coming years.

    Jonas has a background in for-profit and non-profit organizations in high-growth stages. Most recently, he served in a variety of roles at Revolution Foods as it grew from providing healthy school lunches in a few schools in California to serving over a million meals a week around the country. He founded World PULSE, a non-profit providing international service opportunities and cross-cultural trainings to low-income young people.

    With Room to Read, he implemented new technologies with local staff throughout Asia. He led the marketing and community relations efforts at Noah’s Bagels as it grew to a national chain. And as one of the original employees at Sports4Kids (now Playworks), Jonas led operations as it became a leading national youth development organization.

    Jonas holds a B.A. from University of California at Berkeley.

    Why do you do what you do?

    I’m a cross-cultural mashup: born in Bangkok to a German mother and Chinese father and have lived and traveled around the world. It’s motivated me to work towards getting more young people to be exposed to the challenges and joys of international experiences.

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  • Shannah Metz

  • VP of Programs
  • As the Vice President of Programs, Shannah leads the Global Programs team in developing the strategies and operations for facilitating…

  • As the Vice President of Programs, Shannah leads the Global Programs team in developing the strategies and operations for facilitating a world-class leadership development program that delivers a positive experience and impact for Fellows and Partners. Prior to leading Global Programming, Shannah designed, built, and grew the Global Citizen Year Ecuador Program as well as oversaw the development of the Global Training Curriculum.

    Before joining the Global Citizen Year team in 2010, Shannah worked on international development, human rights, educational, and environmental management projects throughout Latin America, and mostly in Ecuador. Her career included consulting for Lumni Inc., CARE, and the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), as well as leading Programs Teams at two Ecuadorian NGOs – Fundacion Pachamama and Fundacion Altropico..

    Shannah holds a B.A. and M.A. in Environmental Anthropology from Stanford University.

    Why do I do what I do?

    I love interacting with people and diverse perspectives and life experiences, so that I can learn more about them, myself, and the world, one relationship at a time!

     

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  • Erin Lewellen

  • VP of Recruitment and Growth Strategy
  • As Vice President of Recruitment and Growth Strategy, Erin leads a team responsible for increasing the overall impact of Global…

  • As Vice President of Recruitment and Growth Strategy, Erin leads a team responsible for increasing the overall impact of Global Citizen Year by developing brand presence, expanding the number of kids we serve each year and keeping our alumni meaningfully engaged.

    Prior to joining Global Citizen Year, Erin served as VP of School Partnerships for Revolution Foods where she led the expansion of Revolution Foods from 5 schools to over 1,200 nationwide. Prior to Revolution Foods, she served as the Bay Area Director for Playworks. Erin was instrumental in expanding this small, Bay Area organization into one that now partners with over 350 public schools nationwide. For the past 12 years, she has simultaneously served as the Head Varsity Coach of the girls’ basketball team at Emery High School and is also the Board Chair for Oakland Leaf, a non-profit dedicated to empowering Oakland youth in their search for social justice.

    Previously, Erin worked for NICRO Women’s Support Centre in South Africa developing and implementing a policy that worked to prevent gender-based violence in major school districts.

    Erin holds a B.A. from the Robert D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon.

    Favorite quote:

    It always seems impossible until it’s done. Nelson Mandela

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  • Stephanie Browner

  • The New School-Eugene Lang College Faculty Advisor
  • Stephanie Browner is the Dean of Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts in New York City. As…

  • Stephanie Browner is the Dean of Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts in New York City. As part of her work there she meets with and advises students and alumni, observes classes, and teaches a yearlong course to the cohort of Lang/Global Citizen Year Fellows via email during their time abroad. The school received a $5 million grant from its founder, Eugene M. Lang, in honor of her leadership, and she recently secured a half million-dollar grant from the Mellon Foundation to launch Lang’s new Civic Arts and Humanities Community Partnerships Program.

    Formerly Stephanie was the Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculty at Berea College, a liberal arts college in Kentucky known nationwide for providing a tuition-free education to low-income students.  Her accomplishments there included securing gifts and grants, increasing faculty diversity, designing new curricular initiatives, and collaborating with leaders across the state to launch a series of conferences on Kentucky’s energy policy.

    Stephanie’s scholarly interests include nineteenth-century American and African-American literature, the history of American medicine, postcolonial literature, digital humanities, and contemporary public health issues.  Her scholarship has appeared in leading journals including PMLA and American Quarterly, and she is the author of two books, including Profound Science and Elegant Literature: Imagining Doctors in Nineteenth-Century America. In fall 2013 a recent article written by Stephanie will appear in the German publication Communicating Disease: CulturalRepresentations of American Medicine.

    Stephanie has lectured widely, especially on literature and medicine, and has created websites on Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson.  She is the founder and editor of The Charles Chesnutt Digital Archive and serves on the board of Networked Interface for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship (NINES).

    Stephanie’s early experience includes work as a medical volunteer in Central America, a high school English and Spanish teacher, and a professional modern dancer.  She holds a PhD and an MA in American Literature and American Studies from Indiana University and a BA from the University of Chicago.

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  • Sharon Meyer

  • Medical Advisor
  • Sharon is a Board Certified Internist and HIV Specialist. She practices and teaches in several locations in San Francisco, including…

  • Sharon is a Board Certified Internist and HIV Specialist. She practices and teaches in several locations in San Francisco, including California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC), St. Mary’s Medical Center, and University of California San Francisco (UCSF). Sharon has a diverse outpatient practice, caring for patients from ages 16 to 103.  She also supervises medical students and residents in training, as well as nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

    In addition to her work as the Medical Advisor for Global Citizen Year, Sharon was the Assistant Medical Director of the Sister Mary Philippa Clinic, the Medical Director at the University of San Francisco Student Health Clinic. She was also the Inpatient Attending and Faculty at  St. Mary’s Medical Center and the Assistant Medical Director at the Family Health Center at CPMC. Additionally, Sharon was the Attending Physician at UCSF’s 360 Program, an HIV Women’s Program. Sharon has volunteered her time as a physician at Camp Mather near Yosemite National Park.

    Sharon attended medical school at George Washington University School of Medicine, in Washington D.C. She completed her medical residency at California Pacific Medical Center, in San Francisco, CA where she was also Chief Resident.

    Sharon’s daughter is a 2014 graduate of Global Citizen Year; her daughter spent her bridge year in Ecuador.

    Favorite Quote?

    “I was born to catch dragons in their dens / And pick flowers / To tell tales and laugh away the morning / To drift and dream like a lazy stream / And walk barefoot across sunshine days.” – James Kavanaugh

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  • PeeBee van den Toorn

  • Global Health and Safety Director/US Training Manager
  • As the Health and Safety Director, PeeBee’s role is to strengthen risk management systems in order to best support the…

  • As the Health and Safety Director, PeeBee’s role is to strengthen risk management systems in order to best support the fellows and the program.  As the US Training Manager, PeeBee manages both the US-based Fall and Re-Entry Trainings for the global cohort of Fellows.

    Before Global Citizen Year, PeeBee’s career included a number of international and youth development experiences. Her passion for international work began as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia, where she partnered with local schools, NGOs, and community youth members in environmental education initiatives.  Beyond Bolivia, and following a Master’s degree in International Policy Studies, PeeBee expanded her global portfolio with additional experiences including work with Project Concern International in El Salvador and post-tsunami India, doing project design, proposal writing, and training in both the health and environment sectors.

    For the last several years, PeeBee has worked for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in a number of capacities including Field Instruction, Risk Management, Administration, and Leadership. She has also been a Lead Trainer for both the NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI) and NOLS Professional Training (NOLS Pro). In all of her roles with NOLS, PeeBee has been responsible for designing and implementing leadership and skill-based curriculum and training systems.

    PeeBee holds a B.A. in History with minors in Spanish and Art History from the University of California at Davis where she played varsity soccer for four years. PeeBee also earned a M.A. in International Policy Studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) with a specialization in Nonprofit Management in Developing Countries.  Since 1996, she has maintained an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification.

    What inspires you?

    People and Potential

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  • Kate Kruizenga

  • Director of Strategic Projects
  • As Director of Strategic Projects, Kate focuses on business development,  working with the Board of Directors, and leading special projects…

  • As Director of Strategic Projects, Kate focuses on business development,  working with the Board of Directors, and leading special projects across the organization.

    Kate joined Global Citizen Year after spending four years with Teach For America, primarily focused on work in learning and development to train, coach, and support staff working on fundraising and teacher placement across the organization.  Prior to TFA, she helped strengthen operational processes and supported election data collection at the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.  Kate is also a proud AmeriCorps alumna, having served in three elementary schools in Madison, WI with Schools of Hope.

    Kate holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

    Favorite Quote?

    Do Justice.  Love Mercy.  Walk Humbly.  (Micah 6:8)

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  • Rebecca Anaya

  • Bookkeeper/Office Manager
  • As Global Citizen Year’s Bookkeeper/Office Manager, Rebecca provides support to the finance department by overseeing accounts receivable, accounts payable, and…

  • As Global Citizen Year’s Bookkeeper/Office Manager, Rebecca provides support to the finance department by overseeing accounts receivable, accounts payable, and maintenance of the general ledger. Additionally, she provides critical administrative and office management support.

    Prior to joining Global Citizen Year, Rebecca provided money management services to older adults within a nonprofit fiduciary services program. She has also provided social services to older adults, and held research and information management roles within the fields of publishing and higher education development.

    Rebecca holds a B.A. in Fine Art from the School of Visual Arts and a Masters in Social Work from San Jose State University. She has also completed coursework for a certificate in Professional Fiduciary Management for Conservators at California State University, Fullerton.

    Favorite Quote? 

    “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face… You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

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  • Esther Chou

  • Manager of Program Experience
  • As Manager of Program Experence, Esther helps to oversee the US Fellows program experience at Global Citizen Year. She is…

  • As Manager of Program Experence, Esther helps to oversee the US Fellows program experience at Global Citizen Year. She is also responsible for managing curriculum development, evaluations, and program operations.

    Esther previously worked in the social enterprise and higher education sector at Northeastern University, where she managed the Social Enterprise Institute’s international field research programs. Esther has led over 400 students abroad to work on social enterprise programs in Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and South Africa. At the SEI, Esther advised students on development projects selected for Clinton Global Initiative University, and was a Change Team Staff Leader for Ashoka University’s Changemaker Initiative. She also volunteered with Citizen Schools, a national afterschool teaching program. Prior to her work in higher education, Esther worked in a refugee camp in rural Zambia where she led microfinance operations, and in refugee resettlement with the UN Refugee Agency. Esther understands the transformative value of bridge year programs, as she spent her bridge year in South Africa working with children impacted by HIV/AIDS.

    Esther holds a B.A. in International Affairs & Economics, certificate in Business Administration from Northeastern University, and is currently completing her M.S. in Nonprofit Management.

    Favorite Quote?

     “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

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  • Emmy Highsmith

  • Recruitment and Alumni Engagement Manager
  • As the Recruitment and Alumni Engagement Manager, Emmy Highsmith focuses on the bookends of the Global Citizen Year fellow cycle,…

  • As the Recruitment and Alumni Engagement Manager, Emmy Highsmith focuses on the bookends of the Global Citizen Year fellow cycle, recruitment and alumni relations. Her goal is to ensure Global Citizen Year recruits a diverse group of young leaders for each cohort, and keeps them engaged and supported after program completion.

    Prior to joining the Global Citizen Year team, Emmy worked as the Senior Manager of Customer Relations at Revolution Foods for over five years.

    Emmy holds a B.A. in American Studies (with an emphasis in Ethnic Studies), from San Francisco State University.

     

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  • Aparna Kothary Headshot
  • Aparna Kothary

  • Admissions Manager
  • As Admissions Manager, Aparna leads the application, selection, and on-boarding process for Global Citizen Year.
    Aparna has worked in the…

  • As Admissions Manager, Aparna leads the application, selection, and on-boarding process for Global Citizen Year.

    Aparna has worked in the non-profit sector for over six years and has contributed to organizations such as Atlas Corps, Semester at Sea, and South Asian Americans Leading Together. (SAALT) She has worked on program development, operations, and has a passion for helping organizations implement technological solutions that will allow them to be more effective.

    Aparna holds a  B.S. in International Business and a minor in International Development and Conflict Management from the University of Maryland.

    Favorite quote?

    Ubuntu – “A person is a person through other persons.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

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  • Katie Markle

  • Program & Operations Associate
  • As Program & Operations Associate, Katie supports the selection and onboarding of new Fellows by organizing the application review, interview…

  • As Program & Operations Associate, Katie supports the selection and onboarding of new Fellows by organizing the application review, interview process, and pre-departure preparations. She also serves as the Oakland office manager and provides operational support to the global team.

    Katie comes to Global Citizen Year with administrative experience from several non-profits including the Foundation for Sustainable Development and the Global Health Delivery Project. Her firm belief in the transformative power of a bridge year is informed by her own experiences volunteering in India during high school and studying in Uganda during college.

    Katie holds a BA in Sociology and Anthropology from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.

    Favorite quote?

    “Being human always points, and is directed, to something or someone other than oneself–be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter… a cause to serve or another person to love” – Viktor Frankl

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  • Chelsea Hartigan

  • Development Associate
  • As Business Development Associate, Chelsea manages research needs across the business development team, provides administrative support for the CEO, and…

  • As Business Development Associate, Chelsea manages research needs across the business development team, provides administrative support for the CEO, and manages the planning and logistics for business development-related events.

    Chelsea is inspired by human potential, compassion, and cross-cultural exchange. During her undergraduate studies, Chelsea lived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where she conducted her honors thesis research on how community based organizations and sport can be used as a tool for crime prevention in a local favela. She has volunteered with nonprofit organizations in both the US and Brazil and is thrilled to continue this work in our Oakland offices.

    Chelsea holds a Bachelor of Arts in Development Studies (with a focus on community-based development and crime prevention) from Brown University.

    Favorite Quote:

    “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

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  • Macoumba Toure

  • Senegal Country Director
  • As Senegal Country Director, Macoumba leads the Senegal team, manages the in-country program to guarantee a high quality experience for…

  • As Senegal Country Director, Macoumba leads the Senegal team, manages the in-country program to guarantee a high quality experience for Fellows, and fosters a valuable exchange for local partners and communities.

    Macoumba was born and raised in Dakar. His early interest in American culture played a great part in his decision to avoid the beaten path of getting a college degree in Europe. He moved to the US to study Economics at the University of Washington, Seattle. After a short professional stint in Seattle, Macoumba moved back home to Dakar, Senegal to manage the University of Washington’s HPV research Group cancer and HIV studies in Senegal. This position gave him an opportunity to develop the skills needed to lead a US based endeavor in Senegal successfully, balancing both the demanding American work culture and the unique Senegalese environment.

    After over 15 years with the University of Washington, Macoumba was seeking the opportunity to switch fields, to an area which he felt more passionate about and directly connected to – as someone who grew up in Senegal, went to college in the US, and had his own versions of “bridge years” in Senegal and the US. As a college student, Macoumba engaged in tutoring and teaching activities. Back home, he facilitated the first steps of an American high school global program and supported medical school candidates internships in a Dakar hospital.

    His passion for youth development and education matured in the process and he embraced the opportunity to contribute to Global Citizen Year’s vision in Senegal. Macoumba loves witnessing and being part of the rich experiences provided by travel and cultural immersion. He enjoys spending quality time with his wife and two children and experimenting with his bass guitar whenever possible.

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  • Hassana Hedrick Diallo

  • Team Leader, Senegal
  • As a Team Leader, Hassana is responsible for supporting Fellows in the Kedougou region throughout their bridge year in Senegal. Hassana leads…

  • As a Team Leader, Hassana is responsible for supporting Fellows in the Kedougou region throughout their bridge year in Senegal. Hassana leads and coaches a cohort of Fellows, manages local homestays and partners, and supports leadership training development.

    Hassana Hedrick Diallo was born in the rural community of Dindefelo, in southeastern Senegal, and lived there until the age of 10, when he was adopted by Peace Corps Volunteers who had served in his village. He returned with them to the States, where he learned English and attended at The Maret School in Washington, D.C. before going on to graduate from Olympia High School in Washington State. Throughout his time in the U.S., he returned every year or two to Senegal, never losing his native languages or his connection with Senegalese culture. After graduating from college, he worked in two positions in Washington state government, focused on customer relations and training. In 2008, a year after his father returned to Senegal to become the Peace Corps Country Director, he also returned to Senegal to start a new venture, focused on the agricultural supply chain, which now employs 6 people. While doing this, he also worked with and mentored several Peace Corps Volunteers in the Kedougou region.

    Previously, Hassana also worked for Malaria No More, educating the Senegalese population on malaria and its preventions. He was the Malaria Education Coordinator in the Senegal Office and was charged with recruiting and schools to incorporate a malaria education curriculum to students and with overseeing its implementation.

    Hassana has traveled throughout West Africa and some parts of Europe and is fluent in English, French, Pulaar and Wolof. He holds a bachelor’s degree from The Evergreen State College in Washington state with a focus on business management and entrepreneurship.

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  • Eileen Knowles

  • Country Director, Ecuador
  • As Ecuador Country Director, Eileen manages local programming, staff, in-country strategy and day to day operations of Global Citizen Year’s…

  • As Ecuador Country Director, Eileen manages local programming, staff, in-country strategy and day to day operations of Global Citizen Year’s largest program.

    An Ecuadorian national, Eileen has committed the last eight years of her life to education, international cooperation, and social entrepreneurship on three continents. Eileen’s early overseas experience led her to launch SEED Canada, an education charity now based in Kenya and Zambia. Professional experiences also took her to Ghana and Costa Rica, supporting government officials in the planning and implementation of international cooperation projects.

    While in Canada, Eileen’s most recent home base, she remained connected to work overseas, sourcing social innovations as Global Marketing Coordinator for Ashoka’s Changemakers and, most recently, serving as Executive Director of Education Generation, a crowd-funding platform supporting students in the developing world to attend some of the world’s most innovative programs in their home countries. Through these experiences Eileen has worked extensively with youth, developed training programs, supported organizations delivering world-class innovation, and built and led dynamic teams.

    Eileen’s career and passion has revolved around developing and supporting creative solutions to social problems.

    Eileen holds a B.A. from McMaster University, Canada and a Post-Graduate Degree in Latin American Human Rights and Public Policy from the Henry Dunant School of Human Rights, Chile.

     

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  • Yuri Strobosch

  • Operations Manager, Ecuador
  • As a Team Leader, Yuri is responsible for supporting Fellows in the Azuay/Cañar region throughout their bridge year in Ecuador. Yuri leads…

  • As a Team Leader, Yuri is responsible for supporting Fellows in the Azuay/Cañar region throughout their bridge year in Ecuador. Yuri leads and coaches a cohort of Fellows, manages local homestays and partners, and supports leadership training development.

    Prior to working for Global Citizen Year, Yuri worked with local and international development organizations in various countries, focusing mostly on organizational development & capacity development. Yuri has traveled extensively around the globe and is passionate about the great outdoors.

    Yuri holds a B.S. in International Relations and Sociology from Aston University, UK, and an MS in International Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid from the Humanitarian Aid Studies Centre, Spain.

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  • Andy Gavilanes

  • Program Manager, Ecuador
  • As a Team Leader, Andy is responsible for supporting Fellows in the Amazon (Napo) region throughout their bridge year in…

  • As a Team Leader, Andy is responsible for supporting Fellows in the Amazon (Napo) region throughout their bridge year in Ecuador. Andy leads and coaches a cohort of Fellows, manages local homestays and partners, and supports leadership training development.

    Ever since childhood, Andy has had an appreciation for cross-cultural interactions. He was born and raised in Ecuador with an Ecuadorian Father and an American mother; after high school, he traveled, worked, and studied in Ecuador, the United States, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

    Through out his career, Andy has focused on contributing to building socially just ties among diverse cultures. He has worked in community development and international education both at the international and domestic level. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa and worked with at risk youth in Washington D.C. During his graduate school years, Andy discovered a specific passion for designing and executing inter-cultural exchange programs. In Ecuador, he operated teacher and volunteer abroad programs for LanguageCorps and the Peace Corps.

    Before joining Global Citizen Year, Andy also worked in Washington D.C. organizing international recruiting tours. He then returned to Ecuador eager to bring his enthusiasm for education and social change to Global Citizen Year, with a primary goal of effectively facilitating the link between the host culture and the Fellows to ensure growth for both parties.

    Andy holds a B.A. in International Relations from Louisiana State University and an M.A. focused in International Education from The School for International Training (SIT).

    Favorite quote?

    Before criticizing someone, walk a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away and have their shoes.

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  • Michaela D’Amico

  • Team Leader, Ecuador
  • As a Team Leader, Michaela is responsible for supporting Fellows in the Chimborazo region throughout their bridge year in Ecuador. Michaela…

  • As a Team Leader, Michaela is responsible for supporting Fellows in the Chimborazo region throughout their bridge year in Ecuador. Michaela leads and coaches a cohort of Fellows, manages local homestays and partners, and supports leadership training development.

    Michaela has been dedicated to promoting human rights and social justice since her internship working with the international nonprofit Global Exchange in San Francisco. While living in Ecuador, she supported an international human rights and environmental justice lawsuit brought by indigenous groups in the Amazon. Michaela has also worked as a group leader and teaching assistant during field studies with the Northeastern Social Enterprise Institute in Costa Rica and Nicaragua and led a language learning trip for teens throughout Spain. Additionally, she has staffed youth leadership development conferences in Rhode Island and Ohio since 2004. Most recently, Michaela completed qualitative research for a start-up micro lending program with a Ugandan agricultural foundation and worked at the nonprofit social investment fund Root Capital as a translator and in the business development and corporate relations department.

    Michaela graduated from Northeastern University with a B.A. in International Affairs, with minors in Sociology, Spanish, and Social Entrepreneurship.

    Favorite quote

    Michaela strives to live by the African ubuntu philosophy “I am what I am because of who we all are.”

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  • Lindsay Dudley

  • Team Leader, Ecuador
  • As the Team Leader for the Imbabura region in Ecuador, Lindsay leads and coaches a cohort of fellows, manages local…

  • As the Team Leader for the Imbabura region in Ecuador, Lindsay leads and coaches a cohort of fellows, manages local homestays and partners, and supports leadership training development.

    Lindsay’s interest in South America and international engagement stems from her three years of service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Bolivia and Ecuador. During this time, Lindsay worked on projects in three different areas: Microenterprise Development & Community Tourism, Sustainable Agriculture, and Youth & Family Development. After the Peace Corps, Lindsay completed a Master’s Degree in Latin American Studies at the University of Kansas. Lindsay focused her studies on researching contemporary Ecuadorian migration trends as related to gender identity and also learning Kichwa. While at the University of Kansas, Lindsay developed her passion for working with students and international experiential learning as the Program Assistant for a course on “Preparing for International Careers.” During the semester class, Lindsay worked with instructors to educate students about the complexities and rewards of working internationally. As part of the course, Lindsay helped to lead a student trip to Costa Rica to meet with leaders in the IGO, NGO, and corporate sectors. Lindsay is also passionate about community outreach and, before joining the Global Citizen year team, worked at the University of Texas at Austin as the Public Engagement Coordinator for the department of Latin American Studies.

    Lindsay holds a BA in Economics and Latin American & Latino Studies from Northwestern University. Lindsay also holds an MA in Latin American Studies from the University of Kansas.

    Favorite Quote? 

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore, Dream, Discover.” –Mark Twain

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  • Sara Brells

  • Team Leader, Ecuador
  • As a Team Leader, Sara is responsible for supporting Fellows in the Cañar/Azuay region throughout their bridge year in Ecuador.…

  • As a Team Leader, Sara is responsible for supporting Fellows in the Cañar/Azuay region throughout their bridge year in Ecuador. Sara leads and coaches a cohort of Fellows, manages local homestays and partners, and supports leadership training development.

    Sara has always held a great appreciation for experiential education and full-heartedly believes in the old cliché, “the world is our classroom.” She recently completed an Environmental Educator Training Program focused on empowering youth through experiential wilderness education. Prior to that, she spent a year in Ecuador as a Fulbright Fellow conducting research on community-level realities of bilingual indigenous education.

    Her deep curiosity for other cultures, lifestyles, and socially just systems guides both her professional and personal endeavors. She has worked with organizations striving to empower immigrant families, in classrooms alongside the Dineh people of the Navajo Nation to foster more engaging educational environments, and in Pacific University’s Center for Civic Engagement where she successfully founded and coordinated a program to redistribute campus food to local sites in need as well as a program facilitating cultural exchange between students and local Latino families.

    She has also worked as a Mentor and Leader facilitating outdoor adventure trips and other programming to guide new students through their Freshman year of college. She brings much passion for education as an agent for social change to her work as a Team Leader, along with extensive mentorship experience merged with a deep awareness of social justice issues.

    Sara holds a BA in Political Science from Pacific University of Oregon with minors in Sociology and Spanish.

    Favorite Quote

    “If you have come to help me you are wasting our time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” – Lily Watson

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  • Stephanie Kasten

  • Team Leader, Ecuador
  • As a Team Leader, Stephanie is responsible for supporting Fellows in the Azuay region throughout their bridge year in Ecuador.…

  • As a Team Leader, Stephanie is responsible for supporting Fellows in the Azuay region throughout their bridge year in Ecuador. Stephanie leads and coaches a cohort of Fellows, manages local homestays and partners, and supports leadership training development.

    Stephanie developed her passion for international education and cultural exchange during a semester abroad in Brazil, where in addition to studying Latin American international relations and Portuguese she taught middle school English in one of Rio’s favelas. Upon returning to the U.S., she continued teaching English to international students and gained experience in bilingual elementary school education. Most recently before joining the Global Citizen Year team, Stephanie served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cuenca, Ecuador, where she partnered with Ecuadorian teachers to lead projects in English education, professional development, youth leadership, and literacy.

    Stephanie graduated from the University of California Davis with a B.A. in Communication and a minor in Political Science.

    Favorite Quote

    “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Albert Einstein

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  • Eugenia Sandoval

  • Office Manager, Ecuador
  • As the Office Manager of Ecuador and Risk Management coordinator, Eugenia provides support in overlooking administrative tasks and providing support…

  • As the Office Manager of Ecuador and Risk Management coordinator, Eugenia provides support in overlooking administrative tasks and providing support in logistics.

    Eugenia spent part of her childhood in the US. She attended high school and got married in Ecuador. After having her daughters she moved back to the US where they lived for 12 years. Her daughters currently attend college in Georgia.

    Eugenia highly values cultural diversity and is a firm believer that cultural exchange is necessary to reach worldwide mutual understanding. During the periods of time that she lived in the States, she was a board member and close collaborator of the Ecuadorian Association of Georgia, which was founded by her parents in 1973 and was the first organized immigrant association in the state. She and her family have actively participated in cultural activities like Latin folkloric dance presentations around the state and helped organize frequent events in order to teach, preserve and propagate Ecuadorian and Latin culture and traditions.

    In Ecuador, she worked as Sales Manager in the export flower business. In the US, she obtained experience in different industries as Account Executive and Customer Service Manager. She also worked close to the immigrant community of Georgia by providing services as a Medical Interpreter for low-income Spanish speaking patients. Most recently before moving to Ecuador she found her way into the non-profit world when working for a Fair Trade Non-profit Ecuadorian organization based in Atlanta that helps around 350 Ecuadorian artisans overcome poverty and exploitation from the industry by being the vessel to export handmade sustainable crafts to the US. She moved back to Ecuador over a year ago and joined the Global Citizen Year family. She feels that her work and effort now make a real difference and impact on peoples lives and that her professional and life experience can be of more service and support to her team members and fellows.

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  • Isabela Coelho

  • Country Director, Brazil
  • As Brazil Country Director, Isabela leads the Brazil team, manages the in-country program to guarantee a high quality experience for…

  • As Brazil Country Director, Isabela leads the Brazil team, manages the in-country program to guarantee a high quality experience for Fellows, and fosters a valuable exchange for local partners and communities.

    Isabela was born and raised in Brazil, but developed her passion creating cultural and educational bridges between Brazil, the U.S., and around the world through her own experiences studying and working abroad.  Over the last 17 years, Isabela has enjoyed a diverse and varied career in performing arts, experiential education, and social entrepreneurship.

    Her unique experience range from performing with companies such as Cirque du Soleil, Wise Fool and Teatro de Los Sentidos, contributing to community-oriented projects with underserved youth through the Miami Performing Arts Center, Sister-City Project in Nicaragua and the UNESCO Universal Cultural Forum in Mexico, to leading the Brazil Program for the experiential educational company Where There Be Dragons as the Brazil Course Director.

    One of her bold achievements was to combine her work in the arts and environmental education to found and lead the Organization of Permaculture and Art – OPA in Bahia, Brazil.

    Isabela holds a B.A. in International Affairs from the University of Colorado.

    Favorite quote?

    “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”  Dalai Lama.

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  • Daniel DeLuccas

  • Team Leader, Brazil
  • As a Team Leader, Daniel is responsible for supporting Fellows throughout their bridge year in Brazil. Daniel leads and coaches a cohort…

  • As a Team Leader, Daniel is responsible for supporting Fellows throughout their bridge year in Brazil. Daniel leads and coaches a cohort of Fellows, manages local homestays and partners, and supports leadership training development.

    Born and raised in São Paulo city, Daniel grew up exposed to the arts, culture and sports. During high school, Daniel went to DeMotte, Indiana as an exchange student and had his first cross-cultural experience. After he returned to Brazil he  coordinated Brazilian interpreters who guided groups of foreigners traveling in rural settings for social work. In 2004, he founded Extreme Impact, an organization that trained young artists and skateboarders to perform in communities with little access to arts and sports events.
    In 2005, Daniel went back to the USA, this time living and studying in Chicago, where he also worked at his school’s Admissions Office. Daniel also taught soccer in La Villita, a neighborhood in the West Side of Chicago. For the past four years, Daniel has worked in the communications in the Brazilian book publishing market.
    Daniel holds a BA degree in Multiplatform Editing from Anhembi Morumbi of São Paulo.
    Favorite Quote?
    “We don’t see what we see, we see what we are” Rubem Alves
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  • Belkis Goulart

  • Team Leader, Brazil
  • As a Team Leader, Belkis is responsible for supporting Fellows throughout their bridge year in Brazil. Belkis leads and coaches a…

  • As a Team Leader, Belkis is responsible for supporting Fellows throughout their bridge year in Brazil. Belkis leads and coaches a cohort of Fellows, manages local homestays and partners, and supports leadership training development.

    Ever since childhood, Belkis has had an appreciation for cross-cultural interactions and environments. Belkis was born and raised in Brazil. She studied Graphic Design and has been involved with arts her whole life. After living in the U.S. for two years, she became an English teacher in Brazil and moved on to coordinate one of the biggest English schools in country.

    Belkis holds a B.A. in Graphic Design from the Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná.

    Favorite Quote?

    “The essence of all Beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

  • Belisa Rathunde
  • Belisa Rathunde
  • Belisa Rathunde

  • Risk Management Coordinator, Brazil
  • As a Team Leader,  Belisa Rathunde manages and fosters local partnerships, performs daily administrative tasks, and provides support and guidance…

  • As a Team Leader,  Belisa Rathunde manages and fosters local partnerships, performs daily administrative tasks, and provides support and guidance to her cohort of Fellows. Belisa’s background in Psychology and Pedagogy, as well as her extensive experience working in social and environmental projects throughout American countries, affords her a comprehensive mentorship towards fellows’ challenges of encountering diverse cultural, familiar and apprenticeship environments.

    Belisa was born and raised in Brazil. Her passion for different cultures led her to her first experience abroad at the age of 16; a one-year stay as an exchange student in the US. After college, she spent nearly 4 years living and working as a volunteer in 10 countries in South and North America. Her work was focused on fostering community development, education, sustainability, and leadership empowerment in organizations including the Frontiers Foundation (amidst Northern Canada Indians), the Permaculture Institute (Brazilian Amazon), Ecovillages in Colombia, and Waldorf schools in Ecuador. Upon returning to her home city, Belisa sought to bridge the skills she acquired abroad with local challenges by working as a teacher and coach in poverty-stricken communities.

    Belisa holds a BA in Psychology from the Tuiuti University of Paranga. 

    Favorite Quote?

    “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt

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  • Joan Hanawi

  • Outreach Advisor
  • As Outreach Advisor, Joan manages outreach networks, seeking to connect alumni with potential new Fellows in order to widen the…

  • As Outreach Advisor, Joan manages outreach networks, seeking to connect alumni with potential new Fellows in order to widen the range of applicants to the Global Citizen Year program.

    Natively from Huntington Beach, CA, Joan spent her Global Citizen Year in Tena, Ecuador working with the German International Cooperation and Ecuadorian Ministry of the Environment. Joan left her post in the Amazon with a capstone project that spearheaded the creation of bilingual Spanish-English reproductions of the Huellas del Sumaco environmental magazine originally produced by her host organization.

    Joan is currently studying at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she plans on graduating with a double major in International Development Studies and Geography, and a minor in Environmental Systems and Society by 2016.

    Favorite quote?

    “The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible – and achieve it, generation after generation.”

    -Pearl S. Buck

  • Emily Hwang
  • Emily Hwang
  • Emily Hwang

  • Media Advisor
  • As Media Advisor, Emily Hwang shoots and edits videos that aim to support Global Citizen Year’s vision to reinvent educational…

  • As Media Advisor, Emily Hwang shoots and edits videos that aim to support Global Citizen Year’s vision to reinvent educational standards.  Emily is from Cerritos, CA and spent her bridge year in Riobamba, Ecuador ‘13, where she worked at a vocational school with special needs teenagers.  She was deeply humbled by the love she received and feels grateful to have grown in perspective and joy through her experience.  Emily is currently a Media Arts Design major at Cypress College.  Next Fall, she will continue her studies at Eugene Lang The New School for Liberal Arts ‘16, where she plans to study Culture and Media/Psychology.

    Favorite quote?

    I want to be like water.  I want to slip through fingers, but hold up a ship.

  • Stace Lindsay photo 2010 (1)
  • Stace Lindsay photo 2010 (1)
  • Stace Lindsay

  • Director of Strategic Initiatives, Aspen Global Leadership Network
  • Stace Lindsay has been a strategic advisor to senior business, government and non-profit leaders throughout the world. He has held…

  • Stace Lindsay has been a strategic advisor to senior business, government and non-profit leaders throughout the world. He has held senior positions at both Monitor Company and the OTF Group, where he worked closely with Michael Porter to adapt his work to emerging markets. Stace was most recently the president of Fusion Venture Partners, a firm he started in order to bring together people, insights and capital. Stace also has significant start-up, turnaround and operating experience with companies, having been CEO of New England Portable Storage and VP Business Development for Merrimack Pharmaceuticals. He has also been a Managing Partner in the Latin American focused venture capital firm, Explorador.net. Stace has served on the Executive Committee of the Aspen Network For Development Entrepreneurs as well as the Board of Directors of TechnoServe, a non-profit organization dedicated to building competitive businesses in rural Africa and Latin America.  He has been an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Business School as well as the University of Adolpho Ibanez Business School in Chile. Stace is also the co-founder the Central American Leadership Initiative, part of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network where he is currently the Director of Strategic Initiatives. Stace is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute and earned his degrees in International Relations from Georgetown University and Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

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  • Ann MacDougall

  • President, Encore.org
  • Ann MacDougall has had a long career spanning both legal and operating roles, and working both in the US and…

  • Ann MacDougall has had a long career spanning both legal and operating roles, and working both in the US and Europe. She was Chief Operating Officer of Acumen Fund, a global venture capital fund focused on goods and services for low-income customers. Ann oversaw Acumen’s worldwide operations, strategy and expansion. Before joining Acumen, she was a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she rose through the ranks to become General Counsel of PwC US and a member of the Management Committee. During her 17 years at PwC, Ann also spent five years in Paris as Global Deputy General Counsel.

    In 2013, Ann was a Fellow in the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative, a year-long program to prepare experienced executives to take on new challenges in the social sector. She currently sits on the board of the Audit Committee of the Lycée Français de New York, the Advisory Boards of Equality Now and the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation.

    Ann holds a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School and a B.A. from Tufts University.

  • Kim Wright-Violich Headshot
  • Kim Wright-Violich Headshot
  • Kim Wright-Violich

  • Visiting Executive Scholar, Haas Business School
  • Kim Wright-Violich is founder and principal of a consulting practice focused on philanthropic and social sector consulting. Clients are primarily…

  • Kim Wright-Violich is founder and principal of a consulting practice focused on philanthropic and social sector consulting. Clients are primarily Silicon Valley executives focused on international, systemic changes. From 2000-2011 Kim served as CEO/President of Schwab Charitable, a stand-alone nonprofit corporation founded by Charles Schwab & Co. to increase philanthropy by providing turnkey charitable asset management and philanthropic services. Built from start-up by Kim to the second largest donor advised fund in the US and the largest nonprofit corporation in California attracting over 13,000 customers, $5 billion in charitable assets and facilitating more than $2 billion in grants to more than 50,000 charities.

    On Capitol Hill and with national media, a sought-after thought leader and public speaker in the social sector, influencing legislation, published and widely quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, CNBC, Bloomberg Television News, Investment News, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Chronicle of Philanthropy and Trust and Estates Magazine.

    One of San Francisco Bay Area’s 100 Most Influential Women in Business by the San Francisco Business Times (2006-2011); WATCH Award (Women at the Center of Leadership and Vision) Junior League of San Francisco: 50 most influential women in the US for 2009 in wealth management by Wealth Manager magazine.

    She is a graduate of Stanford University, with a B.A. in Human Biology and Public Policy; Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford Executive Program; Stanford University, Mass Media Institute; and course work at Harvard Business School’s Governing for Non-Profit Excellence.

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  • Gail Britton

  • Fmr. Director, White House Fellows
  • Gail Britton served as the National Director of College Democrats from 1989 to 1992 and then was recruited to create…

  • Gail Britton served as the National Director of College Democrats from 1989 to 1992 and then was recruited to create White House Internship Program after President Clinton was elected. The internship program thrives today giving hundreds of young people every year a unique experience and the opportunity to provide worthy service at the epicenter of government. After setting up the intern program and directing it through its inaugural year, Gail was appointed Deputy Director of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, the nation’s premier public policy leadership program. Ms. Britton helped manage both the rigorous national selection process and the Fellows’ year-long experience of service at the highest levels of government.

    In 2006, Gail managed an educational fund-raising trek through Tanzania for the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, which included recruiting the participation of high-end donors, organizing site visits to Pediatric AIDS-funded projects in Tanzania, and supervising all aspects of the trek.

    Gail received her Bachelor’s degree from the George Washington University. She is active in both New York and national politics, and continues to mentor many former interns and White House Fellows.

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  • Peter Esty

  • Fmr. School Head, Dalton, Branson, and University High Schools
  • After spending 12 years after college in business, Peter Esty moved to education and never looked back.  He served as…

  • After spending 12 years after college in business, Peter Esty moved to education and never looked back.  He served as a teacher and, later, Faculty Dean at Deerfield Academy for a decade, after which he was appointed Head of School at Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn for a number of years before being lured to San Francisco University High School for most of the 1990s.  After a short stint in foundation work, Peter returned to take on interim headships in Manhattan’s Dalton School, Greens Farms Academy in Westport, CT, and The Branson School in Marin County.

    In addition to his work leading schools, Peter has also long been involved with the School Year Abroad program, serving on its Board (most recently as Chair) and as Resident Director of the programs in Viterbo, Italy and Hanoi, Vietnam for a year each.  Beyond SYA, Peter has served on boards of schools, museums, and education associations on both coasts. He was the founding Board Chair of Summerbridge National, now The Breakthrough Collaborative, and twice served the young Bay School of San Francisco—first to oversee hiring of the founding faculty, and four years later to direct a long-view study of the school as it might want to look in 2040.

    Peter holds a B.A. from Amherst College and an M.A. from The Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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  • Julie Lythcott-Haims

  • Dean of Freshmen (Fmr.), Stanford University
  • Julie Lythcott-Haims was Stanford’s first dean of freshmen, a position she created in order to help students feel a strong sense…

  • Julie Lythcott-Haims was Stanford’s first dean of freshmen, a position she created in order to help students feel a strong sense of belonging within the university’s community of scholars. She held this position for ten years and in 2010 received Stanford’s Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for exceptional contributions to undergraduate education. A graduate of Stanford University as well as Harvard Law School Julie is herself a student once again, this time pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. She remains deeply interested in humans living lives of meaning and purpose, and encourages the young and young at heart alike to have the courage to find their voice and honor what they hear. She is writing a book on the impact of helicopter parenting (Henry Holt and Company, forthcoming 2015). She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, their two children, and her mother.

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  • William S. Reese

  • President & CEO, International Youth Foundation
  • Bill Reese was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the International Youth Foundation in 2005, having joined IYF in…

  • Bill Reese was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the International Youth Foundation in 2005, having joined IYF in May 1998 as its Chief Operating Officer. He was President and CEO of Partners of the Americas for twelve years. Previously, he served with the Peace Corps for ten years, first as a volunteer in Salvador, Brazil, then as director of Brazil operations, and in Washington as deputy director of the Latin American and Caribbean region. Bill has served on USAID’s Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid since 1991.

    He currently serves on the boards of Women Thrive Worldwide, the Basic Education Coalition and Episcopal Relief and Development, among others. He was chairman of the board of InterAction and a board member of the Independent Sector.

    Bill received his B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University and is a 1995 graduate of the Business School’s Executive Program.

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  • Zach Clayton

  • Founder & CEO, Three Ships
  • Zach is Managing Director & CEO of Three Ships, a data-driven digital marketing company he founded in 2009. Zach is…

  • Zach is Managing Director & CEO of Three Ships, a data-driven digital marketing company he founded in 2009. Zach is obsessed with creating extreme value for Three Ships clients and building the company’s Digital Edge.  Three Ships focuses on generating new leads and new customers for mid-market companies that have a mandate for growth.

    At Three Ships, Zach leads the strategic direction of the team and advises clients on digital marketing strategy. He is deeply engaged in developing the quantitative metrics utilized to assess client performance and identifying new innovations which can increase clients’ marketing Return On Investment.  Three Ships uses strategy consulting, analytical and creative solutions, and its own proprietary data and technology to generate demand across digital channels — specializing in Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Digital Advertising, and Conversion Optimization.

    Previously, Zach was CEO of New Media Campaigns, a web and mobile application development company he founded in 2007 as an undergraduate.  The company has successfully grown for eight consecutive years and Zach remains involved as a shareholder and director.  Zach also currently serves on the Foundation Board at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and the Board of Advisors for the Broughton Capital Foundation.

    Zach has written for The Hotline, authored two books, published numerous articles on digital media, and appeared on CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News. Zach holds an MBA with high distinction from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar, and a BA from UNC Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar and elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

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