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Our Team

Working at the crossroads of social entrepreneurship, international education and international development, Global Citizen Year has built a team of passionate, results-oriented professionals. Together our dedicated staff, board, and advisory council are unleashing the potential of the next generation of global leaders through a transformative bridge year before college.

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abigail-falik

Abby Falik

Founder & CEO

Abigail Falik is the founder and CEO of Global Citizen Year, and an award-winning social entrepreneur.

In her role at Global Citizen Year, 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 applied her entrepreneurial instincts to innovative educational initiatives in the U.S. and around the world. She was an early team member at College Track, an organization focused on ensuring college success for low-income students, as well as a strategic advisor to Room to Read, an organization that helps build literacy skills in Africa and Asia. During her tenure at NetAid (later acquired by Mercy Corps), she designed and launched a flagship initiative to engage U.S. high school students in the fight to end global poverty.

A recognized expert on social innovation and the changing landscape of education, Abby has been featured in Fast Company, NPR, Forbes and The New York Times. For her achievements as a social entrepreneur, she has been recognized as an Ashoka Fellow, a Harvard Social Enterprise Fellow, and a Draper Richards Kaplan Entrepreneur. She currently serves on the advisory boards of two pioneering global education organizations: World Learning and Teach for All.

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

Why do you do what you do?

Talent is universal, opportunity is not.

Abby Falik

Founder & CEO

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IMG_0752 (2)

Aminata Kane

Program Coordinator, Senegal

As a program coordinator, Aminata is responsible for supporting the Team Leaders in logistics, incidents reports, communication with fellows and other partners. She is responsible for the office accounting, payment to all partners, office management, updating of collective documents, emergency response to fellows’ incidents and coordination with CD.

Aminata previously worked at The British Council in education programs that covered youth leadership skills through sports and exchange of students between England and African Countries.

She also worked at AfriCASO, an HIV/AIDS organisation covering the five regions of Africa with a special focus on Human Rights and CSS (Community System Strengthening) and HSS (HEalth System Strengthening).

Aminata has recently spent 3 years (2011-2014) in Sierra Leone working for the European Union as a Human Rights Officer, her main role was to coordinate the different EU funded projects and make sure the funds are used in appropriate accountable ways.

Aminata holds a Master of Philosophy in english Literature and Civilisation from University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar, a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management and in her first year for PHD on Ayi Kwei Armah a Ghanaian author.

Favorite Quote? Paradise lies under the feet of mothers.

Aminata Kane

Program Coordinator, Senegal

Ann MacDougall
Ann MacDougall

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 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.

Ann MacDougall

President, Encore.org

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Fellows-095

Aparna Kothary

Manager, Admissions

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

Aparna Kothary

Manager, Admissions

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archana

Archana Rao

Country Director, India

Archana Rao has spent over 8 years at Faber and Faber, UK creating and building markets for multiple publishing houses in 27 countries in the Middle East and Far East. For the last two and half years, Archana has been doing grassroots development work in India at Grampari, the rural and ecology centre of Initiatives of Change, India. She led a water management project, working to provide clean drinking water as well as facilitating responsible water usage in local communities. Alongside this role, Archana has been working closely with several diverse groups of young, international interns and scholars, creating programs that facilitate their journeys in finding ways through which they can make authentic social impact through personal change.

Archana has an MSc in Development Economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK and a BA in Economics from Ithaca College, NY, USA. She is addicted to books.

Archana Rao

Country Director, India

Belisa
Belisa

Belisa Rathunde

Risk Management Coordinator, Brazil

As the Risk Management Coordinator in Brazil, 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

Belisa Rathunde

Risk Management Coordinator, Brazil

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Fellows-062

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 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

Belkis Goulart

Team Leader, Brazil

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Carl.Munana.Headshot

Carl F. Munana

Fmr. CEO, Inter-American Investment Corporation

Mr. Muñana has dedicated most of his professional life to international investment banking, social impact investing and development finance. Most recently he served as the General Manager and CEO of the Inter-American Investment Corporation, the multilateral private sector investment banking affiliate of the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, DC.

In his early career Carl rose to Managing Director at J.P. Morgan & Co. where his responsibilities included being Head of Investment Banking for Mexico, Global Head of the Commitments Office and Senior Risk Officer for Latin America. He capped his 17 years at Morgan by designing an innovative social investment strategy for the firm.

His second career focused on the challenges and innovations in the fields of social and development finance. This included acting as an investor, strategy consultant, and board member to companies, foundations and academia primarily in Europe, the United States and Latin America.

He has helped establish and served on several international corporate and not-for-profit boards, including Voxiva Inc., the Microvest Funds and the Spanish affiliate of Ashoka. Recently, he was a co-founder of the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation at Georgetown University.

Carl earned his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Notre Dame and his MBA at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Between degrees he served in the United States Peace Corps as a volunteer in Sierra Leone, West Africa.

Carl F. Munana

Fmr. CEO, Inter-American Investment Corporation

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CeylanHeadShot-446x600

Ceylan Webster

Associate, Development & Special Assistant to the CEO

As Development Associate and Special Assistant to the CEO, Ceylan helps to manage development data and oversee timely donation. She is also responsible for managing research needs across the development team and providing executive support.

Ceylan comes to Global Citizen Year with economic research and administrative experience. As a Research Assistant at Yale University, then Junior Economist at TUSIAD, Ceylan worked to promote sustainable development with focus on education and the quality of human capital. Her research contributed to policy suggestion process in Turkey on different issues.

Ceylan holds a BA in Economics from Bogazici University in Turkey and an MA in International and Development Economics from Yale University.

Favorite Quote? “Let us read and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.” – Voltaire

Ceylan Webster

Associate, Development & Special Assistant to the CEO

David Omenn
David Omenn

David Omenn

VP, Development

As Vice President of Development, David is responsible for developing resources and partnerships to fuel Global Citizen Year’s financial engine.

Before joining Global Citizen Year, David spent a decade at Teach For America. As an elementary school science teacher in Houston, David was named a national finalist for the Sue Lehmann Award for Excellence in Teaching. He then joined the organization’s staff, pioneering the recruitment of graduate students and leading math/science recruitment strategy. While overseeing campus recruitment in the western US, David’s team grew the number of admitted teachers by 77%. He managed the team’s human resources function, its approach to leadership development, and long-term strategic planning, while also building high-level external relationships with university presidents and chancellors.

A Seattle native and University of Michigan alumnus, David is an Eagle Scout and a six-time marathoner.

David Omenn

VP, Development

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DSC_2094

Denis Hill

Director, Global Program

As Global Program Director, Denis ensures that our Fellow and Staff training are meeting the highest quality standards. Denis is responsible for designing and disseminating the core curriculum, training the Program Staff to facilitate the Fellow experience, executing the US-based components of the Program Cycle, and developing tools and systems to monitor program quality and impact, all while keeping an eye to scale.

Denis comes to Global Citizen Year after 7+ years with Teach for America in Baltimore. At TFA, Baltimore, Denis wore many hats – beginning as a Core Member and quickly taking on leadership roles as a Manager and, then, Director of Teaching & Learning where he oversaw 280 Core Members. Denis is a teacher at heart, and has a deep passion for ensuring access to high quality, immersive, and transformative educational experiences to kids of all backgrounds. His curricular focus, most recently, has been on culturally responsive teaching, family partnership, and data-driven instruction.

Denis holds a M.A. in Secondary Education & Teaching from John Hopkins University and a B.A. in English Language & Literature from the University of the Pacific.

Denis Hill

Director, Global Program

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Doug

Doug Bozick

Manager, Operations & Finance

As Manager of Operations and Finance, Doug is responsible for maintaining accurate records and controls over Global Citizen Year’s finances. This includes overseeing the bookkeeper, performing month and year-end close, preparing budgets and financial modeling. Doug will also play a key role assisting with Human Resources, IT, and other operational functions.

Doug brings a diverse finance and accounting background mainly in large for-profit companies. Most recently, he served as Finance Manager at Clorox where he created financial reporting tools and systems in their Latin American operations. Prior to that, Doug worked in a number of different finance roles supporting sales, marketing and manufacturing departments at Chiron, a pioneering Bay Area BioTech company.

Doug’s career started out with a stint in public accounting with Ernst & Young in Cleveland, Ohio and then as an accounting manager with a small firm in Lesotho, Southern Africa, so he understands the challenges of operating in developing countries.

Doug holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.

Why do you do what you do?

I grew up outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and went directly to college in the Midwest after high school. I had never been outside North America until a semester abroad during my junior year of college. That semester changed my life and ever since then I have had a thirst for other cultures and other places. I have now travelled and lived in over 70 different countries – and counting!

Doug Bozick

Manager, Operations & Finance

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IMGM4747

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 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.

 

Eileen Knowles

Country Director, Ecuador

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Elise Collins

Team Leader, India

Originally from Australia, Elise has been living and working in India (Kolkata and Mumbai) for the past 5 years, and has also lived in the UK, Thailand and Sri Lanka. As Head of Programs at Innovaid Advisory Services, Elise played an integral role in advising The Global Fund on their donor strategy in an Indian context as well as developing and managing a flagship Music Therapy program between Australia and India. She also facilitated a global internship program for international students seeking social sector experience in India. Elise holds an undergraduate degree in Development Studies from the University of Adelaide and a masters degree in Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development from Australian National University. Elise has a working proficiency in Hindi, is a practitioner of reiki and facilitates regular nature connection workshops across diverse groups.

Elise Collins

Team Leader, India

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Fellows-195

Emmy Highsmith

Manager, Recruitment & Alumni Engagement

As the Recruitment & 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.

 

Emmy Highsmith

Manager, Recruitment & Alumni Engagement

Erin
Erin

Erin Lewellen

Chief Operating Officer

As Chief Operating Officer, Erin is responsible for executing the vision and strategy of Global Citizen Year in partnership with the Senior Leadership Team and the Board of Directors.

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

Erin Lewellen

Chief Operating Officer

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Fellows-217

Esther Chou

Manager, Program Experience

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.

Esther Chou

Manager, Program Experience

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EUGENIA

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 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.

Eugenia Sandoval

Office Manager, Ecuador

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gail britton

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 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.

Gail Britton

Fmr. Director, White House Fellows

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hassana-hedrick-diallo

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 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.

Hassana Hedrick Diallo

Team Leader, Senegal

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