BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Africa Development Promises board bring a diverse wealth of knowledge and experience that inspires our mission, guides our work by providing oversight of our strategy, and holds us accountable for how we work.
Jean is a former Senior Vice President at Wells Fargo Bank and spent over 25 years in the financial services industry in various sales, marketing, and product development roles. After running a small business she is now a Realtor® with 8z Real Estate serving the Denver Metro area. Jean has volunteered with a variety of organizations including International Centers for Appropriate Technology and Sustainability (iCATIS), Urban Peak, and SafeHouse. She also spent three months in East Africa volunteering at L’Esperance Orphanage assisting in developing business ventures to support the orphanage.
Jean has a MBA from the University of Colorado, a BS in Business from Kansas State University and a Graduate Certificate in Development Practice from Regis University.
Nina is the Program Director for the Master of Development Practice (MDP) at Regis University. She comes to the MDP after ten years at the Denver-based INGO Water For People, where she held a variety of roles, serving the mission of ending water and sanitation poverty in the developing world. Before joining the nonprofit sector, Nina was Associate Professor of English at Iowa State University; she has also served as Chair of Liberal Studies at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. Nina has worked extensively in the arts, particularly in community education and fundraising, at Colorado Ballet, Colorado Council on the Arts, the Jewish Community Center/Mizel Center for Arts and Culture, and Performing Art Works, of which she was co-founder/director.
E. Dean Brown Jr., MBA
Dean is a proven executive with over 25 years of finance, accounting and IT experience that spans a wide range of industries including defense, construction, manufacturing, airlines, medical healthcare and nonprofits. He is currently Principal at Edgewater Capital Group, Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in servicing small to medium-sized business clients with their finance and accounting needs. Dean is a life member or Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and currently serves as the Exchequer of the Middle Western Province.
Dean is a graduate of Regis University with a B.S. in Economics. He has also earned his M.B.A. from University of New Haven in Connecticut and is a certified public accountant.
Dennis is competent and skilled leader, trainer and facilitator for programs aimed at leveraging agriculture and livestock activities as pathways to community development, poverty reduction and market growth. He has a deep understanding of developing agricultural value chains – livestock (dairy, beef), crops (cereals e.g. maize) and cooperative management. He is currently the Team Leader at Palladium a program to improving market systems in agriculture in Rwanda. Most recently he was the Chief of Party of a USD $15M USAID-funded dairy development program. Prior to this role, he was the Rwanda Country Project Manager for the Bill and Melinda Gates funded East African Dairy Development Program (EADD) and before then spent over seven years as Programs Manager for Heifer International-Rwanda.
Bjorn von Euler
BOARD MEMBER & FORMER BOARD CHAIR
Bjorn was ITT’s first Director of Corporate Philanthropy 2007 – 2011 when he retired. Before this he was the Director of Corporate Communications for ITT Corporation’s Fluid Technology and Motion & Flow Control groups. He has spent more than 35 successful years in the marketing and communications field, with the last half of them serving ITT in various growth positions. He is one of the founding fathers of the Stockholm Water Prize and Stockholm Junior Water Prize and linked activities. Additionally, he has served on the Boards of Water Environment Federation, Water For People, Mahwah Environmental Volunteer Organization and held numerous leadership positions in water related organizations. Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Bjorn has been a permanent resident of the US, since 1997. He and his wife Sharon, a high school teacher of Spanish, reside in Bloomingdale, NJ.
Nkechi Mbanu has over 10 years of experience in corporate responsibility, government relations and communications. Currently, she is the Partnership Development Manager for corporate responsibility at Cummins Inc. Prior to joining the Cummins team, Nkechi was the Corporate Responsibility Analyst at LINN Energy. She has also worked on Capitol Hill and has done consulting work on technical/vocational education and diversity spending within energy companies. Nkechi received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and Master’s degrees from Wayne State University and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Loren is a Vice President of Emerging Markets for Stantec, a global engineering, consulting, and construction company. Loren manages Stantec’s international development practice and oversees key business development and growth initiatives. He has 25 years of project, policy and management experience in the public and private sector and has worked in countries throughout Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. He specializes in working with donors, multilateral development banks and private foundations to help design and implement infrastructure and natural resource-focused economic development programs. Loren is a member of the International Council of the American Water Works Association and sits on the advisory board of the Harvard Zofnass Sustainable Infrastructure Program. Prior to his current role with Stantec, Loren worked with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a U.S. foreign assistance agency, as a director of environmental and social performance and spent a year as a climate adaptation manager for the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
Carrie Diroll has a commitment to sustainable development. During her time as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Namibia, she lived and taught in a community supported by subsistence farming. She believes Africa Development Promise’s model of cooperatives is a sustainable way for rural women to combine their expertise, minimize their risk, and generate inspirational success for entire communities. Currently, Carrie works on water and related resources planning at the Bureau of Reclamation, within the US Department of Interior. She holds a BA in Spanish from Ohio State University and an MA in Public Administration from the University of Colorado Denver.
Alex Kennedy is currently a Vice President in Compliance at Goldman Sachs. Prior her current role, Alex was based in Kigali, Rwanda, and worked for Indego Africa, a non-profit organization providing employment opportunities and education to the cooperatives it partners with. She is still a member of the Board of Advisors for Indego Africa. Alex graduated with an Honors degree in African Studies from Smith College in 2005, received a Masters degree from the University of London in African Economic and Political Studies in 2006, and JD from The Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University in 2014.
Alex currently lives in Toronto with her husband, daughter and their Bernese Mountain Dog.
RWANDA ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER
Perpetue has more than 20 years of professional experience in community development, particularly in the water and sanitation sector, and in project design, monitoring and evaluation. She holds a Master degree in Project Planning and Management, and a Diploma in Monitoring and Evaluation. Prior to joining Water For People—Rwanda as Program Officer in November 2008, and Country Director starting July 2010, Perpetue was responsible for the sensitization in water infrastructure management with the International Committee of the Red Cross. Her former employers include the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV), OXFAM Québec, the government of Rwanda—Ministry of Public Works, Energy and Water, and KAMARIZA Foundation (a local NGO). Throughout her career, Perpetue has also conducted various consultancies for a number of local, national and international organizations. She has a thorough understanding of Rwanda’s organizational structure, and community development and she well-known in the field.
ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER
Ilke has been working in water/wastewater sector in the U.S. over a decade as a consultant and project manager. She is an environmental engineer, small-scale farmer supporter and advocate of sustainable approaches. She volunteered for Water For People in its North Carolina committee and completed capacity building projects in Bolivia. She worked in Turkey for a brief period at Third Sector Foundation of Turkey to help strengthen the civil society organizations. She loves taking part in the rural development projects and likes to work towards making small-scale businesses more economically and environmentally sustainable. She has a great passion for introducing Turkish cuisine& the farmers, and runs a personal blog focusing on Turkish food, farming and its environmental problems at Intertwined Earth.