Andrew Baird is the President & CEO of the global hub of the Education For Employment Network (EFE-Global). Previously, Andrew was the Program Area Director, Workforce and Economic Development Group for RTI International, where he led a team of 130 employees and a $150 million portfolio. There, he provided leadership, strategic direction and technical support in workforce development, livelihoods, entrepreneurship, youth, and other areas closely related to EFE's work. Andrew brings to EFE more than twenty-five years of experience in advancing private sector-led strategies to create inclusive employment and livelihoods around the world - including in several countries where EFE operates. He co-founded the Global Center for Youth Employment, a membership-based organization devoted to developing collective solutions to the challenges of youth employment. Andrew is a skillful business development expert and has managed a number of long-term donor-funded projects. He has held leadership positions in a range of organizations in the field and home offices of RTI International, Making Cents International, Chemonics International, and the Peace Corps. Andrew holds a BA from The College of Wooster and an MA from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Jasmine Nahhas di Florio has 25 years of experience spanning the nonprofit, philanthropy, government and private sectors. She is a Director and Vice President of the Bruder Family Foundation. Having joined EFE in 2005, she is currently Senior Advisor at EFE, after working closely with EFE's Founder and Chairman since startup as Senior Vice President for Strategy, Partnerships & Communications. Today, EFE is the leading youth employment and nonprofit job placement network in the Middle East and North Africa. Jasmine ran programs for private donors to support access to education and health care for girls, and women's economic inclusion. Early in her career, Jasmine was a corporate attorney at the international law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, and she also served as an attorney-advisor at the U.S. Department of Treasury. Jasmine consulted the United Nations (UNFIP) on private-public sector partnerships. A Rhodes Scholar, Frank Knox Scholar and Fulbright Scholar, she is a graduate of the University of Alberta, Oxford University and Harvard Law School. She also completed the Columbia Business School's Social Enterprise Program Senior Leaders Program for Nonprofit Professionals and currently serves on the board of the Middle East Children’s Institute. Jasmine’s expert commentary on economic opportunity, women’s empowerment and youth issues has been featured in The Financial Times, Forbes, Stanford Social Innovations Journal, Arabian Business, and Finance Middle East, among others.
Ana Martiningui has seventeen years of experience in communications, public and corporate engagement, business development, fundraising, project design and management, and research in the non-profit and private sectors. She joined the EFE Network in 2016 managing business development and research in EFE-Europe, and became the organization's CEO in 2020. Prior, she was Communications Chief and Publications Coordinator at the international think tank FRIDE, organization she joined in 2004. During the same period, she also acted as Communications Advisor for several institutes, including Concordia21, DARA, ECFR, Toledo International Centre for Peace or the Global Observatory. Previously, she worked in the private sector at Globalia Corporation, one of the largest holdings of the travel and tourism industry. She holds an MA (Hons) in International Relations from the University of St. Andrews and an MA in International Relations and Communications from the University Complutense of Madrid. She is author and editor of various publications on communications, European foreign policy, youth unemployment and the Middle East and North of Africa. She is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Amr Abdallah has over 20 years of experience working in the MENA region in senior roles in non-for-profit, public and private sector. Prior to joining EFE, Mr. Abdallah served as part of the MENA leadership team at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). Before moving to the US, he taught Public Administration, Principles of Business Administration, Strategic Management and Business Policy at Egyptian and Arab Universities. He held several Senior Executive level positions in projects funded by international donor organizations like USAID, UNDP and is used to mediating and facilitating negotiations at the highest levels of national and international institutions. He has significant professional experience in designing, directing, implementing and evaluating public, private programs, and performing management-consulting services to government, public and private companies and institutions in the MENA region. Amr joined EFE in 2015.
Larissa is EFE's Global Brand & Communications Director. She is a trilingual professional with over 10 years of experience in the communications and digital world, that spans 3 countries, giving her a unique insight and understanding into the ever changing, fast paced digital world and the ability to handle global teams from different regions, be it as a client or as an agent. Larissa is a communications professional who is content focused with a passion for using deep-dive analytics, segmentation and data visualization to manage all operations of the digital landscape and enhance donor attraction and society awareness with a focus on maximizing livelihood and resilience. She’s forever in a perpetual test mode - constantly learning and evolving, a quality instilled in her by her academically inclined family who believe in the power of education as a tool to enhance societies. She further believes in investing in people; mentoring and coaching are key elements in creating best team synergies, operational efficiencies and capacity building which leads to the overall success of any project at hand. In her spare time, Larissa spends her time volunteering with different initiatives and supporting their fundraising efforts, which keeps her always open to different perspectives.
Dima Najim has over 13 years of experience working in the MENA region in senior NGO roles. Prior to joining EFE, Dima served as part of the World Wildlife Foundation - UAE fundraising team. Before moving to the UAE, she held the position of Chief Operations Officer of Relief International/MSME in Iraq, and in 2010 was part of the team assigned by AGFUND to establish the first microfinance bank in Syria, where she assumed the role of Operations Manager. Also, she was part of UNRWA's Microfinance Department management team. Dima has significant professional experience in women and youth empowerment and financial inclusion, in addition to her experience in partnership management, fundraising and operations management of NGOs. Born and raised in the MENA region, Dima holds a BA in accounting from Damascus University and a Master’s degree in finance from the Arab Academy for Banking and Financial Sciences.
Rita joined EFE in 2017 as an Evaluation and Learning Analyst. Previously, she worked as Research Manager at J-Pal in Mexico and as a Senior Research Assistant at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington, D.C. She has participated in several multi-country international development projects, being responsible for data management and analysis, and program and policy impact evaluation, including field work on the implementation of several randomized control trials. She has experience in a wide range of policy topics, from food security and technological adoption in agriculture, to labor markets and education, her main areas of interest. She holds a BA in Economics from Universidade de Vigo, an MA in Economic Analysis from Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, and an MPP from the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.
Sarah Little joined EFE in 2009 as a program coordinator and has held several different positions on the team over the past eight years. Before joining EFE, Ms. Little worked for SOS Children’s Villages, a Washington, D.C.-based international non-profit organization, and for the Michigan State University Office of Study Abroad as a student adviser. She also interned for a non-profit, humanitarian organization called Secours Populaire Francais in Paris, France, where she worked mostly with French immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa. Sarah holds a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with specializations in Muslim Studies and Western European Studies from Michigan State University.
Senior programme manager specialised in international development cooperation, Dina Dandachli has over 15 years of programmatic, business development and fundraising experience at different non-profit organisations. She has held posts of progressive responsibility, leading and overseeing programmes and projects funded by public and private international, regional and local organisations and institutions. Born in Barcelona (Spain) of Lebanese descent, Dina lived and studied in Beirut for 9 years and is fluent in 5 languages, including Arabic, French, and English. She holds an MSc in Environmental Sciences, an MA in International Relations and African Studies, and advanced studies in Euro-Mediterranean Relations and International Development Cooperation. Prior to joining the EFE Network, she worked at international and non-profit organisations, including the World Leadership Alliance - Club de Madrid, UNDP Burkina Faso, Nantik Lum Foundation and the Autonomous University of Madrid.
Tamara joined EFE in March 2017 to work as an intern while finishing her bachelor’s degree in International Relations at the Rey Juan Carlos University (URJC) in Madrid. After graduation, she was formally hired as Project Assistant in EFE-Europe’s office. She focused her studies on political science and human rights, writing an undergraduate thesis on the institutional human rights violations suffered by African American citizens in United States. Prior to joining EFE, Tamara collaborated actively in volunteering programs organized by the URJC student associations that focused in assisting vulnerable groups and homeless people in Madrid.
Joana joined EFE in 2019 to manage EFE-Global programs in the UAE. Prior to joining EFE, Joana has accumulated seven years of work experience in the UAE, first as a Communication and PR Executive at GEMs Education, and later as the Regional Business Development Manager for an international company, at which she managed UAE operations. Joana relocated to the UAE from Syrian as the conflict there escalated. Prior to the move , she had assumed the position of Head of Marketing and Communications in one of the country’s leading banks. Joana has a degree in Business Management from Damascus University and an MBA from Edinburgh Business School. She speaks English, Arabic and Bulgarian fluently.
Abbey brings more than three years of experience in designing and implementing programming for youth as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) in Southern Morocco. Her accomplishments in this role include increasing attendance of girls at the local youth center by 60%, securing two USAID grants to fund local projects aimed to educate youth on healthy lifestyle and inclusion projects, delivering a 2-day Training of Trainers to educate other PCVs and their local counterparts on working with people with disabilities, and organizing an inclusive week-long camp for youth with and without special needs. Abbey holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies with a minor in International Business from American University and is fluent in Moroccan Arabic.
Yolanda Merayo joined EFE in 2020 as Finance Director. She has over twenty years of experience in financial management and control, contracts and grants management, and financial systems, specializing in the non-profit sector. She has worked in both public and private foundations, managing Spanish, European and international grants. Prior to joining the EFE Network, Yolanda also helped NGOs set up Enterprise Resource Planning (EPR) systems – Netsuite (Oracle) and Navision (Microsoft). She has a BA in Economics from the University of Valladolid, an MA in Communications Management from Cesma Business School, as well as several executive courses on NGO financial management.
Agustin Perez Vilaplana has more than 27 years of experience in operations, technology and project management in Citibank, working as Senior Country Operations Officer in 8 different countries in Latin America, the United States and Europe. Prior to joining the EFE Network, his last position was Senior Vice President in charge of Latin American Account Services for Corporate Clients out of Bogota, Colombia. Mr. Perez Vilaplana also run his own consultancy company, focusing on human resources and operations in Spain, Morocco and Chile.
Ashley joined EFE in 2015, offering a breadth of experience in the technology, conservation, education, and international development fields. Before joining EFE, she worked in corporate and foundation relations at The Nature Conservancy. Prior to that, she worked at Facebook, participating in the launch of the Arabic site. She also served as a faculty member at the Middlebury Arabic School and as an election observer with the Carter Center during Tunisia’s parliamentary elections in 2014. She has worked to advance young women’s employment in the MENA region, authoring the report, First Jobs for Young Women in the Middle East & North Africa: Expectations and Reality, produced by EFE in partnership with YouGov and Bayt.com. She holds a Master of Public Administration from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and a B.A. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures: Arabic from the University of California, Berkeley.
Elizabeth joined EFE in February 2020 as a Program Officer supporting projects in Tunisia and Yemen. Prior to EFE, Elizabeth worked as a Humanitarian Assistance Officer with Global Communities, providing support for U.S. government-funded humanitarian and stabilization projects in Yemen. During her Master’s program, Elizabeth received a UNESCO fellowship to work on education strategic planning with the Jordanian Ministry of Education. Later as a U.S. Government Boren Fellow for Arabic language in Jordan, she worked with Relief International on English language curriculum development and monitoring & evaluation for RI’s remedial education programming in the Azraq and Zaatari refugee camps. Elizabeth has a Master’s degree in International Education from The George Washington University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with an International Development focus from Northwestern University. Elizabeth is also an avid bicyclist and enjoys singing, tennis, and hiking.
Jamie Bowen joined EFE in 2020 as a Program Officer supporting Jordan, Morocco, and Palestine, and as a member of EFE’s Curricula and Training Team. Prior to joining EFE, Jamie worked in international education development with USAID, Teachers College, the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE), and several local organizations in MENA and sub-Saharan Africa. She brings six years of experience in education instruction, having worked as a primary school teacher in California. Jamie also served as a Small Enterprise Development Volunteer in the Peace Corps in Mali. Jamie holds a Master of Arts in International Education Development from Teachers College, Columbia University, a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a primary school teaching credential in the state of California.
Francesco joined EFE-Europe as Programme Assistant in April 2021. Before joining EFE, Francesco worked as an intern at the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) regional office in Cairo, Egypt, where he supported various projects aimed at sustainably and inclusively developing the Egyptian industrial sector, and as a trainee at the EU Delegation to Rome, where he monitored and reported on the activities of the three Rome-based UN Agencies. He has a BA in Economics from “Roma Tre” University, Italy, and an MA in Development Economics and International Studies from “Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen- Nürnberg”, Germany. His interests have centered on development matters, especially in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
Álvaro Muñoz joined EFE in October 2021 as Financial Assistant. Previously, he worked in several organizations in the consulting and financial sectors, and also has experience in different activities related to the third sector. Álvaro obtained a double degree in Business Administration and Law from Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and also holds a Master in Governance and Human Rights from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. As part of this last degree, he did his internship in Elcano Royal Institute, taking part in several research projects on public security policies in Latin America.
Shannon Hayes joined EFE in early 2020, where she provides critical programmatic support across EFE’s projects in Jordan, Morocco and Palestine, as well as support for EFE’s Organizational Learning team. Previously, she worked as a Research Assistant for the International Organization for Migration’s Internally Displaced Peoples in Iraq project and as an Independent Researcher for the launch of the New Levant Initiative in Washington, D.C. Shannon has fieldwork and qualitative analysis experience, specializing in issues of women and gender in North Africa, and she is the author of a chapter on love and magic in Fez, Morocco in the upcoming volume Sex in the Middle East and North Africa. Shannon has a Master of Arts from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service in Arab Studies with a focus on Gender and Sexuality and a B.A. in Arab Studies from Davidson College.
Akshay joined EFE in September 20201 as a Program Associate supporting projects in Tunisia and Yemen. Akshay is a recent graduate of Teachers College, Columbia University where he completed a Master’s degree in International Education Development with a focus on International Humanitarian Issues. Prior to Teachers College, Akshay worked as an elementary school teacher in Brooklyn, NY while completing his Bachelor’s in elementary education at Brooklyn College. Akshay recently worked as a research assistant supporting research on refugee teacher wellbeing and completed internships at Jusoor, a Lebanese NGO, and the United Nations Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Section. Outside of work, Akshay loves watching soccer, playing disc golf, taking hikes, and cooking.
Angela joined EFE in 2021 as the US Development Manager. She has over 10 years of nonprofit experience in strategic development and program/project management. Prior to EFE, she worked in fundraising and development at The Orchestra of the Americas Group and in project operations producing standardized testing materials at the American Institutes for Research in Washington, DC. She has also managed several educational youth development programs for low-income and immigrant youth at Apex for Youth in New York City. Angela holds a BA in Asian and Asian American Studies from Binghamton University.
Samiya joined EFE in November 2020 as a Development & Communications Associate. She graduated from Western University with a joint degree-diploma in Media, Information & Technoculture and Broadcast Television Production. Prior to EFE, Samiya worked as a Producer and Production Coordinator on documentaries, comedy TV pilots, music videos, and commercials. She has experience working at a variety of creative agencies in New York and Toronto on campaigns promoting youth empowerment and diversity.
Javier joined EFE-Global in October 2021 as a Program Associate, providing programmatic support across projects in Morocco, Palestine, and Jordan. Prior to joining EFE, he served as an Education and English Outreach Assistant at the U.S. Embassy in Algiers, where he implemented social media campaigns and advised Algerian students preparing to attend university and enter the workforce. Javier is a recent graduate of the Dual Degree Program between Sciences Po and Columbia University, earning Bachelor’s degrees in Politics and Government and Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies, respectively.
Brad Kushner has been the C.P.A. and Treasurer at Brookhill Property Management since 1992 and Treasurer at EFE since 2003.
David Sloane has been IT Administrator at EFE since 2005.
Silvia Fernández Feito joined EFE-Europe in April 2022 as Programme and Business Development Manager. Silvia brings over 15 years of experience in international project management and business development in a variety of sectors across several countries in the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean. She worked as a Consultant for the NGO Accipere (Madrid, Spain) managing emergency aid and relief projects in Jordan (2012-2014); she was Head of Mission for the Middle East for the NGO Rescate, being based in both Syria and Jordan (2010-2012); Project Officer in Namibia for the Spanish Development Cooperation Agency – AECID (2008-2010); and Assistant of the Coordinator Specialist, Botswana United Nations Resident Coordinator Office, UNDP (2007-2008). Silvia is also an entrepreneur and has her own company specialised in the tourism sector. She has a BA in Middle East Studies from the Complutense University of Madrid; an MA in International Relations and Diplomacy from the Spanish Diplomatic School, with a specialisation in the MENA region; and an MsC in International Trade from EUDE Business School. She is fluent in English and Spanish, and has working knowledge of French and basic Arabic.
Julio Andrés joined EFE-Europe in February 2022 as Business Development Assistant, following an internship at the organisation. Prior to this, he had worked and held internships in banking and volunteered in several NGOs. Julio has an MA in International Relations from the IE School of Global and Public Affairs and a BA in Economics from the University CARLOS III of Madrid. He is fluent in English and Spanish.