Chief of Party, Senegal
Aissatou Balde holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and a Ph.D. in philosophy of education from Ohio University. Prior to joining Chemonics, Dr. Balde was USAID’s education office team leader in Kinshasa, where she managed a portfolio of interventions focused on gender and education, improved reading outcomes, and access to education and training for children and youth in conflict-affected areas. Dr. Balde has held leadership positions on education projects with various international organizations. As Chief of Party for USAID’s Opportunities for Equitable Access to Quality Basic Education project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, she was instrumental in developing a national in-service primary teacher training policy. She has also taught at secondary and university levels. Dr. Balde from the Fouta Djallon region of Guinea.
Chief of Party, Indonesia
Andrea Bosch has more than 20 years of experience leading education and institutional capacity building projects. She currently serves as the chief of party on a higher education management program in Indonesia, which focuses on improving administration, financial management, and collaboration in the country’s education sector. Dr. Bosch has promoted education quality and equity in India, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand, Lao PDR, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, South Africa, Grenada, and Nigeria. As chief of party on a technology and learning program in Egypt, she worked with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Communication to build capacity across 11 governorates to use technology in schools to improve learning outcomes. She also developed private sector partnerships with local and international organizations totaling nearly $10 million.
Senior Vice President, Asia
Prior to leading Chemonics’ activities in education and youth, Andrew Lewis served as Chemonics’ senior vice president for both the South Asia, and Egypt, North Africa, and Yemen regions. As practice director, Mr. Lewis provides expertise in education, youth, and workforce development efforts. He also serves on the executive committee for the Alliance for International Youth Development. Mr. Lewis has led education projects in Egypt, Georgia, and Zambia. He began his international career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Samoa. He holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Tennessee and has done graduate work at the George Washington University and Tulane University.
Manager, Europe and Eurasia
Annie McHugh is an international education professional with five years of education experience. She currently supports USAID/Georgia’s Primary Education Project from Chemonics’ home office. As a classroom teacher, Ms. McHugh spent three years teaching English in South Korea, focusing on early childhood second language acquisition through reading, phonetics, and vocabulary-building activities. In her professional studies in international education, Ms. McHugh focused on the social externalities of education, the relationship between education and other practices in development, and literacy education. Ms. McHugh holds a M.Ed. in international education policy and management from Vanderbilt.
Chief of Party, Rwanda
Christopher Ashford is an education and youth development expert with more than 20 years of experience. Before his career in international development, Dr. Ashford taught English in the United States. More recently, he led the Yes Youth Can National Program in Kenya. As chief of party for the Liberia Teacher Training Program, he managed the capacity building of 30,000 under-qualified primary school teachers by providing in-service and pre-service training. Dr. Ashford has also assisted the Ministry of Education in policy decisions to improve literacy levels and provide additional support for girls. In addition, Dr. Ashford served as the chief of party on the Sindh Reading Program in Pakistan, which aims to increase student achievement in early grade reading and math in the Sindh province. He is currently the chief of party for the Soma Umenye Project in Rwanda, which aims to improve reading outcomes in Kinyarwanda for children in Grades 1 to 3.
Senior Vice President, East and Southern Africa
Emet Mohr served as Chemonics’ senior vice president for the Caucasus and Central Asia region, and now serves as senior vice president for the East and Southern Africa region. He has broad experience leading program design and implementation throughout Europe and Eurasia, particularly in Georgia, where he was chief of party for an innovative education project. As an education development specialist, Mr. Mohr has conducted technical assignments, from Jordan to Peru, and helped build the education practice at Chemonics. In addition to serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco, he has a bachelor's degree from Cornell University and has completed graduate coursework in education at the University of Virginia and George Mason University.
Director, Citizen Security Initiative
Enrique Betancourt is a trained architect and urban planner who previously served as executive director at the National Center for Crime Prevention and Citizen Participation in Mexico. As an expert in urban innovation, he co-founded CONTEXTUAL, an agency developing creative solutions to complex urban problems through collaborative and participatory design. CONTEXTUAL works to bridge the gap between research, policy design, and successful implementation. Previously, Enrique served as deputy general director of social policy for the Presidency of the Republic of Mexico. He holds a master’s of architecture in urban design from Harvard University.
Director, West and Central Africa and Haiti
Jennifer Swift-Morgan is an education and governance expert with more than 15 years of experience designing, managing, and evaluating integrated projects in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Her technical expertise includes decentralized public policy, teacher training, civil society strengthening, early- grade reading, human rights, community mobilization, and non-profit management. Dr. Swift-Morgan has previously worked at USAID, KfW Development Bank, National Democratic Institute, and InterAction. As a director in Chemonics’ West and Central Africa region, Dr. Swift-Morgan currently supports USAID’s All Children Reading project in Senegal. She also conducts political economic analyses and provides civic engagement, local governance, and public service delivery input for the Democracy and Governance Practice. Dr. Swift-Morgan holds a Ph.D. in international education development from Columbia University’s Teacher’s College.
Jill Loran Arriaga Meeks
Director, Education and Youth Practice
Jill Loran Arriaga Meeks is a director in Chemonics’ Education and Youth Practice with more than 20 years of experience in education and international development. She currently manages the Access to Basic Education All Children Reading IDIQ. Prior to Chemonics, Ms. Meeks led education projects in Afghanistan, Jordan, Nigeria, Lebanon, and Mozambique. Her short-term field work has included addressing barriers to education for girls and school-related gender-based violence in Ghana and Malawi and conducting a gender audit for reading materials in Mozambique. Ms. Meeks spent 11 years as a classroom teacher, teaching Spanish as a foreign language and English as a second language. She was also a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guinea Bissau, and spent three years at the Peace Corps Headquarters incorporating gender-sensitive programming into projects. Ms. Meeks has a M.A. in international training and education from American University and a B.S. in education from the University of Georgia.
Director, Jordan Tourism Development
As a human resource development, education, and training specialist on Chemonics’ Jordan Tourism Development Project, Joseph Ruddy manages a series of nationally renowned youth vocational training centers that have provided tangible skills to thousands of young Jordanians, 70 percent of whom have found employment or gone on to continue their education. He has more than 20 years of experience heading higher education and vocational education institutions specializing in tourism management.
Julio Ramirez de Arellano
Chief of Party, Afghanistan
Julio Ramirez de Arellano has more than 20 years of experience in managing international development programs funded by the U.S government, including 10 years as chief of party on USAID-funded education projects. He has extensive experience in leading capacity development activities with ministries, NGOs, and the private sector to improve education and training quality and support sustainability. He has also managed large and complex education, workforce development, and training programs in developing and conflict-affected countries. He has led pre-service and in-service training for pre-school, primary, and secondary school teachers and faculty members of teacher training colleges, focusing on methodologies that favor participatory learning, critical thinking, learning-by-doing, and problem solving. He has also worked with teachers and faculty members to manage monitoring and evaluation systems for evidence-based activities and designed manuals for teacher and administrator training, training of trainers, education programs, and micro-business development, emphasizing participative and active approaches.
Associate, Education and Youth Practice
Katherine Centore works in Chemonics’ Education and Youth Practice and supports USAID’s Feed the Future Uganda Youth Leadership for Agriculture Activity. Ms. Centore has a background in education policy development, monitoring and evaluation, and youth and workforce management. Prior to her work with Chemonics, she consulted on Thailand’s education policy reform with UNESCO Bangkok and China’s education equity and inclusion standards with UNICEF China. In addition, Ms. Centore has worked on U.S. initiatives to boost adult basic education and support higher education initiatives for low-income youth. She hold a master’s in public policy with a focus in education and social policy from Rutgers University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University at Buffalo.
Director, East and Southern Africa
Kathryn Camp has eight years of domestic and international experience focusing on education interventions. She currently provides technical leadership to Chemonics’ portfolio of education projects as a director in the Education and Youth Practice. As chief of party in Georgia, Dr. Camp led the technical team in introducing classroom methods and tools to improve early grade literacy and numeracy. Recently, Dr. Camp has focused on identifying effective ways to improve students’ ability to acquire the foundational skills of proficient reading, such as phonemic awareness, word decoding, oral reading fluency, and knowledge of comprehension strategies. She holds a PhD in history from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
Manager, Education and Youth Practice
Laura Harrington has supported a wide range of projects in agribusiness, trade, public health, and microfinance before focusing on education and literacy. She has conducted large- and small-scale training for early-grade reading assessments, overseen data collection and quality assurance, and led the development of the school-based assessment monitoring system for Zambia's Read to Succeed Project. Ms. Harrington has previously worked in Switzerland, France, Mali, and Guinea. She earned a B.A. in international affairs and French from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and an M.P.A from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California.
Chief of Party, Uganda
Marcos Moreno is an agriculture and youth development expert with more than 25 years of experience, including 15 years at senior management levels, creating sustainable economic opportunities for the next generation via agribusiness development projects in East Africa, Southern Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Throughout his career, he has combined agricultural knowledge with innovative business expertise to link private and public sector resources to benefit target populations, including youth and women; create viable, market-driven economic opportunities along key value chains; and promote sustainable skills and strengthen livelihoods. He has extensive experience in identifying ways to integrate female and young farmers to add value to agricultural sectors and key value chains in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Burundi, Bolivia, Mexico, and Colombia. Mr. Moreno is a creative, entrepreneurial, and motivating leader with a record of managing diverse teams and maintaining relationships with diverse stakeholders and partners, including host-country governments and USAID.
Chief of Party, Kyrgyz Republic
Nancy Parks is a labor skills, youth, and basic education specialist with 30 years of experience in international education and development. Ms. Parks specializes in developing curricula and materials to improve reading, leading employment generation projects, and facilitating innovative private sector linkages. She has led education projects in Afghanistan, Georgia, Lebanon, Iraq, and Egypt, and previously taught for 20 years at the American University in Cairo and Cairo American College. In addition to training teachers and government officials, Ms. Parks has developed instructional materials, basic education and vocational education curricula, training manuals, and assessments. As the current chief of party for an early grade reading program in Kyrgyz Republic, Ms. Parks is working closely with the country’s Ministry of Education and Science to assess the reading abilities of primary school students, the quality of reading materials, and the competencies of teachers and education professionals to lead national early grade reading reforms.
Chief of Party, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Sergio Ramirez-Mena currently serves as the chief of party for USAID’s Zambia Strengthening Educational Performance - Up, which partners with the Zambian Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training, and Early Education to improve learner performance. With more than 22 years of experience in international education, Mr. Ramirez-Mena is adept in collaborating with ministries on education management systems, particularly those integrating technology. Recognized as an experienced Education Management Information System (EMIS) specialist, Mr. Ramirez-Mena has provided consulting services to clients in Africa and Latin America. He has also led projects in Latin America and the Caribbean that focused on teacher training, literacy methodologies, and institutional capacity building. In addition to working on improving literacy in primary schools through active learning and updated teacher skills, Mr. Ramirez-Mena has implemented education information systems for policy dialogue and institutional capacity building.
Director, Europe and Eurasia
Valerie Power is an international education and development specialist with 12 years of experience in education and managing large, complex USAID projects. Currently, she serves as the director of the Georgia Primary Education project and the Tajikistan Read with Me project. Previously, Ms. Power managed the Pakistan Sindh Reading Program, which increases student achievement in early-grade reading and math by improving teaching practices and increasing access to supplementary materials in the Sindh province. Ms. Power has also conducted assessments of early-grade reading environments in Haiti, Kenya, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, and South Sudan. Before joining Chemonics, she began her career in education by teaching emergent literacy in the United States and coordinating health and education services for vulnerable children in Tanzania. Ms. Power holds an M.A. in international education with a focus on development from George Washington University.