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Gender Specialists

    Ariana Szepesi-Colmenares
    Manager, Latin America and the Caribbean

    Ariana Szepesi-Colmenares is a manager with more than eight years of experience working on citizen security and democratic governance in Latin America and the Carinnbea. In her current role, supports new business efforts to design gender-sensitive projects that advance citizen security and democratic governance, in addition to serving as the gender focal point for projects in Latin America. Prior to Chemonics, Ms. Szepesi-Colmenares worked as a citizen security specialist, working closely with governmental institutions, civil society, and other partners. She has experience working in Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela.Ms. Szepesi-Colmenares holds a master's degree in Latin American studies from Georgetown University and a master's in international relations and political sciences at Sciences PO Bordeaux in France.

    Carlos Quintela
    Chief of Party

    Carlos Quintela is a senior project manager and environmental policy specialist with more than 20 years of experience managing donor-funded regional and national environmental initiatives throughout Latin America, Uganda, and Afghanistan. Mr. Quintela currently serves as chief of party of the SERVIR and Climate Services Support Activity, a joint development initiative of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and USAID. Previously, Mr. Quintela served as chief of party for the Mozambique Coastal City Adaptation Project, which works with two vulnerable cities to improve their municipal planning and resilience. He has led gender-focused capacity development for strategic partners and affirmative action programs to ensure the participation of women in project-supported activities and to protect indigenous women's rights.

    Christy Sisko
    Manager, Middle East and North Africa

    Christy Sisko is a program management and economic development specialist with experience in designing and implementing programs around financial services, women’s economic empowerment, investment, sector competitiveness and entrepreneurship. She has worked in in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Nigeria, South Sudan, Vietnam and Thailand. Ms. Sisko currently serves as a technical manager for the USAID Asia and Middle East Economic Growth Best Practice project overseeing implementation for activities related to gender-lens investing, equity investment in the MENA region and entrepreneurship. Previously, she served as manager of the Economic Growth and Trade Practice at Chemonics.

    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.

    Kelly Cronen
    Director, Gender and Social Inclusion Practice

    Kelly Cronen has 15 years of experience managing international development projects covering human trafficking, women's empowerment, community development, and youth civic engagement in Eastern Europe and Afghanistan. She also has experience protecting vulnerable groups, assisting in victim rehabilitation, and working with youth and local communities at the grassroots level and working on civil society development programs. Ms. Cronen is currently the director of the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Practice, and also serves as the gender and outreach advisor for projects in Afghanistan and Vietnam. She previously served as chief of party on a Washington D.C.-based anti-trafficking project and as a technical representative on a USAID bilateral anti-trafficking program. Ms. Cronen has previously worked in Albania, Afghanistan, Armenia, Bulgaria, Guatemala, Kosovo, Mexico, Moldova, Somalia, Slovakia, Tanzania and Ukraine.

    Roselle Agner
    Deputy Chief of Party, Afghanistan

    Roselle Agner has nine years of experience implementing development projects with a gender focus, including USAID-funded and private sector-funded projects. She currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Party on the USAID funded Promote: Women in Government project in Afghanistan where she manages efforts to ensure that women’s empowerment efforts are conducted in a culturally sensitive and effective manner. Prior to her role in Afghanistan, Ms. Agner served as the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion practice manager at the Chemonics home office where she assisted projects and project development teams to integrate gender considerations into their activities. In this role, she also managed efforts to promote knowledge sharing, trained staff on gender mainstreaming and served as a technical resource for home- and field-office staff in project gender integration. She started her gender in development work as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kyrgyzstan where she worked with a women’s crisis center.

    Terri Kristalsky
    Senior Vice President, Europe and Eurasia

    Terri Kristalsky is currently serving as senior vice president of the Europe and Eurasia regional business unit at Chemonics after successfully serving as chief of party on the Southern Africa Financial Sector Program (FSP). Under FSP, Terri implemented a multi-pronged approach to stimulate increased finance access for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) via policy reform, advising financial intermediaries on innovative methods to target products for SMEs and support financial business development services to increase SME bankability. Terri has worked with Chemonics for the past 15 years, including as chief of party for USAID’s Rural SPEED program in Uganda and as microenterprise initiative team leader for USAID’s AMIR program in Jordan. She is a senior banking, microfinance, and SME development specialist with nearly 30 years of experience in microfinance, commercial finance, business training, and project design and management.


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