Hired as a consultant by US-based refugees and immigrants with limited educations and skills from south east Ethiopia and North east Kenya, known as “The Hardship Zone”, to build the organization and programs from the ground up with a minimal budget and no infrastructure. Used creativity, resourcefulness, and determination to build a program where few government entities and NGOs exist.


  • Developed a grassroots organization into an international non-governmental organization with operations in the US and Africa; built capacity for indigenous people to lead the organization in African and United States systems. Worked cross-culturally with people of diverse backgrounds such as pastoralists, women’s groups, NGO leaders, elders, and government officials.
  • Organizational development including policies and procedures, program and evaluation planning, budget development, fundraising, and membership development.
  • Wrote and managed the process in Washington DC, Addis Ababa, and Nairobi to secure non-profit legalization in Kenya and Ethiopia during a period of few authorizations; worked closely with embassy staff in Washington DC to guide negotiate the authorizations in-country.
  • Conducted field studies and community assessments in the remote and insecure Liban Zone of Ethiopia and Kenya’s Mandera District. Interviewed and partnered with international, national, regional, local, and cross-border stakeholders such as USAID, Members of Parliament, elders, NGO leaders, Superintendents, consulate and embassy representatives, women leaders, and village communities. Wrote a cross-border regional development and funding strategy prioritizing and sequencing water, education, economic development, and health programs. The Red Cross and government partners implemented the long term plan.
  • Presented the community assessment and preliminary development plan to the Kenya Parliament where it received unanimous support.
  • Mobilized federal and regional government resources by educating decision makers about the needs, solutions, and obligations resulting from the assessment and development plan.
  • Networked inter-continental program design, development, and implementation with African and US based entities.
  • Built partnerships and implemented projects with organizations such as Engineers without Boarders to leverage efforts and to raise peer group recognition.
  • Recruited and supervised international volunteers with professional level experience.
  • Built relationships with high profile donors such as Howard Buffett, and applied for grants.