Global Brigades is an international non-profit that empowers communities to meet their health and economic goals through university volunteers and local teams.

Meet the Medical Team

  • Staff Members

Country Board of Directors

  • USA Board of Directors
  • UK Board of Directors
  • Germany Board of Directors
  • Canada Board of Directors

Meet the Team

  • International Team

Staff Members

Dr. Jenny Najera

Medical Brigades Director

Global Brigades Honduras

Dr. Jenny Najera

Dr. Nájera joined Global Brigades in the Winter of 2006. Her first Medical Brigade was as a volunteer translating for Doctors. That same year, she then began to work as a temporary employee assisting with Medical Brigades.

In November 2010, she was promoted to the Medical Brigades Program Lead, in charge of programming and logistics. She also started establishing relationships with health authorities and developing protocols of safety and security for Global Brigades’ volunteers.

Prior to joining Global Brigades as a permanent employee, Dr. Nájera worked for the Ministry of Health and a Private Clinic as an attending doctor and for 1 year was the official doctor of Honduran Delegation in international events.

Dr. Nájera received her degree as a Medical Doctor in 2005 from the National University of Honduras. She has 2 years of residency in Pediatrics and has participated in several forums and symposiums of vector transmitted diseases (Dengue- Malaria-Chikunguyia and Zika), as well as in various national and international congresses. Dr. Nájera is currently pursuing her Masters in Epidemiology at the Central American Technological University.

Dr. Gladys Turcios

Health Program Director

Global Brigades Guatemala

Dr. Gladys Turcios

Dr. Turcios was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. She studied at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras where she graduated in April 2014 as a Medical Doctor.

Dr. Turcios joined Global Brigades on February 2016 as a Program Lead for the Referral Program. The Patient Referral program sources donations to assists patients, identified during Medical Brigades, with procedures and surgeries. Dr. Turcios  also worked on the development of Global Brigades’ Surgical program, which which will assist referral patients, as well as other patients from communities near Hospital de Ojojona, where the Surgical Brigades will take place. Most recently, Dr. Turcios has stepped into a new role leading the medical program expansion in Guatemela, where she currently resides.

Dr. Cornelius Normeshie

Medical Brigades Manager

Global Brigades Ghana

Dr. Cornelius Normeshie

Dr. Cornelius Normeshie, is an alumnus of the University of Ghana Medical School. He joined Global Brigades in the summer of 2012 as a medical officer and subsequently became the medical program lead in charge of planning, assessing, implementing and monitoring all medical brigade activities.He has been committed to not only providing high medical care but passionate about promulgating public health measures including strengthening partnerships that will improve the health of populations in deprived communities.

Dr. Cornelius is an adaptable and responsible person with tremendous leadership skills having led the medical students association of Ghana in various capacities. He has also participated in several global health conferences across Africa, Asia and Europe.

Currently, he lives in Accra with his wife and daughter. He loves reading, watching soccer and playing chess.

Leidis Ríos

Medical Technician

Global Brigades Panama

Leidis Ríos

Leidis joined the Global Brigades team in 2020 applying her technical training in nursing to support the ongoing health goals with community partners. Leidis loves the work and programs, and enjoys connecting with community partners. She feels compelled to play an active role in the projects of the medical program. Leidis enjoys spending her free time with family.

Dr. Juan Barrero

Medical/Dental Coordinator

Global Brigades Panama

Dr. Juan Barrero

Dr. Juan Barrero is a doctor of medicine and surgery with a specialty in pediatrics from Universidad Nacional de Panamá where he also earned a masters degree in clinical science. Juan studied surgical medicine at Universidad Privada del Valloe – Bolivia. Throughout his studies, Juan participated in brigades with other organizations in communities with limited access to healthcare, and it confirmed his motivation to support vulnerable populations. Juan joined Global Brigades as a medical doctor on brigades in 2018 and 2019, exercising his knowledge and patient care with community partners in Darien. Juan is able to bring his extensive pediatric and surgical experiences to diagnose, educate, and form relationship with community partners. In February 2020, Dr. Juan joined the medical team as a Medical Coordinator, where he’s excited to further his impact in more communities.

Dr. Juan is excited to spend more time working with GB, as the time spent working with rural populations during his studies was a formative experience for him, and now he’s excited to contribute to data collection and engagement with these communities regularly to increase knowledge and understanding of health factors and challenges faced today. When he is not providing amazing patient care, Dr. Juan enjoys traveling and getting to know more about different countries, where he tries to engage with locals to learn more about their customs and cultures. He also enjoys binging a good television series and spending time with family.

Canada Board of Directors

Camille Chandra

Chairperson, Board of Directors

IBM Public Cloud Partner & Solution Specialist

Camille Chandra

Camille joined Global Brigades as a volunteer in the inaugural Chapter at Mount Allison University back in 2009. Inspired by the organization her older brother helped bring to her school, she spent four years as a volunteer and executive member spending her reading weeks in Honduras. It was a true family affair as she broke the news to her dentist father of this extra-curricular involvement by informing him he was joining the group as well. Upon graduation in 2012, Camille accepted a position to work as a Medical/Dental Brigade advisor in Panamá. During that year, she had the opportunity to advise universities across North America and Europe in their preparations, but also coordinate the Brigades themselves in rural communities throughout Eastern Panamá. Working with Panamanian staff, living with a host family/peers, in a community 3 hours east of Panamá City was a transformative experience – one that changed her life upon a return to Canada.

Having spent most of her life preparing for a career in dentistry, Camille thought long and hard about what she wanted to do with her life, and B.Sc. Long story short, she said goodbye to her home province of BC for the East Coast once again, and landed in Halifax where she completed an MBA in Enterprise Analytics, after discovering her newfound love for business technology. Camille still plays as much volleyball/basketball/soccer as she can find in Toronto, currently working as a consultative sales specialist for IBM Cloud. After a brief hiatus from the non-profit world, she was elated to return to what feels a lot like home at Global Brigades Canada. Following the program growth over the past 11 years has been a great joy. Once again, she’s ready to get her hands dirty and be a part of the continued evolution and success of this incredibly impactful organization.

Nicole Jollimore

Vice Chair of the Board

Canadian Institutes of Health Research- IHDCYH

Nicole Jollimore

Intrigued by Global Brigades’ holistic approach and focus on empowerment in sustainable development, Nicole participated in her first brigade with Mount Allison University in 2011. Following four years of involvement in various leadership capacities, Nicole accepted a staff position with Global Brigades in 2015 and lived and worked in Nicaragua and Honduras as a Chapter Advisor and Program Associate, respectively. In 2017, Nicole moved back home to Nova Scotia and continued to build a career with Global Brigades as a Volunteer Engagement Associate, Volunteer Engagement Manager and most recently as Global Brigades’ Sr. Operations Manager. 

In December 2020, Nicole transitioned into a new and exciting role with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), in the Institute of Human Development, Child & Youth Health to support the team in their development of research opportunities that ensure the best start in life for all Canadians and the achievement of their potential for optimal growth and development. She is thankful for her opportunity to stay involved with Global Brigades through the GB Canada Board of Directors.

In 2015, Nicole graduated first class honours with distinction from Mount Allison University. She earned a BSc degree in psychology with a minor in biology and was named an Academic All Canadian following her career as a varsity soccer athlete. 

Rob Fowlie

Treasurer

Chartered Professional Accountant and Partner at MNP LLP

Rob Fowlie

Robert is a Chartered Professional Accountant and Partner at MNP LLP, Canada’s 5th largest accounting firm.

He has more than 30 years of experience delivering services in multiple industries, jurisdictions and business cultures in North America, South America (Brazil, Chile, Colombia) the UK, Japan & Australia. He is a trusted advisor to management teams and Boards and has a successful track record delivering projects on sensitive and complex business issues. As a business leader , he is experienced in business and market strategy, financial reporting and performance, recruiting, team building, mentoring and change management.

Rob holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Waterloo. Rob is also a Board member for Food for Life Canada, serving in the capacity of Treasurer and as a member of the Governance Committee.

Rob was drawn to the Global Brigades by its model for volunteer engagement and fundraising and its mission to work with communities to develop sustainable solutions to their health, water and economic needs.

In his spare time, Rob enjoys spending time with his wife and three adult children, hiking, golfing and reading.

Pragya Mishra

Executive Assistant

MPH Candidate, McMaster University

Pragya Mishra

Impassioned by Global Brigades’ mission to promote holistic sustainable development and alleviate health disparities through community empowerment and collaboration, Pragya joined Global Brigades during her first year at McMaster University in 2014. Since then, Pragya has held various leadership positions on campus, such as President of the Medical chapter and Campus Chairperson for McMaster Global Brigades.

During her undergraduate career, Pragya learned her passion for community-led approaches for reducing health inequities, knowledge translation and mobilization, and research. During this time, she became driven to train volunteers pre-brigade in order to cultivate culturally competent and informed student leaders. Deeply valuing ethical engagement in global health initiatives, Pragya worked alongside volunteers across Canada to evaluate and improve GB education material as Co-Chair of the National Education Committee (NEC). Over the years, Pragya’s values in addressing and reducing health disparities through community-engagement and centering the voices and lived experiences of community members has led her to various global health and public health research projects. Currently, Pragya researches South Asian Womxn’s Health in the Greater Toronto Area as her Master of Public Health thesis study at McMaster University and is devoted to empowering community voices to improve health outcomes. Pragya joined the Board of Directors in 2019 and is thrilled and committed to ensuring that Global Brigades and partner communities continue to achieve community goals, alleviate health burdens, and ultimately promote overall wellbeing.

Pragya holds an Honours BSc. in Life Sciences from McMaster University and a graduate diploma in Water, Environment, and Health from United Nations University (UNU-INWEH). She hopes to continue integrating her knowledge and experiences with practical work in the field of global health by working with and empowering underserved communities globally.

Maura Riordon

Governance and Strategy

Infrastructure Canada

Maura Riordon

Maura was first introduced to Global Brigades while studying at Mount Allison University (MTA). She volunteered on MTA’s first Medical Brigade to Honduras in February 2009 and continued to brigade with MTA as a volunteer interpreter until she started working for the organization in September 2015. She worked as a Global Health Program Associate in Panama and as a Medical-Dental Team Champion Program Associate in Honduras which included helping with the Vision Screening Station. In June 2017, Maura transitioned into a new role as Medications Coordinator and worked on procuring medications and supplies for the programming countries. After working for Global Brigades in Central America for three and a half years, Maura moved back to Canada in March 2019 and now works for Infrastructure Canada in Ottawa and holds a position on the Global Brigades Canada Board of Directors.

Maura received her B.A. with a double major in French Studies and Hispanic Studies from MTA in May 2010, her Honours B.A. with a specialization in French-Spanish-English translation from the University of Ottawa in June 2013, and her General Interpreting Graduate Diploma from York University in October 2015. Prior to working with Global Brigades, Maura worked for the Embassy of Peru in Ottawa, Ontario, and at the Language Technologies Research Centre in Gatineau, Quebec, where she translated, revised, and edited numerous documents, helped to organize events, and created website content. In her free time, Maura enjoys baking, salsa dancing, and spending time with friends and family.

Danielle de Silva

Marketing & Communications

MES Candidate, York University

Danielle de Silva

Danielle became involved with Global Brigades in 2015 at the University of Toronto. She traveled with her Chapter to Honduras in 2015 and 2016 on two hybrid Medical Brigades. These experiences allowed her to understand how socio-economic factors can affect health outcomes, as well as allowed her to gain an appreciation of Global Brigades’ Holistic Model. In 2016, Danielle joined the University of Toronto Global Brigades Executive Team as Outreach Director and served in this role for two years. As Outreach Director, Danielle acted as an ambassador for Global Brigades on-campus and brought awareness to its values and objectives, especially to those unfamiliar with the field of sustainable development. This led her to greater understand the intricacies of the Holistic Model and how it relates to the field of sustainable development as a whole. Danielle was also involved in hosting two Central Canada Student Leadership Conferences in 2016 and 2017, which encouraged volunteers to think constructively and critically about the field of development, as well as focused on developing their leadership skills. Danielle’s undergraduate experiences with Global Brigades inspired her to grow within the organization, as she truly values its dedication to using interdisciplinary, capacity-building tactics to improve outcomes for under-resourced communities.

Danielle holds an Honours Bachelor of Science in Global Health and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from the University of Toronto. She is currently studying at York University as a Master of Environmental Studies Candidate and conducting her Major Project in partnership with Global Brigades.

Jimy Beltran

Director-at-Large

Business Operations Assistant, SomaDetect

Jimy Beltran

Jimy became involved in Global Brigades in 2016 at St. Thomas University where he founded the first Global Brigades club in the university and launched the first Human Rights Brigade in Canada. He continued supporting the organization as a Chairperson of his university chapter and is now joining the Canadian Board of Directors as a Director-at-Large.

Jimy holds a BA in Economics and History from St. Thomas University. He is currently working full-time at a Ag-Tech start-up called SomaDetect and runs his own non-profit called Venezuela180.

Hadi Taherian

Human Resources

Vice President of Operations, Home Care by Doctors

Hadi Taherian

Hadi is an entrepreneur and the co-founder of Home Care by Doctors. He is an accomplished senior executive with extensive experience in strategic planning, business operations and development, as well as team leadership. Prior to Home Care by Doctors, Hadi worked as an Executive Director with Atria Retirement Canada.

Hadi is excited to join the Board because he values GB’s vital role in building healthy communities. He is eager to have the opportunity to make a difference and create lasting impacts with the organization!

Liisa Vexler

Fundraising

Planned Giving Director, Bruyere Foundation

Liisa Vexler

Over the past twenty years, Liisa has had a career full of diverse experiences in the healthcare and social services sectors. Most recently, Liisa co-founded a non-profit called Ausome that promotes meaningful inclusion for children with autism through sport and recreation.

Liisa began her career working in health research and then transitioned to healthcare communications. In 2012, determined to provide the children with a more global perspective, Liisa and her family moved to Costa Rica for three years. Upon returning, Liisa spent five years as executive director building Ausome – handing it off to a new executive director in January 2021. She now works in fundraising for a hospital foundation, and when not at work is running, baking and whenever possible, travelling.

Germany Board of Directors

Josephine Pattberg

President

GB Germany e.V.

Josephine Pattberg

Josephine is the head of Global Brigades in Germany and oversees all activities of the GBG e.V. Board. As the German representative in the GBA, she is the link between the international GB entities and the national level.

Constanze Bauer

Vice President

GB Germany e.V.

Constanze Bauer

Constance oversees together with the president all activities of the GBG e.V. Board. In contrast to the international focus of the president, the VP is more in charge of the national level and the university groups.

Julia Carthaus

Finance Manager

GB Germany e.V.

Julia Carthaus

Julia oversees GBG e.V.s finances. She is the direct contact person in anything related to finances for the GB USA as well as for the university groups in Germany. Furthermore she takes care of legal matters, next to the third management board member and the German CEO.

Elisa Colombo

Managing Director

GB Germany e.V.

Elisa Colombo

Elisa takes care of legal matters and is responsible for the registration of the German association. As CEO she is able to take care of financial matters as well and therefore supports Julia as finance manager.

Laura Harrison

Acquisition and Fundraising Manager

GB Germany e.V.

Laura Harrison

Laura is responsible for university and corporate relations. She takes care of long-term cooperations with universities to establish new Chapters and make Brigades part of the curriculum. She maintains corporate relations for funding, mentoring programs and possible professional brigades.

Emmanuel Accensi

Campus Chairperson Representative

GB Germany e.V.

Emmanuel Accensi

Emmanuel got appointed by the German Campus Chairpersons to represent them in the GBG e. V. Board. Hence, Emmanuel is the link between the German board and the university groups.

Pauline Giertz

Communication & Brand Manager

GB Germany e.V.

Pauline Giertz

Pauline is responsible for communication and our public representation. She is in charge of implementing GB’s corporate identity on a national level, creating German marketing materials, keeping the German website up to date and publishing the quarterly Newsletter.

Luissa Olschewski

Communication & Social Media Manager

GB Germany e.V.

Luissa Olschewski

Luissa is responsible for communication and our public representation as well. She is in charge of implementing GB’s corporate identity on a national level by taking care of GB Germanys social media channels and supporting university groups by taking care of theirs.

Benjamin Straub

Education Manager

GB Germany e.V.

Benjamin Straub

Benjamin is responsible for the coordination and monitoring of the pre- and post-departure workshops in cooperation with the university groups. Furthermore, he takes care of the continuous development and quality assurance of guidelines for such workshops. Due to his experience and expertise from working with Global Brigades, he supports us in achieving (long-term) strategic goals through his advice and collaboration.

Anna Spies

Board Member

GB Germany e.V.

Anna Spies

As the 3rd board member Anna functions as secretary during national conferences, takes care of administrative matters and is the contact person for the GB Germany Alumni network. As co-founder of GB Germany e.V. she is also an honorary member of the board.

Christine Bock

Honorary Board Member

GB Germany e.V.

Christine Bock

Christine is an alumni and honorary member of the board and attends to different arising tasks and supports with her experience and expertise from working with Global Brigades, depending on the current demands.

Ciara Baumgärtner

Honorary Board Member

GB Germany e.V.

Ciara Baumgärtner

Ciara is an alumni and honorary member of the board and attends to different arising tasks and supports with her experience and expertise from working with Global Brigades, depending on the current demands.

UK Board of Directors

Aiden Patterson

Chaiperson & Trustee

Aiden Patterson

Aiden is currently Chairperson and Trustee for Global Brigades UK. He works in M&A investment banking at Nomura covering the Leisure, and Food & Beverage sector, having been in the London and Hong Kong offices. He has previously worked at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, researching child healthcare interventions in Colombia. He attended University College London, where he earned a BSc and MSc in Economics. Aiden first became involved with Global Brigades in 2011 with his first Microfinance brigade in Ghana. He went on to lead a brigade the following year, and was President and a founder of the Chapter at University College London.

Aiden believes that Global Brigades can be a powerful tool to improve lives in those communities it reaches, and by developing, implementing, and tracking the effects of these interventions, bit by bit, communities can be lifted out of poverty. He also believes that the benefits are reciprocal, with volunteers developing their maturity and leadership, as well as their understanding of global economic and social conditions. Aiden has previously served as Treasurer of Global Brigades UK from June 2018 to October 2019.

Dr. Michelle D'Souza

Non-Executive Director & Trustee

Dr. Michelle D'Souza

Michelle is a junior doctor who works in North West London. She studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh and completed her BSc at Imperial College London. Michelle is interested in academic research in addition to clinical medicine and hopes to pursue a career in obstetrics and gynecology. Michelle’s involvement with Global Brigades began in 2015 when she started the first chapter in Scotland at the University of Edinburgh. After leading the medical brigade to Honduras that year, she helped to expand towards a more holistic campus, supporting the new leadership and attending the human rights brigade to Panama the following year. Michelle has also attended a Leadership Institute in Panama to gain first-hand experience of the holistic model. Michelle is currently focused on expanding professional brigades and supporting university chapters in London.

Stewart Sherman-Kahn

Non-Executive Director and Trustee

Stewart Sherman-Kahn

Born in Leicester, Stewart’s formative years were spent in Worcestershire. After leaving Bromsgrove School with A levels, Stewart started his training as a Chartered Surveying at the College of Estate Management at Reading University. While working at the Birmingham Valuation Office. he was elected a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in 1996. From 1993 until 1998 he was involved and eventually ran Radio Lollipop at the Birmingham Children´s Hospital with a fundraising and broadcasting brief. In June 1999 Stewart established Chamberlains Chartered Surveyors. A small but perfectly formed Surveying Practice based in Birmingham, they have a varied case load and deal in both residential and commercial property matters.

In additiona to his professional experiences as a surveyor, Stewart is Council Chairperson of Lions Clubs International MD105 (British Isles), Chairperson of the Board of Governors at The Calthorpe Academy (Special School) in Highgate, Birmingham and also serves as a Board member of Openland an LGBT property group in the Midlands. Stewart have been aware of Global Brigades for many years and hopes to support in the expansion if our excellent work, fostering a  formal co-operation between GB and Lions Clubs International.

Federico Amorosi

Non-Executive Director & Trustee

Federico Amorosi

Fed is currently Director of Finance for GB UK, working towards demonstrating leading financial transparency, while empowering GB UK to make informed decisions and behave proactively for the success and sustainability of Brigades’ efforts.

Fed’s involvement with Global Brigades started in 2011, and he is a founder of chapters at both University College London and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During this time he came to realise that the value of the brigades is not limited to the fantastic collaboration that occurs during brigades, but grows with every volunteer that returns home. This led him to join the board in 2013 as Director of Expansion during GB UK’s first foray into centrally led growth efforts.

Fed earned his Master’s in Engineering from University College London (UCL) and is based in London where he works as a management consultant with Arcadis, the leading global design & consultancy firm for natural and built assets. In this role he focusses on improving the quality of life through organisational design, operational efficiency, and change leadership in asset intensive organisations.

USA Board of Directors

Catherine Berman

Co-Founder & Board Member

Co-Founder, CNote

Catherine Berman

Over the past decade Catherine Berman has co-founded several successful mission-driven ventures, including Deloitte Center for Leadership & Community, the Information Technology Consortium and most recently, Global Brigades – the world’s largest student development organization.  In the past, Catherine maintained a host of management positions, including Chief Executive Officer, GB Panama, Strategy and Operations Manager at Deloitte Consulting, LLP, Director of Marketing at Redefining Progress and Vice President of Evins Communications, LLC. Her international work experience spans from India to Israel with extensive work in Central and South America.

Catherine graduated magna cum laude from Boston University and received her MBA from Oxford University, England, where she founded the Oxford Women in Business Network.

Dr. Angelo Passalacqua

Board Member

CEO of BURG Translations, Inc.

Dr. Angelo Passalacqua

At Global Brigades, Angelo has been co-founder, Treasurer and President of Global Brigades in the UK.  While President, he oversaw the growth of the UK organization from 3 to 23 volunteers and donations of over £380,000.  At the association level, Angelo was integral in devising the methodology and conducting the analysis for assessing country risk in Africa, ultimately leading Global Brigades to expand to Ghana. He has also contributed to the association’s SWOT analysis.

Angelo is currently the CEO of a translation agency in Chicago, USA.  Previously, he was a management consultant for the healthcare industry, helping Pharma price and valuate potential medication, and held a teaching positions at King’s College London and the North China Institute of Science & Technology.  He is a certified ISO 9001:2004 Lead Auditor, Associate at the Higher Education Academy and holds a PhD in Biostatistics and BSc in Management.  Angelo speaks English and Spanish fluently and maintains conversational fluency in Mandarin and French.

Gabriela Valencia

Board Member

Executive Director at Fundación Calicanto

Gabriela Valencia

Gabriela is based in Panama City, where she currently works as Executive Director of Fundacion Calicanto. A community-driven and non-governmental organization working to reduce gender-based violence and economic insecurity in Panama City. She holds a certificate degree in Nonprofit Management and recently earned accreditation to teach Architecture Design at the University of Panama. Through the years, she has had the opportunity of leading several community-led development initiatives while managing the cultural and non-traditional learning experience of over 3,000 students from around the world. In the past, Gabriela maintained the position of Operations Manager and Executive Director at GB Panama.

Gabriela received her B.A. in Architecture from the University of Panama and a Master’s degree from Ball State University, Indiana, studies she was able to conduct by earning a Fulbright Scholarship in 2007.

Jeff Hay

Board Member

VP Clinical Operations, Athletico

Jeff Hay

Jeff has over 18 years of experience working in the healthcare industry, combining his love of sports and medicine into the athletic training profession. Throughout his career as an athletic trainer, Jeff has had the opportunity to work with many sports including professional soccer, rugby, high school sports, endurance events, and even a local rodeo. He also spent four years as an assistant athletic trainer with the Chicago Bears and currently works as a regional manager for Athletico Physical Therapy where he is responsible for the operational management and support of eight Athletico physical therapy facilities.

Jeff is actively involved with Athletico’s Leadership Development, Charitable Giving, and Eco-Friendly committees. In addition, Jeff, his wife, Pam, and their three children all participate in many local charitable giving initiatives in the Chicagoland area.

Jeff enjoys working directly with people to improve their health and well-being. He resides in Glenview and hold a B.A. in Biology from Illinois Wesleyan University and a M.S. in Athletic Training from Illinois State University.

Andrew Bird

Board Member

Senior Manager, Deloitte & Touche

Andrew Bird

Andrew Bird is a Senior Manager at Deloitte & Touche. In his spare time he advises nonprofits on growing their revenues through the application of leading edge business marketing practices. Andrew has over 30 years of experience in complex project management, marketing strategy, leading diverse teams, and developing future leaders. He is the co-author of the bestseller “Putting the Profit in Nonprofit! 5 Power Fundraising Strategies for Nonprofits.”

He currently serves on the Board of Global Brigades USA. He earned his BS in Business Administration from New York University, an MBA from Loyola University, and an MA in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica.

Dr. Toby Peters

Board Member

Intermittent Leadership Development Faculty, Federal Executive Institute

Dr. Toby Peters

Dr. Toby Peters has been involved with the mission of Global Brigades since its inception at Marquette University. He served as an advisor to the group of students that journeyed to Honduras for the first medical brigades. He has traveled to Honduras and Nicaragua on numerous occasions participating in medical, public health, and water brigades. Additionally, he has assisted his wife, Dr. Mary Kay Ellis, an ophthalmologist, staff vision stations with the medical brigades in Honduras for the last two years.

During his career in higher education at Marquette and Syracuse Universities he served the students and institution in the areas of administrative and student services, student affairs, academic affairs, and auxiliary services. Toby’s leadership background in administrative, consulting, and faculty roles provide him a unique blend of experiences that he enjoys bringing to and sharing in a learning environment. He received a Doctorate in Educational Policy and Leadership from Marquette University and a MBA and a BS degree from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.

As a faculty member at Marquette University he designed and taught Organizational Behavior courses featuring a blended learning management system. He focused on many of the areas of organizational behavior and development including; challenges for managers, motivation at work, learning and performance management, stress and well-being, communication, work teams and groups, leadership and followership, conflict and negotiations, organizational culture, and managing change.

Toby served as the Associate Senior Vice President at Marquette University. Under his auspices, he had the responsibility of leading hundreds of employees ranging from entry level to senior executives. He managed high level projects including serving as liaison with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation during the six-year reconstruction of the Marquette Interchange that bordered on three sides of the university. He also served as the co-chair during the university’s assessment of institutional effectiveness that led to a successful reaffirmation of accreditation. Through these experiences, Toby managed conflict, communications, negotiations, and strategic planning, all while promoting a strong and cohesive team.

Toby also has expertise in emergency management planning having led response teams and managed the planning and execution of the exercises. He was also charged with identifying means to maximize resources to provide better service through efficiency, productivity, and quality improvements. He implemented process improvement assessments through Value Stream Mapping and Lean Management principles.

He has consulted on a variety of topics including: assessment, strategic planning, construction, organization structure and review. In addition, he has presented and published on topics including transformational and servant leadership, retention, development, assessment, volunteerism, cultural competence, construction, renovation, unrelated business income taxes (UBIT), unfair competition, and Ignatian pedagogy and spirituality.

In 2014 he earned the honor of Loaned Executive of the Year for United Way of Greater Milwaukee for his assistance and service with the annual community fundraising campaign. In Milwaukee, he is a board member for InTandem, a local theater production organization. He was a board member with Variety Children’s Charity of Wisconsin and a regular volunteer at the United Community Center serving the Latino population of Milwaukee.

Toby is now a faculty member at the Federal Executive Institute within the Center for Leadership Development for the federal government.

Sarah Tajran

Board Member - Student Rep

Sarah Tajran

Sarah’s journey with Global Brigades began in December 2012 when she went to Ghana. Sarah has been on six Medical/Dental brigades to Ghana, Panama, Honduras, and Nicaragua. She has been involved with leadership as the Vice President, President, and Campus Chairperson for the Medical Chapter at UC Irvine. She is excited to bring all of her experience as a student to work on the expansion and implementation of the holistic model to the Greece Refugee Program. She recently graduated from University of California Irvine with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and hopes to pursue a degree in medicine. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Global Medicine at the University of Southern California.

Richard Lee

Board Member - Student Rep

Richard Lee

Bio coming soon…

International Team

Dr. Shital Vora

Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Global Brigades

Dr. Shital Vora

Dr. Shital Vora is Co-Founder and CEO of Global Brigades, overseeing Global Brigades’ human resources and talent programs in addition to administrative policies and University relationships. Prior to dedicating to Global Brigades full time, she had spent 4 years working as a Doctor of Physical Therapy focusing on Orthopedics and Sports Medicine for one of the nation’s largest and most successful orthopedic practices in Chicago.

In 2003, while completing her degree at Marquette University, Shital established the very first medical brigade club, which eventually developed into the model that is used today throughout the organization. From one club at Marquette, Shital and the GB leadership team has started over 450 active groups who travel to Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, and Ghana in providing primary health care and education in rural communities. Within Global Brigades, Shital had previously worked as the CEO of Health Programs and Chief Program Officer prior to taking on the human resources role.

Shital has spent much of her time abroad with Global Brigades understanding the importance of health in developing countries. She has been actively involved with not only the expansion of the organization, but overall strategies for staff empowerment. Her focus is to involve staff in these strategies not only to provide communities in need, but also challenge the minds of young individuals who are embarking and building on their professional career. Shital is passionate about creating leadership opportunities for all staff, putting people first, and the “human” side of human resources.

Shital sits on the Marquette University Health Sciences advisory board, and also has been recognized at Marquette University’s Young Alumnus of the Year in 2009. Shital graduated with high honors at with a degree in Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences and received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy as well as her PhD in Orthopedics.

Steven Atamian

Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer

Global Brigades

Steven Atamian

Inspired by the potential impact university students could make in rural Honduran communities, Steve helped co-found what would become Global Brigades in 2004. In addition to many programmatic contributions around the holistic model, Steve led GB’s decentralized student-led movement and its strategy for financial sustainability.

From 2004-2008, Steve led Global Brigades as a volunteer while employed full-time with Deloitte, where he supported the design and implementation of their corporate social responsibility strategy in the Pacific Southwest region of the United States.

In 2007, when Global Brigades was officially registered as a nonprofit in the United States, Steve was named the CEO by the board of directors and served in that position until 2016. Currently, Steve holds the position of Empowerment Officer and splits his time between high level strategy, budgeting, and pushing to maintain the student-led culture that the organization was built upon.

Steve is a graduate from the University of Southern California. He resides in Seattle with his wife and baby daughter. Locally, he has contributed as an affiliate faculty member at the University of Washington at Bothell, teaching classes in social entrepreneurship and nonprofit management.

Pallav Vora

General Counsel & Chief Administrative Officer

Global Brigades

Pallav Vora

Pallav is the General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer for Global Brigades, Inc. and oversees and provides legal support to all Global Brigades entities worldwide. Since joining Global Brigades full-time in 2012, Pallav has served as Global Brigades’ General Counsel and works closely with the leadership of all Global Brigades entities to strengthen operations by assessing and managing risk, implementing appropriate practices and controls, and providing advice and counsel on a broad range of legal issues critical to the organization’s mission. Pallav also sits on the Board of Directors of Global Brigades Ventures and the International Volunteer Programs Association.

Prior to joining Global Brigades, Pallav was an Associate Attorney at the Law Offices of Joseph V. Roddy, where he worked as a litigator on a wide-variety of civil and criminal matters in both state and federal courts, including administrative hearings, civil rights litigation, personal injury, appeals and criminal defense. Pallav received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Richmond, and received his J.D. from John Marshall Law School. He is admitted to practice before the Illinois State Bar and U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association.

Nancy Amador

Chief Compliance Officer

Global Brigades

Nancy Amador

Nancy joined Global Brigades October 1, 2008 as accountant and administrator for Global Brigades Honduras, she helped on the structure of financial and administrative procedures for the grantee entities and provided support to advising and program associate teams. In January 2013 she was moved to be a part of Global Brigades USA finance team as VP of Finance, in this position she has been working with the bookkeeping for Global Brigades USA, Canada and United Kingdom, she also provides support on the audits for these countries and is now running financial compliance auditors for grantee entities.

Nancy received her Bachelor’s degree in accounting from the UNAH and a Master’s degree in finance from UNITEC. Her previous experiences are all related to accounting, administration and finance and each company that she worked with helped her gain more knowledge as well as long lasting friendships. Global Brigades has been a great experience for her as she always wanted to work with an organization where she could be a part of helping others.

Kezia Cowtan

Chief Executive Officer

Global Brigades Canada

Kezia Cowtan

Kezia brings 20 years of non-profit operations and program management experience to the Global Brigades Canada CEO position. The focus of her work has been in community development and youth capacity building.

Kezia’s undergraduate studies at the University of Victoria and graduate studies in Co-operatives at the University of Bologna are the foundation of her work in social development. Kezia has facilitated a decade of youth employment and entrepreneur skill building projects funded by Human Resources Development Canada and the Canadian International Development Agency. These projects were run both locally and internationally. Hundreds of youth and community partners benefited from these projects and thousands of volunteers participated. These community projects and programs included; food security, sustainable agriculture, aboriginal food security, youth service providers, international development, small business, micro-loans and educational resources.

Kezia worked with the University of Victoria, Global Studies Department, International Institute ofChild Rights and Development. Working in partnership with groups like PLAN International, UNICEF and World Vision to build the capacity of international child safety.
Kezia was the National Youth Manager for the Canadian Community Economic Development Network. She was responsible for two national youth community building initiatives. CreateAction, funded by Human Resources Development Canada was a national youth internship program. This project placed post-graduate youth across the country with non-profit organizations to make a
difference in their communities. Secondly, she administrated a national universities; Community Development Service Learning Initiative. This youth project test piloted hubs within universities to integrate community placements for student life long learning.
Kezia also has a wealth of experience in child and youth recreational leadership and disabilities inclusion.

Community development has always been at the heart of Kezia’s work while raising a family, sailing and being an avid airstream camper.

Christie Catlin

Chief of Staff

Global Brigades

Christie Catlin

Christie is a Marquette University graduate with a degree in International Affairs. She first joined Global Brigades in 2011, working for the sustainable development programs in Honduras. She soon grew into a leadership position, and spent the next six years leading the brigade planning and volunteer engagement teams in many capacities. A people person through and through, Christie has hired, trained, and managed scores of team members in support of Global Brigades volunteer program operations in Central America and Ghana.

In 2017, she left the organization to serve as a Disaster Recovery Manager for the American Red Cross, and later the Director of Development for Frontdesk, a travel start-up. As of 2020, Christie brings her experience back to Global Brigades to serve as Chief of Staff to the executive leadership.

Christie lives in Milwaukee, WI with her husband, son, and Great Dane. She loves traveling, baking, and sailing.

Ben Erker

Director of Impact & Evaluation

Global Brigades

Ben Erker

Ben Erker joined Global Brigades in January 2009 to help develop and coordinate the Water Brigades program in Honduras.  Four the next four years he managed the implementation of numerous clean water projects, while coordinating over sixty Water Brigades.  From 2013 – 2015, Ben worked as Development Program Officer in Honduras, overseeing the operation of the holistic model and its program teams in the country.   Starting in January 2016, Ben began his current position as GB Director of Impact & Evaluation in charge of impact measurement and reporting, program monitoring and evaluation, and supervising local M&E teams in GB’s programming countries.

Ben received his B.S. in Civil & Environmental Engineering from Bucknell University, which included a semester of study in Perth, Western Australia. During his time at Bucknell Ben made his first of many trips to Honduras which inspired him to further pursue water and sanitation issues in developing countries.  Ben went on to receive his M.S. in Civil & Environmental Engineering from the University of California – Davis focusing on water quality, drinking water and wastewater treatment. While at UC Davis, Ben spent a month in rural Uganda working on sustainable drinking water and sanitation solutions.  Before joining Global Brigades, Ben participated in a wide range of research projects investigating the effect of microorganisms on arsenic concentration in groundwater, small water system treatment techniques, anaerobic digestion of food waste, and evaporation effects of development in watersheds.

Juan David Villegas

Director of Strategic Initiatives

Global Brigades

Juan David Villegas

Juan David joined Global Brigades in December 2014 as a brigade interpreter, soon after that, he began coordinating business brigades full time with GB. In January 2017, Juan David became the Business Program Manager, overseeing all of the Business program’s staff and projects in Panama.

Juan David was born and raised in Medellin, Colombia. From an early age, he has been an advocate of the power of financial inclusion and entrepreneurship in transforming people’s lives. At the age of 17, he moved to Bournemouth, UK, to study and received his Higher National Diploma degree in Business Studies at MLS Management College, England. In the last 7 years, Juan David has been to 25 countries investigating the impact of business, commerce, and entrepreneurship in economic development worldwide.

Juan David holds a certification of Development Project Management by the Interamerican Development Bank and Strategic Managerial Skills Certificate from the Interamerican University of Panama.

Fun fact: Juan David’s first brigade was actually a Medical brigade which he attended as an interpreter and where by chance there was a business brigade staying at the same lodging facility. After a 5-hour conversation with the former Business Program Manager, Juan David fell in love with the program, canceled a flight to Korea, and changed his career path to dedicate himself to working with economic and social development programs with Global Brigades.

Arman Nadershahi

Co-Founder

Global Brigades

Arman Nadershahi

Arman Nadershahi is an entrepreneur and multi-faceted attorney. Arman co-founded Global Brigades, Inc., as well as several successful medical device startup companies, including one startup that was acquired and another that had an IPO on NASDAQ. Arman also serves as the in-house counsel for the Alfred E. Mann Institute for Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California. Arman’s legal expertise includes intellectual property, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, nonprofits, and startups. Earlier in his career, Arman practiced intellectual property law at Knobbe, Martens, Olson & Bear, LLP, where he focused on patent prosecution, licensing, and intellectual property litigation in the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices.

Arman graduated with distinction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BA in Zoology and English Literature. He holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Minnesota Law School, a Master’s in Biological Science from the University of Minnesota, an MS in Regulatory Science from the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy, and an MBA from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.

Alexa Schmidt

Director of Marketing

Global Brigades

Alexa Schmidt

Alexa Boldt is a global citizen who acts locally, wherever she is, with boldness and kindness. She joined Global Brigades as a Program Associate in Honduras in 2014, and with a capacity for team encouragement and leadership she later took on the Program Associate Manager role. She lived in Central America until 2016, and now serves as the stateside Communications Associate. In this role, Alexa acts as Global Brigades’ central storyteller and ensures all internal and external stakeholders are well-informed. Her drive to tell Global Brigades’ stories stems from the joy that comes from celebrating programmatic accomplishments with community members, staff, and volunteers.

Alexa received a B.A in Communications and a minor in Multimedia from California Lutheran University. Prior to her work with Global Brigades, she dedicated time to volunteer with non-profit organizations in Kenya, the Dominican Republic, and along the West Coast of the USA. In addition to her work with Global Brigades, Alexa is a yoga instructor and advocate for a holistic approach to health and wellness.
Luis Torres Quan

Executive Director

Global Brigades Honduras

Luis Torres Quan

Luis joined Global Brigades Honduras in January 2012 when his first role with a brigade was serving as a driver. Since then, Luis has transitioned to various roles including translator, coordinator, HR Manager, Operations Director, Administrative Director, and in 2016, Executive Director. Luis is passionate about the work that Global Brigades does in our communities and likes being able to make a difference in his home country.

Luis graduated from the Catholic University in Honduras with a degree in Finance. He has held previous leadership positions in  the financial sector as he has worked for banks and insurance companies in Honduras. One of his many contributions to the organization was helping expand programs execution to the southern region of the country.

Pablo Garron

Executive Director

Global Brigades Panama

Pablo Garron

Pablo Garron is a consultant/trainer/facilitator, team player and skilled in management of multicultural staff with over 20 years’ experience in international development. He has worked advising the Panamanian government in establishing the microfinance policy and design the regulations for the Microfinance Development Fund. He worked 12 years for The Peace Corps in Bolivia as master trainer and in Panama as a Program manager and as a Senior Programs Manager. He worked as a business development consultant for the UNDP, IDB. FUNDES, REDPAMIF among other organizations.

In 2013, Pablo began working with Global Brigades Panama designing, implementing and monitoring the Microfinance program. In June of 2015, He became GB´s Panama Programs Officer and in January 2017, he was nominated as GB Nicaragua Executive Director.

Pablo has a BA in Economics and and a Masters in Business Administration.

Tina Voulgari

Executive Director

Global Brigades Greece

Tina Voulgari

Tina holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the Athens University (Greece) and a Master of Arts in Marketing Communications from Bournemouth University (UK). She is the Executive Director of Global Brigades Greece, working with the local GB team, the Greek Health Department and other partners to provide primary health care for asylum seekers at refugee camps in Greece. Prior to working for Global Brigades, Tina worked for College Year in Athens, where among other duties, she helped US students volunteer with various NGOs supporting refugees and migrants in Greece. Tina enjoys spending most of her free time close to the nature, practicing yoga, scuba diving, hiking, and rock climbing.

Denis Gaitan

Executive Director

Global Brigades Nicaragua

Denis Gaitan

Denis Gaitán has a degree in Social Communication at Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) in Managua. He also has a Master’s Degree in Social Policies and Rights for Children and Adolescents from the same university. Before joining the team of Global Brigades Nicaragua, Denis worked in non-governmental organizations coordinating various projects of social communication and promotion of the children and adolescents rights . From the age of 12 he was involved in youth groups focused on issues of citizen participation. He also was a Director of a local community radio station and worked a volunteer program, French-speaking from Québec, Canada with whom he promoted south-north exchanges.

Since May 2015, he has been part of the Global Brigades Nicaragua team where he has worked in different roles, including Public Relations, community organization, and accreditation. Currently, he is the Monitoring and Evaluation Manager.

In his free time Denis enjoys spending time with his son Javier. He loves photography and historical articles of Nicaragua and likes to spend time with friends and family.

Shafiu Shaibu

Operations Director

Global Brigades Ghana

Shafiu Shaibu

Shaibu Shafiu holds a Certificate of Advance Study in Project Monitoring and Evaluation, a Chartered Accountant (CA), holds MBA in Finance and Bachelor of Commerce. He further holds a Diploma in Social Work Studies, Diploma in Project Management, Certificate in Understanding Cross-Cultural Communication in International Business and Certificate in Inclusion of Minorities in Community Development.

Shafiu has over 18 years work experience with between public service (academia), the NGO sector, in livelihood integrated program design and co-ordination, and senior level financial management (partnership, negotiation and fundraising) and 9 years with INGO. He has worked as Enterprise Development and Market Access Coordinator, Finance Manager, Director
of Finance and Administration and as Senior Specialist in Accounting and Auditing.

Joining GB at this time in Shafiu’s career creates the room for exciting times for him to bring to bear
years of accumulated experience in NGO program development, financial management, M&E and IT to
discharge an operations intensive position and he is excited to apply all of the programs and Global Brigades.

Mario Quan

Operations Director

Global Brigades Honduras

Mario Quan

Mario received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Universidad Catolíca de Honduras , later to receive a master’s in project development from the same institution. Mario first joined the  Global Brigades team in 2012 as a driver, later to apply his skills as Administrative Director to the Honduras office. In 2015, Mario moved to support the operations of Global Brigades in Nicaragua and returned to Honduras in February 2017 to continue his role in organization administration. Prior to Global Brigades, Mario has held positions of  Credit Analyst and Telemarketing Supervisor in two different banks in Honduras. When he is not supporting the daily operations of the Honduras office, Mario enjoys spending time with his family, especially his wife and son.

Dr. Jenny Najera

Medical Brigades Director

Global Brigades Honduras

Dr. Jenny Najera

Dr. Nájera joined Global Brigades in the Winter of 2006. Her first Medical Brigade was as a volunteer translating for Doctors. That same year, she then began to work as a temporary employee assisting with Medical Brigades.

In November 2010, she was promoted to the Medical Brigades Program Lead, in charge of programming and logistics. She also started establishing relationships with health authorities and developing protocols of safety and security for Global Brigades’ volunteers.

Prior to joining Global Brigades as a permanent employee, Dr. Nájera worked for the Ministry of Health and a Private Clinic as an attending doctor and for 1 year was the official doctor of Honduran Delegation in international events.

Dr. Nájera received her degree as a Medical Doctor in 2005 from the National University of Honduras. She has 2 years of residency in Pediatrics and has participated in several forums and symposiums of vector transmitted diseases (Dengue- Malaria-Chikunguyia and Zika), as well as in various national and international congresses. Dr. Nájera is currently pursuing her Masters in Epidemiology at the Central American Technological University.

Dr. Sandra Gomez Ventura

Director of Tele-Programs

Global Brigades Honduras

Dr. Sandra Gomez Ventura

Dr. Sandra Gomez Ventura brings a wealth of experience and education to Global Brigades.  She received her PhD in Public Health and Sanitary Management from The University of Zaragoza Spain (AECI Scholarship), a Master’s in Public Health from The Braun School of Public Health/ Hebrew University in Jerusalem Israel (Mashav Scholarship), a Project Design, Management and Evaluation Specialty from Emory University in USA (Hubert Humphrey Fellowship scholarship) and a specialty on Child and Adolescent Development from the Catholic University of Chile, and education as a Dental Surgeon from the National University of Honduras. Dr. Gomez Ventura has also completed an internship at the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID) of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta-USA and at UMEA University in Sweden.

Dr. Gomez Ventura spent 10 years working with Peace Corps as the Youth Development Director in Honduras. After Peace Corps, She worked as the Head of the Clinical and Professional Education area at the faculty of Health Sciences at UNITEC Laureatte International Universities in Honduras for 6 years. She is one of the co- founders of The COVID-19 Research Consortium in Honduras, and The Frena la Curva Honduras volunteer organization.

In her free time, Dr. Gomez Ventura loves traveling within and outside of Honduras, reading, supporting youth prevention programs, teaching and conducting TOTs, as well as being involved in the development of new projects.

Blase Scarnati

Academic Consultant

Global Brigades

Blase Scarnati

Blase Scarnati, Ph.D., serves as the Lead for virtual university programs with Global Brigades and is currently Director of Global Learning in the Center for International Education and Professor of MusicHistory in the School of Music at Northern Arizona University. He publishes and consults on community-based local and international student engagement/experiential learning and its pedagogies, curricular development, and international education issues. Scarnati is the co-creator of the Global Learning InitiativeatNorthern Arizona University, an across-the curriculum internationalization effort located in all undergraduate programs and majors, for which Northern Arizona Universityreceivedthe 2012 Senator Paul Simon Award for CampusInternationalization presented by NAFSA: Association of International Educators. He also established one of the largest civic agency and community engagement programs in the country at Northern Arizona University, where 600first-year students each year worked with over 40 community partners in Flagstaff, Arizona, and the region on social justice, sustainability, and community empowerment issues, and whose efforts were featured at the Obama White House.

Scarnati has published articles in Global Impact Exchange, Bringing Theory to Practice-AAC&U Civic Series, Higher Education Exchange, Academic LeaderToday, Teacher-Scholar, Diversity & Democracy, the Kettering Foundation Working Paper Series, and the Huffington Post among others, and numerous book chapters on international education, student engagement, and curricular development issues. He has presented papers and preconference workshops at the Association of International Education Administrators Annual Conference, NAFSA: Association of International Educators Annual Conference, National Conference of the American Association of Colleges & Universities, and American Association of State Colleges and Universities National Conference, among others. https://nau.academia.edu/BlaseScarnati

Lance Meier

Sr. Web Developer

Global Brigades

Lance Meier

Lance Meier is the Sr. Web Developer for Global Brigades. He’s passionate about building technological infrastructure and modern user interfaces, so that Global Brigades continues to leverage modern tech solutions to further its operations and provide support to all its organizers and field staff. Lance found Global Brigades while working in the fintech sector in Mexico, developing data-driven solutions that boosted and empowered traditionally underserved small businesses with access to loans and other types of financing. With his internationally focused technology background and passion for Latin American culture, the mission of Global Brigades and holistic community development model greatly resonated with his experience. He joined the team in March 2019. Lance graduated from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Business. Prior to his technology career, Lance was a business ESL instructor and Spanish interpreter, followed by working in the US e-commerce sector specializing in digital merchandising and strategy. During this time, he found his niche in programming and never looked back!. When he’s not programming, Lance loves to be moving around outside! Hiking, cycling and camping are his favorite outdoor activities.
Hassan Malik

QA Developer

Global Brigades

Hassan Malik

Hassan joined Global Brigades in March 2020 as a QA Developer. Hassan is responsible for ensuring our volunteer platform is up and running and supports in deployment and testing of new features.

Azeema Fatima

Technical Support

Global Brigades

Azeema Fatima

In love with all life everywhere, a student of computer science and an eager learner, I always had a passion for helping others any way I could. Being absolutely mind-blowingly fascinated with the good work being done by people all over the world, I always wanted to work with an organization where I could utilize my skill set for the good.

In stepped Global Brigades, big time! GB provided me with the opportunity of my dreams of working alongside the best teams in the world, doing absolutely wonderful soul-fulfilling work. Be it helping the volunteers with their tech-based issues, or working on internal website and MyBrigades issues alongside the GB family, I keep on growing and every single day proves to be an opportunity to learn something new something wonderful, and to also be able to feel awesome inside, all the while doing what I love doing and helping others in whatever way I can in this amazing organization determined to make this world a better place, one day at a time. This, for me, is the best feeling in the world!

Maggie Sandoval

Senior Operations Manager

Global Brigades

Maggie Sandoval

Maggie joined Global Brigades in February of 2017 as a Program Associate based in Honduras. Maggie found out about Global Brigades through a friend, researched the organization, and determined that Global Brigades was directly aligned with her passions and gifts. Maggie is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Finance at a private university in Tegucigalpa called UNITEC, The Central American Technological University. She is passionate about working alongside other cultures and has a heart for the people of Honduras.

Maggie received her B.A. in International Business from Auburn University and graduated December of 2015. Prior to working at Global Brigades, Maggie worked in financial advising in Birmingham, Alabama for a year, and specifically focused on retirement savings. Although the financial landscape in Honduras is vastly different, Maggie is interested in the financial culture of Hondurans as compared to that of Americans. Maggie is passionate about empowerment through education, and she firmly believes that Hondurans and Americans alike need to understand their full potential and break the boundaries that limit them. Maggie is excited about Global Brigade’s model and is passionate about working alongside the team in Honduras as well as the various volunteers that brigade each year. Maggie enjoys cooking, hiking, doing yoga, and spending time with family when she is not on brigade, in class, or working with the local team in Tegucigalpa.  

Yessica Rodriguez

Program Associate Manager

Global Brigades Honduras

Yessica Rodriguez

Yessica began working with Global Brigades in January 2018 contractually as a brigade translator, and eventually coordinator. Before joining the team full-time, Yessica worked as a logistics assistant for Empresas Rurales Productivas de Honduras, a micro-credit institution for under resourced communities in Intibuca, Honduras. In her new role she is now excited to connect passionate volunteers to local communities, and empowering both through the process of sustainable development.

Yessica holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Universidad Católica de Honduras as well as a masters in project management from Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana – Both in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. When she’s not empowering our passionate leaders, she enjoys time with family and friends, reading, watching movies, and making small road trips along the country.

Anna Jamieson

Volunteer Engagement Manager

Global Brigades

Anna Jamieson

Anna joined the Global Brigades team as a Chapter Advisor in June of 2018. Anna’s introduction to Global Brigades was during her first year at Mount Allison University and she has been involved since! Anna has participated in the Water and Public Health programs in Honduras and led the Water Chapter at Mount Allison for a year, followed by a year as Campus Chairperson. During her undergraduate degree she learned a lot about Global Brigades as an organization, the Holistic Model and sustainable development. Anna really identifies with Global Brigades commitment to holistic sustainable development and is so excited to share these values with everyone looking to get involved with Global Brigades!

In May of 2018, Anna received a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science with minors in Biology and Political Science. Anna’s passion for Global Brigades at the campus level led into pursuing a full-time opportunity with Global Brigades following graduation. Anna is also pursuing a Masters degree in Environmental Practice and loves chatting all things sustainability and ways to help our natural world. When Anna is not at the office she enjoys being outdoors, reading, hiking and trying out new cafes!

Oscar Fajardo

Brigade Logistics Coordinator

Global Brigades

Oscar Fajardo

Oscar joined Global Brigades in January 2014 as a translator in Honduras. He fell in love with the organization from his very first brigade in the community of Palo Verde. Despite the rainy, mud, and cold week in Honduras during the Public Health Brigade, he went home happy and realized Global Brigades was what he was looking for. From there, Oscar has grown to wear many hats for the Honduras operations including coordinating brigades, preparing communities as a medical technician, an operations assistant, and supervisor of brigade logistics. Oscar now takes his experience with Global Brigades to the next step as the first Operations Managers for Global Brigades in Guatemala as we expand our operations.

Prior to Global Brigades, Oscar studied at Escuela Normal Mixta del Sur in Honduras and graduated as an elementary teacher. He then earned a scholarship to obtain an associate’s degree in electronics and computers at Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel, Illinois. After school, Oscar started work as a production supervisor in United Hospital Services and later as a production supervisor of a new plan for Harlan Bakeries, Inc. We are thrilled to have Oscar’s passion, energy, and operations experience as part of our team. When he is not supporting the work of passionate volunteers and community development, Oscar enjoys watching all kinds of sports in his free time.

Carlos Romero

Travel Team Manager

Global Brigades

Carlos Romero

Carlos joined the Global Brigades team in February 2014. Carlos was born in the small city of San Marcos in the Carazo department of Nicaragua. throughout his life, he’s spent time living in Costa Rica as well as the USA through which he’s been able to apply his skills and gain vast experiences. Most notably, Carlos spent time with a major US airline in charge of high value customers as well as staff training, often working under high pressure situations like oversold flights and developing solutions. Additionally, Carlos has also worked as the manager of a tour operator, managing group travel packages and handling corporate accounts. Through this experience, Carlos learned much of the leadership and guidance he brings to his team today, and we are excited to have him managing our travel team.

Carlos holds a degree in Business Administration and Tourism from Universidad del Valle in Nicaragua as well as an accounting degree from Richard Nixon Commercial School in Costa Rica. Carlos thinks Global Brigades is an amazing experience because it touches your heart with every project the organizations has and feels very proud and happy to work for a such a wonderful organization full committed to making an impact for many people. When he is not supporting volunteer with travel booking and helping them get to our program countries to make an impact, Carlos likes to spent time with his family, travel, exercise, or go out with friends and to the beach.

 

Dr. Gladys Turcios

Health Programs Manager

Global Brigades Guatemala

Dr. Gladys Turcios

Dr. Turcios was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. She studied at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras where she graduated on April 2014 as a Medical Doctor.

Dr. Turcios joined Global Brigades on February 2016 as a Program Lead for the Referral Program. The Patient Referral program sources donations to assists patients, identified during Medical Brigades, with procedures and surgeries. Dr. Turcios is also working on the development of Global Brigades’ Surgical program, which which will assist referral patients, as well as other patients from communities near Hospital de Ojojona, where the Surgical Brigades will take place. Dr. Gladys has moved within the organization to support other programs such as the Community Health Worker Program in Honduras. In December 2019, Dr. Gladys moved to Guatemala, where she will take on a new role as Health Programs Manager for Global Brigades operations in Guatemala.

Dr. Cornelius Normeshie

Medical Brigades Manager

Global Brigades Ghana

Dr. Cornelius Normeshie

Dr. Cornelius Normeshie, is an alumnus of the University of Ghana Medical School. He joined Global Brigades in the summer of 2012 as a medical officer and subsequently became the medical program lead in charge of planning, assessing, implementing and monitoring all medical brigade activities.He has been committed to not only providing high medical care but passionate about promulgating public health measures including strengthening partnerships that will improve the health of populations in deprived communities.

Dr. Cornelius is an adaptable and responsible person with tremendous leadership skills having led the medical students association of Ghana in various capacities. He has also participated in several global health conferences across Africa, Asia and Europe.

Currently, he lives in Accra with his wife and daughter. He loves reading, watching soccer and playing chess.

Julio Granados

Public Health & Water Program Manager

Global Brigades Nicaragua & Panama

Julio Granados

Prior to working for Global Brigades, Julio worked as a Production Supervisor at Cemex Industrial Concrete Plant, a Resident Engineer on Road Signing and repairing and maintenance of parks and a volunteer in Raleigh International Citizen Service Program and TECHO.

As Global Brigades’ Public Health and Water Brigades Manager, Julio oversees the program budget, brigade development, report writing community communication, community leader identification, and brigade logistics. He also implements strategies for the water and public health programs.

In his spare time, Julio enjoys basketball, attending rock concerts, cooking, traveling and literature.

Julio received his Bachelors Degree in Bachelor in Civil Engineering at National Engineering University and his Post degree in Designing and Evaluation of Municipal and Industrial Water Projects at National Engineering University.

Fabio Blanco

Business Brigades Manager

Global Brigades Nicaragua

Fabio Blanco

Mr. Fabio Blanco joined Global Brigades Nicaragua in August 2017. Prior to this, his studies earned him a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism Business at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN-LEON) in 2000, and a Master’s degree in rural development from the Polytechnic University of Nicaragua (UPOLI).

In the labor field, Fabio has accumulated a wealth of previous experience with non-profit organizations.  He has worked as a specialist in social and business development processes with young people and adults in the rural communities of the western, northern and central municipalities of Nicaragua.It has formed groups of self-saving and development of small and médium enterprises in chaining of markets in different productive áreas  (BID-World Vision Nicaragua Central American Project).  Through the project, The Future is Young, he served as an advisor for small businesses in the administration of loans to young people in the department of Chinandega, which Fabio executed in coordination with the mayor of Chinandega and funds of the European Union and Lay Movement for Latin America. Also, he was responsible for the organizing component of a sponsorship scholarship program and community training for adults, youth and adolescents financed through funds from the EUROPEAN UNION.

Fabio is currently the Manager of Business and Microfinance for Global Brigades Nicaragua. Together with his team, he is forming community banks in departments such as Jinotega and León in an effort to develop small loans in order to assist community members in starting or strengthening their own businesses allowing them to generate greater income for the welfare of their families.

Currently, Fabio resides in the city of Estelí, Nicaragua, and his interests include technology and travel.

Dr. Rosario Giron

Community Health Worker Program Manager

Global Brigades Honduras

Dr. Rosario Giron

Dr. Rosario Giron has been with Global Brigades since 2010.  She began working as a doctor on brigades, and is now the head of the Community Health Worker program in Honduras. She studied at the National University in Honduras where she earned her diploma as a doctor.  Prior to joining the Global Brigades, Dr. Rosario worked with the Ministry of Health for 10 years in a Health Center and was in charge of the tuberculosis and STDs program.  One aspect of her work that she loves is being able to see how our partner communities change with every new program that Global Brigades implements. In her freetime, Dr. Rosario loves watching baseball.

Marco Landa

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Program Manager

Global Brigades Honduras

Marco Landa

Marco Landa, a civil engineer by trade, brings extensive experience and passion to the Global Brigades team. Marco has worked from fast food franchising in Honduras, in the telecommunications industry as a resident engineer, and  as independent consultant  and project manager. His vast experiences, diligence and passion for his work,  and  commitment bringing access to clean water and sanitation infrastructure community partners make Marco a valuable member of the Global Brigades team.

Marco earned a bachelor degree in civil engineering from la Universidad Católica in Honduras.  He has been a lifelong longer committed to furthering his education to positively contribute to his work. Since starting with Global Brigades, Marco has completed his Masters in Business Administration with with a focus on finance. Additionally, he´s completed various additional certifications and courses in areas of positioning and funding in NGOs, total quality management, and water system design. When he is not supporting his team or developing partnerships with his program, Marco enjoys reading, spending time with family, traveling, and trying restaurants that serve international foods.

Jorge Pinto

Microfinance Manager

Global Brigades Panama

Jorge Pinto

Jorge grew up in Santiago de Veraguas, Panama, where he got his Commerce Degree at the Omar Torrijos Herrera Institute. He got his Masters from Universidad de Panamá. Jorge previously worked as a business advisor at two recognized financial institutions in Panama, until he saw the job ad for Global Brigades and decided to join the business program. Jorge enjoys interacting with everyone he meets during his field visits, as well as with his co-workers at the office. He also enjoys seeing the positive impact created in the lives of Community Bank members in each of the communities where Global Brigades works.

Jorge has been amazed with the changing mindsets of Community Bank members. He remembers in the beginning while speaking with new members, many said they only earned enough to get by with food, but now they have succeeded in a collective savings of more than $50,000 and more than $65,000 in loans.

In Jorge’s free time he enjoys time with his family, reading, and going for walks.

Mel Brown

Microfinance Coordinator

Global Brigades Panama

Mel Brown

Mel Brown worked with Global Brigades in international development and volunteering from 2013 until 2016.  He got involved for the first time as an interpreter for the medical brigade his sister Brenda Brown was coordinating back in early 2013. After experiencing that first brigade, he continued volunteering as an interpreter and coordinator with 10 brigades throughout all of the 2013 season. His commitment was noticed by the Panamá Country Director for Global Brigades. Mel joined the Business and Microfiance team as a full-time coordinator. In September 2014, Mel Brown became the Business & Microfinance Program Manager, overseeing all of the Business & Microfinance program’s staff and projects in Panama.

In 2017 Mel took a break from Global Brigades to  begin working for COPA Airlines, one of the largest Lating American airlines at that time. He now rejoined the GB Panamá team four years later in September 2020 as the new Microfinance Program Coordinator, involved monitoring all Community Banks, working hand in hand with field technicians, overseeing future growth opportunities and strategic alliances to further financial inclusion in rural areas where Global Brigades Panamá operates.

Mel studied business adminsitration and finance at UNP- Unviersidad Nacional de Panama. When he’s not supporting the economic development goals of Global Brigades, he enjoys cooking and hiking.

 

Dr. Juan Barrero

Medical/Dental Coordinator

Global Brigades Panama

Dr. Juan Barrero

Dr. Juan Barrero is a doctor of medicine and surgery with a specialty in pediatrics from Universidad Nacional de Panamá where he also earned a masters degree in clinical science. Juan studied surgical medicine at Universidad Privada del Valloe – Bolivia. Throughout his studies, Juan participated in brigades with other organizations in communities with limited access to healthcare, and it confirmed his motivation to support vulnerable populations. Juan joined Global Brigades as a medical doctor on brigades in 2018 and 2019, exercising his knowledge and patient care with community partners in Darien. Juan is able to bring his extensive pediatric and surgical experiences to diagnose, educate, and form relationship with community partners. In February 2020, Dr. Juan joined the medical team as a Medical Coordinator, where he’s excited to further his impact in more communities.

Dr. Juan is excited to spend more time working with GB, as the time spent working with rural populations during his studies was a formative experience for him, and now he’s excited to contribute to data collection and engagement with these communities regularly to increase knowledge and understanding of health factors and challenges faced today. When he is not providing amazing patient care, Dr. Juan enjoys traveling and getting to know more about different countries, where he tries to engage with locals to learn more about their customs and cultures. He also enjoys binging a good television series and spending time with family.

Monica Aidoo

Brigade Coordinator

Global Brigades Ghana

Monica Aidoo

Monica Aidoo is one of the original team members who helped found Global Brigades Ghana back in 2011.  Monica earned her degree in education at the University of Education, Wenneba.  She has worn many hats in her career:  teacher, entrepreneur, manager of her own business, waitress at one of the biggest hotels in Ghana, and of course, a coordinator for Global Brigades.  Her teaching skills are apparent on each and every brigade that Monica leads in Ghana.  In addition to teaching, Monica is also very passionate about the sustainable development that Global Brigades is making in her community.  She is inspired by the empowerment of Global Brigades’ staff, volunteers, and communities we serve.

In her free time, Monica loves cooking for her family, teaching young children at school, dancing and singing with her students, and spending time with her family.

John Aryee

Brigade Coordinator

Global Brigades Ghana

John Aryee

John is an industrious person who has over 11 years of work experience, including social work, public and vested land management, production editing, advertising and brand identity design, and computer software and hardware instruction. John holds a Bachelor of Technology in Communication Design and a Higher National Diploma in Commercial Arts from Takoradi Technical University. He also holds a Certificate in Budget Advocacy and Analysis, Diploma in Computer Software, and Diploma in Computer Hardware, all from the Central Automation Systems Computer Training Institute.

As a staff member, John first worked as a Brigade Interpreter in June 2011, to facilitate relationships between brigade volunteers and community participation, and assist Program Coordinators and Facilitators. In March 2012, he was promoted to the position of Brigade Coordinator, in which he fostered an internal culture of empowerment, open communication, and collaboration during and between brigades. John maintains regular communication with Program Managers and officers to communicate the successes of in-country programs. Monitoring program successes and challenges in quantitative studies, and maintaining a positive attitude, and striving towards constant improvement.

John says, “Global Brigades has been a great experience for me, as I always wanted to work with an organization where I could be a part of empowering others.”

 

Migdalys Cunampio

Kiva Loan Coordinator

Global Brigades Panama

Migdalys Cunampio

Migdalys joined the Global Brigades team in September 2020 to coordinator monitoring and servicing of loans with business owners through our partnership with Kiva. Migdalys has served as the treasurer of the community bank in her community of Piriati Embera since 2014, an empowered community partner of Global Brigades. In her new role collaborating with the Global Brigades team, Migdalys is excited to work alongside and learn from a passionate team of experts and share her knowledge with them as well as the community partners with which we work.

In addition to her work experience, Migdalys earned her bachelor’s degree in business, as well as additional undergrduate and post-graduate work in accounting.

In her free time, Migdalys enjoys spending time with her family and playing volleyball.

Leidis Ríos

Medical Technician

Global Brigades Panama

Leidis Ríos

Leidis joined the Global Brigades team in 2020 applying her technical training in nursing to support the ongoing health goals with community partners. Leidis loves the work and programs, and enjoys connecting with community partners. She feels compelled to play an active role in the projects of the medical program. Leidis enjoys spending her free time with family.

Yohana Jimenez

Microfinance Technician

Global Brigades Panama

Yohana Jimenez

Yohana Jimenez is the former community bank tresurer of the community of Canglon, (and member of the community) one of the fastest-growing cajas in Darien. Her eagerness to learn, dedication and passion to develop the communities through the power of financial inclusion was decisive in order to join the business team of GB Panama. Thanks to the business brigades and the trainings she learned how to manage the finances of her community bank and became one of the best treasurers across the 20 cajas in Panama.

Evidelia Martinez

Microfinance Technician

Global Brigades Panama

Evidelia Martinez

Evidelia grew up in the community of Rio Pavo in the Darién province. Before she was with Global Brigades, she worked as a promoter for Avon cosmetics to coordinate traveling salespeople. Evidelia first learned of Global Brigades when they came to work with the cooperative in Platanilla. She was an active member of the cooperative and worked with Global Brigades in some of their first projects. She remembers meeting another field technician and was put in touch with the business program team members for a position.

One of Evidelia’s first well-known phrases with the business team was “Don’t worry. I will be on time. Even if it rains and the river rises, I’ll be there.”

Evidelia enjoys going to work each day to see the growth and development in all the communities that have established their Community Banks and what the bank members have accomplished with their credit.
In her free time, Evidelia enjoys visiting her family and writing.

Jose Castejón

Water & Engineering Technician

Global Brigades Honduras

Jose Castejón

José Castejón joined the Global Brigades team in November 2018 as a Water & Engineering technician. With an academic background in Civil Engineering & Water Resources Management, he was greatly identified with GB’s WASH mission of providing sustainable drinking water and sanitation solutions to our partner communities. At his position, José coordinates the technical activities carried out during the engineering and water brigades. His valuable contribution to the design and construction of sustainable water projects is complemented by his unconditional support to the Public Health Program.

José received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the National University in Honduras (UNAH), which included a year of study as an undergraduate exchange student at the University of Missouri-Columbia. During his time at Mizzou, José attended the Intensive English Program, where he was able to develop his language skills, taking afterwards some Engineering courses at the Civil Engineering Department. In 2016, José obtained his Masters Degree in Water Resources Management from the BOKU University in Vienna, Austria. After his return to Honduras, José worked for two years as a hydrologist for a leading engineering company. He has also worked in the academic world as a junior researcher and lecturer in the field of Hydrology and water resources management. 

When he’s not working along with GB staff, partner communities and volunteers, or looking for sustainable ways to improve water and sanitation access in rural Honduras, you can find him spending time with his family, cooking, exploring Honduras or enjoying a hot cup of coffee while listening to relaxing music.

Francis Ramos

Monitoring & Evaluation Associate

Global Brigades

Francis Ramos

Francis joined the Program Associate team in January 2020. Previously, she joined the team as a translator on brigade in the year prior and fell in love with Global Brigades’ impact and model. She loves being able to cause an actual impact on the lives of Honduran communities through volunteer support and the exciting dynamic of a collaborative multicultural environment.Prior to Global Brigades, Francis held an internship at Eurosan Occidente (project financed by the European Union) Internship in PAHO/WHO.

Francis studied International Relations with an orientation in diplomacy at Unitec, Honduras. When she’s not supporting volunteers with brigade preparation and education, Francis enjoys going to the gym, reading and going on road trips.

Sydney Colbert

Marketing Associate

Global Brigades

Sydney Colbert

Sydney has been an integral part of Global Brigades’ marketing team since 2019.  As an undergrad, she studied Photography at Columbia College Chicago and received a Bachelors of Arts in Photography. Sydney also studied at Governors State University and received a Masters of Fine Arts in Independent Filmmaking and Digital Imaging.  Prior to joining Global Brigades, Sydney worked as a freelance photographer and filmmaker, and brings her sharp eye for content creation to our social media team.
For Sydney, one of the highlights of working at Global Brigades is being able to collaborate with a team that is so passionate, open-minded, and culturally competent. She loves working in GB’s uplifting environment, where everyone cares about the work they do and making a difference in partnership with community members all over the world.
When she’s not hard at work creating content for GB, Sydney loves watching movies, enjoying all kinds of chocolate, and studying natural health and wellness.
Rebekah Kawas

Volunteer Engagement Associate

Global Brigades

Rebekah Kawas

Rebekah began her journey with sustainable development as a Global Brigades Chapter Leader throughout her undergraduate career where she began to see the power of holistic and ethical nonprofit work. Before becoming a part of GB staff, she helped her alma mater build better relationships with prospective Graduate students through recruitment, outreach, and retention. Her goal of continuing on cultivating teams of students that are dedicated to global solidarity and the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals led her to become a Volunteer Engagement Associate in March 2020. She supports the international GB team and volunteers across the United States & our partner countries from her base in South Texas. Rebekah is a proud alumna of Texas A&M International University where she completed her B.A. and Master of Public Administration with a certificate in Nonprofit Leadership. You can catch her being a foodie at her favorite travel spots or pretending to be a movie critic on her down time.
Alejandra Silva

Program Associate

Global Brigades Greece

Alejandra Silva

Alejandra joined the Global Brigades team in March 2020. She is excited by the Holistic Model and the opportunity to take part in its adaptation and implementation in the Refugee context in Greece and supporting volunteers in learning about global issues. Prior to Global Brigades, Alejandra worked as a project manager Fundacion Rode (NGO in Spain) where she worked with partner organizations in Peru, Kenya, Ivory Coast and DR Congo, and public and private donors to design, fund and implement community development projects (WASH, education, health, agriculture).She also promoted awareness raising campaigns among young people in Pamplona (Spain).

Alejandra earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in humanities from University of Navarra in Spain, and later a Masters in Social development from the University of Susxex in England. When she’s not supporting volunteers and programming in Greece, Alejandra lives crafts, spending time with friends and family, and time outdoors.

Odeth Cerrato

Honduras Program Associate

Global Brigades Honduras

Odeth Cerrato

Odeth‌ ‌Cerrato‌ ‌was‌ ‌born‌ ‌and‌ ‌raised‌ ‌in‌ ‌Tegucigalpa,‌ ‌Honduras.‌ ‌She‌ ‌joined‌ ‌Global‌ ‌Brigades‌ ‌
as‌ ‌a‌ ‌Program‌ ‌Associate‌ ‌in‌ ‌November‌ ‌2020.‌ ‌

She‌ ‌earned‌ ‌a‌ ‌Bachelor’s‌ ‌of‌ ‌Science‌ ‌in‌ ‌Psychology‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌minor‌ ‌in‌ ‌Nutrition‌ ‌from‌ ‌Brigham‌ ‌Young‌ ‌
University-Idaho.‌ ‌
In‌ ‌the‌ ‌past,‌ ‌she‌ ‌has‌ ‌volunteered‌ ‌with‌ ‌Humanitarian‌ ‌Organizations‌ ‌and‌ ‌worked‌ ‌with‌ ‌at‌ ‌risk‌ ‌
populations.‌ ‌Her‌ ‌love‌ ‌for‌ ‌different‌ ‌languages‌ ‌and‌ ‌cultures‌ ‌has‌ ‌allowed‌ ‌her‌ ‌to‌ ‌use‌ ‌her‌ ‌skills‌ ‌and‌ ‌
help‌ ‌bring‌ ‌people‌ ‌together‌ ‌by‌ ‌breaking‌ ‌barriers.‌ ‌ ‌

Odeth‌ ‌loves‌ ‌the‌ ‌mission‌ ‌and‌ ‌vision‌ ‌of‌ ‌Global‌ ‌Brigades‌ ‌and‌ ‌is‌ ‌grateful‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌work‌ ‌that‌ ‌they‌ ‌have‌ ‌
done‌ ‌in‌ ‌her‌ ‌beautiful‌ ‌country.‌ ‌She‌ ‌is‌ ‌thrilled‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌joining‌ ‌the‌ ‌Program‌ ‌Associate‌ ‌Team‌ ‌and‌ ‌work‌ ‌
to‌ ‌empower‌ ‌individuals‌ ‌to‌ ‌improve‌ ‌their‌ ‌lives!‌ ‌

In‌ ‌her‌ ‌free‌ ‌time,‌ ‌Odeth‌ ‌loves‌ ‌visiting‌ ‌new‌ ‌towns,‌ ‌dancing,‌ ‌and‌ ‌binge-watching‌ ‌Grey’s‌ ‌Anatomy.‌

Vanessa Romero

Honduras Program Associate

Global Brigades Honduras

Vanessa Romero

Vanessa joined the Global Brigades team in November 2020 as a Program Associate. With a background in International Relations and a MA in Educational Leadership and Management Development, Vanessa has always been drawn to working with at-risk communities and youth-oriented programs. Prior to working with Global Brigades, she worked as an ESL teacher in Taiwan before going back to Honduras to volunteer as a Funding Grant Writer and Funding Options Researcher in Giving Way.

After reading about Global Brigades holistic approach, vision and mission, and all the efforts this organization put together to empower -not only communities- but people, Vanessa decided to apply for a position at the organization since she felt strongly connected with the core values, and the overall concept that sustainable growth is the way to better lives.

Vanessa is eager to take part in every initiative Global Brigades proposes to be an agent of change, and to learn as much as she can from everyone involved in this organization. In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching YT videos, and practicing creative writing. 

Daniela Gutierrez

Program Associate

Global Brigades

Daniela Gutierrez

Born and raised in Nicaragua, in a small city located 30 miles south from Managua, Daniela joined Global Brigades in March of 2016 as part of our Travel Team, providing guidelines to all brigades from the different countries, supporting volunteer chapters in their travel process, deadlines, requirements from the different airlines. Starting in 2020, Daniela transitioned to the Program Associate team to continue supporting groups with brigade preparation on all levels.

Daniela received a degree in tourism from the Universidad Centroamericana UCA in 2006 and a Diploma in English from the Institute of Languages at Ave Maria College. Prior to joining Global Brigades, Daniela worked for Delta Airlines for 5 years at the International Airport in Managua, Nicaragua.

Daniela loves spending time with family and enjoys free time outdoors.

Noelia Quintanilla

Program Associate

Global Brigades

Noelia Quintanilla

Noelia was born and raised in Managua, Nicaragua. She received a  degree in Electronic Engineering from the National University of Engineering, but has never worked in that area because she has been involved with customer service in the airline industry.

Prior to joining Global Brigades, she worked 15 years for American Airlines and 1 year for Delta Airlines at the International Airport in Managua. She joined Global Brigades in November of 2013 when Global Brigades started in-house flight booking for volunteers. In 2020, she transitioned to the Program Associate team.

Noelia loves the work that all volunteers do through Global Brigades programs to improve other people’s lives.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and swimming.

Joan Moreno

Panama Program Associate

Global Brigades USA

Joan Moreno

Joan was first introduced to Global Brigades in 2016 while in school when he joined the team as an interpreter. He was excited at the opportunity to develop his English skills and improve, however, once was on his first brigade, Joan found the experience mind blowing and the passion grew. From there, Joan was presented the opportunity of working with more brigades and grew to become a temporary coordinator and can say that he really loves what this organization does. Joan is really passionate about the Holistic Model and working to make sustainable communities, and we are excited to see Joan continue to grow the organization now in the Program Associate role.

Originally from Cali, Colombia. Joan moved to Panama in 2013. He earned a bachelors of arts in English as a second language with an emphasis in teaching methodology from Universidad Autonoma de Chiriquí in Chiriquí, Panamá. Ironically, in high school Joan despised English, and it was not until college when he really started learning it seriously. Now, Joan attributes learning and studying English in school to opening the doors for the opportunity to do one of the best things he has done in life, which is working with and meeting people from different parts of the world to create positive social change. When he is not supporting our passionate volunteers in preparation for their brigades, Joan loves to play soccer and go to the beach.

Mery Castejón

Honduras Program Associate

Global Brigades Honduras

Mery Castejón

Mery first joined the the Global Brigades team as a translator on brigade in January 2013 and has supported the organization in various ways since then. She is no stranger to the work of our organization and engaging with volunteers and community partners. Mery studied at Universidad Pedagógica Nacional Francisco Morazán  and earned a degree as a an English language teacher. She has since worked as a second and third grade classroom teacher as well as teaching English grammar, reading, and writing at the high school level. Most recently, Mery was working as an English Teacher for students at Universidad Pedagógica Nacional before joining the Global Brigades Program Associate team in March 2020.

Mery is excited to be pat of the life-changing that happens through the development work of Global Brigades full-time. She loves to help the people of her country and make an impact in their lives, as well as the lives of the volunteers shes supports through educating and engaging with them.  When she is not supporting volunteers, Mery like to swim, spend time with family and friends and travel.

Mike Suarez

Program Asscociate

Global Brigades USA

Mike Suarez

Mike joined the Global Brigades team in November 2018. Having pursued a career in Telecommunications at a younger age, he started collaborating with non-profit work in 2012, coordinating volunteer programs in Panama and El Salvador, actively participating as volunteer programs trainer, champion and manager. Mike also lived almost two years in the United States, collaborating as a data analyst and customer service coordinator in Madison, Wisconsin for a second-tier microfinance institution, creating impact in Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Ecuador and Peru. Mike has experience engaging multicultural teams and programs. He fell in love with Global Brigades’ Holistic Model, considering it is the path to creating a more equal society.

Gabriela Gimenez

Program Asscociate

Global Brigades Panama

Gabriela Gimenez

Gaby first joined the Global Brigades team in December2018 as a Medical Coordinator. She graduated from University of Louisville in Panama earning a bacherlor’s degree in communications. Gaby is motivated by empowering communities through a holistic model that seeks to help them break out of the poverty cycle in a sustainable way. Shes excited to be part of all of this with the support of students and young people from around the world, who she believes hold great power for change.
When she’s not supporting future changemakers, Gaby really enjoys to binge watch shows, good foreign films and watching sports -especially Soccer.

Maritza Zhen

Honduras Program Associate

Global Brigades Honduras

Maritza Zhen

Maritza Zhen is born and raised in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Her parents decided to migrate from China in order to escape poverty. She studied at a bilingual school all her life. With the language capabilities that she has, she was able to work in various areas of interest. She has worked for various non-profit organizations as a translator for seven years.

She started volunteering at a young age and progressively getting involved with children’s education in at-risk communities. Later on, she joined Global Brigades in December 2018 as a translator. She fell in love with the work Global Brigades does with communities. Empowering the community and volunteers. One year later she became a coordinator. And now she continues to work passionately in Global Brigades as a Program Associate. She enjoys meeting new people and spending time with her family and friends.

Alejandra Pavón

Honduras Program Associate

Global Brigades Honduras

Alejandra Pavón

Alejandra joined the Global Brigades team in September 2020. Alejandra brings experience working as a medical interpreter with volunteer groups for three years, as well as work as an employment and training officer with a solar energy project. Shes’s excited to collaborate with volunteers and teams to plan and develop engaging brigade experiences while improving health and economic outcomes with community partners.

Alejandra earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Universidad Catolica de Honduras and completed graduate coursework, earning a master’s degree in business administration from Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana in Honduras.

When she’s not sharing her energy for community development work with volunteers, Alejandra enjoys swimming, singing (she considering herself quite the karaoke enthusiast), and cooking for family & friends.

Katherin Bonilla

Honduras Program Associate

Global Brigades Honduras

Katherin Bonilla

Katherin first joined the Global Brigades team in April 2018 as a brigade translator. After facilitating meaningful intereactions between volunteers and communities on her first brigade, she realized how much she cared about the work Global Brigades was doing with community partners and wanted to further be part of it. Katherin continued working with Global Brigades as a translator before becoming a Brigade Coordinator at the end of that first year.

Katherin studied at Universidad Pedagógica Nacional Franscisco Morazán in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and graduated in 2017 with a degree to teach English. Before her time with Global Brigades, Katherin worked at the university as part of her teaching practicum and is now excited to bring her passion for education to our team with volunteers. She is excited to con

She is excited about serving the communities of her country in her current role and being able to make an impact through empowering volunteers, communities, and staff.  When she’s not sharing her passion for our work with volunteers, Katherin loves to singing, dancing, reading, and spending time with her family.

Susan Reynoso

Program Associate

Global Brigades Honduras

Susan Reynoso

Susan Reynoso graduated from Universidad Católica de Honduras with a degree in International Relations. She has always been passionate about learning and understanding the different relationships that exist between countries and cultures. She is always challenging herself to learn new things.

Another of Susan’s biggest passions has always been helping other people. She started volunteering as a Medical Brigades translator from a very young age and she fell in love with the entire experience. Many years later, she now works for Global Brigades as a Program Associate and is delighted with the opportunity to return to something she loves and is passionate about.

Aiby Wendy Ardila

Accounting & Administration

Global Brigades Panama

Aiby Wendy Ardila

Wendy joined Global Brigades in the summer of 2012 originally as a part-time employee, but soon she began working full time for the Accounting team in Panama. She was drawn to the multicultural environment and the diversity of people that supported one another in the organization. Being able to support the mission the organization has with both indigenous communities in Panama and with volunteers that come from other countries has been highly energizing for Wendy. Although, her work is mostly focused on the administrative side of the organization she has had various opportunities to visit communities. She remembers one time when she was in the community of Metetí for an informal celebration with community members. She was nervous to try an unfamiliar beverage and then learned it was tamarindo or known in English as tamarind. She was very touched at the hospitality and generosity of communities that are said to have so little in resources, but are always delighted to share with visitors.

Wendy was born and grew up in Columbia and has been in Panama for the last 10 years. She is currently in her fourth and final year at the University of Panama to earn a degree in Applied Informatics. Each day in Global Brigades brings with it new experiences and Wendy looks forward to what lies ahead.

Karen Fonseca

Accountant

Global Brigades

Karen Fonseca

Karen learned about Global Brigades through a friend and currently works as an accountant, managing the bookkeeping for Global Brigades Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. She earned a Secretary degree at a young age and then in 2010, received her Bachelors Degree in Public Accounting and Finance.

Karen has experience working with several companies, mostly in administration. In the future, she would like to obtain a Masters of Human Resources and complete her English studies.

Claudia Corrales

Accountant

Global Brigades

Claudia Corrales

Claudia came to the organization through a friend who shared an available opportunity with her, she joined Global Brigades on January 1, 2017 as an accountant for Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. Her previous experience was always in the accounting, administrative and human resources areas. She has a degree in accounting and is currently studying a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration at Ceutec in Honduras, her main interests are to finish this degree and English studies which she started this year.

Erika Amador

Accountant

Global Brigades

Erika Amador

Erika joined Global Brigades in the summer of 2014 as an accountant assistant providing accounting and financial support for the accounting process making transfers, processing refunds, posting manual transaction on dashboard ans helping with accounting reports. Starting in 2017, Erika is taking responsibility in the Canada and United Kingdom accounting process.

Erika received her Accountant degree from the Autonomous National University of Honduras in 2014 and a English Diploma from The National Pedagogical University in 2015. Prior to joining Global Brigades, Erika worked as accounting assistant for a chemical factory. Erika was always interested in working with a company like Global Brigades, which helps people in need.

Josue Rios

Accountant

Global Brigades USA

Josue Rios

Josue Alejandro Rios is a professional accountant from the city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. He has worked for Global Brigades for approximately 15 years, which has allowed him to obtain a great deal of experience in the community development framework that Global Brigades implements in our partner communities. Josue graduated with a degree in Accounting and Finances from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras. During his 15 years working for the organization, he has held positions as a Translator and a Brigade Coordinator, and is now an Accountant for the International Team.

Throughout his career, Josue has worked for other nonprofit organizations such as Montaña de Luz and Sociedad Amigos de los Niños. After an an Internship at Banco Atlántida, one of the largest banks in Honduras, he realized that numbers could be play an important role in his life, and help him have a greater impact in the service of others.

When he’s not crunching numbers, Josue is also excited about music, painting, history, and astronomy. His passion for photography has prompted him to venture into this world full of colors, nuances, and perspectives. For him, it is one more way of communicating something that he considers important in his life. Josue is currently applying for a Master in Business Administration.

Francis Fonseca

Accountant

Global Brigades

Francis Fonseca

Francis joined the international accounting team in November 2019. She is currently finishing her university degree in accounting and she is excited for the opportunity to learn and grow with Global Brigades as her first professional work experience. Beyond the hands-on learning as she finishes her degree, Francis is excited to be part of a team that executes community and health goals in many parts of the world. In her free time, Francis enjoys spending time with family, visiting new places, reading and listening to music.

Carlos Rodriguez

Accountant

Global Brigades

Carlos Rodriguez

Carlos is a member of Global Brigades’ international accounting team, based in Honduras.  He began working with Global Brigades in 2012, where he helped to organize the pharmacy, and has also worked in the compounds.  Carlos loves being a part of the mission of GB. He is particularly inspired by the leadership of the community health workers, basic sanitation committees, and cajas rurals, and how they seize the opportunity given to them to develop their communities.

Carlos earned his degree in the Instituto German Gmeiner, and loves spending time with his family.

 

Nancy Lagos

Accountant

Global Brigades

Nancy Lagos

Nancy has been a member of Global Brigades accounting team since January 2021. She studied Public Accounting and Finance at UNAH, and also has a diploma in Management and Strategic Planning from UNITEC. Nancy began her career working as an accountant for an office supplies company, and is delighted to bring her experience to Global Brigades.  Nancy loves working for an NGO, and never imagined working in an international organization that spans several countries. She is currently focused on accounting for Global Brigades Ghana and Kiva lending, and loves the professional development that GB has to offer.

Nancy’s favorite way to pass the time is with her family, namely her daughter, mother, and husband. She loves teaching her daughter new things, like dancing, singing, and painting. She also loves eating, and watching shows with her family!

This DONATION is non-refundable

This DONATION is non-refundable Global Brigades, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Your donation will be used to further Global Brigades' mission and will be allocated toward the program you selected. This donation will not be utilized to fulfill a chapter or a volunteer's fundraising goal. Read Global Brigades, Inc's full Donation Refund Policy here.

Looking to donate to support a volunteer's fundraising goal? Find their Global Brigades Chapter by searching our Chapters map and then selecting their upcoming brigade. If you need help finding their chapter, you can ask the volunteer to send you their brigade's specific website link or you can contact us.

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