Board of Directors & Advisory Board

Christopher Szecsey

Christopher Szecsey has over 41 years of international development and humanitarian experience in more than 45 countries worldwide. Mr. Szecsey works as a consultant, trainer, and facilitator with international development organizations, local NGOs, government and multi-lateral agencies. Key areas of consulting expertise include: community-based development; programmatic and organizational capacity development for INGOs, NGOs, & CBOs; multi-stakeholder partnerships/networks; strategic and annual planning; leadership and team development; board development; as well as technical areas such as environmental sustainability through agro-forestry, agriculture, & integrated pest management; non-formal education, health systems development, etc. He also has significant experience and skills in designing and using participatory, interactive, & collaborative learning processes to ensure client and stakeholder engagement and ownership for positive, strength-based change, with such approaches as Appreciative Inquiry, Open Space, etc. Christopher began his international work as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador, worked as a Project Coordinator for the United Nations Development Program in Nepal, and served 9 years as a Country/Field Office Director for Save the Children/US in the Pacific Islands and Indonesia.  Website:  Email:


Ben Gordon

Ben Gordon works in domestic community development finance as an analyst focused on underwriting and portfolio management and analytics. He also provides consulting on budgeting, strategic planning, organization development, leadership and team building issues, and assistance with resumes and cover letters. He has been working with GSE since its founding in 2009, having traveled to Zurite, Peru to assist with the planning and building of the agriculture irrigation canal. He joined its Board of Directors in the spring of 2012. The GSE site in Chacraseca, Nicaragua was his home for several months in 2009 and 2010, shadowing the work of Conchita Montes and the organizations affiliated with her work. He is also an impromptu acrobat, runner, biker, and chef.  Email:


Genevieve Taylor

Genevieve Taylor is Vice President at Global Genesis ( ), an organizational development consulting firm based in Sonoma County, CA where she is a trainer and facilitator.  She is also a partner at CircadiaOne, a change management firm dedicated to guiding enterprises towards sustainability ( As a trainer, Genevieve uses experiential education to deliver training in leadership, communications, time management, conflict resolution, and negotiations.

She received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley in 2002. She is proud to be a fellow of both Leadership Santa Rosa (Class XXI, 2006) and the Leadership Institute of Ecology & The Economy (Fellow 2008).  As a volunteer and social entrepreneur, she co-founded the annual Sustainable Enterprise Conference and the San Francisco Urban Alliance for Sustainability. Recently, she was awarded the 2012 “Green Issues and Opportunities Award from Leadership Santa Rosa and the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce.  Email:

Jasper Oshun

Jasper grew up in Sebastopol and attended Analy High School before going Brown University. In the middle of his college career, he took a semester’s leave to volunteer in Zurite, a rural village in the mountains outside of Cusco, Peru. Living in the land of the Incas, he became fascinated with the relationship between human communities and the surrounding natural resources and decided to pursue a career in geology. After volunteering and traveling through South America for 8 months, he founded GSE with his brother Lucas in August, 2008. Since the fall of 2009, Jasper has been pursuing a PhD in geology and hydrology at UC Berkeley. He is a current board member and trip leader.  Email:

Yasha Mokaram

Yasha Mokaram grew up in Sebastopol, California and graduated from Analy High School in 2002.  In 2007, he graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in Sociology and an emphasis on Global Studies.  His passion for working with young people led him to volunteer with Global Student Embassy, eventually traveling on three different service learning trips abroad with the organization, once as a trip and project leader.  In 2009, he worked as a Director for GSE and is proud to say that he has helped establish a successful and significant international organization.  He currently serves on the Board and brings a great deal of knowledge about the history, direction, and mission of Global Student Embassy.  His enthusiasm for education and youth leadership continue to influence his life as he begins a career teaching high school students this year.  He looks forward to teaching social studies and leading high school students on service learning trips for years to come.  Email:


Lucas Oshun

Lucas Oshun has four years of experience as GSE’s Executive Director and Co-founder. Born and raised in Sebastopol California, Lucas Oshun graduated from University of California Santa Cruz in 2007 with majors in Community Studies and Politics. Lucas’ grandfather Leonard Unger was a former US ambassador to Thailand, Taiwan, and Laos, and stories of his career and efforts to build international community helped inspire travel and the forming of connections with other communities. During his studies, Lucas interned at Global Kids in NYC, where he learned about the importance of discussion based workshop and international relations education for high school students. He has traveled extensively in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Central and South America. Grateful for having had the opportunity to experience different cultures and form friendships around the world, Lucas believes strongly in providing travel, cultural immersion and grassroots organizing opportunities to young people.  Email:


Steve Gomberg

Steve Gomberg is an executive with extensive experience in management, finance and corporate development in entrepreneurial companies. He is currently the managing director for Mondegreen Ventures LLC, an early stage investment firm with a focus on clean technology and alternative energy. Prior to Mondegreen, Steve was the finance director for Asia Biogas Company and one of the five corporate directors of the company. Asia Biogas develops, builds and operates waste to energy power plants in Southeast Asia. Based at the Bangkok headquarters company, he worked frequently with the firm’s subsidiary development companies in The Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Over the course of his career, Steve has been involved in building a number of entrepreneurial businesses as a manager, consultant and financier. He has worked for several beverage firms, including three years as the chief operating officer of Blackstone Winery, whose wine is now one of the top brands in the US. He began his career as an import/export loan officer with Wells Fargo Bank after earning an MBA from The University of California at Berkeley. Email:

Lowell Haky

Lowell Haky is seasoned lawyer with extensive experience in the financial services industry.  Lowell is currently the Chief if Civil and Complex Litigation for Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., where he has managed complex litigation and regulatory enforcement matters for the past 15 years.  Prior to joining Schwab, Lowell practiced securities litigation with Zelle and Larson, LLP, in San Francisco.  Lowell also has significant experience in commercial finance and securitizations.  Lowell obtained a BS in finance from San Diego State University, and a JD from Golden Gate University School of Law, and is a frequent speaker on topics relating to securities litigation and law practice management.  Email:

Advisory Board

Larry Diamond, Stanford University, Director Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law

Lisa Folsom-Ernst, Becoming Independent, Development Director

Christy Pichel, Stuart Foundation, President

Mark Schallert, Doyle and Schallert, Attorney

John Grech, History Teacher, El Molino HS

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