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: www.christophersconsulting.com Email: email@example.com
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.
Genevieve Taylor is Vice President at Global Genesis (www.ggenesis.com ), 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 (www.circadiaone.com). 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.
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.
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.
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.
Wendy Kress is a San Francisco Bay Area attorney and fundraiser. A graduate ofthe University of Michigan and DePaul University College of Law, she has been a prolific volunteer fundraiser since she moved to San Francisco in 1986. In the late 1980’s, she served as the pro bono legal counsel and then chair of DIFFA, the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS. Passionate about food and health, she started “Burrito Day” as a fundraiser at her son’s elementary school in Piedmont, a tradition that continues to this day. A former competitive triathlete, Wendy participated in the California AIDS Ride in 1998 and 1999. She swims on the Walnut Creek Masters swim team and serves on the committee raising funds to renovate the Heather Farm Park swim center. Wendy is currently raising funds for a solar-thermal start-up and serves as an advisor to the Michigan History Project, a non-profit developing a book and documentary about Ann Arbor in the Sixties.
Nancy McAravy graduated from Sonoma State University with a degree in accounting. I have worked in the accounting field for over 30 years specializing in taxation and working with individuals, small business, and trusts. Nancy is passionate about Global Student Embassy’s work, particularly how GSE supports the creation and development of local programs and projects. Nancy is committed to supporting GSE’s fiscal reporting and accounting needs.
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