STAFF

Jordyn Wells
Co-founder and Executive Director

As WMI’s Managing Director, Jordyn oversees the day-to-day execution of the WMI’s vision, development of internal operational systems and planning and implementation of new programming.

Previously, Jordyn worked for Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO), a Kenya-based NGO, from 2011-2016, most recently as the Chief Program Officer, where she led the design and implementation of SHOFCO’s operational, financial, and evaluation systems. Prior to SHOFCO, Jordyn served as the Chief Program Officer at DoSomething.org.  As DoSomething.org’s Chief Program Officer, Jordyn provided young people with the funds and training to start and grow their own community projects and nonprofit organizations.

Jordyn has a BA in cultural anthropology from Bard College and a MSW, with a concentration in nonprofit management and international social welfare, from Columbia University.

Nicole Schmitz
Assistant Director

Since 2013, Nicole has served in numerous roles at WMI, working to expand the WMI Fellowship network, Community Development Grant program, Scholar Ambassador program, Global Advisory Board, and Scholar Review Board. She also leads the planning and logistical coordination of Dream Big Conferences and the WMI Academy and provides operational support across the organization.

Previously, Nicole served as the International Student Advisor and Scholar Services Coordinator at Mercer University and as a Program Assistant for Project Harmony International.  

Nicole earned her BS in international business from Champlain College.

 

 Lisa McLaughlin Wyncoop
Education Manager 

Lisa manages our education programs, which involves communicating directly with our student scholars and assisting them in their academics and community service, as well as overseeing the scholarship application process. She helps plan and creates content for the WMI Academy. She also works with the WMI Global Advisory Board as staff liaison.

She has worked extensively with international students at the secondary and tertiary education levels. A former associate professor at Columbia University in New York City, she has taught English language skills to international students and refugees living in the United States, as well as teaching English as a foreign language in Spain.

Lisa graduated from Boston College with a double major in English and philosophy and has a master’s degree in teaching English as a second language from St. Michael’s College.

 Alpha Pokharel
Asia & Oceania Regional Coordinator 

Alpha is a WMI graduate scholar of 2016 with bachelor’s degree in Nursing Science with the help of the WMI scholarship. After which she worked for more than three years to improve the Maternal and Neonatal health of the women and children  as a Nurse in the Ministry of Health and Population, Nepal. She was later awarded a scholarship under the Asian Development Bank/Japanese Scholarship to study for a Master’s degree in Community and Global Health at the University of Tokyo; in which she graduated in March of 2021.

During her stay in Japan, Alpha worked as a Research Assistant to improve healthcare access among Nepali immigrants. She also did a Research Consultancy with the World Bank in Malaysia focusing on Universal Health Coverage. She is currently working on research projects related to Maternal and Child Health, and Health Services.

Justine Jackson
Communications Coordinator

Justine is in charge of designing and creating our communication materials. 

Prior to joining WMI, Justine has worked both in the nonprofit sector as a Learning Coordinator at Northlands Job Corps and a School Director for a Ghana-based trade school, and in the arts sector as an Events Coordinator in NYC,  the Director of a commercial gallery and Founder of Little Horse Arts, youth theatre and arts programming. When not working for WMI, Justine co-owns and co-manages Northern Daughters Gallery in Vergennes, Vermont.

Justine has a BA in international studies from Middlebury College.

Fred Okech
Scholar Programs Administrative Assistant

Fred liaises with additional staff members to help with scholar-related administrative duties. In this role, he helps facilitate enhanced organization and increases efficiency for the WMI team. 

Fred has broad work experience in the IT sector and has provided administrative support to different institutions in Kenya. He has an extensive volunteer history beginning in 2018 at Glory Missionary Girls Centre in Kenya, a secondary school that offers refuge, support, and education for young girls that have escaped female genital mutilation in their communities.

He is currently a WMI Student Scholar scheduled to graduate in 2022 from Jomo Kenyatta University in Nairobi, with a bachelor’s degree in business and information technology. Upon graduation, Fred plans to start a CBO that will empower underprivileged families financially and also provide opportunities for promising young people to achieve their full potential.

Alma Nishtar
Development Manager

Alma is responsible for fundraising and donor communications. In additional she provides administrative and project management direction to both the development and communications teams.

Prior to joining WMI, Alma worked in electoral politics and has experience with campaign organization, fundraising, project management and policy development. She is also a volunteer fundraiser for her alma mater and is active in the nonprofit sphere.

Alma earned an AB in Environmental Studies and History at Mount Holyoke College.

Phoeby Musonda
Central & Southern Africa Regional Coordinator

Phoeby is Regional Coordinator for Central & Southern Africa and lives in Zambia. Her professional background is in the nonprofit sector, with experience in international development. She works as operations and development manager in the Zambia office of Freely in Hope, a nonprofit organization that focuses on advocacy through education and leadership development for survivors of sexual violence. 

Before that she worked with Women and Law in Southern Africa, an organization that focuses on women’s and children’s socio-economic rights. She is a 2017 WMI Graduate Scholar with a bachelor of law degree from the Zambian Open University.

Bridget Sullivan

Office Manager

Bridget provides administrative support from the WMI office in Vermont. In this role, she assists the development and communications teams.

Bridget comes to WMI with a strong customer service background, having worked in various administrative positions from insurance to newspaper circulation. Her professional background also includes work in early education.

Bridget has an associates of arts degree from the Community College of Vermont, but she attributes much of her education to be from the school of life. Her compassion for people and ability to perform a multitude of administrative tasks are among the many attributes that she brings to WMI.

Success Odoemenam Eugene

West Africa Regional Coordinator

Success is the Regional Coordinator for the West Africa region and resides in Nigeria. She graduated with a degree in biological sciences from the University of Port Harcourt in 2021 and is currently expanding her knowledge in cancer studies through clinical training in the management of pediatric and adult cancers, histopathology, and radiology at a national referral hospital in Katsina state, Nigeria.

Success served a two-year term as a Global Advisory Board Member from 2019 – 2022 and co-led the development of the scholar mentorship program. She actively advocates for young women to explore STEM fields and tech careers. As a Regional Coordinator for West Africa, Success plans to create opportunities to harness the potential of WMI Scholars in her region, increasing their professional visibility, thereby increasing donor participation to ensure more sponsorship for needy students in West Africa.

Joyce Shikuku

East Africa Regional Coordinator

Joyce, from Kenya, is our East Africa Regional Coordinator. She graduated with a degree in development studies from Mount Kenya University in 2019. She has over ten years’ experience in social behavioral research, working with Kenya AIDS Vaccine Initiative-Institute of Clinical Research as a study coordinator.

She has served as a WMI Kenya Fellowship leader and was awarded a WMI COVID-19 Response Grant and a Community Development Seed Grant. Joyce is the founder of Giving Back Initiative, an organization that empowers underprivileged adolescent girls and young women in remote parts of Kenya on sexual and reproductive health management, working to reduce school dropouts of young women by introducing reusable, affordable and environmentally friendly sanitary pads to address the menstrual health gap. In her work she focuses on gender and social inclusion.

Bonny Mark Alinga

Community Development Grants Coordinator

Bonny Mark joined WMI as a scholar in 2011 and graduated from Bugema University with a degree in business administration with a focus on human resource management; he also has a professional certificate in computer networking and will soon complete a master’s degree in business administration from Uganda Christian University.

As our Community Development Grants Coordinator, Bonny Mark brings his experience of having engaged in many WMI programs. He was a founding leader of the WMI Uganda Fellowship in 2014 as well as being awarded two Community Development Seed Grants and a Growth Grant to support the creation and expansion of the Nissi College School in his home community, which he created from the ground up.

Bonny Mark is the founder of a successful business, has registered an NGO supporting women, orphans and vulnerable children, and also created a secondary school. Most recently he has served as a Regional Grants Support Officer for Eastern Uganda with Rotary International.

GLOBAL ADVISORY BOARD

The Global Advisory Board is comprised of WMI Scholars who are invested in the scholar experience and exemplify the values of partnership and community leadership. Board members provide insight, direction and recommendations for the growth of our organization and are integral to ongoing program development and implementation.  Each member works 20 hours a month and serves a two year term.

William Alira
Agriculture Student, Uganda Martyrs University 
South Sudan

William Alira, a WMI Student Scholar from South Sudan, is dedicated to community service, having started as a volunteer secondary school teacher in 2011 after finishing his high school studies. This experience motivated him to obtain a diploma in both education and agriculture, and he is now studying for his bachelor of science in agriculture at Uganda Martyrs University. He has been employed at various organizations as a humanitarian worker, most recently as a project team leader and is deeply involved in food security and agriculture issues in South Sudan. William’s hope as a Global Advisory Board member is to mentor and coach fellow scholars in effective and efficient implementation of Community Development Grants.

Dr. Hellen Kihoro
Medical Officer
Kenya

Hellen Gathoni Kihoro is a WMI Graduate Scholar and currently a medical officer intern in Kenya. She studied at Mount Kenya University and obtained her bachelor’s degree in medicine and surgery in 2021. Hellen is passionate about community empowerment, achieved by providing necessary information to change attitudes and encourage positive behavioral change. She also loves mentorship and helping people walk the path she has walked, providing advice and guidance to them along the way. During her time on the board, she intends to develop a strong support system for WMI Scholars both in local chapters and globally.

Moisés Gutiérrez
Medical Student, Autonomous University of 
Nicaragua

Moisés Gutiérrez is a medical student at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, originally from a rural community in the southeast of Nicaragua. After his secondary education he worked in the Ministry of Education as an English teacher in three rural schools. He has been keenly interested in supporting social causes, and began to collaborate closely with the Peace Corps and later with the Red Cross. He twice attended the National Young Leaders Camp in Nicaragua and was a mentor at the CHACA National Camp, which is focused on gender equity and sex education. He is a former SUSI Scholar for Student Leaders of the Western Hemisphere of the United States Department. He joined the Global Advisory Board with an interest in supporting and amplifying the voices of WMI’s Spanish-speaking scholars.

Alpha Bangura
Global Challenges Graduate 
Sierra Leone

Alpha Bangura, a WMI Graduate Scholar from Sierra Leone, is a public policy, education, climate action, and youth skills development enthusiast. Alpha received a bachelor of arts degree with honors in global challenges from the African Leadership University in Rwanda in 2021. He works as a project lead in the office of the mayor of Freetown. He is founder & executive director of Sustainable Education Africa, a skills and talent development consulting firm. Alpha also works as a teaching assistant and course designer at the Institute of Public Administration and Management in Sierra Leone. One goal for him as a Global Advisory Board member is to strengthen WMI’s capacity to create personal and professional development opportunities for scholars.

Jawaria Shahzad
Biotechnology Graduate
Pakistan

Jawaria graduated in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology from the University of Karachi. Having worked as a research associate at a local research facility to find a potential treatment through natural means for liver cancer, she is currently looking for new opportunities where she can help her community grow. She has worked towards educating local children because she believes that education empowers the people to be able to help themselves in the future, and in turn, their community. As a board member, Jawaria wants to work towards a successful mentorship program that will help students achieve their goals.

Isaac Yeboah
Medical Student, University of Health & Allied Sciences, Ghana

Isaac is a medical student from the University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ghana. He is active on campus and has served in several leadership positions such as the curator of TEDxUHAS, president of the National Union of Ghana Students and the chief justice on the Student Representative Council. Projects he is involved in include the One Thousand Sanitary Pad Project, which seeks to distribute free sanitary pads to girls in low-income communities. Isaac hopes to develop a career in public health with a focus on global epidemiology. He is passionate to bring new ideas that will help WMI Scholars in their chosen fields, most especially in the areas of volunteerism and mentorship.

Mariam Sulleiman
Engineering Graduate
Nigeria

Mariam is a final year student at the Federal University of Technology Minna, majoring in electrical and electronic engineering. She co-founded Females in Clean Energy Foundation and serves as secretary of the foundation, the goal of which is geared towards realizing gender equality and women’s empowerment as well as increasing access to affordable and reliable renewable energy in rural communities in Nigeria. Currently, she works as a research assistant at Advanced Engineering Innovation Research Group. She is the first female president of WMI Nigeria Fellowship. As a board member, she is most interested in promoting the success of WMI by strengthening the relationship between scholars of different countries through a cultural immersion series program.

Charles Uwambajimana
Pharmacy Student, University of Rwanda
Rwanda

Charles, a WMI Scholar since 2019, is a pharmacy student at the University of Rwanda. With an overall goal of improving living conditions in underserved communities, Charles has volunteered at and held leadership positions in different students-led organizations at his university, such as Rwanda Pharmaceutical Students’ Association and Rwanda Village Community Promoters. Charles is co-founder and currently serves as president of SaGE Pharmily, an organization that promotes health and empowers young people. He also volunteers at Youth Service Organization, which focuses on skills development for youth. As a board member, Charles will work to enhance communication and collaboration of WMI Scholars from different fellowships.

FORMER GLOBAL ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS

Dr. Melisa Bhebe

Zimbabwe, Medical Doctor

Success Odoemenam Eugene

Nigeria, WMI West Africa Regional Coordinator

Brian Juma Omala

Kenya, Graduate Student, McGill University

Jeremiah Thoronka

Sierra Leone, Graduate Student, Durham University

Dr. Ephranzia Chao Malindi

Kenya, Radiologist Specialist

Sujan Gautam

Nepal, Graduate Student, Erasmus Mundus emPLANT

Thomas Servodzi

Ghana, Finance Manager, Asante Kotoko Sporting Club

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Gwenael Apollon

Secretary General, YMCA Haiti

Didier Blesin

International Training Consultant & Coach

Rick Claydon

CEO Emeritus, Ridgewood YMCA

Jag Dalal

Speaker and Management, IT and Outsourcing Expert

Laurent Desmangles

Managing Director & Senior Partner,
Boston Consulting Group

Bob Dill

CEO, R2D2 LLC

Kenneth Forester

CEO, Meridian Air

Rick Kushel

Co-Founder & General Partner, Fintop Capital

Christopher Lutz

Senior VP of Investments

Gail Nystrom

Founder & Executive Director, Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation

Dr. Mary Clark Romney

Retired, Medical Doctor

Thomas Wells

Founding Partner, Wells, Jaworski & Liebman
& Founder & Chairman, WMI

Jordyn Wells

Co-Founder & Executive Director, WMI

ADVISORY BOARD

Marianne Dill

Retired Director of Operations, The Rink

Brent Edmonds

President and Founder, Edmonds Contracting

Susan Hunt

Occupational Therapist

Bob Jones

CEO Emeritus, Children's Aid and Family Services

Ernie Lamour

CEO, Ridgewood YMCA

Seta Nazarian

Nonprofit Organizational Management Consultant

Denis Salamone​

Senior VP of Investments

Leanne Tingay​

Senior Associate for Programs, Orton Family Foundation​

Carol Vitz Wells

Operations Director, Bristol Suites & Vermont Marketplace

Philip Wells

Architect, Wells Architecture