Lisa Meadowcroft
Executive Director

Lisa oversees the day-to-day execution of the Wells Mountain Initiative’s vision and development goals. Her career is inextricably linked with what she believes in: advancing social justice, gender equity, education and poverty alleviation. She has served for more than twenty-five years in senior resource mobilization, communications and management positions at several organizations including USA for UNHCR, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, AMREF Health Africa and the International Rescue Committee. Lisa’s favorite motto is an African proverb: “if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”

Elizabeth Ngonyo Murimi
Education Manager

Elizabeth manages the WMI scholarship program and scholar programs. She has an expansive professional background in scholarship management. In addition to 15 years of program management and administration experience stemming from roles held at the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology, Cooperative Bank Foundation, Rikolto (Vredeseilanden) East Africa, Help Self Help Centre, Kickstart International and Safaricom Ltd. Elizabeth holds a MBA in Strategic Management from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, a Bachelor of Agribusiness Management from Egerton University and a Diploma in Management of Information Systems from Kenya College of Accountancy.

Nicole Schmitz
Chief Operating Officer

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.

Bonny Mark Alinga

Community Development Grants Coordinator

Bonny Mark has significant grant management experience as a three-time beneficiary of the WMI Community Development Grant program which were pivotal in establishing and expanding Nissi High School in his home community. The secondary school currently enrolls 178 students and employs 26. Bonny Mark is also the founder of a thriving business and an NGO dedicated to supporting women, orphans, and vulnerable children. His extensive leadership experience includes many roles with Rotary International, including Regional Grants Support Officer for Eastern Uganda. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialization in human resource management from Bugema University and will complete his masters of business administration from Uganda Christian University in 2023.

Rachel Haddad
Development and Communications Manager

Rachel comes to Wells Mountain Initiative with an abiding belief in the power of education and bottom-up community transformation, as well as a diversity of professional experiences. She is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University (’07) with a dual bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Social & Cultural History. After graduation Rachel served as a Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer in Ukraine from 2009-2011 and got her first “taste” of international humanitarian support during that time. Consequently Rachel pursued an MBA at Seton Hill University (’13) and began her non-profit career shortly after graduation. Rachel brings experience in Grant Writing & Fundraising, Public Relations, Communications, and Program Development. In her free time Rachel enjoys cooking, reading, running, traveling, and spending time with her beautiful family.

Success Odoemenam Eugene

Leadership Skills & Development Coordinator

Success is driven to support the professional development of others. She is also passionate about revolutionizing healthcare and lifestyle practices of young people and is currently in the start-up phase of De-Bloom Medicare. Success served on the Global Advisory Board and has held the position of Regional Coordinator for West Africa. She is also a recipient of a Community Development Seed Grant which supports patients who are screened and diagnosed cervical cancer to be seen by specialists for early treatment. As the Leadership Skills and Development Coordinator, Success designs leadership skills opportunities for scholars throughout the world and actively supports the development team. She graduated with a degree in biological sciences from the University of Port Harcourt in 2021.

Maria Hoaglund
Director of Human Resources and Finance

Maria manages the finances for Wells Mountain Initiative as well as the human resources for U.S. employees. Her career spans more than three decades working for non-profits, community foundations, marketing corporations and manufacturing companies. She enjoys both the financial and the employee engagement side of her work and believes the best place to work is where every employee knows exactly how their position helps to move the organization’s mission forward. “When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” – Simon Sinek

Mala Deep Upadhaya

Asia & Oceania Regional Coordinator

Mala Deep Upadhaya is eager to assist WMI Scholars throughout his region and has supported the WMI Nepal Fellowship in their continued development. He also works as an independent consultant for several national and international organizations on data visualization, analysis, and web development projects. He is currently engaged in research which integrates methodologies from data visualization, human-computer interaction, machine learning, visual analytics, and data mining to tackle social context issues. Mala completed his bachelors studies in computer science from Kathmandu University in 2020 and is currently working on his masters.

Joyce Shikuku

East Africa Regional Coordinator

Joyce has 10+ years of experience in social behavioral research and works full-time with KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Program. Joyce has served as a WMI Kenya Fellowship leader, implemented a WMI COVID-19 Response Grant and has been a Community Development Seed Grant awardee. She is the founder of the 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. She graduated with a degree in development studies from Mount Kenya University in 2019.

Phoeby Musonda
Central & Southern Africa Regional Coordinator

Phoeby is a strong leader and advocate providing representation and opportunity for young women and girls within her region. Her background within the nonprofit sector focuses on international development and the eradication of gender based violence. She currently works as consultant and trainer of gender based violence prevention and management and child protection. She previously worked as the operations and development manager for Freely in Hope in Zambia, a nonprofit organization that focuses on advocacy through education and leadership development for survivors of sexual violence and with Women and Law in Southern Africa supporting women and children’s socio-economic rights. Phoeby is a co-founder of Building Resilience Helping You Thrive Foundation; an organization that provides social services to survivors of gender based violence. She graduated with a bachelor of laws degree from the Zambian Open University.

Dr. Isaac Yeboah

West Africa Regional Coordinator

Isaac is a trained physician and currently works in the Department of Surgery at the Eastern Regional Hospital in Ghana. He is interested in pursuing continued studies in public health and is an advocate for improving health conditions, working to influence health policy at the local and nation level. One way he accomplishes this is through the Bold Step Foundation, a youth-led organization which he founded in 2020 that promotes adolescent sexual and reproductive health education in rural and deprived communities. Isaac served on the WMI Global Advisory Board for two years and is currently the President of the WMI Ghana Fellowship. He graduated with a medicine and surgery degree from the University of Health & Allied Sciences and has a certificate in Water and Sanitation from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.


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 10 hours a month and serves a two year term.

Purity Jangaya
Student Scholar 

Purity’s journey as a WMI Student Scholar pursuing a BSc. in Computer Science at the University of Nairobi in Kenya has been fueled by her passion for using technology to empower individuals and communities. She took the initiative to establish a community tech hub called Slum Tech, where she teaches web development to the youth in her community, demonstrating her commitment to making a positive impact through technology. Through her participation in the Global Mentorship Initiative supported by WMI, Purity recognized the profound impact of mentorship on personal and professional growth. This experience further strengthened her belief in the power of mentorship as a transformative tool. As a member of the GAB, Purity envisions collaborating with her fellow board members to drive the success of initiatives within GAB, especially the mentorship program. Her goal is to contribute to the launch and success of the program by ensuring that all student scholars receive mentoring from graduate scholars at least once before they graduate. Leveraging her technological expertise, Purity aims to develop applications that streamline and automate the mentorship process, creating a seamless experience for all participants.

Sarah Umukoro
Graduate Scholar

Sarah Umukoro is a WMI Graduate Scholar. She is a recent graduate who majored in Educational Psychology, Guidance and Counseling at the University of Port Harcourt. Her Journey as a WMI Scholar was driven by her passion to create and support the long-term mental and emotional well-being of young people. She is also intentional about personal growth and community building. Sarah had served in her university campus fellowship as an academic coordinator, with the aim of building a community of resilient and driven young people who prioritize the pursuit of academic excellence. She volunteered at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital’s medical social services department and helped improve health care services for the needy. As a GAB member, Sarah’s goal is to build a strong support structure for WMI scholars, as well as to stimulate and influence the active engagement of scholars in the educative webinar series.

Liz Josiah
Graduate Scholar 

Liz Josiah is inspired by youth leadership and driven by a strong belief in the transformative power of local resources to effect positive change in both individual lives and the broader environment. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Community Development from Daystar University in Kenya in 2022. With a specialization in Gender and Development, Liz currently serves as a Program Officer, where she actively contributes to the integration of gender perspectives into development initiatives aimed at uplifting communities. Moreover, she is a co-founder of Tujiinue, a social program dedicated to providing enterprise development training to youth, equipping them with essential employability and business skills while simultaneously promoting sustainable practices to combat climate change. Liz served within the WMI Kenya Fellowship as the WMI Assistant Mentorship Coordinator. As a Global Advisory Board Member, Liz is committed to offering mentorship opportunities that foster profound connections within the WMI Scholar community.

Norman Mutsetse
Student Scholar 

Norman Takudzwa Mutsetse, is a final-year student in Fuels and Energy Engineering at Chinhoyi University of Technology in Zimbabwe. Norman is deeply committed to advancing sustainable energy solutions, and as a WMI Student Scholar, he is inspired to pursue a Master’s degree in Electrical Power Engineering following his undergraduate studies. Alongside his dedication to community service, he actively participates in the WMI Zimbabwe Fellowship group and volunteers his time and skills in community projects and outreaches. As a member of the WMI Global Advisory Board, Norman aims to ensure that other scholars receive crucial support and mentorship for their academic and professional endeavors.

Niraja Bhitrikoti
Student Scholar

Niraja Bhitrikoti is a WMI Student Scholar currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in Business Administration at Kathmandu University in Nepal. She envisions working in areas of leadership, financial empowerment, business consulting and social entrepreneurship once she completes her studies. She believes in leading by example and has worked on various advocacy campaigns. On a personal level, she finds comfort in the pages of books and loves exploring her thoughts and feelings through writing. On the Global Advisory Board, she aims to champion the interests of both existing and prospective scholars, striving to create positive experiences where all scholars develop a deep sense of belonging and connection to the WMI community. Likewise, she finds it significant to create a platform where interaction among scholars is not only limited to their own region but also extended to scholars from other regions.

Ernest Cudjoe Anorbor
Student Scholar

Ernest Cudjoe Anorbor is a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) student at the University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ho, Ghana. He is currently serving as the President of the WMI Ghana Fellowship. He also serves as the Vice President of Rotaract Club of University of Health and Allied Sciences, the Lead Organiser of TEDxUHAS. He is passionate about revolutionizing healthcare; hence, he founded Satis Medica, which is a startup that focuses on chronic disease care management and also digitizing medical supply for home healthcare. Ernest is driven by a genuine passion for bringing people together, fostering connections, and building a sense of community within a group and as a member of the GAB, his aim is to promote entrepreneurial collaboration initiatives among WMI Scholar populations from different regions to collaborate on business ventures, startups, or social enterprises.

Acqueline Niyomahoro
Student Scholar

Acqueline Niyomahoro is a dedicated leader and advocate committed to fostering a positive change in her community. She is an active member of the WMI Rwanda Fellowship and has served on its board in 2023. Currently she is pursuing a Bachelor of Dental Surgery at the University of Rwanda. Acqueline is passionate about improving her community’s health and employing education for social impact and development through volunteering. She is enthusiastic about youth empowerment and strongly believes in the power of education towards development; which encourages her to actively engage in advocacy against school drop out in Rwanda. As a GAB member, Acqueline is interested in supporting the mentorship programs for both the WMI Student and Graduate Scholars thereby elevating scholars’ knowledge which is crucial for their personal and professional development. She also aims at creating strong networking and collaboration in the WMI Scholars’ community at all levels.

Daniel Femi
Student Scholar

Daniel Femi is a WMI Student Scholar studying Optometry at the University Of Benin. Daniel is a 2022 beneficiary of the Educate Your Own grant and served as thе Communications Officеr for WMI’s Educatе Your Own campaign, a fundraising initiativе lеd by currеnt WMI Studеnts and Graduatе Scholars. Hе lеvеragеs his еxpеrtisе in communication and nеtworking to advocatе for a zеro-dropout ratе among studеnts facing financial challеngеs. In addition to his academic studies, Daniel is an advocate for eye health for under-served communities in Nigeria and has collaborated with specialists to advance effective eye care services. He is a Millennium Campus Network Fellow, Clinton Global Initiative alumni and a member of the R.E.T.I.N.A. Initiative, a youth-led non-governmental organization whose mission is to reduce avoidable blindness and promote eye health. With experience in project management and stakeholder engagement, Daniel aims to help implement scholar-led projects and foster collaboration among scholars.


Dr. Hellen Kihoro

Medical Officer, Kenya

Mariam Sulleiman

Engineering Graduate, Nigeria

William Alira

Agriculture Graduate, Uganda Martyrs University, South Sudan

Alpha Bangura

Sierra Leone, Executive Director, Sustainable Education Africa

Charles Uwambajimana

Rwanda, Pharmacy Graduate

Dr. Melisa Bhebe

Zimbabwe, Medical Doctor

Success Odoemenam Eugene

Nigeria, Leadership Skills & Development Coordinator​

Brian Juma Omala

Kenya, Executive Director, BoldStep Initiative

Moisés Gutiérrez

Medical Student, Autonomous University of Nicaragua

Raj Rauniyar

Graduate Scholar, Nepal

Isaac Yeboah

Ghana, Medical Doctor, Eastern Regional Hospital

Jawaria Shahzad

Pakistan, Biotechnology Graduate

Dr. Ephranzia Chao Malindi

Kenya, Radiologist Specialist

Sujan Gautam

Nepal, Graduate Student, Erasmus Mundus emPLANT

Thomas Servodzi

Ghana, Finance Manager, Asante Kotoko Sporting Club

Jeremiah Thoronka

Sierra Leone, Graduate Student, Durham University


The Medical Scholar Board is composed of WMI Scholars who are university students or professionals within the field of medicine and healthcare. The board’s mission is to strengthen support of the growing WMI Medical Scholar community through professional development activities, networking events and the sharing of relevant resources. Each member dedicates 10 hours a month and services for a one year leadership term.

Dr. Onesai Chiguvare

Onesai Chiguvare is a WMI Graduate Scholar and currently works as the head of managed care at the First Mutual Health Company in Zimbabwe. She obtained her bachelor’s in medicine and surgery at the University of Zimbabwe in 2017 and is particularly passionate about sexual and reproductive health, wellness, and wellbeing. Onesai served as a government medical officer in a provincial hospital where she developed a strong passion for health provision to the underprivileged in society as a way to facilitate future societal growth. Onesai then went on to complete a masters in sexual and reproductive medicine from the University of South Wales and is currently finishing her MBA at the University of Zimbabwe. She has become a notable advocate for accessible and affordable fertility care in her nation with the All Things Fertility medical business. Her mission on the WMI Medical Scholar Board is to create professional development activities and networking events.

Morie Koroma
Sierra Leone

Morie is a medical student at the University of Sierra Leone College of Medicine and Allied Health. At university he has served as the public relations officer for the student union government. Morie was part of the founding group of the WMI Sierra Leone Fellowship and has held the positions of outreach coordinator and secretary general. As a way to give back to the community, he led a team that conducted awareness campaigns about COVID-19 in the western districts of Sierra Leone. Morie was introduced to the idea of Global Health Strengthening, an approach that teaches young people about health in a way that is both scientifically sound and relevant to their area, and then incorporates community service to help them become leaders. Serving on the Medical Scholar Board he will be charged with instituting a monthly email blast promoting opportunities and providing oversight for medical and health focused community development grant applications.

Dr. Yvette Nkurunziza

Yvette Nkurunziza joined WMI in 2018 and graduated from the University of Rwanda with a bachelor of medicine and surgery with honors in 2021. Yvette currently works as an intern medical doctor at Rwamagana Provincial Hospital. In university, she had various leadership positions including the vice guild president of the College of Medicine and Health Science. Yvette served as a leader of Rwanda Girl Guides Association, touching the lives of many young women, and as a prenatal health project leader at Rwanda Village Community Promoters. She was a Wavumbuzi Entrepreneurship Program ambassador with the Allan and Gill Gray Philanthropy and is a certified young leader by Young African Leaders Initiative. Yvette has a strong interest in career guidance, mentorship and intergenerational experience sharing. As a board member she will be leading professional experience sharing events.


Gwenael Apollon

Secretary General, YMCA Haiti

Didier Blesin

International Training Consultant & Coach

Rick Claydon

CEO Emeritus, Ridgewood YMCA

Jag Dalal

Management, IT Expert and Public Speaker

Bob Dill


Kenneth Forester

CEO, Meridian Aviation Holding Co.

Paul Jeruchimowitz

Senior Managing Director, Accenture

Rick Kushel

Co-Founder & General Partner, Fintop Capital

Christopher Lutz

Executive Director Wealth Management

Lisa Meadowcroft

Executive Director, WMI

Gail Nystrom

Founder & Executive Director, Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation

Afolabi Ogunnaike

Director of Corporate Strategy, Cross River

Dr. Mary Clark Romney

Retired, Medical Doctor

Margaret Rush

Chief Scientific Officer, Gryphon Scientific

Thomas Wells

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


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

President & CEO, YMCA of Greater Rochester

Seta Nazarian

Nonprofit Organizational Management Consultant

Denis Salamone​

Retired CEO, Hudson City Savings Bank

Leanne Tingay​

Senior Associate for Programs, Orton Family Foundation​

Carol Vitz Wells

Operations Director, Bristol Suites & Vermont Marketplace

Philip Wells

Architect, Wells Architecture

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