Washington DC Portal Curator & Associate Portal Program Coordinator
Marisa DeSalvio has worked in educational institutions, museums, and design agencies for the past five years. She is passionate about finding the intersections between education, technology, and great design. Through her time as an English Second Language Teacher in Qatar, she experienced firsthand the transformative power of conversation between different cultures and how connection is the key to understanding.
Omid Habibi is a professor of computer science and the director of ADIB. He single=handedly brought the first Portal to Afghanistan and has helped secure the expansion of Portals in his country and beyond. He is currently studying computer science in Berlin.
Lindsay Mackenzie is a communications specialist and photo & multimedia journalist from Canada, currently based between Erbil and Beirut, working for a range of news and NGO clients throughout the Middle East and North Africa. She teaches photography for National Geographic Student Expeditions and create radio documentaries for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She has an BA in Geography and an MA in International Multimedia Journalism and has completed a journalism safety training courses at Columbia University and through the UN in Iraq. She is also the founder and curator of the popular Instagram feed @everydaymiddleeast.
Herat Portal Director & Portal Ambassador
Khaled was born in the Badghis province of Afghanistan and raised in Herat. He is an alumni of the Youth Exchange and Study program in the U.S. Khaled is currently studying medicine at Herat University. He will be a Medical Doctor in a year. He is also a professional simultaneous translator and holds a diploma in business and entrepreneurship.
Portal Ambassador & Kigali Portal Director
Judith is the founder and director of Kurema, Kureba, Kwiga, and a public health and educational systems specialist. Her work across East and West Africa and the Caribbean focuses on the roles of new technologies and creativity for development. She received an interdisciplinary BA in Anthropology, Community Building, and Photography, and holds a Master of International Affairs and a Master of Public Health from Columbia University. Judith and the Kigali Portal are supported by hosts Olivier Dushimimana, Arlette Umwari, and Yves Banza.
El Progreso Portal Curator
Amanda Hall is the Development Coordinator of Oye Honduras.
Milwaukee Portal Director
Dennis Walton is head of the Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative. He is a community organizer from Harambee who has been involved in numerous projects over the year, including the making of the film Milwaukee 53206.
Milwaukee Portal Director
After graduating from Harvard University with a degree in Visual and Environmental Studies Mikal returned home to Milwaukee where he has become a staple in both the art and music scenes. He constantly produces events throughout the city and has performed and exhibited nationally as well.
Through his work as an artist, producer, musician, educator, organizer, event coordinator and placemaking consultant, Mikal strives to creates moments in Milwaukee that are inspiring and inviting.
Brandon Culpepper, Milwaukee native and founder of PeppNation, moved back to his hometown in 2013 after studying and working in marketing and as a professional athlete for a decade. He chose to return in large measure to try to “become part of the solution” to daunting problems within the central city, where he grew up and still lives.
Lily Sarafan is Chief Executive Officer of Home Care Assistance. Under Lily‘s leadership for more than a decade, Home Care Assistance has grown from startup to industry champion and today employs thousands of team members across more than 150 markets. The company is consistently recognized as an employer of choice and best-in-class consumer service, and Lily as a featured expert on digital health and innovation in aging at the White House and global conferences. For her role at the helm of Home Care Assistance, Lily has been honored as Women Health Care Executives 2016 Woman of the Year and Ernst and Young‘s 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year. She holds M.S. and B.S. degrees from Stanford University.