Our partner-driven approach is exemplified by our talented and diverse team. The PartnersGlobal team brings the Partners Way to life, leading positive change and shaping sustainable peace from our Washington, DC office and around the globe.
Our partner-driven approach is exemplified by our talented and diverse team. The PartnersGlobal team brings the Partners Way to life, leading positive change and shaping sustainable peace from our Washington, DC office and around the globe.
Starting in 2008, Julia had the privilege of working as Executive Director for two years at PartnersGlobal under the mentorship of our founder Raymond Shonholtz. She took over as President of the organization in 2010 upon his retirement and feels strongly about carrying on his legacy. Her roots in Portland, Oregon are an important part of her identity, as well as the number of years she spent living and working in Bogota and Belgrade.
Julia has spent her entire career as a mediator, conflict resolver and peacebuilder and brings to the Partners Network a commitment to multi-lateralism, authentic partnership and building bridges with other networks and industries. Trained as a lawyer, she is a collaborative leader who drives the entrepreneurial spirit at PartnersGlobal to continue to grow and adapt as an organization.
Anyone who knows Julia well, knows she loves to bake cookies for her loved ones, will lead any group in song around the piano or campfire and has been accused of being a “pathological optimist.”
To access Julia’s full bio, please click here.
As CFO for PartnersGlobal, John manages Partners‘ finances, including financial strategy planning, management of mitigation of financial risks, record-keeping, financial reporting, and data analysis. He also assists PartnersGlobal on all strategic matters related to budget management, cost analysis, forecasting, and securing the financial health of the programs.
John has extensive experience managing finance, administration, and audit departments in companies with multi-million dollar, multi-year programs. He has a strong history building automated solutions to provide timely decision support. John also has experience developing business metrics and models to use collaboratively with key internal and external executives to make sure goals are reached. John brings experience guiding international finance teams in the design, implementation and evaluation of internal controls to achieve operational objectives, ensure accuracy and reliability of financial information, and ensure compliance with the law.
As a promoter of efficient and effective operations, John is an early adopter of technology that helps improve both work and everyday life.
Nilanka grew up in Columbia, SC except for one year when he went to middle school in his parents’ homeland of Sri Lanka. He has the distinction of being the first DC-based employee after PartnersGlobal moved from our original offices in San Francisco in 2007. He joined us right after graduating with an MPA from George Washington University, working closely with our founder Raymond Shonholtz to help grow that two-person office to the organization we are today.
Nilanka has worn many hats within PartnersGlobal, but his current role entails overseeing the office, donor compliance, and overall operations of the organization. Informally, Nilanka serves as the organization’s historian and continues to maintain strong relationships with all the Partners Network members throughout the world.
In college Nilanka worked as a radio DJ; and, prior to working at PartnersGlobal he has held a variety of jobs, from shelving books to selling rugs. Along the way Nilanka has compiled a library of useless information so should you ever need to know what actor has only appeared in movies that got nominated for best picture he’s your guy.
Bisrat Yohannes is the Deputy Chief Financial Officer at PartnersGlobal with a key role in financial management, financial forecasting and planning, development of relevant financial information, and timely financial reporting. He assists the CFO in developing internal control policies, guidelines, and procedures as well as establishing and maintaining an infrastructure that supports future stable growth and ensure that highest standards of financial integrity are being attained.
Before joining PartnersGlobal, Bisrat worked at Helen Keller International as program finance manager overseeing everyday program financial activities for multimillion-dollar programs funded by USAID and private foundations. He has extensive experience in all aspects of financial management ranging from simple accounting to complex financial management.
Bisrat holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting with more than 15 years of experience. Originally from Ethiopia, he enjoys reading books and playing/watching sport in his free time.
Roselie is Mexican-American born in Germany and raised in California. She made her way to DC initially for graduate school studying International Communications. After spending several years in Central Asia, being an independent consultant, and launching a small business, Roselie found her way to PartnersGlobal through a family friend.
In her dual role with a foot in both the regional teams and the technical support team, she is at the heart of providing strategic planning and oversight for the Latin America programs while also applying lessons learned from the civil society portfolio throughout the organization. She takes the lead on our Civil Society global partnerships with a commitment to organizational resiliency and innovative partnerships in the sector.
Some of her past accomplishments include building a sustainable civil society capacity building program in Central Asia, empowering women social entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia, and building a network of women’s health advocates. Roselie also loves combining her love of theater, travel, and cross-cultural exchanges and previously founded a company called Wanderlust Theater Lab to provoke conversation and understanding.
Solange Bandiaky-Badji is the Senior Director for Sub-Saharan Africa and Women-Peace-Security at PartnersGlobal where she oversees donor-funded programs on access to justice, security sector reform, and peacebuilding.
Prior to joining PartnersGlobal, Solange directed the Africa Program at the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) and led its Gender Justice Program advocating for the forest and land rights of Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and women. She has done consultancy work for United Nations agencies and worked for two years as the regional expert on gender and climate change for the Africa Adaptation Programme (AAP) and the UNDP Gender Team in New York. She has twenty years of combined academic and professional experience in international development in Sub-Saharan Africa promoting local communities’ and women’s rights to resources, including coalition building.
Solange has a Ph.D. from Clark University/Massachusetts in Women’s and Gender Studies. In her dissertation, she analyzed how decentralization reforms and participatory approaches have excluded women from effective participation in natural resource governance. She has published and contributed to research in edited books and peer review journals, as well as coordinated and led the production of major reports in relation to natural resource management, gender, decentralization, climate change, and peacebuilding.
Originally from South Texas, Edith joined PartnersGlobal in August 2019 as the organization’s first Human Resources Leader. Edith received her BA in Political Science and Latin American Studies from Baylor University, and her MA in Public Administration in Human Resources Management and Legal/Judicial Administration from Texas State University. Prior to joining PartnersGlobal, Edith managed the Talent Management and Human Resources functions for large and mid-size corporations across the United States, Mexico, and Canada in industries including real estate, retail, and legal services.
As the organization’s Talent Manager, Edith is responsible for leading senior leadership and management teams in reinforcing strong company culture, creating and leading employee engagement and development programs, and implementing reward and talent management strategies that support the achievement of PartnersGlobal’s mission. Edith’s other areas of responsibility include: talent acquisition, employee relations, health and welfare, safety, organization development and learning, and compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws.
Luis has been part of the Partners Network since 2008, starting his career at our sister organization in Mexico, Centro de Colaboración Cívica (CCC), where he served as a facilitator for complex multi-stakeholder dialogue processes and Director for the Citizen Security and Human Rights portfolio. He joined the PartnersGlobal team in 2015, bringing to the organization a deep level of technical and regional expertise. He has experienced firsthand the power of dialogue and believes deeply in positive conflict transformation.
At PartnersGlobal, Luis oversees Partners’ Civil Society Resilience portfolio as well as the organization’s peacebuilding and democracy-building programs in Latin America and the Caribbean. He is one of the organization’s lead trainers and focal point persons for civil society capacity-building and conflict resolution, providing support to other regional teams and leading different global consultancies. He has a decade of experience designing, implementing, and evaluating multi stakeholder dialogue, negotiation, and consensus-building processes and platforms concerning human rights, access to justice, and human security policies and laws, as well as designing organizational change management processes and supporting civil society organizations to undertake those processes.
Luis earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations from Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas in Mexico City and his Master of Arts in Development Studies with a specialization in Crises, Emergency Interventions, and Development Actions from Université Panthéon – Sorbonne in Paris.
In addition to his work at PartnersGlobal, Luis is an avid reader and chef, as well as an aspiring potter.
Originally from Kenya, Muthoni grew up part of her life in Michigan. As the Director for Sub-Saharan Africa at PartnersGlobal, Muthoni leads Partners work in Anglophone West Africa and the area of accountable governance including anti-corruption, access to justice, and citizen participation. Her role at ParntersGlobal includes expansion into Southern and East Africa.
She comes to Partners with over a decade of experience in the area of democracy and governance. Muthoni has managed a range of democracy assistance programs focused on advocacy and citizen participation, elections observation, women’s political participation, political party and legislative strengthening, and elections observation. Her focus on transparency and accountability issues began at the National Democratic Institute where she was the resident expert on extractive industry governance. Her program portfolio included several countries in East and Southern Africa. In this role, Muthoni provided sought-after perspective on parliamentary oversight of the sector, establishing and expanding this program area and publishing on the topic.
At the Center for International Private Enterprise, Muthoni supported civil society, business and sectoral associations advocate for regulatory reforms to integrate the informal economy and make doing business easier in several African countries namely, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. She had a brief stint in the private sector as a financial analyst conducting sector specific investment risk analysis.
Muthoni earned her Bachelor of Arts in International Business and Finance from Eastern Michigan University and her Master of Arts in African Studies and Conflict Resolution from Howard University. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, being outdoors and putting her passion for interior design to work.
Rasha started her journey with the Partners Network in 2009. She first worked at Partners-Jordan for around eight years and then later joined the PartnersGlobal team at the end of 2019 as the Director for Middle East and North Africa and Civil Society Strengthening.
Rasha found her passion supporting the development of local communities in early 2000. She has worked with civil society organizations and activists around the world to amplify their voices, increase citizen participation in decision-making processes, advocate for human rights, and innovate in creating solutions to social problems.
Rasha is a passionate catalyst for change. She believes she is alive to make a difference in this world and is constantly looking for an opportunity to do so. Outside of her work, Rasha enjoys dancing and teaching Levantine folkloric Dabkeh dance.
Bridget is a native of the Boston area and started working at PartnersGlobal in 2013 as an intern while pursuing her Master of Arts in Latin American Studies at Georgetown University. She previously lived and worked in Maracaibo, Venezuela as a Fulbright Fellow.
As Senior Manager for Business Development, Bridget provides strategic leadership for Partners’ business development efforts. Her role includes developing and leading knowledge management processes, building and sustaining external partnerships, supporting new programmatic and funding opportunities, and coaching and mentoring team members and local partners. Bridget is an experienced trainer and facilitator in English and Spanish and leads PartnersGlobal’s Facilitating Accountability, Integrity, and Resilience approach, which supports local civil society and governments to jointly counter corruption and increase transparency in all aspects of governance. In addition to her official duties, Bridget takes pride in making Partners a better place to work and believes strongly in the power of teamwork, collaboration, and playfulness.
In her free time, she enjoys going on adventures, testing new and ever more elaborate recipes, and pretending that her cat and dog get along.
Jill joined PartnersGlobal in 2019 as the organization’s first Strategic Communications Manager. She comes to the role with a background in development, conflict resolution and human rights and a passion for storytelling. Prior to joining Partners, she served as Strategic Content Manager at the global development organization Creative Associates International, where she led communications strategy and production across Creative’s website, social media, other digital platforms and print, working with and traveling to projects in nearly 30 countries. Before that, she supported the Middle East and North Africa portfolio at Human Rights Watch.
At PartnersGlobal, Jill helps to advance the mission and impact of Partners and its programs by developing and implementing communication strategies and by providing strategic guidance and oversight in marketing, public relations and digital engagement efforts.
She received her M.A. in Conflict Resolution and Human Security from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and her B.A in International Relations from Georgetown University. In her free time, Jill loves cooking, reading and Facetiming her nieces and nephews.
Kara joined PartnersGlobal in 2019 as a Program Manager for the Middle East and North Africa team. Kara comes to the role with a background in development programs implemented in conflict and security fluid environments. Prior to joining Partners, she served as Senior Program Associate for the Political Transitions team at Creative Associates International, where she supported the Nigeria Regional Transition Initiative and the Nigeria Lake Chad Basin USAID Office of Transition Intiaitive projects. Before that, she interned with USAID/OTI supporting the Yemen, Ukraine, and Burma projects.
At PartnersGlobal, Kara oversees three projects in Yemen funded by the U.S. Department of State to support local civil society actors and grassroots ceasefire and reconciliation efforts with the goal of advancing the peace process.
She received her Master of Arts in Peace and Justice Studies with a concentration in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from the Kroc School at the University of San Diego and her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Loyola University. In her free time, Kara loves walking her dog and hosting wine tastings.
Kyle joined the Partners team after three years of work in Liberia and Senegal which focused on capacity building in entrepreneurship, business development and financial management for local community organizations, small businesses, and women’s empowerment associations. He is a co-founder of R3SOLUTE, a Berlin-based non-profit that provides peer mediation services to refugees, and has interned with the United Nations Office of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services.
At PartnersGlobal, Kyle works to build the resiliency of civil society organizations around the world by helping to manage the implementation of Partners’ Resiliency+ Framework. He also works with his team to deliver internal and external trainings and facilitations.
Kyle holds a M.S. in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution from Columbia University and a B.S. in Business Administration from Bucknell University. While not at work, Kyle enjoys playing acoustic guitar and teaching yoga.
Originally from Burkina Faso, Nina comes to PartnersGlobal from Chemonics International, where she developed expertise in program management. Some of her past accomplishments include the organizing and managing of high-level flagship events such as the Global Civil Society Dialogue at the United Nations, which brought together more than 150 civil society thought leaders and Heads of State from all over the world to make concrete political commitments for achieving gender equality in their countries by 2030.
At PartnersGlobal, she serves as a Program Manager on the Sub-Saharan African team, providing the overall daily management of implementation on projects that focus on governance, conflict resolution, security sector reform and access to justice in the Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa countries. Nina also integrates her passion for women’s empowerment and democracy into the projects that she supports throughout the Sub-Saharan African portfolio.
Nina received her BA in Urban Design from Florida Atlantic University, MA in International Affairs and a M.S in Urban and Regional Planning from Florida State University. She enjoys cooking and swimming, as well as spending her weekends at the park.
Ashleigh joined PartnersGlobal in 2019 as the Senior Program Associate for the Anglophone Sub-Saharan Africa portfolio, where she works on U.S. Department of State-funded projects focused on peacebuilding, access to justice, and rule of law in Nigeria, and on women, peace, and security more broadly.
Prior to Partners, Ashleigh worked on: sustainable development and resource advocacy with the indigenous San community in Botswana; program design for gender equality, education, and youth empowerment in both Burundi and Timor-Leste; assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of UN peacekeeping missions in Israel, Palestine, and Syria; and advocacy and policy recommendations to the UN Security Council for Iraq’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security. In the U.S., Ashleigh has worked in social service roles supporting homeless women and abused children.
She holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University, specializing in women, peace, and security, and human rights and humanitarian policy. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with a Minor in Theater, from the University of California, San Diego.
Ashleigh takes joy in traveling and exploring the world, asking why, pursuing creative endeavors, and attending theater productions (especially musicals). As a former NCAA athlete, she enjoys both playing and watching a wide variety of sports.
She dreams of glass ceilings the world over finally breaking.
Kalole was born and raised in Malawi, and moved to the United States as teenager. After completing his undergraduate studies, he taught English to high school and middle school students in Bordeaux, France. Before joining Partners in June 2019, Kalole was working with SEEDCO, a Baltimore based non-profit that provides workforce development training and access to social services to formerly incarcerated youth and adults. Prior to this, he worked for the International Youth Foundation (IYF), where he supported youth livelihood and household economic strengthening projects in Zimbabwe.
At PartnersGlobal, Kalole serves as Senior Program Associate for Sub Saharan Africa. In this role, he supports projects in Senegal and Burkina Faso which focus on improving road safety and collaboration between law enforcement and civilians.
He holds an M.A in Security and Development from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey in California and a Bachelor’s degree in French and Mass Communication from State University of New York College at Oneonta. His passions include making music, Arsenal F.C and mentoring youth.
Of Ukrainian origin, Alexa proudly hails from Cleveland, OH. She completed her undergraduate degree in Anthropology, French, and Spanish at the University of Notre Dame which included a year abroad in Angers, France. She spent 2018 as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at the State University of Paraná in Apucarana, Paraná, Brazil.
Having previously interned at PartnersGlobal on the Sub-Saharan Africa team, Alexa now works on global programs focusing on the resiliency of civil society organizations in closing civic spaces around the world. She also assists in Latin America and the Caribbean programs.
Alexa enjoys cheering on her underdog sports teams, exploring the various theaters and museums of Washington, and cooking recipes she learned from her times abroad.
Originally Greek, Daphne spent most of her childhood living overseas in Europe and the Middle East. Nevertheless, she considers Boston home. Daphne joined PartnersGlobal after completing her undergraduate degree in Government at Hamilton College. Previously, she worked at the National Women’s Law Center and National Center for Transgender Equality.
Daphne provides the Middle East & North Africa team with operational and programmatic support on capacity building, rule of law, and labor initiatives in Iraq and the Gulf region. She also works with local partners and Partners Network members in the region to strengthen their collaboration and coordination.
Daphne is an avid Red Sox fan. She loves staying active by coaching a youth softball team of middle school girls at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy. She enjoys eating Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food, and continues to search DC for somewhere to purchase authentic Greek feta.
Originally from Chicago, Lian joined PartnersGlobal in January 2019. Lian received her BA in International Affairs and Political Science at the George Washington University, and her MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies at the London School of Economics. At the LSE, she was awarded with the Best Dissertation Prize for her thesis titled: “Water to War: an Analysis of Drought, Water Scarcity, and Social mobilization in Syria.” Before joining PartnersGlobal, Lian gained immense experience interning at a variety of organizations, including the Permanent Mission of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations, The Jerusalem Fund, Bank Information Center and Syrian American Medical Society.
As a native Arabic speaker, Lian provides the MENA team with operational and programmatic support on capacity building and civil engagement in Yemen. She also works with local partners in the region to provide high quality deliverables, identify innovative solutions to challenges that may arise, and monitor ongoing impacts.
Lian’s passion for Middle Eastern culture and linguistics stems from her Syrian heritage. She enjoys traveling to the MENA region, as well as to other parts of the world. When Lian is not working, you can find her dancing, watching an indie movie or reading a Malcolm Gladwell book.
Born and raised in West Africa, Assita started working with PartnersGlobal in early 2018. Before Partners, Assita lived in Paris, France where she completed her Master’s degree in Financial Management and worked with Aviva France. Prior to this, Assita lived in Bamako, Mali where she attained her Bachelor’s degree in Management.
She is responsible for providing administrative and financial support to the Sub-Saharan Africa team, ensuring smooth and timely flow of work. She also supports Partners West Africa Centers in Senegal and Nigeria as well as PartnersGlobal’s subgrantees in Guinea, Senegal and Burkina Faso
Assita finds joy in reading and cooking, but mostly in spending time with her two handsome sons. They particularly enjoy taking trips to the library.
Yu Chen is originally from China, having been raised in Shenzhen. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Accountancy and Economics at the George Washington University. Before joining PartnersGlobal, she worked for Citrin Cooperman, Meridian International Center and the Ameson Foundation where she was responsible for audit, assurance, finance, accounting, and grant management functions.
At PartnersGlobal, Yu Chen is responsible for the financial management of 10 foreign assistance programs funded by U.S. Department of State, which includes project accounting and cash flow management, quarterly reporting and budget preparation, monitoring of program expenditures, accrual reports, financial analysis, cost allocation and compliance. She also assists the CFO with the organization’s billability projection and cash flow management and supports the finance team with general ledger accounts reconciliation, month-end and year-end closing process, and audit preparation.
Yu Chen is passionate about contemporary art and electronic music. She enjoys spending her free time at the hidden galleries and boutiques in Georgetown.
Originally from Simi Valley, California, Kelli moved to Washington, DC after completing her bachelor’s degree in Economics and Global Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Before joining PartnersGlobal in 2018, she interned at Peace Corps headquarters and spent a semester studying international development and sociology at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.
As a Development Associate, Kelli coordinates the proposal life cycle for all U.S. government-funded bids and assists with organizational knowledge management. She also provides support to the Procurement Team by drafting contract instruments and creating process guides. Her last, but definitely not least, role at Partners is managing the internship program.
Outside of work, Kelli can be found exploring new running trails, attending concerts around DC, or taking 3rd place at Thursday night trivia.
Though currently residing in Northern Virginia, Faith was born and raised in the Eastern Market area of Southeast Washington, DC and considers the city home. Faith holds a Master’s of Science in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Mary Baldwin University.
Faith joined the PartnersGlobal team in September of 2019 as Executive Program and Finance Assistant. At Partners, Faith serves as confidential assistant to the President, in addition to providing financial and administrative support to the Chief Financial Officer. Some of Faith’s responsibilities include managing logistics for and attending Board of Directors meetings as well as assisting the President and Executive Team regarding human resources management.
Faith enjoys reading, vlogging with her husband, enjoying new restaurants in and around Washington DC, and spending time with family.
Born in Japan and raised in Jakarta, Sarah earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Accounting from Gallaudet University. Prior to joining PartnersGlobal in September 2019, she interned with Schwarz Financial Services LLC as a Tax Preparer with DeafTax.com. She also spent a semester earning several credit hours towards a Master of Science in Accounting from American University.
At PartnersGlobal, Sarah is responsible for providing administrative and financial management support to the senior leadership and program teams. This includes processing payments, checks, and wire transfers in a timely manner, performing accounting analysis and reconciliations, maintaining physical and electronic filing systems, participating in the monthly and yearly closing processes, and conducting general administrative functions.
In Sarah’s free time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, visiting the various art museums in Washington DC, and spending time with her husband and friends.