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.
David joined PartnersGlobal in April 2018. As Executive Director, he supports President Julia Roig in her leadership of all aspects of the organization. As a child of a refugee family from China, David grew up in California’s San Joaquin Valley.
For the past three decades, David has worked at the intersection of three international fields: human rights, peace building and poverty reduction. He has held senior positions in governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations across the practices of diplomacy, development assistance, research & advocacy, and cross-cultural theater. He believes that the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, especially with their historic Goal 16 on peace and justice, represent the world’s first comprehensive vision of human development.
David seeks the sustenance and inspiration of art and literature as much as he can. He is an avid storyteller, ballroom and Latin dancer, and reader of Big History.
To access David’s full bio, 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.
Ahmed is a native of Iraq. He joined PartnersGlobal in 2012 coming from previous leadership positions at CIPE and Women for Women, and has a wealth of experience working with civil society and government partners throughout the region. He studied first in Baghdad and then at Oxford Brooks University.
As the MENA Director, Ahmed leads on supporting and expanding the Partners Network affiliates in the region, overseeing a growing team to ensure the successful implementation of programs, and engages with external stakeholders. Some of the projects he has led include enabling at-risk youth to transform conflict; justice and security dialogues; organizational capacity building; and, government transparency.
While traveling to new places is one of his favorite hobbies, he prefers spending time relaxing on a beach listening to the waves.
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 joined PartnersGlobal in January 2019 as the Director of the Sub-Saharan Africa. Solange is a Senegalese national who began her academic career at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, obtaining degrees in philosophy and environmental sciences. Solange came to the United States in 2002 as a Ford Foundation Fellow to complete a PhD in Women’s and Gender Studies at Clark University. Prior to Partners, Solange served as Director of Africa and Gender Justice Programs at the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI). She also worked as a consultant for United Nations agencies such as UNDP.
Solange brings over twenty years of experience working on natural resource governance, decentralization, strategic advocacy with civil society organizations, land and forest reform processes in Africa; including gender and women’s tenure rights at the regional and global levels. In her role, she oversees Partners’ donor-funded programs in Sub-Saharan Africa and scopes opportunities for regional growth of the Partners Network.
Outside of work, Solange loves African arts, fashion, hair-braiding, and food!
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.
Originally from Kenya, Muthoni grew up in Michigan. She comes to PartnersGlobal with 12 years of experience, previously working at the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and National Democratic Institute (NDI), where she developed expertise in private sector development and democracy and governance. At NDI, Muthoni establised new areas of programming, specifically NDI’s extractive industries programs.
As the Senior Program Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, Muthoni leads PartnersGlobal’s programs in Nigeria, liaising closely with Partners West Africa – Nigeria. Her role at PartnersGlobal also includes developing a strategy for and expanding the organization’s programs into Southern and Eastern Africa. Muthoni also maintains collaborative relationships with international democratic development organizations, civic organizations, and Partners’ network of trainers and experts.
Muthoni earned her Bachelor of Arts in International Business and Finance from Eastern Michigan University and her Masters of Arts in Africa Studies and Conflict Resolution from Howard University. In her free time, Muthoni enjoys spending time with her family, being outdoors, and putting her passion for interior design to work.
Originally from New Jersey, Aly started working with PartnersGlobal in early 2015 as a project manager and has quickly stepped into leadership positions within the organization. After working for many years in a think tank environment focused on research and policy in Sub-Saharan Africa, Aly wanted to apply her program management, analytical and communications skills to a more hands-on approach to peacebuilding and development with in-country programming and partners.
At PartnersGlobal, Aly plays a crucial role in ensuring that we live our values and foster an organizational culture of learning and reflection. As a member of the Global Initiatives team and inspired by the nuts and bolts of running an organization, Aly is spearheading a review and revision process of Partners organizational strengthening process and training programs, and is engaging in curriculum development for new, innovative approaches to peacebuilding. She also provides technical support to programmatic teams on Partners’ proven participatory and inclusive methodologies such as cooperative advocacy, consensus facilitation, and Security: Governance, Accountability, and Performance framework.
In addition to being passionate about her work in the fields of conflict resolution and citizen security, Aly loves the arts, from singing to painting. She also loves the outdoors and any activity that will take her there, including hiking, swimming, and taking her dog Parker to the dog park.
Joseph is a native DC Washingtonian. He has more than 15 years of experience in accounting. He has worked in a wide breadth of industries including the US government, wealth management, digital news media, talent management, and public grants management, to name a few.
At PartnersGlobal, Joseph works to streamline financial management, assists with the formulation of internal controls and policies to comply with applicable regulations and industry best practices, and maintains accountability of financial reporting. This includes, but is not limited to, reconciling the general ledger, budgeting, forecasting financial data, and maintaining the accounting systems.
Joseph is passionate about all forms of art, but especially literature, music, and painting. Joseph enjoys cultivating his own creativity in his free time.
Hailing from New Jersey, Jeffrey comes to PartnersGlobal after six years with the MENA team at The Solidarity Center, dedicating much of his career to workers’ rights. There, he helped spearhead the organization’s efforts on migrant worker and trade union rights in Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain.
At PartnersGlobal, Jeffrey leads programs in the region that are reducing conflict between internally displaced persons (IDPs) and their host communities in Iraq, as well as helping to build civic engagement across the religious and political spectrum in the Gulf.
Jeffrey is extremely passionate about his profession and lives by the principle that if you find something you love to do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. When he is not in the office, you will find Jeffrey listening to podcasts, catching up on his ever-growing reading list, and rooting on his favorite team, the Minnesota Vikings.
Originally from Massachusetts, Maura comes to PartnersGlobal after almost five years at Chemonics International, where she recently managed the USAID-OTI Syria Program. Maura also served as regional compliance specialist at Chemonics and traveled to support USAID projects implemented in Jordan, Libya, Afghanistan, and Cote D’Ivoire. Previously, Maura worked with Search for Common Ground in Tunisia and Washington DC, assisting their MENA team with both Tunisia and regional work.
At PartnersGlobal, Maura leads financial and operational support for programs in Yemen. Maura also leverages her passion for youth-focused peacebuilding and experience programming in conflict environments to support projects throughout the MENA portfolio.
Maura has a MA in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a BA from Hamilton College. She enjoys spending her weekends exploring new breweries and fixing up her house with her husband.
Bridget is a native of the Boston area and started working at Partners in 2013 as an intern pursuing her Masters’ of Arts in Latin American Studies at Georgetown. Bridget is a Latin Americanist and has studied in Ecuador and Colombia and spent a year as a Fulbright Fellow in Maracaibo, Venezuela.
As the Manager for Business Development, Bridget manages proposal coordination efforts, identifies new funding opportunities, and works to sustain external partnerships and build Partners’ institutional knowledge capacities. She also plays a key role mentoring and coaching beneficiary organizations in the Latin American region. In addition to her official duties, Bridget is also involved in making Partners a better place to work and believes strongly in teamwork, collaboration, and any excuse to celebrate with people.
She finds joy in yoga and cooking but mostly through hanging out with her tortoiseshell cat and (attempting to) take her for walks.
Originally from Colorado, Jordan joined Partners with five years of experience in international development and management consulting. Her most recent professional focus was on the Syria conflict, supporting high volume assistance projects with Creative Associates International.
At PartnersGlobal, she is a Program Manager on the MENA team, providing programmatic and operational support to peacebuilding and stabilization activities in Yemen as well as capacity building programming in Kuwait.
She received her MA in Near Eastern Studies from New York University and her BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. She also developed fluency in Arabic through a Critical Language Scholarship to Jordan (2012), a CASA Fellowship to Egypt (’13-’14), and a FLAS Fellowship at NYU (’16-’18).
Before joining Partners in 2018, Kate lived in Sub Saharan Africa for over seven years, working in the fields of refugee protection, child protection, social protection, and social policy for various United Nations (UN) and international organizations. In particular, Kate led projects in Namibia and Malawi to improve the identification of vulnerable refugees for resettlement to third countries, and provided technical assistance and policy advice to national governments, UN agencies, and the African Union in social policy and program design and implementation. She also contributed to a number of program evaluations and research projects, covering topics such as school feeding, child protection case management, and nutrition.
At PartnersGlobal, Kate serves as Program Manager for Sub Saharan Africa. In this capacity, she works on projects that aim to improve road safety and relationships between law enforcement and civil society in Senegal and Burkina Faso, and contribute to conflict resolution and peacebuilding in the Casamance region of Senegal.
Born and raised in Ohio, Kate received her B.A. in International Studies and French from Miami (Ohio) University and M.A. in International Studies from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies (University of Denver). She enjoys seeing live music, hiking, and cooking in her free time.
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.
Lauren is from the Seattle-area, and has spent most of her life living and studying in the Pacific Northwest. She moved to DC after working for a leadership consulting firm to pursue her interests in supporting women and religious communities in peacebuilding. She was introduced to PartnersGlobal through her work as a fellow at the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy, where she had the opportunity to support collaborations with Partners Yemen on religious freedom education and interfaith dialogue.
In her role on the MENA team, Lauren provides financial and programmatic support for the Yemen, Iraq, and Bahrain portfolios. In line with her passion to keep women at the heart of building community resilience and opening spaces for dialogue, she incorporates gendered perspectives to our MENA programming and global security initiatives.
Her interests in peacebuilding and international development grew over time, from teaching refugees in western Thailand, to studying visual storytelling in northern India, to working with an indigenous NGO to address land conflicts in eastern Uganda.
Leigh McBain is a California native, having been raised in the Bay Area and completed her undergraduate degree in Southern California. Before moving to DC, Leigh worked for TASAAGA, a local grassroots organization in Uganda. She was responsible for managing microfinance programs in the Nakivale Refugee Camp and created the Kick HIV/AIDS soccer tournament.
At PartnersGlobal she works on the Sub Saharan Africa team where she is responsible for backstopping programs in Nigeria focusing on anti-corruption initiatives, access to justice, justice reform, and security.
Being from California, she misses the accessibility of outdoor activities when living in a city. She tries to spend as much time outside and finds solace on the soccer field.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Kyle joined the PartnersGlobal team in 2018 after leading programmatic efforts at R3SOLUTE, a Berlin-based non-profit focused on reducing conflict in refugee communities. Kyle also assisted in the organizational development of Bosh Bosh INc., a grassroots women’s empowerment NGO in Liberia and served for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal.
At PartnersGlobal, Kyle works on the Sub-Saharan Africa team, backstopping projects that focus on security sector reform and access to justice in Francophone West Africa. Kyle works with Africa team members and partners in the region to provide high quality deliverables and identify innovative solutions to contribute to portfolio growth and monitor ongoing impacts.He also supports the business development processes for the region.
Kyle holds a Master of Science degree in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution from Columbia University, and Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Bucknell University. When not at work, Kyle spends most of his time playing acoustic guitar or Thai kick-boxing.
Yu Chen is originally from China, having been raised in the Canton. She graduated from the George Washington University with a degree of Accountancy and minor in Economics. Before starting at PartnersGlobal, Yu Chen worked for Meridian International Center, a global leadership organization that focuses on cultural exchange and educational cooperation. She has worked for various nonprofit organizations in Washington, DC where she was responsible for finance, accounting and grant management functions.
At PartnersGlobal, Yu Chen is responsible for all matters within the financial team, and provides day-to-day assistance on a wide range of accounting transactions. This includes reviewing and verifying financial documents, making entries in the accounting system, participating in the monthly financial closing, and ensuring compliance with donor regulations and Partner’s internal policies and procedures.
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 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.
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.
Daphne spearheads PartnersGlobal’s communications, managing outreach and working closely with the Executive team to effectively share the organization’s mission and vision with donors, private sector partners, and professionals within our field. She has been particularly involved in Partners’ Narratives for Peace Initiative.
Daphne is an avid Red Sox fan and loves staying active. She enjoys eating Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food, and constantly searches for authentic Greek feta in DC.
Originally from Southern 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, she interned at Peace Corps headquarters and spent a semester studying sociology at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.
Joining PartnersGlobal in 2018, Kelli contributes to the Operations and Business Development teams by providing compliance support and assisting in proposal preparation. She also coordinates the internship program and assists with daily administrative operations.
Kelli is passionate about issues of women’s economic empowerment and environmental sustainability. Outside of work, she can be found exploring new running trails, binge-watching her favorite shows, and taking care of her house plants.