Directors

Barbara Fitzsimmons
Chair
Barbara Fitzsimmons
Chair

Board chair: An enthusiastic supporter of AP's quilt program, Barbara (Bobbi) is a retired educator who has taught at all levels of education from preschool through graduate school. She has a BA in history from Old Dominion University and an MSED and Ed.D. from the University of Southern California. As a curriculum specialist, she developed training programs for USC in Germany, for the US Navy in Newfoundland, Canada, and a graduate program for the Overseas Federation of Teachers for teachers in the DoD Dependents Schools on three continents. In the US, she has been an associate professor at Lasell College (Newton, MA) and Morris College (Sumter, SC). She was also Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment for the North Kingstown, RI school district. As an educational consultant, she worked with a team to improve the national education programs of Pakistan, Egypt, and the UAE. Now retired, Bobbi is an outside evaluator of dissertations and education papers for Pakistan universities and education journals. She is also a docent and children’s program educator at the Cameron Museum of Art in Wilmington, NC. She is an award-winning quilter who has conducted workshops and made presentations about quilting to schools, libraries, educational conferences, and guilds. Since 2010, she has made quilts for the Advocacy Project from Kosovo, Uganda, Palestine, Nepal(3), and Syria.

Karen Delaney
Vice-chair
Karen Delaney
Vice-chair

Board Vice-chair: Karen, a Brazilian national, served as Executive Director at AP between 2018 and 2019, before stepping down to join the AP Board and move back to the UK. Karen graduated from The University of California, Santa Barbara with a BA degree – Major in Global Studies and Minor in History. Her work with The Advocacy Project started in 2015 when she interned as a Development Assistant. As Executive Director of AP Karen's responsibilities covered administration, fundraising, partnerships, human resources and fellowship program. Karen now lives in the UK where she works in the Private Sector.  Email: kdelaney@advocacynet.org

Stella Makena
African partners
Stella Makena
African partners

Stella Makena is the Co-founder and Program Coordinator of Shield of Faith (SOF), an AP partner that seeks to empower vulnerable women in Kenya’s informal settlements. Stella has worked in the public and private sectors for over 25 years, including stints as an IT specialist at the National Cereals and Produce Board in Kenya, a Data Stringer at Thomson Reuters, and a humanitarian worker at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Kenya, Rwanda, Eritrea, and Somalia. Stella has played a decisive role in building a strong partnership between SOF and AP that began in 2019 with embroidery training and continues through Shield of Faith's trail-blazing project to compost food waste and grow organic food in the Nairobi settlements. She hopes to use her place on the AP Board to present the perspective of AP's partners in the South and make the case for new innovative community-based initiatives. Stella holds a diploma in IT systems analysis & design and a BSC degree in International Business Administration from the United States International University(USIU)-Africa.

Scott Allen
Scott Allen

Scott is a private investor and consultant, active in US politics, national security issues and with several non-profit organizations. He is the former US Director at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a Senate confirmed appointment, during the second term of President Obama. For 23 years, he worked in international capital markets at several investment banks in NY, Tokyo and London, leaving his last position as a Managing Director in Credit & Rates at JP Morgan in London in 2004. Prior to his banking career, he spent six years as a merchant seaman. He earned an undergraduate degree from Sophia University in Tokyo in 1978 and a MS in International Business from Georgetown in 1982.

Tom Carver
Tom Carver

Tom Carver is the CEO of AfricaWorks, a social enterprise developing a platform for African expertise as a key resource for the development community. Having lived in Africa for three years as the BBC’s correspondent, he has maintained contact with the continent as a consultant to international institutions and major corporations. Tom is a former British Army officer who became one of the BBC’s top foreign reporters, working as the BBC correspondent in Africa, Balkans, London, Russia and Washington. After leaving the BBC, he ran the Washington office of Control Risks, where he advised on reputational, political and operational risk in emerging markets. He built the first ever human rights compliance program for the International Finance Corporation (IFC). He was hired by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace to overhaul their engagement with stakeholders. During his time, he helped to win numerous awards for the organization, including top North American Think Tank, and Think Tank Publication of the Year. Carnegie’s external relations team was ranked #1 out of 6,500 think tanks worldwide. He has also been a senior vice president at Chlopak, Leonard & Schechter, one of Washington’s leading strategic communications consultancies. Tom is a former board member of VSO, the UK’s Peace Corps. He has a BA Honors in Modern History, and attended the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.

Talley Diggs
Talley Diggs

Talley, a former AP Peace Fellow, works for the UN's World Food Programme in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, to support Rohingya refugees. Talley coordinates outreach to the private sector the Africa. Prior to the UN Talley worked at the McLarty Associates in Washington DC, where she advised Fortune 500 companies on doing business in African markets. Prior to joining McLarty Associates, Talley served as an AP Peace Fellow in 2017. Through AP, she worked in Nairobi with Children Peace Initiative Kenya to build peace between pastoralist tribes in northern Kenya. Talley has also worked with Chemonics’ East and Southern Africa Office, the UN Foundation’s Better World Campaign, and in the Senate as a Congressional Foreign Policy Fellow. Before moving to Washington DC, Talley worked with the World Food Programme in Dar es Salaam and served as an English teacher in France. Talley obtained her MA in International Affairs from George Washington University’s Elliott School, where her studies focused on security and development issues in Sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, her Capstone research took her to the South Caucasus to investigate Russian influence in Azerbaijan and Armenia. She received her undergraduate degree in International Affairs, French, and English at the University of Mississippi.

Devin Greenleaf
Devin Greenleaf

A former AP Peace Fellow, Devin is an executive producer for news planning with VICE Media. Previously, he was an editor with Al Jazeera, based in the Gulf. He served as an AP Peace Fellow in Nepal with the Jagaran Media Center in 2007, where he helped to develop the JMC’s national network of Dalit reporters. Devin became a long-time enthusiast for combining media arts and social justice while working with documentary filmmakers and in his hometown of Salt Lake City. He holds a Masters degree in international politics from American University with a focus on global human security and international communication and a Bachelors degree in English from the University of Utah.

Lawrence M. Ingeneri
Lawrence M. Ingeneri

Larry Ingeneri earned a Bachelor’s degree from the US Naval Academy and served on submarines from 1982-1986 before earning an MBA from the Harvard Business School. Between 1988 and 1985, Larry was a Vice President for Corporate Finance at the Salomon Brothers Bank in New York. He then joined the senior management team which restructured Ascom Timeplex. Between 1996 and 2002, Larry served as Chief Financial Officer at the COLT Telecom Group in London, with operations in 13 countries and revenue of $1.5 billion. Between 2003 and 2015 he served as Chief Financial Officer at MindSHIFT Technologies, an IT service provider based in Waltham, Massachusetts. The company was sold to Ricoh Americas Holding Inc in 2014.

Merry May
Merry May

Merry May has lived in Tuckahoe, NJ for nearly all of her life.  She has been a quilt maker since the early 1970s and became a quilting instructor in 1988. She is also a lecturer, designer, author, quilt historian, curator, mentor, and fabric & button hoarder. She has designed and written instructions for over 45 patterns of Merry Mayhem’s Mystery Quilts, which have been enjoyed by quilters worldwide since 1994.  She is the co-author of the “Insider’s Guide to Quilting Careers” which is published by QuiltWoman.com and has had many of her quilts published in magazines and books. Her work is in public and private collections worldwide. Merry has been involved with and has made several quilts for The Advocacy Project since 2015. Merry’s most recent two quilts for the Advocacy Project include blocks by Middle Eastern refugees from Iraq, Syria and Palestine (Fifth and Sixth Quilts) as shown below. In her "spare time" she manages a local cemetery, and owns two tons of buttons (no, really!).

Delaney Rogers
Delaney Rogers

Delaney Rogers is a graduate of  the University of California-San Diego, majoring in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations. Having a mother who fled her home country due to religious persecution, human rights is incredibly important and personal to her. She hopes to pursue a career that advocates for tolerance. Currently, Delaney is pursuing a Masters in Public Policy at the University of California - Los Angeles.

Joe Eldridge
Joe Eldridge

  Joe Eldridge served as University Chaplain at American University for almost 20 years until his retirement in 2017 and continues as adjunct lecturer in the School of International Service.  While at AU he created the Alternative Break program in Campus Life and helped to establish the Social Enterprise Certificate in SIS. Before joining the American University staff, he served as the founding director of the Washington Office of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First).  During the mid-1980s he worked for three years in Honduras consulting on human rights and development issues.  In 1974 Eldridge co-founded the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), an organization dedicated to promoting human rights and social justice in the Americas and served as its director for 12 years.  Prior to that he lived for three years in Chile working for an agency of the United Methodist Church doing community development in a marginalized barrio in Santiago. Eldridge has a MA in International Relations from American University, a MDiv from Perkins School of Theology at SMU, and a DMin from Wesley Theological Seminary.  He serves on several boards including the Center for International Policy (CIP), the Advocacy Project and is a Trustee of Santiago College in Chile. Eldridge is married to Maria Otero. They have three children and a granddaughter.   

Julia Holladay
Julia Holladay

Julia, a former Advocacy Project Peace Fellow, is currently a graduate student at George Washington University pursuing a Master of Arts in International Affairs with a concentration in development and humanitarian aid. Her research and academic interests lie at the intersection of humanitarian aid and climate change with a gender lens. As a Peace Fellow, Julia worked with Children Peace Initiative Kenya to help them launch new startup initiatives that combine peacebuilding and climate change adaptation. Previously, Julia was a Climate Displacement intern at Refugees International. Prior to graduate school, she was previously the Communications Director at a boutique public relations firm in Washington D.C. where she worked primarily with immigration advocacy groups and national security think tanks. She received her undergraduate degree in International Studies and French at the University of Alabama.

2024 Team

Iain Guest
Executive Director
Iain Guest
Executive Director

Iain has an extensive background working with civil society in countries in conflict. He was a Geneva-based correspondent for the London-based Guardian and International Herald Tribune (1976-1987); authored a book on the disappearances in Argentina; fronted several BBC documentaries; served as spokesperson for the UNHCR operation in Cambodia (1992) and the UN humanitarian operation in Haiti (2004); served as a Senior Fellow at the US Institute of Peace (1996-7); and conducted missions to Rwanda and Bosnia for the UN, USAID and UNHCR. He stepped down in 2019 as an adjunct professor at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, where he taught human rights. Email: iain@advocacynet.org

Mary Ellen Cain
Administrator
Mary Ellen Cain
Administrator

A native of Arkansas, Mary Ellen graduated from Rhodes College in Memphis with a bachelor’s degree in music and from The Catholic University in DC with a master’s degree in vocal performance. She has done administrative work at several local churches and has also been the alto section leader and soloist at the National Presbyterian Church and Washington Hebrew Congregation for many years. In September 2019, she began working at The Advocacy Project as a part-time financial manager. She lives in Silver Spring, MD and, when not working or singing, enjoys visiting with friends and with her four grown children and grandson who all live in the metro area.

Bobbi Fitzsimmons
Quilt Coordinator
Bobbi Fitzsimmons
Quilt Coordinator

Bobbi has lived and worked in many countries.  She spent most of her professional life in education as a teacher, professor, administrator, and international consultant.  She established a graduate program for federal teachers in Europe and was a founding member of a women’s crisis center in Germany.  She is also an award-winning quilter and fiber arts teacher, having taught quilting and embroidery in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.  She has completed over a dozen quilts for the Advocacy Project and has curated two exhibitions at US museums.  She seems to have finally found her ‘why’ in life (re: Nietzsche) by helping others.  Though it doesn’t show in this brief bio, she has a well-developed sense of humor and a daring spirit. She loves words, good food, baseball, and life in general – but not necessarily in that order.

Liam Gurevitch
Peace Fellow, Composting
Liam Gurevitch
Peace Fellow, Composting

Liam Gurevitch is a rising senior at Lower Merion High School. He has a passion for conservation, renewable energy, and educating people about the importance of the environmental issues facing our world. Liam's passion for sustainability began at age six when he held annual fundraisers in his hometown to raise awareness about these important environmental issues. Liam hopes to expand his knowledge and impact by supporting The Advocacy Project to create a school district wide composting program. After high school, Liam plans to continue his education and make a positive impact on the world by majoring in Biology and Environmental Studies. 

Bella Quiroa
Peace Fellow, Composting
Bella Quiroa
Peace Fellow, Composting

Bella Quiroa is a rising Junior at the East Bay MET School in Newport, Rhode Island. She’s held an internship at Clean Ocean Access since October of 2023 and has developed a passion for environmental advocacy. Through her time at COA, she’s helped her mentor in schools starting composting programs and tackled re implementing a composting program at her school. These experiences would then influence her project work at school, in which she curated two presentations in her community about environmentalism and composting and donated 5-gallon buckets to families to start composting at home. She aims to make more positive impacts in her community to help further implement the idea of environmental consciousness.

Emma Pautz
Peace Fellow, Composting
Emma Pautz
Peace Fellow, Composting

Emma Pautz is a rising Junior at Barrington High School in Barrington, Rhode Island. She has been an intern for Clean Ocean Access since May 2023. Emma has been passionate about environmentalism for several years. She initially started her environmental work in middle school when she met with her principal to ask that the school take steps to be more environmentally conscious. Soon after, she created a non-profit organization, Barrington Environmental Establishment, with the goal of educating members of her community on climate change and what they can do to help. Emma has also started composting at her middle school and high school, assisted in organizing the Rhode Island College Compost Conference, and worked with her town to create a compost drop-off location in her community. Since a young age, Emma has known that she wants to dedicate her life to mitigating climate change and its effects. Her goal is to create solutions in her community. She is very much looking forward to the impact she can make by joining the Advocacy Project team.

Maggie Lauder
Peace Fellow, Composting
Maggie Lauder
Peace Fellow, Composting

Maggie Lauder is a rising Senior at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, Rhode Island where she is senior class president and actively involved in sports and various clubs. She has been an intern at Clean Ocean Access since October of 2023, a RI Youth Health Ambassador for the academic year 22-23, and a member of the RI Department of Education Student Advisory Council for the academic year 23-24. She has helped lead her school and school district in composting. She enjoys volunteering at beach cleanups and various other COA functions where she happily talks to the community about environmental awareness. Her interests lie in composting and sustainability. After graduating she hopes to further her education in Business, Energy, Environment, and Sustainability.

Ruby Meador
Peace Fellow, Soap-making
Ruby Meador
Peace Fellow, Soap-making

Ruby Meador is an 8th grader at The University School of Nashville. She was born and raised in Nashville, TN, and she loves to connect with others through travel and service. On a recent school trip to Washington DC she was inspired by a presentation by Iain Guest about the Clean Girl Soap Project. Iain shared stories of the challenges faced by girls in Zimbabwe who often couldn’t attend school due to financial constraints. Ruby was concerned by the realization that something so fundamental as education was not always available for many girls her age. She decided to partner with the girls from Zimbabwe and Clean Girl Soap as her school's “Change Project,” which highlights the changes that a student wants to see in the world. With determination and support from her school and family, Ruby and her friends transformed a small corner of her garage into a makeshift soap studio, where they experimented with soap making methods, soap types, fragrances, colors and designs. Ruby is committed to making soap and change!

Gio Liguori
Video
Gio Liguori
Video

Gio is a currently a junior at The George Washington University, majoring in political science and criminal justice with a minor in history. He began working with AP early in 2020 as a Video Production Assistant, editing and producing two films highlighting projects in Uganda and Zimbabwe. Working closely with AP after his tenure as an intern, Gio has continued his involvement with the team throughout the year, recently editing a film on the acceptance of a $31,960 grant to prevent child marriages amongst young women in Zimbabwe. Through his time with AP, he has found a passion for nonprofit and humanitarian work and may pursue this interest in the future. He looks forward to his continued partnership with the Advocacy Project and creating films showcasing the fantastic work AP does!

Gill Rebelo
Kenya Consultant
Gill Rebelo
Kenya Consultant

Gill Rebelo was born in U.K. and holds dual citizenship of both U.K. and Kenya, having lived in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, since 1971. She holds a University of London Teachers’ Certificate in Home Economics, Needlework and English and has taught in London, Hong Kong and Nairobi. In 1997 Gill was one of the founder members of The Kenya Quilt Guild and she has been an active member of the Committee for over 20 years. She was also a co-founder of The Kenya Embroiderers’ Guild and served as Guild secretary for a number of years. Gill is a South African Quilters’ Guild (SAQG) Accredited Judge and a SAQG Recommended Teacher and has exhibited her quilts in Kenya, Canada, France and South Africa. In 2019 Gill was approached by The Advocacy Project to lead the training of a team of under privileged women to make a quilt for the UNFPA Summit in Nairobi. This resulted in the Woman’s World Quilt. Since then the team has made several Covid quilts many embroidered animal blocks which have been made into small quilts by quilting partners in the US under the Sister Artists scheme.

Sahasra Thokala
Peace Fellow, Soap-making
Sahasra Thokala
Peace Fellow, Soap-making

Sahasra Thokala is a junior at South Forsyth High School in Cumming, Georgia with a passion for equal access to a proper education. She is the co-vice president of her school's Vibha club, a nonprofit that works tirelessly to provide quality education to empower underprivileged children. Through her time with Vibha, Sahasra has seen first-hand the impact of spreading access to quality education, increasing her determination to do the same with the girls in Zimbabwe. Having recently started to work with AP, Sahasra and her team have made and sold over 100 pieces of soap and helped to put several girls in Zimbabwe through school. She aims to make a positive impact on the lives of the girls in Zimbabwe and further spread the importance of excellent education.

Maddy Pound
Peace Fellow, Social Media
Maddy Pound
Peace Fellow, Social Media

"Maddy Pound is a penultimate year Law undergraduate at the University of York. Outside of academics, Maddy serves as an Officer of the Law Society - the largest on campus - and a reservist in the British Army through Leeds Officer Training Regiment. Maddy has a particular interest in humanitarian law and international development. She has marshalled in the Crown Courts, and seen the further practical application of the rule of law by volunteering with Freedom From Torture, a charity which supports recovering victims from across the world. In her spare time, Maddy can be found playing netball, or undertaking long-distance expeditions around the UK. In her most recent venture, Maddy walked the entire 130-mile route around Anglesey Island, and is still treating the blisters! "

Madeleine Schneider
Peace Fellow with BWEG, Thailand
Madeleine Schneider
Peace Fellow with BWEG, Thailand

Madeleine Ekeberg Schneider is a graduate student in the Department of Government’s Conflict Resolution program at Georgetown University. Having grown up in Trondheim, Norway and Tempe, Arizona, Madeleine is passionate about climate action and environmental peacebuilding. She previously completed her bachelor’s degree in international studies and comparative literature at the University of Michigan where she focused on environmental management in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After graduating, she served with AmeriCorps’ City Year program in Chicago and Washington, D.C. public schools. Madeleine is excited to combine her academic interests and service experiences to support Burmese youth and environmental advocacy and peacebuilding on the Thai-Burma border this summer.

Adin Becker
Peace Fellow, Lifeline, India
Adin Becker
Peace Fellow, Lifeline, India

Adin Becker is a first-year student in the Master in Urban Planning at Harvard University concentrating in international and comparative planning. His diverse interests, which span environmental planning, public policy, health, and economic development, have led him to engage with collaborative, place-based projects worldwide that position local communities as the arbiters of future progress. Before enrolling at Harvard, Adin completed a Watson Fellowship titled Jewish Persistence in the Periphery of the Diaspora during which he highlighted the disappearing traditions associated with Jewish communities in sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. He also worked with remote communities to acquire grant funding for projects ranging from the construction of new water conservation infrastructure to the establishment of educational facilities. Previously, Adin also worked as an urban planner in his hometown of Portland, OR where he expanded bikeshare programs, helped embed equity within participatory planning processes, and established relationships with local nonprofits, donors, and the City of Portland to fund multicultural re-entry projects in gentrified neighborhoods. He received his BA in political science and Middle Eastern history from Pomona College. During his undergraduate studies, Adin helped lead his cross-country team to a national championship, organized Jewish cultural events on campus, taught summer courses in English and Science Fiction, and studied abroad in Jerusalem where he conducted research on Middle East-Latin America relations and designed curricula for high school students in Buenos Aires. Adin has lived and worked in 15 countries, is a polyglot, and believes strongly in the promise of international collaboration. During his fellowship with The Advocacy Project, he looks forward to working with Jeevan Rekha Parishad in Odisha State, India to contribute to malaria prevention, tell the stories of local tribes, and attract new project partners.

Julia Davatzes
Peace Fellow at GDPU, Gulu, Uganda
Julia Davatzes
Peace Fellow at GDPU, Gulu, Uganda

Julia Davatzes is a current graduate student at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. She is pursuing her M.A. in International Development Studies with concentrations in Humanitarian Assistance and Community Resilience. She previously earned her B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Virginia. Before beginning her graduate program, she worked for a disaster management company in the United States, helping communities to build resilience to disasters, as well as serving on active disaster deployments. Julia is very excited to be supporting the work of the Gulu Disabled Persons Union and Women in Action for Women in northern Uganda this summer.

The Raven McGurll
Peace Fellow at SOF Nairobi, Kenya
The Raven McGurll
Peace Fellow at SOF Nairobi, Kenya

The Raven McGurll is a graduate student at The George Washington University pursuing a Masters degree in International Affairs with a concentration in Conflict Resolution and Gender Studies. Prior to her fellowship with The Advocacy Project, The Raven was an intern at the Ethiopian Community Development Council where she helped in the youth program for resettling refugees, along with a fellowship with AmeriCorps where she worked with the homeless community in Northern California. The Raven is excited to work with AP to expand composting with the women in Kibera.

Olivia Landau
Peace Fellow, CPI Kenya
Olivia Landau
Peace Fellow, CPI Kenya

Olivia Landau is a first year Master’s student at the Tufts Fletcher School for Global Affairs, focusing on international conflict and conflict resolution and gender and intersectional analysis. Her regional focus is sub-Saharan Africa. Before beginning graduate school, she worked in international development at Chemonics International in Washington, DC. Olivia has experience managing education and food security projects in the Middle East and Latin America and supporting crisis relief efforts during the Afghanistan and Haitian crises in 2021 and 2023 respectively. Olivia is grateful for the opportunities she has had to study abroad in Cape Town, work in a local township, and engage in short-term fieldwork in Guatemala City. With direct exposure to conflict-prone regions, Olivia is passionate about navigating complex, deep-rooted intergroup conflicts and is excited to engage with the Samburu and Pokot tribes this summer. Olivia holds a BA in International Affairs from the University of Southern California.

Annie Levy
Peace Fellow with BASE Nepal
Annie Levy
Peace Fellow with BASE Nepal

Annie, from London, is currently studying the Master in Global Affairs at the Fletcher School in Boston, with a focus on humanitarian affairs and gender and intersectional analysis. Her career has spanned international development, humanitarian action and refugee resettlement, with a focus on gender and young people. Annie is excited to be joining BASE this summer, to help research and develop sustainable interventions for women who have experienced exploitative labor practices, caste-based discrimination and inter-generational poverty. After graduating from Fletcher, Annie hopes to pursue a career addressing the gendered consequences of armed conflict, at the intersection of research, policy and practice.