Directors

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.

Barbara Fitzsimmons
Barbara Fitzsimmons

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.

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.

Karen Delaney
Karen Delaney

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

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 recently stepped down 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.

Rohit Samal
Peace Fellow, India
Rohit Samal
Peace Fellow, India

My name is Rohit Samal. I’m a student at Rajdhani Degree College, Bhubaneswar, Odisha pursuing my graduate degree in commerce. I have completed my matriculation and secondary higher education at D.A.V Public School, Bhubaneswar. Since a very young age, I’ve been fascinated by films, and calling myself a cinephile would describe me the best. I enjoy literature and what’s the best way to derive a parchment of ink if it’s not by making it into a movie? One of my particular hobbies is critiquing a movie and then bending my mind to the different alternate theories it could bring if the characters behaved differently in a certain scene. Currently, I am eyeing the work of Stanley Kubrick. Apart from that I am keen on writing. I love writing blogs on niche topics and giving voice to unheard parts of our community. I even explore different problems that are being faced in our society and try to think of the ways in which we can avail support to them and help them elevate from the ground they are stuck in.

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. 

Advika Agarwal
Peace Fellow, Composting
Advika Agarwal
Peace Fellow, Composting

Advika is a high school senior in Montgomery County, Maryland, who is very excited to join The Advocacy Project! Advika is excited by public service and policy. She is the co-founder of Compostology, a nonprofit that diverts school food waste from landfills/incinerators to be composted and recovered for families. Compostology is a co-founder of the Maryland Coalition to ReImagine School Waste, which loops legislators, county officials, and more students in to the conversation about using food waste action to spark legislation. After building Compostology, securing a $1.25M resolution from her Board of Education to install hydration stations in every public school, and acting as a department director for her county and state student government associations, she is motivated by the capability of every student to start long-lasting conversations about change. Advika is also passionate about Hindustani and Western Classical styles of singing, and loves writing, learning about art, browsing at Barnes & Noble, and playing board games with her family!

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.