West Africa / MENA

MEDA’s West Africa / MENA Programs are currently working in these countries:

Countries of Interest in this Region: Algeria, Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Syria, Togo, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Western Sahara, Yemen

MEDA Staff - West Africa / MENA Programs

ADAM BRAMM, Associate Director

Role at MEDA ‒ As Associate Director, Adam is responsible for economic and financial analysis, value chain analysis, and developing and managing market-driven projects integrating women small scale producers, farmers or business owners into viable market systems. Adam currently manages the USAID’s Libya Women's Economic Empowerment (LWEE) project and the GAC-funded Greater Rural Opportunities for Women (GROW) project in Ghana. He also undertakes various consultancies as they occur.

Experience ‒ Adam has over ten years of experience working in the international development field, both in the US and abroad. For the past six years, Adam has worked at Development Alternative, Inc. (DAI) most recently as a Project Manager, for the Middle East, North Africa and Afghanistan Sector. His previous roles at DAI included Business Manager, Governance/Economic Growth Sector and Country Coordinator, Health Sector. Adam has also worked as a Proposal Manager at MSD and was an Economic Development Volunteer for the United States Peace Corps based in Bulgaria. Adam has a Master's degree in International Development from the Joseph Korbel School of International Studies and a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Anthropology from Lawrence University.

Languages ‒ English

CATHERINE SOBREVEGA, Country Project Manager, Ghana

Role at MEDA ‒ Catherine is an international development professional with over 25 years of NGO work experience as senior country and program manager, economic development and microfinance specialist. Currently she is managing MEDA’s 6-year, $20-million GAC-funded Greater Rural Opportunities for Women (GROW) project which is helping 20,000 women farmers improve the food security of their families in Northern Ghana. Catherine has worked on several USAID, USDA, GAC, DFID, EC, DANIDA, UN, CGIAR, IFAD and World Bank-funded projects. She has gained extensive experience in implementing economic development projects geared towards women’s economic empowerment in post-conflict situations. Previously she managed MEDA’s GAC-funded Through the Garden Gate project in Afghanistan. Prior to joining MEDA, Catherine worked for IRC in Bosnia and for CARE in the Philippines, Eritrea, and Afghanistan. Catherine has extensive experience in project proposal development, fund sourcing and donor reporting. In current and previous management roles, has continuously built successful close working relationships with various donors, including the World Bank, GAC and USAID, as well as local government officials and other public and private sector stakeholders.

Experience ‒ Catherine has a Masters in Management, majoring in Project Management from the Atlantic International University in Hawaii. She is a Certified Development Project Manager (CDPM®) from Project Management for Development Organizations (PM4DEV) in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Catherine also earned a Management and Industrial Engineer degree, graduating from the Mapua Institute of Technology in the Philippines.

Languages ‒ English

FARAH CHANDANI, Senior Project Manager

Role at MEDA ‒ Farah is responsible for promoting improved livelihoods, increased employment and entrepreneurship opportunities through value chain development, and better financial inclusion for young women and men around the world, including research and analysis on these topics. She currently manages the Global Affairs Canada funded Jordan Valley Links project that focuses on women and youth entrepreneurs in food processing, tourism and clean technology sectors. She also manages the financial inclusion component of the Canadian YouLead Project in Nigeria that is led by CUSO.

Experience ‒ Farah has over 15 years' experience as an International Development professional. Her career began as an Evaluation Officer for Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and since then, has worked as an Analyst and Project Officer for the Regional Africa Program, the Pakistan Program, the China Program and most recently Partnership Programming. Farah earned her Masters of Science specializing in Rural Planning and International Development at the University of Guelph and her B.Sc specializing in Psychology at Queen's University. Her specialties include: women's economic empowerment and gender equality programming; youth programming; and results-based management training, monitoring and evaluation.

Languages ‒ English, French (intermediate), Urdu/Hindi (basic) and Swahili (basic)

FRANCES FORTUNE, Senior Project Manager

Role at MEDA - Frances has many years of project and program management experience, including the management of a variety of small projects of community business to multi-year national and regional programs. In her role as Sr. Project Manager, she is responsible for providing management, technical and consulting services to MEDA projects and to a wide range of clients in the West Africa/MENA regions. She also actively seeks opportunities for new business development and mutually beneficial partnerships.

Experience - Frances lived in West Africa (Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea) for 28 years working with NGOs in the areas of conflict transformation and peace building. She managed a consultancy business providing technical expertise in program design, monitoring and evaluation and strategic and tactical guidance to ongoing projects, NGOs and INGOS working in sub-Saharan Africa. She is a Ph.D. student, Global Social Policy with focus on youth informal employment at Balsillie School of International Affairs at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her educational background also includes a M.A., Conflict Analysis and Management from Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia; B. Sc., Geology from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and a Certificate, French as a Second Language from the French Immersion School of the University of Western Ontario at Trois Pistoles in Quebec.

Languages - English and French

INTISSAR RAJABANY, Country Project Manager, Libya

Role at MEDA ‒ Intissar joined MEDA in April 2013. As leader of the project team Intissar is responsible for managing the implementation of MEDA's USAID-funded Libya Women's Economic Empowerment project, which aims to strengthen women owned SMEs through training, support and a matching grants fund.

Experience ‒ Prior to working with MEDA Intissar worked with the British Council and other local and international NGOs on programs that support advocacy and awareness raising in the MENA region. Due to the unique environment in Libya prior to the 2011 uprising Intissar brings with her extensive experience working in international oil and gas companies. She is currently actively involved in community service initiatives in Libya and her main interests are human rights and women empowerment in governance. She has provided assistance to the Libyan interim government with regards to establishing Human Resources best practices in the public sector and centers for civilian reintegration. In addition to being an ardent linguist, Intissar ran her own consultancy business specializing in the oil and gas sector, security and politics in Libya and is a founding member and vice president of the Women in Business Committee – Tripoli.

Languages ‒ Arabic, English and French

IRENE BURNS, Senior Director, West Africa/MENA Programs

Role at MEDA - As Senior Director of the West Africa/MENA region of programs, Irene provides direction and management to achieve overall success for development of MEDA’s work in that geographic area. She ensures an environment that allows for effective delivery of contracts and consulting assignments, including effective staff management, visiting programs and managing consultants. Irene also encourages MEDA’s technical leadership by ensuring that all team members are actively participating in one of our technical teams and contributing, as appropriate, to consulting opportunities, publications, and industry contributions while exploring new and innovative products and development of tools. In addition to this, she undertakes new business development for the West Africa/MENA team.

Experience - Irene has an extensive background in international development, including an MBA in International Business.  She has 20 years of experience managing and implementing projects in small and medium-sized (SME) enterprise development, value chain competitiveness, capacity building, business enabling environment, and regional trade and investment in developing and transition countries for USAID.  She has worked as a Senior Development Specialist in private sector development and economic growth.  Her extensive experience managing USAID programs includes positions as Chief of Party (COP), Acting Chief of Party, Deputy Chief of Party (DCOP), and Team Leader for over 7 years with DAI. She brings a deep understanding of USAID project management rules and regulations, policies and procedures, including financial management and budgeting, monitoring and evaluation, knowledge management, reporting, staff management, operations and management of multiple field offices. Most recently, she was a Director for DAI in Washington.

JANICE BOTHELLO, Country Project Director, Jordan

Role at MEDA ‒ Janice joined MEDA in April 2016 as the Country Project Director for Jordan. She is responsible for managing the implementation of MEDA's GAC-funded Jordan Valley Links project, which works to support women and youth in the Jordan Valley to identify new livelihood opportunities, build their businesses and connect to higher-value markets.

Experience ‒ Prior to working with MEDA, Janice was the Associate Director of Programs with Aga Khan Foundation Mozambique, overseeing several rural development initiatives. She was also a Program Manager with Aga Khan Foundation Canada managing projects in Afghanistan, Egypt and Mozambique.  Prior to a career in development, she worked in the private sector in marketing and publishing. Janice holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the Ivey School of Business and a Master of Science in Population and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Languages – English, French (intermediate), Portuguese (intermediate)

JENNIFER DENOMY, Technical Director, Vulnerable Populations

Role at MEDA ‒ Jennifer is responsible for building capacity, developing strategic approaches, documenting best practices, mentoring staff and overseeing how vulnerable populations are included throughout MEDA’s programming. She collaborates to ensure that technical expertise in this area is shared across the organization.

Experience ‒ Jennifer has worked in international development and education for over twenty years. She has managed projects in Egypt, Morocco, Afghanistan, Uganda, Sri Lanka, El Salvador and Mongolia, focusing on financial inclusion, skills training and workplace improvement for young people. She has supported financial institutions on product development, client analysis and risk management. From 2009 to 2012, she was facilitator of the SEEP Network’s Youth Financial Services Practitioner Learning Program, a three year action research project that brought together four microfinance organizations to explore appropriate and accessible financial services for young people. Prior to joining MEDA, she worked as the pedagogical manager of a teacher training centre in Germany and a curriculum designer for BRAC's Non-formal Primary Education Program in Bangladesh. Jennifer holds an M.Ed. in International Development and Education from the University of Toronto and an M.A. from McGill University in Montreal.

Languages ‒ English, German and French (intermediate)

KAREN WALSH, Field Project Manager, Ghana

Role at MEDA - As the Field Project Manager for the Greater Rural Opportunities for Women (GROW) project in Ghana, Karen is responsible for the successful management of the project in the field. The project is a 6-year, $20 million GAC-funded project which is helping 20,000 women farmers improve the food security of their families in Northern Ghana.

Experience - Karen was the CEO of an international development solutions provider, and has more than 25 years of experience including project management, humanitarian assistance, community reconstruction, workforce development, agricultural business expertise, refugee assistance and rural and urban community development and resiliency. She has worked in Haiti, Lebanon, Turkey, Libya, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Colombia, South Korea and Yemen. Karen holds an MPH from Yale University School of Medicine and a BA, Economics/Politics from Bennington College in Vermont.

Languages - English

NICKI POST, Senior Project Manager

Role at MEDA ‒ Nicki Post is MEDA’s Senior Consultant/Project Manager for their Youth Economic Opportunities team. Nicki oversees and provides technical support to several long term projects and consultancies that promote global youth financial inclusion and skill development. Nicki currently manages Jordan USAID LENS project with MEDA supporting the access to finance for emerging MSEs (Micro, Small Entrepreneurs). She is also responsible for exploring new opportunities for the Youth Team and manages local and international donor relations.

Experience ‒ Nicki has ten years of international development experience focusing on financial product development, savings group methodologies, financial literacy, training and project management. At MEDA, Nicki managed YouthInvest, a training and technical assistance program delivering innovative financial and non-financial services for youth in Morocco and Egypt and the youth and gender component of MEDA’s Themar project in Yemen. Nicki has also managed and provided technical support to UNCDF's YouthStart initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa and provided technical expertise through consultancies on areas varying from financial capabilities curriculum development to savings groups. Prior to MEDA, Nicki worked with Freedom from Hunger as a Technical Advisor, designing, developing and implementing financial education for MFIs and NGOs throughout West Africa and parts of Southeast Asia. Nicki specialized on informal adult and youth savings groups, savings product development and utilizing mobile phones as alternate education delivery mechanisms. Nicki's work with the International Monetary Fund and as a United States Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon award her an array of training and technical assistance experiences as well as overseas experience. She holds an M.S. from New York University in International Economics and Development and a B.A. from the University of Denver in International Studies.

Languages ‒ English and French

NICOLE HEANEY, Project Coordinator/Junior Consultant

Role at MEDA - Nicole assists the West Africa/MENA team with market research, business development, proposal development, drafting and editing technical documents, developing marketing materials, backstopping on project activities, and delivering consulting services.

Experience - Nicole is a graduate from the International Development program at Humber College, as well she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree specializing in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Waterloo. She has several years’ experience working in the non-profit sector in the areas of grant writing, volunteer coordination, event planning, fundraising and data entry.

Languages - English

SAMUEL SEDDOH, Field Project Manager, Ghana

Role at MEDA ‒ Sam is the Field Project Manager of the Farmers’ Economic Advancement Through Seedlings (FEATS) project in Ghana focused on cocoa, cashew, rubber and shea.

Experience ‒ Sam has approximately 15 years of experience in rural development, consulting and business development within the private sector. Over this period he has been engaged in project and sales management, new business development, B2B networking, commodity sourcing, distribution and trading, various vlaue chain and market development and consulting assignments. Sam has worked for organizations and projects funded by The World Bank, CEIBS, USAID, GAFCO, TechnoServe, ACDI VOCA, Chemonics International, DFID, Coffey International, Grow Africa (WEF and AU partnership), Prorustica, GiZ, Olam International and Grameen Foundation. He has a MBA from China Europe International Business School, Shanghai-China and B.Sc. Agriculture degree from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi-Ghana. Sam recently led MEDA's field team in Ghana to implement the Networks e-Coupon pilot and e-Enhanced Social Marketing Initiative (ESMI) projects which aimed at facilitating the distribution and sale of Long Lasting Insecticidal Treated Bed-Nets (LLINs) using an innovative SMS based mobile platform.

Languages ‒ Sam is fluent in English, Ewe, and Twi as well as basic Ga and French.

SHAKIR MACHHIWALA, Senior Project Manager

Role at MEDA ‒ Shakir leads, develops and manages private sector development projects, teams, partnerships and solutions across agriculture value chains for the benefit of small farmers and agribusinesses. He also provides technical assistance to various MEDA projects and teams, as well as consulting, training and capacity building services to partners and clients.

Experience ‒ Shakir has extensive international experience working in various industries across the private sector (incl. RBC, Deloitte, BlackBerry, Sustainalytics) as well as the public and non-profit sectors, in both staff and consulting roles. His areas of experience and expertise include Sustainable Business, Supply Chain and Market Development as well as Multi-Stakeholder Engagement and Partnerships. His skills encompass strategic, program, and project management as well as opportunity, risk, and results-based performance management, including monitoring & evaluation, reporting and continuous improvement. Shakir has lived and worked in India for 33 years and his travels have taken him to more than 35 countries around the world spanning Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean. He thus has a good first-hand understanding of various international development issues, ground realities, environments and cultures, and the skills in navigating them effectively. Shakir holds an MBA in International Business and Sustainability as well as a Graduate Diploma in Business and the Environment from the Schulich School of Business at York University, Toronto, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Mumbai, India.

Languages ‒ Shakir is fluent in English and Hindi and has a basic understanding of Marathi, Gujarati and Urdu.