Press Releases

MEDA announces new CEO/President

Dorothy NyambiDorothy NyambiSeptember 13, 2018 - Waterloo, ON - Following an extensive search, the board of Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Dorothy Nyambi as the organization’s next Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President. She will succeed Allan Sauder, who is retiring from a role which he has held for the past 16 years.

Dorothy is a dual citizen of Canada and Cameroon and is fully bilingual, speaking both English and French. Her background includes over 20 years of international development policy and programming experience at the strategic and analytical level, with country, regional and continental scope. She has work experience in Africa, Asia, Middle East, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Caribbean and North America. Dorothy began her career as a medical doctor before moving into the field of international development.

Dr. Nyambi resonates strongly with MEDA’s approach and framework of entrepreneurship as the pathway to alleviate poverty, particularly with work that is sustainable, scalable, measurable and replicable.

Dorothy and her husband currently live in Ontario. She holds a Christian faith commitment and an appreciation for MEDA’s Mennonite beliefs and values. She is attracted to MEDA’s inclusive work with many diverse communities and she demonstrates a humility and leadership style that indicates she will integrate with leadership/staff in her words, to “journey together.” We are very excited about this new chapter in MEDA’s legacy of creating business solutions to poverty.

Dr. Nyambi’s official start date is November 26, 2018; we plan to introduce her publicly at Convention in Indianapolis, November 8-11, 2018. Dorothy will work closely with Allan Sauder through a period of transition to December 14, 2018.

“I’m honoured and humbled by this opportunity to serve in leadership for this world class organization and to continue building on the amazing impact MEDA has. MEDA is a leading innovator in the field of economic development with truly unique and highly effective approaches. I look forward to connecting with our many faithful private supporters and institutional granting partners.” – Dr. Dorothy Nyambi, incoming President and CEO.

About MEDA:

  • MEDA is an international economic development organization whose mission is to create business solutions to poverty.
  • We work with 400 partners in 62 countries to help 910,000 clients unleash their potential to earn a livelihood, provide for their families and enrich their communities.
  • Donations to MEDA are multiplied in impact seven times on average.
  • MEDA has offices in Waterloo and Ottawa, ON, Washington, DC and Lancaster, PA, and internationally.

Media enquiries: please contact Linda Whitmore, Senior Manager Marketing & Communications at (226) 499-8993 or
Higher resolution photo available here

Tim Penner, Board Chair
Vonnie Sieber, CEO Search Committee Chair

Next gen leaders collaborate to launch MEDAx

Noting shifting supporter demographics and a new wave of leadership on the horizon, MEDA has announced the launch of MEDAx, a specialized event for professionals under age 40, Nov. 9-10. The event will be held in conjunction with MEDA’s longstanding Business As A Calling Convention, this year Nov. 8-11 at the J.W. Marriott in Indianapolis, Ind.

MEDAx marks the first event of its kind in nearly four decades of MEDA conventions.

Though designed with a slant towards emerging professionals in business and international development, the conference-within-a-conference is open to anyone under 40 interested in exploring the intersect of personal values and professional pursuits, entrepreneurship, and MEDA’s international work. 

Activities include curated networking events, conversation with guest speakers, a start-up pitch competition and an inside look at MEDA’s worldwide work in creating business solutions to poverty.

To create the event, MEDA associate development officer Vanessa Hofer and marketing coordinator Katie West are working with fellow MEDA colleagues and a committee of nine next generation leaders from across the US and Canada.

“It is extraordinary to witness the enthusiasm for this bold initiative from within MEDA and from our friends and supporters across both countries,” said Hofer.

“Our committee is exceptional and integral. We are grateful to have a team of talented peers working with us, offering personal experience in a variety of fields, including business consulting, finance, women’s peacebuilding and leadership, family business and more.”

MEDAx will run a total of 24 hours, kicking off with a Friday Night Launch Party and concluding with a farewell reception for outgoing MEDA president Allan Sauder. Hofer, West and team are finalizing additional programming details in hopes of announcing speakers by mid-August.

“Some activities will be geared for generations X, Y and Z. Others will be completely integrated with the larger convention,” Hofer said. “This is an important detail. We want to both speak to the next generation and to facilitate cross-generational relationship building.”

Space is limited. Registration for MEDAx is now open. Applications for the start-up competition are due by mid-September.

For more information about MEDAx, including pricing, registration, and submission requirements for the MEDA 5k Pitch Competition, visit or contact Vanessa Hofer at

MEDA sowing seeds of economic growth in Asia

New projects with private sector partners and Australian Government will reap benefits for smallholder farmers in Myanmar and Pakistan


Nov. 21, 2017

WATERLOO, ON – MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates) is proud to be part of two new initiatives in Asia over the next two years that build on our commitment to shared value, working with the private sector to solve social problems and spur economic development.

With $823,475 in funding from the Australian Government through its Business Partnerships Platform, and private sector contributions, MEDA will work with partners in Pakistan and Myanmar to improve small farmers’ access to quality seeds, the first step towards better crops, higher yields, and more sustainable livelihoods.

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MEDA Honors 10 Young Women Changing the World Award Recipients!

The exceptional young women were recognized at the annual MEDA convention in San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio, Tx. – MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 10 Young Women Changing the World awards.

Over the last two years, MEDA’s 20 under 35: Young Professionals Changing the World Initiative recognized 40 young professionals under the age of 35. To reflect the special 2016 MEDA Convention theme – Business as a Calling: Women Changing the World – MEDA will recognize 10 exceptional young women who exude a strong commitment to faith values and service and embody an entrepreneurial spirit.

The awards would not have been possible without a generous sponsorship from Everence, a financial services organization that helps individuals, organizations and congregations integrate finances with faith through a national team of advisors and representatives.

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MEDA and Everence join to create memorable international experiences

New partnership honors Everence employee

May 5, 2016


HARRISBURG, Pa. – In an effort to bring together their shared values and commitments, MEDA - Mennonite Economic Development Associates – and Everence® are proud to announce a new partnership that enables the Everence Advisor of the Year award winner to visit a MEDA project in a developing country.

Matt Novak, CFA®, Everence Financial Advisor from Souderton, Pennsylvania, was recognized as the Advisor of the Year at the 2016 Everence National Conference in April. As part of the honor, Novak will have the opportunity to participate in an upcoming MEDA Field Experience trip to Nicaragua, to view firsthand the ways Everence members can help create business solutions to poverty.

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MEDA embarks on new project in Myanmar

April 8, 2016


Waterloo, ON - Thousands of women in Myanmar will gain new opportunities to become economically active participants and leaders in a rapidly changing economy through a new $16.3 million project just announced by the Government of Canada.

Over five years, MEDA – Mennonite Economic Development Associates – will assist 25,000 women producers to increase their incomes and status by helping them build stronger links to markets and more profitable businesses. Improving Market Opportunities for Women will also work with partners to increase access to credit, inputs, market linkages and new technologies for women.

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MEDA to launch “Women Empowering Women” groups

March 6, 2016


Lancaster, Pa. – In celebration of International Women’s Day (Tuesday, March 8), MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates) will launch two women’s groups in May. The groups, called “Women Empowering Women with MEDA,” will meet quarterly in Lancaster and Souderton, Pennsylvania, and promote the importance of women's economic empowerment as a catalyst for positive change in the world.

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MEDA's president, Allan Sauder, announces his retirement

Allan SauderFebruary 27, 2018


WATERLOO, ON. - Allan Sauder, Mennonite Economic Development Associates’ (MEDA) longest serving president, told staff this week of his intention to retire at year-end, initiating an orderly leadership transition process which will take place over the balance of 2018. The board of directors will begin a global search to select a new leader.

 “My 31-year career with MEDA has been a wonderful experience and has given me opportunities that I would not exchange for any other. I am so grateful for the support I have received over the years from the board of directors, colleagues on the MEDA staff, partners, clients and the international development community in general.” Sauder said.  “As I look back, I am proud of the impact and growth that the MEDA team has been able to achieve, but I think most often of the many rewarding friendships that have developed along the way.”

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One Day. One Cause. One Goal.

It’s that time of year again: You can’t believe it’s time to start your holiday shopping, your calendar is filling up with events, gatherings, concerts and meetings. You’ve probably developed a list of things you have to do in the next few weeks. But the coming of the holidays can’t distract us from thinking about the bigger things in life: A greater Cause; a greater Good.

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MEDA World Night Market in Souderton, PA

Free Live Music, International Foods, Prizes, Soccer and much more!

May 26, 2016


SOUDERTON, Pa. - MEDA - Mennonite Economic Development Associates - will host a World Night Market on Saturday, June 4th from 9:00pm to 1:00am at the Souderton Shopping Center (781 Route 113 Souderton, PA). The late night event will benefit MEDA’s work to create business solutions to poverty in the developing world.

Night markets originated in Asian cultures, but they’re quickly spreading to cultures far and wide. A night market takes place just after dusk and goes to the wee hours of the morning. Tent vendors, food vendors and musicians gather to block a street and create an energetic atmosphere with all the smells, sounds and activities of an international marketplace.

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MEDA to announce findings from YouthInvest Project

Post-project evaluation leads to insights on financial inclusion

April 12, 2016


Waterloo, ON - MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates) will celebrate the positive impact of youth economic empowerment with a half-day learning event on Tuesday, April 26 from 9.30am to 12.30pm at the Chestnut Conference Centre, in Toronto (located near Dundas and University). This event is of special interest to international development practitioners and donors.

The event will highlight the findings of an impact evaluation of MEDA’s YouthInvest project. From 2008 to 2014, YouthInvest reached over 63,000 youth in Morocco and Egypt with savings, loans and skills training. With the support of The MasterCard Foundation, we worked with banks, microfinance institutions and training institutions to develop youth-friendly products and build capacity of their staff to support youth clients. In 2016, we completed an impact evaluation on our skills training program and are excited to release results of this evaluation.

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Women in Ukraine: "We will be heard."

April 5, 2016


Waterloo, ON - Promoting gender equality in development projects isn’t new to MEDA. We managed our first project focused specifically on women’s economic empowerment in the early 2000s. Today, MEDA employs several gender specialists and includes a component promoting gender equality in all of our projects.

Members of MEDA’s Ukraine Horticulture Business Development Project (UHBDP) recently participated in a conference focused on the empowerment of women farmers. The “Prospects and Opportunities of Women Famers Movement in Ukraine Conference” was hosted by three Ukraine-based development projects funded by the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada.

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