We are thrilled to announce the newest additions to WISER’s global team. In Kenya, Linda Njeri Kamau and Neema W. Kanyua are the newest voices joining the WISER NGO Board. In the U.S, we welcome Alexandria Jonas as Development Director, Susan Joines as Bookkeeper/Administrative Assistant, and Liddy Grantland as Communications Assistant. We are also excited to formally re-introduce longtime WISER staff member Zack Fowler as he steps into the Executive Director role for WISER International.
You can learn more about the exciting additions to the WISER team below!
Linda Njeri Kamau – WISER NGO Board Member
Linda Njeri Kamau is an innovative software developer committed to women’s empowerment through science and engineering. After earning degrees in Business Information Technology from both the Graffins College in Kenya and Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Linda went on to work as the Lead Developer at several Nairobi-based software companies. In 2010, she co-founded AkiraChix, an organization committed to providing training, mentorship and outreach programs to increase the number of skilled women in technology fields. She now serves as Training Director and Managing Director, working to create programming, fundraise, and manage the company while also developing curricula and recruiting students and community partners. She was recently named an African Visionary Fellow, and she was honored as an “Unsung Hero” by the office of the US Ambassador to Kenya.
Neema W. Kanyua – WISER NGO Board Member
Neema W. Kanyua is passionate about creating opportunities for Africa’s current and future leaders to reach their full potential. After graduating cum laude with a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University, Neema worked as a consultant across Kenya, New Zealand, and Australia. In that role, she advised Fortune 500 companies, governmental organizations, and social impact companies, researching best-practice strategies and implementing operations improvements that led to sustained growth. She went on to serve as the Growth and Expansion Lead at Nova Pioneer, a pan-African network of world-class K-12 schools that provides innovative educational opportunities that are accessible to a broad range of students. Her work with Nova Pioneer facilitated the rollout of thirteen new schools, and the expansion of three more, in only two years.
Zack Fowler – Executive Director, WISER International
After joining WISER International as Development Director in 2016 and serving as Managing Director of Programs from 2017-18, Zack Fowler is stepping into the Executive Director role as the lead for WISER’s US-based staff. A nonprofit manager with a demonstrated record of commitment to community-driven programs, Zack has been involved with WISER’s work since 2012, when he first began volunteering for the organization. A B.N. Duke Scholar and Paul Farmer Award-winner, Zack holds a Global Health degree from Duke University with a focus on community-based health narratives. He lives in Carrboro, NC and spends approximately three months each year on WISER’s campus in Muhuru Bay to offer support for WISER NGO leadership.
Alexandria Jonas – Development Manager, WISER International
Alexandria Jonas was raised in rural Illinois and earned a degree in sociology from Southern Illinois University. Alex brings to WISER professional experience working on “both sides of the house” in programs and administration. She worked internationally and cross- culturally in both the US and Global South as a community organizer in New York City, the Philippines and North Carolina focusing on workers’ and immigrants’ rights and economic development. For the past ten years, Alex has enjoyed using her nuanced understanding of on-the-ground community work to raise funds and create communications that inspire supporters to develop long-term donor relationships. When she isn’t working, Alex is likely taking photographs or having fun outdoors with her budding feminist daughters, Marilea and Maya.
Susan Joines – Bookkeeper & Administrative Assistant, WISER International
Born in New Orleans to an American GI and a German mother, Susan spent most of her childhood living in Germany with occasional transfers back to the states. After earning her accounting degree, Susan started her career in the Los Angeles office of Arthur Andersen. Susan recently retired after over 30 years of management positions in both for-profit and non-profit organizations, including a substantial stint as a CFO. Throughout her career, Susan has put her proficiency in risk management, budget administration, and strategic planning to use by consistently enhancing productivity, improving accountability, reducing spending, and encouraging financial growth and innovation. Outside of work, Susan is a fitness enthusiast who enjoys ballroom dancing and curling up with a book and her cat, Boo.
Liddy Grantland – Communications Assistant, WISER International
Liddy Grantland is a junior at Duke University from Columbia, SC studying African American Studies and English, with a minor in Theater Studies. She fell in love with WISER as a DukeEngage student in 2017 and has been honored to step into a professional role in the organization this year. When she’s not studying poems and power structures or working on WISER graphics, she can be found serving as student pastor in the Duke Wesley Fellowship, conducting humanities research, volunteering in the Family Room in Duke Children’s Hospital, serving as a Peer Advocate for Sexual Health (PASH), and reading for fun instead of reading for class. Liddy loves to write, especially about such a vivacious and inspiring group of students, and is thrilled to play a part in sharing WISER’s work with the world.
We are so excited to welcome each of these passionate members into WISER’s team, and we can’t wait for each of them to further WISER’s impact in unique and extraordinary ways.