Executive Office

Liz Schrayer, President & CEO


Liz Schrayer serves as President & CEO of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC), a broad based coalition of over 500 businesses and NGOs that advocates for strong U.S. global leadership through development and diplomacy. Under her leadership, the USGLC has grown to a nationwide network of advocates in all 50 states and boasts a bipartisan Advisory Council, which includes virtually every living former Secretary of State, and a National Security Advisory Council consisting of nearly 200 retired three and four-star generals and admirals.

Ms. Schrayer currently serves on the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation’s Development Advisory Council, USAID’s Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid (ACFVA), as well as several advisory boards and committees for the University of Michigan, including the Ford School of Public Policy. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

In addition to running the USGLC, Ms. Schrayer serves as President of Schrayer & Associates, Inc., a nationwide consulting firm founded in 1995, which works on a wide range of domestic and international issues.

Read More

Jason Gross, Executive Director

Jason Gross serves as Executive Director of the USGLC, tapping over 20 years of public policy, Capitol Hill and Presidential campaign experience to oversee day-to-day operations of the nationwide coalition. Prior to rejoining the USGLC, Gross served nine years as Chief of Staff to U.S. Representative Joe Courtney of Connecticut. Gross launched Courtney’s office in the House and led the office from a razor-thin 83 vote victory in 2006 to four strong reelections and Courtney being named Congress’s 8th highest over-performing Democrat by the Cook Political Report in 2014. Previously, Gross became the USGLC’s first full-time employee in 2001 and contributed to the organization’s growth from nascent coalition to established organization in six years as Managing Director.

Read More

Emily Benovitz

Emily Benovitz, Chief of Staff

Emily Benovitz serves as the Chief of Staff for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.  She joined the USGLC in 2011, most recently serving as Program Director, overseeing the organization’s events and programming in DC and across the country.  Prior to joining USGLC, Emily spent two years at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee managing activity for AIPAC’s top political activists, and has previous experience working at an education non-profit and on Capitol Hill.  In her community life, Emily is a member of the Jewish Federations of North America’s National Young Leadership Cabinet, a premier young leadership development program that educates and connects the next generation of global Jewish leaders and philanthropists.  She has served on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and co-chaired many programs and initiatives.  Emily is a native of Louisville, KY and received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan.

Vanessa Carrington

Vanessa Carrington, Executive Assistant to CEO

Vanessa Carrington joined USGLC on June 12th as Executive Assistant to the CEO. Vanessa comes to USGLC with over 15 years of experience supporting C-suite leaders in administrative, communications, fundraising and legal fields. Prior to joining USGLC, Vanessa held various positions with Beth Group Associates, Sun Automation, and ran her own business helping small businesses widen their market outreach. A co-founder of the North Baltimore County Democratic Club, Vanessa recently served as President and led their efforts on voter education. Vanessa earned her Early Childhood Education Certificate and an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration at the Community College of Baltimore County and iscurrently completing a business degree at the University of Baltimore.

Government Relations

Ariana E. Reks

Ariana E. Reks, Government Relations Director

Ariana joins the USGLC with nearly ten years of federal government experience working on foreign policy and national security issues. Most recently, Ariana served as the Director of Senate Affairs in the Department of State’s Bureau of Legislative Affairs. In this capacity, she advised the Department on how to advance U.S. foreign policy, national security, and development priorities in Congress and managed the Department’s relationship with the U.S. Senate. Prior to joining the State Department, Ariana served as the Foreign Policy and Defense Advisor to Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) responsible for the Senator’s foreign policy, national security, and related appropriations portfolios. A native of Syracuse, New York, Ariana spent a year studying in Paris, France, before earning her bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a minor in French Literature from Johns Hopkins University.

Parker Novak

Parker Novak, Deputy Government Relations Director

Parker joins USGLC from the International Republican Institute (IRI), where he served in various roles, including Resident Program Director for Indonesia and Timor-Leste. Living in Jakarta and Dili, he served as IRI’s senior in-country representative and implemented democracy and governance programs funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, State Department, and US Agency for International Development. He has lived in six countries and worked on 13, with experience across government, policy, and politics. He started his career as an aide to then-House Speaker John A. Boehner and working on political and public affairs campaigns in his home state of Ohio. He holds a Master’s degree in Political Management and Global Politics from George Washington University and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from The Ohio State University.

Rodney Kazibwe

Rodney Kazibwe, Deputy Government Relations Director

Rodney joins the USGLC with bicameral and Congressional leadership work experience. As an aide to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Rodney worked on a diverse set of legislative priorities including maintaining robust support for U.S. international development programs. Most recently, Rodney served as the Foreign Affairs Legislative Assistant to Representative Colin Allred, leading his work on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. In this role, Rodney worked to advance a legislative agenda focused on democracy building, global good governance, and humanitarian assistance. Born in Kampala, Uganda he holds a Master’s degree in International Economic Development from the George Washington University and a Bachelor’s in International Affairs from the University of Georgia.

Hannah Jones

Hannah Jones, Government Relations Assistant

Hannah Jones will join the USGLC on June 5 from the NewDEAL, a non-profit focused on supporting innovative state and local policies and policymakers. Hannah earned her B.A. in International Studies and Political Science from Boston College in 2022. Previously, Hannah served as an intern in the office of Former Representative Albio Sires of New Jersey, as a research assistant with the Alliance for Citizen Engagement focusing on the Western Hemisphere, and political organizing in Kansas.  A native of the Midwest, Hannah currently resides in D.C. and is looking forward to joining the Government Relations team.

Sammel Abodo

Sammel Abodo, Government Relations Assistant

Sam joins the USGLC as a Government Relations Assistant. Sam previously interned at the American Foreign Policy Council, the National Interest, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and Squire Patton Boggs. Throughout his internships, he wrote on foreign policy issues in publications including Newsweek and RealClearDefense. Sam earned his Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Politics from Carnegie Mellon University. Outside of work, Sam enjoys playing and watching soccer. Originally from New York City, he is excited to be back in Washington, DC and working with USGLC.

National Engagement

Michelle Bekkering, National Engagement Director

Michelle Bekkering currently serves as National Engagement Director for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.

Prior to joining USGLC, Bekkering served at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where she was nominated by the President and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate as an Assistant Administrator. An international development expert, Bekkering led efforts to address some of the most complex development challenges around the world. Bekkering was a key leader in implementing efforts to modernize foreign assistance, including the Agency’s approach to private sector engagement. A passionate advocate for women’s empowerment and equality, Bekkering was a leading architect of the White House-led Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP); a whole of U.S. Government initiative to economically empower 50 million women by 2025. Bekkering was awarded a Superior Accomplishment Award by USAID for her leadership.

Read More

Liza Brilliant

Liza Brilliant, Associate, National Engagement

Liza joins the USGLC’s National Engagement team as a recent graduate of Kenyon College, where she majored in Anthropology with concentrations in African Diaspora Studies and Women’s & Gender Studies. Building on her interest in international relations and her passion for human rights advocacy, Liza spent time abroad in Copenhagen studying international human rights law, transnational human trafficking, and modern-day slavery. Originally from Chevy-Chase, Maryland, Liza is now based in Washington, D.C., and excited to be working with the USGLC.

National Outreach

Alex Grant

Alex Grant, National Outreach Director

Alex joins the USGLC from the National Association of Broadcasters’ Political Action Committee (NABPAC), where he served as Senior Manager. At NABPAC, his responsibilities included expanding the visibility and size of the PAC, recruiting new donors, managing communications, and working with leaders of the broadcast industry to engage with key stakeholders. His previous experiences include serving as Campaign Manager for a congressional campaign in Indiana during the 2012 cycle, as a PAC Compliance Specialist at Vocus, Inc., and as Finance Director and Legislative Aide for Congressman Steven R. Rothman (D-NJ-09). A native of Rustburg, Virginia, Alex received his Bachelor of Arts in government & international relations from George Mason University, and holds a Master of Professional Studies in political management from George Washington University.

Jeremy Tolbert

Jeremy Tolbert, Deputy National Outreach Director, Eastern Region

Jeremy comes to the USGLC from the Office of U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC). During his tenure there, he focused his efforts on military affairs outreach, directed the Military Academy Nominations Program and served as the Senator’s liaison to various groups and organizations. In addition, he was involved with Department of State issues and organized and directed major events. To date, he has worked for two U.S. Senators and has been a part of several federal campaigns, including the historic election of Tim Scott, who became the South’s first African-American Senator since Reconstruction. He is a graduate of Clemson University where he served as the Governmental Affairs Director and advocated for higher education on behalf of Clemson’s undergraduate student body. Jeremy is a proud native of Greenville, South Carolina.

Luke Wenz, Deputy National Outreach Director, West and Military

Luke Wenz joined the USGLC team in 2018 and currently serves as the Deputy National Outreach Director, West and Military. In addition to his work with USGLC, Luke serves as the President of the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations as well as the President of Big Stick Consulting, LLC – an Arizona-based strategic consulting firm focusing on a broad range of public relations and policy issues. In addition, Luke serves on the Board of Directors of the American Committees on Foreign Relations and the Advisory Boards of Global Ties Arizona and the World Pix Foundation. He is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and the American Enterprise Institute’s Leadership Network. He has previously held fellowships at the Shafik Gabr Foundation’s “East-West: The Art of Dialogue” initiative and the African Middle Eastern Leadership Project.

Read More

Emily Tavino

Emily Tavino, Deputy National Outreach Director, Special Projects

Emily joins the USGLC from Finseca, a national trade association representing the country’s top life insurance agents and financial advisors. As a Political Affairs Manager, Emily worked with a portfolio of Finseca advocates to educate lawmakers on financial security issues and to expand and strengthen the organization’s advocacy network. Previously, she served as a senior staffer for former Chairman Sharon Bulova of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in Northern Virginia. A proud native of Leesburg, Virginia, Emily received her B.A. degree in Government from the College of William & Mary and M.P.P. degree from George Mason University.

Kiersten Kullenberg

Kiersten Kullenberg, Outreach Director, Texas–Colorado–New Mexico

Kiersten joins the USGLC from the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, where served as Director of Programs, designing and coordinating public speaking engagements to educate the North Texas community on global issues. She first joined the Council’s staff in 2018 following an internship with the programs department. A Dallas area native, Kiersten attended Louisiana State University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in political science and international relations, with a minor in religious studies. While in school, Kiersten studied abroad in Morocco and focused her studies on the Arabic language and women in world religions. She was a proud member of The Golden Band From Tigerland and is an alumni member of Kappa Kappa Psi and Sigma Alpha Iota. Kiersten is currently based in Dallas, TX.

Eric Moorer

Eric Moorer, Director, Heartland Region

Eric Moorer joins USGLC after serving as Deputy Canvass Director for the Grassroots Team’s DC office, fundraising on behalf of Amnesty International. Previously, Eric interned for a U.S. Senator’s state operation and served as a Catholic Community Connection fellow for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Earlier, Eric worked as a political campaign coordinator for a Cleveland City Council candidate and as the executive assistant for an Ohio gubernatorial campaign. A native of Northeast Ohio, Eric earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Notre Dame College, where he served as the college student representative to the Propel Ohio Collegiate Leadership Summit and was a 2-time conference champion for the college’s track and field team. Eric is a proud Cleveland sports fan and excited to manage outreach efforts in the Ohio Valley.


Carey Campbell

Carey Campbell, South Outreach Director

Carey rejoins USGLC after working for address domestic hunger issues during the pandemic.  She has has served as Chief of Staff to the South Carolina House of Representatives Deputy Minority Leader James Smith, where she oversaw all political and legislative priorities. Her experience also includes serving as South Carolina Deputy Political Director for the Hillary for President campaign during the 2008 primaries and a former lobbyist for a South Carolina education organization. Carey has worked on numerous political campaigns at the local, state, and presidential level overseeing field, fundraising, and policy development. She graduated with honors from the University of South Carolina, where she focused on political science. She is a native of Decatur, AL and spent several years in Nashville, TN.

Rose Leonard

Rose Leonard, Manager, Farmers for Prosperity

Rose joins USGLC after working with the Organization of American States (OAS) in the Department for Social Inclusion. Prior to her time at the OAS, Rose was an English teacher for three years in Madrid, Spain, where she also earned a master’s degree in international relations from Instituto de Empresa (IE University). A native of Massachusetts, Rose received a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology from Simmons University in Boston. She is thrilled to continue assisting in outreach efforts for USGLC.

Devonte Wilson

Devonte Wilson, Outreach Manager, Northeast Region

Devonte Wilson serves as Outreach Manager for the Northeast Region at USGLC. Prior to joining USGLC, Devonte worked at the Office of U.S. Representative Jeff Jackson of North Carolina, where he served as Senior Director of Community Engagement. Previously, he worked as Civic Engagement Field Liaison for Representative Deborah Ross also of North Carolina (and former USGLC State Advisory Committee Member). In 2019, Devonte was appointed by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper to chair the Youth Engagement Committee of the State Commission on Community Service. Devonte served as President of the Young Democrats of North Carolina and taught social studies in middle school.  Devonte earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from UNC Greensboro and dual Master’s degrees in Divinity and Public Administration from Liberty University.

Theo Moore

Theo Moore, Outreach Associate, East Region

After Theo contributed to USGLC’s Military Outreach team on a temporary basis, he has now joined the Outreach team in a permanent position.  Theo joined the USGLC after graduating from San Diego State University, where he majored in International Security and Conflict Resolution with a concentration in Justice in the Global System. During his studies, he spent a year at the University of Haifa in Israel studying Arabic and building on his interest in Middle East policy. Prior to his time at USGLC, Theo worked as an intern in the D.C. office of Congressman Jake Auchincloss (MA-04) and the District Office of Congresswoman Sara Jacobs (CA-51). A native of Newton, Massachusetts, Theo is now based in D.C. and is excited to join the USGLC team.

Sarah Scott

Sarah Scott, Outreach Assistant, Western Region

Sarah joins the USGLC as an Outreach Assistant for the Western Region. Prior to joining USGLC, Sarah served as an intern for U.S. Representative Tom Suozzi of New York. Earlier, Sarah interned on Anna Kaplan’s campaign for New York State Senate. She is a recent graduate of the University of Delaware with a degree in Energy and Environmental Policy and a concentration in Economics and Public Policy. Originally from Long Island, New York, Sarah is excited to call Washington, D.C. home.

James Lovett

James Lovett, Outreach Assistant, Heartland Region

James joins the USGLC as an Outreach Assistant for the Heartland Region. Before joining the organization, James interned in the offices of Representative Trey Gowdy and Senator Tim Scott, both of South Carolina. He is a recent graduate from American University, with a major in International Service, focused on global health and conflict resolution. James also studied in Madrid, Spain furthering his comparative analysis of Western European vs. U.S. health systems. James is originally from Greenville, South Carolina.

Military & Veterans Outreach

Gretchen Klingler

Gretchen Klingler, Deputy Director, Veterans Outreach

Gretchen arrives at USGLC with experience gained as a national outreach professional from her time with the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Ohio Charities and the National Veterans Memorial and Museum (NVMM). An Air Force Veteran, Gretchen worked to build and engage the NVMM’s veteran network, partnering with community, veteran service organization, and business leaders to create successful programming locally, across the state of Ohio, and nationwide. At VFW Ohio Charities, she served as point of contact for more than 200 veteran service and fraternal organizations, supporting them in meeting their charitable giving and legislative goals. She now leads USGLC’s Veterans for Smart Power initiative, a national network of veterans thousands strong, where she develops engagement and advocacy opportunities with a special focus on the intersection between diplomacy and development with American national security objectives.  Gretchen is an Ohio State Buckeye alumna, a 2017 Pat Tillman Scholar, and an active member of the VFW, American Legion, and AMVETS. She is previously a member of USGLC’s Veterans for Smart Power network as a representative from the state of Ohio, and serves as an Advisory Board member for the Women in Leadership Program at Ashland University and as a board member for Veterans Voice of America.

Jolan Jolivette

Jolan Jolivette, Senior Veterans Outreach Manager

Jolan currently serves as the Senior Veterans Outreach Manager for U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. Previously, Jolan worked at the Office of Governor John Bel Edwards of Louisiana, where he served in various roles, including  Assistant Director of Disability Affairs, Community Specialist, and Project Coordinator. During that time, Jolan helped establish Louisiana as a model employer for individuals with disabilities, spearheaded the 2020 Louisiana Census effort, and led the effort to expand the Dolly Parton Imagination Library statewide to increase early childhood literacy rates. Jolan currently serves as an Air Force officer with the Louisiana Air National Guard 159thFighter Wing.  Jolan has also served as a Field Organizer for U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu and board member for the Greater Southwest Louisiana Black Chamber of Commerce. A native of Lafayette, Louisiana, Jolan attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in History.


Joshua Cohen

Joshua Cohen, Director of Communications

Josh joins USGLC from the Department of State, where he served as Senior Advisor and Speechwriter to Acting Deputy Secretary Victoria Nuland and Under Secretary John Bass—managing strategic communications to articulate and amplify the Department’s global efforts to advance the security, prosperity, and values of the American people. Earlier, Josh served for more than a decade in policymaking circles at the Department of Defense and on Capitol Hill, including as Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Lois Frankel, and as the Middle East Subcommittee Staff Director under Congressman Ted Deutch. Josh holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree from the Harvard Kennedy School. A native Michigander, Josh and his wife, Kelly, now live with their son in Washington, DC.

Shawn Dhar

Shawn Dhar, Deputy Communications Director

Shawn joins USGLC from Brookings, where he served as a senior advisor providing strategic counsel, guidance, and leadership to the Brookings Community by helping advance high-quality, fact-based research and policy recommendations to shape U.S. and international policy debates. Prior to joining Brookings, Shawn served as the Communications Director for Congressman Adam Putnam (R-FL) and Director of Media Relations for the House Republican Conference under Chairman J.C. Watts, Jr. (R-OK). Shawn is a native of Rochester Hills, Michigan and received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science Pre-Law from Michigan State University and his master’s degree in Political Management from The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management. He lives with his wife, Megan, daughters, Maddie and Ellie, and their mini goldendoodle, Bailey, in Fairfax, Virginia.

Mia Azizah

Mia Azizah, Communications Project Manager

Mia Azizah has joined the USGLC after working as the Assistant Director of Marketing for the University of Nebraska. There, Mia integrated marketing and communications to increase the University’s enrollment of international and military-affiliated students and implemented the university’s international programs in partnership with U.S. State Department, including the Mandela Washington Fellowship. Mia earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in political science from the University of Nebraska and studied abroad in Spain and Rwanda. She immigrated to the U.S. from Jakarta, Indonesia, and grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Elizabeth Onibokun

Elizabeth Onibokun, Communications & Press Manager

Elizabeth serves as the Communications and Press Manager. She previously worked as a Communications Associate at Scott Circle Communications, a public relations and communications agency aiding mission-driven causes. There, Elizabeth created digital and social content and implemented state-based and national media outreach efforts for national non-profits and leading companies. Elizabeth earned her Master’s degree in Politics and International Studies from the University of Cambridge and her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations from UCLA. Elizabeth is a proud first-generation American and is deeply connected to her Jamaican and Nigerian heritage. While she was born and raised in California, she is now happy to call DC home.

Megan Pleasanton

Megan Pleasanton, Data–CRM Senior Manager

Megan serves as the Data/CRM Senior Manager for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.  With over 14 years of experience in marketing, including six in database analytics and CRM Strategy, Megan most recently served as the Manager of CRM Strategy with PENN Entertainment, Inc.  There, she established and managed the CRM strategy of eight casinos throughout the northeast. Previously, she worked as a Membership Marketing Specialist for the AAA Club Alliance in Wilmington, DE where she helped grow their membership base and create new marketing efforts. Originally from Delaware, Megan earned her B.S. in Marketing from Wilmington University. She now calls Reston, VA her home where she lives with her family.

Feiras Rahman

Feiras Rahman, Data & Digital Marketing Associate

Feiras serves as the Data and Digital Marketing Associate for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. Most recently, Feiras worked at Project Sunshine, a nonprofit that provides developmental support to pediatric patients. There, he spearheaded their email marketing and website restructuring in efforts to establish a more efficient system that helped boost lead generation and overall brand recognition. Previously, he was a consultant at the United Nations Capital Development Fund where he supported the development of a framework for the integrated appraisal of municipal waste management projects. Feiras earned his Master’s degree in International Development and Nonprofit Management from New York University and received his Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Economics from American University. Originally from Bangladesh, Feiras’ upbringing as a third culture child involved growing up in five diverse countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America. Today, he is happy to call DC his home.

Madison Toomey

Madison Toomey, Communications Assistant

Madison joins the USGLC after graduating from the George Washington University with a B.A. in International Affairs concentrating in Conflict Resolution. Most recently, Madison worked as an intern in the U.S. House of Representatives for Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA). Originally from Boston Massachusetts, Madison has lived in Washington D.C. for the past four years. She is thrilled to be joining the USGLC team to pursue her passions for communications and international development.

Ben Suarato

Ben Suarato, Communications Advisor

Benjamin Suarato joined USGLC bringing over 15 years of communications, legislative, and advocacy experience from Capitol Hill and the nonprofit sector. Prior to USGLC, Benjamin led communications at Dream.Org, a bipartisan social and environmental justice nonprofit. Benjamin’s experience in the House of Representatives began with Rep. Michael McNulty (D-NY) and then continued for eight years as the Communications Director for Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) where he built an award-winning social media presence, worked extensively with the Congressional Black and Hispanic Caucuses through the Tri-Caucus, and helped lead communications around movements like #StopAsianHate. He also served as a foreign affairs legislative assistant. In addition to experience on Capitol Hill, Benjamin has years of organizing experience through his time with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), an umbrella organization of national and local Jewish advocacy groups where he helped create a communications department and organized efforts around foreign aid, poverty, climate change, and gun violence. Benjamin is a native of upstate New York who graduated from Colgate University. 


Emily Jennings French

Emily Jennings French, Program Director

Emily serves as USGLC’s Program Director, overseeing the strategy and implementation of the numerous events hosted by the organization each year in Washington, DC and around the country. Emily joined USGLC shortly upon graduating from American University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in International Relations, with a focus on U.S. foreign policy, national security, and Russian language, which included a semester spent living in St. Petersburg, Russia. A native of Burlington, Vermont, Emily has lived and worked in the DC-area for over 15 years and currently resides in Northern Virginia with her husband and their young children – a son and twin daughters.

Brynn MacDougall

Brynn MacDougall, Deputy Program Director

Brynn serves as the Deputy Program Director, providing thought leadership in the planning and implementation of USGLC’s small- and large-scale events. Prior to joining USGLC, Brynn worked at nonprofits in Philadelphia for six years, where she managed international girls’ leadership programs and planned events for a legal aid organization. Brynn holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Roanoke College and a certificate in Nonprofit Ascending Leadership from Bryn Mawr College. Brynn was a recipient of the Citizen Action Diplomacy Fund and the Mandela Washington Fellowship Reciprocal Exchange for her work with girls’ leadership programs in Kenya and Malawi, and served on the inaugural delegation of Young American NGO Leaders to Taiwan. A New Jersey native, Brynn moved to DC in 2022 and enjoys spending her free time exploring Rock Creek Park and working at a local farmers market on the weekends.

Lou Manalo

Lou Manalo, Program Associate

Lou joins the USGLC after completing a fellowship with the National Park Service, where she organized, managed, and facilitated trainings for the National Capital Region. Prior to coming back to the DC area in 2022, Lou gained experience in program management, communications, research, and journalism through internships with EuCham – European Chamber, CEEweb for Biodiversity, Institute for Cultural Relations Policy, Malaya Business Insight, and Brigada News FM National. She also volunteered at the Philippine Embassy in Hungary where she participated in the planning and execution of cultural events. Lou graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communications whereby she earned credits for that degree from the University of Toronto and the University of the Philippines and received her master’s degree in International Relations from Budapest Business School. Having lived in five countries, Lou is thrilled to be back in the first place she called home.

Favor Tety

Favor Tety, Program & Development Assistant

Favor joins the USGLC after graduating from Towson University, where she received her B.S. in Political Science and International Studies and served as a Senator for the Towson Student Government Association and President Pro-Tempore of the Student Senate. Her dedication to her role as senator resulted in her being awarded “Senator of The Year” for 2020-2021. Favor has also previously interned for Congressman David Trone (D-MD) at the U.S. House of Representatives. Born in Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Favor now resides in Silver Spring, MD and is enthusiastic to continue her passion for international development with the USGLC.

Policy and Strategy

Sidney Traynham

Sidney Traynham, Senior Director for Policy and Strategy

Sidney joins the USGLC after a decade of experience in communications, policy and advocacy in the US, Europe, Asia and Africa. He most recently led the national press outreach and digital campaign efforts on immigration and refugee issues for Church World Service’s DC office. Prior to returning to DC, he worked in the international humanitarian and development sector in Geneva with the ACT Alliance, after which he was based in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Thailand with Church World Service. A DC native, Sidney received his undergraduate degree from American University and more recently earned his Master’s in international peace and security from the War Studies Department at King’s College London.

Alexis-Clair Roehrich

Alexis-Clair Roehrich, Deputy Policy Director

Alexis joins the USGLC after a decade of experience in human capital development focused in private, public, and non-profit sectors across multiple continents. A recent graduate of Johns Hopkins’ School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Alexis received a master’s degree in International Economics and American Foreign Policy studying in Bologna, Italy and Washington, D.C. Before SAIS, Alexis spent four years working in East Africa for One Acre Fund, four years with the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. serving the U.S. federal government, and two years with Smith College Executive Education. A native of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Alexis completed her undergraduate degree at Smith College in Sociology and French Studies, where she spent her junior year studying and working abroad in Paris and Rabat, Morocco.

Binta Jalloh

Binta Jalloh, Policy Fellow

Binta joins the USGLC after living and working across Africa, most recently serving as the Regional Advocacy Lead for the World Food Program in Senegal.  Binta has developed advocacy strategies for the Bill and Melinda Gates, Hewlett, and Ford Foundations. Prior to her move to West Africa, Binta implemented public health programs with PSI in Washington D.C.  Binta briefly worked in the film industry, spending three years between Los Angeles and New York City.   A third culture kid raised between Sierra Leone, Alabama, Texas, and Colorado, Binta earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and her Master’s in Development Administration and Planning from University College London.

Olivia Slavov

Olivia Slavov, Policy Assistant

Olivia joins the USGLC as a Policy Assistant after graduating from the University of Georgia, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and Economics. Olivia most recently served as a French language intern for the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, where she contributed to the Bureau’s policy work for security partnerships. Earlier, Olivia consulted for a Georgia county’s economic development team and interned at an international human rights organization. Olivia is excited to make the move to DC and join the USGLC team.


Dana Bruce

Dana Bruce, Director of Development & Strategic Partnerships

Dana joins the USGLC with over ten years of non-profit management experience. Most recently, Dana served as a managing consultant for then-Governor Nikki Haley’s One South Carolina Flood Fund where she developed the protocol to manage and distribute funding to the disaster relief organizations. Dana was the Executive Director for the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) Palmetto Chapter in Columbia, SC for over seven years, where she was responsible for the geographical growth of the chapter to include national advocacy, fundraising and events planning. Dana holds a graduate degree in international relations from the University of South Carolina and an undergraduate degree in Spanish from Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC. Dana lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her two daughters.

Haniz Zattam

Haniz Zattam, Senior Development Manager

Haniz graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in International Relations.  She served as the Executive Director for the World Affairs Council Columbia, SC chapter where she also managed the sister city relationships for the City of Columbia. She also became involved in the Somali Bantu Refugee Program where she was responsible for over a dozen refugees and their integration into US society.  After several years Haniz moved to Doha, Qatar where she directed INJAZ Qatar, an NGO that focuses on youth development, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship. A dedicated volunteer, she has over ten years of supporting, building, and giving back to the local Northern Virginia community for boards, schools, and political efforts where her three children attend school. Prior to joining USGLC as a senior development manager, she served as a consultant for USGLC for over a year.

Joshua Perry

Joshua Perry, Development Assistant

Joshua joins the USGLC as the Development Assistant. He previously served as an Operations and Development Assistant for Issue One, a non-profit focusing on cross-partisan political reform to ensure the health of US democracy. His previous experiences included administrative support in legal, HR, and Congressional settings. Joshua earned his Master’s in International Affairs Policy and Analysis from The American University and his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Originally from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Joshua is now excited to be in the D.C. area working with the USGLC team.

Finance and Administration

Dular Niyangoda

Dular Niyangoda, Chief Financial Officer

Dular Niyangoda serves as the Chief Financial Officer at the USGLC and is responsible for the organization’s finances, accounting, human resources, technology, contracts and administration. Prior to joining USGLC, Dular was the CFO for Optica (formerly The Optical Society) where he led finance and customer service departments. For over twenty-five years, Dular has served as a trusted business partner and advisor for not-for-profit entities to strategically align finances and operations to maximize impact of key programs and initiatives. Prior to returning to the not-for-profit sector, as an entrepreneur, Dular worked with farmers around the world to introduce sustainable organic agricultural products to the US and EU markets. Dular lives with his wife and two children in Washington, DC.

Jessica Garrison

Jessica Garrison, Staff Accountant

Jessica Garrison joins the finance team as the Staff Account and will be assisting the Chief Financial Officer in the organization’s finances, and accounting. Jessica brings more than 8 years of accounting experience to the team, with specialties in Accounts Payable, account reconciliation, and US GAAP standards. She has worked for public and private corporations in the technology and retail industries. She graduated from the University of Idaho with a B.S. in Agriculture Education and is currently a graduate student in the Master’s of Professional Accounting program at Colorado State University Global. Originally from Idaho, Jessica now calls the DC Metro area home along with her husband and two children. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys quilting, ice hockey, playing board games, and outdoor activities.

Grace Gordon

Grace Gordon, Senior Human Resources Business Partner

Grace joins the USGLC as the Senior HR Business Partner, with over 15 years of private sector and non-profit human resources experience. Most recently, she served as the HR Manager for a private regional professional services firm, the Calibre CPA Group. Her background in HR management includes leadership, benefits administration, process improvements, and employee relations. Grace earned her bachelor’s degree in human resources management from Baruch College, City University of New York (CUNY). She also holds the SHRM Certified Professional credential. Grace is originally from the island of Jamaica and now considers the DC area her home.