board of directors


harperAfter graduating from Tulane University with a Masters in accounting and a BSM in finance, Harper went to work for Malesardi, Quackenbush, Swift & Co, LLC in Englewood, NJ, a tax and accounting firm that specializes in working with local not-for-profit organizations. While working there, Harper realized how much he enjoyed the work he did to help these organizations fulfill their goals and missions. He became involved with Hope Shines after attending one of their fundraisers in the city and being moved by the dedication displayed by its members. Deciding he wanted to do more to help, Harper accepted an offer to join the Board of Directors. He currently serves as the organizations Treasurer, where he uses his experience working with not-for-profit organizations to help Hope Shines grow and become an even greater force for good in the lives of the children it helps.

kbKatherine graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in Earth Science, followed by receiving her Masters degree from Teacher’s College at Columbia. Katherine is currently the director at the NYC Center for Space Science Education. In 2012 Katherine decided that in order to fully wrap her head around potential curriculum lessons for Hope Shines camps she needed to travel to Rwanda and meet the kids! Currently Katherine helps design the projects and lessons we teach in our camps and for the tutoring programs. Between her professional experience and her time spent volunteering with Hope Shines in Rwanda, Katherine is a truly great asset to our board.

Michael RwandaMichael joined the Hope Shines family in 2013, as a volunteer for the summer camps at the orphan centers in Kigali. Because of April’s enthusiasm and positive outlook in describing the experience of being in Rwanda and knowing the children that Hope Shines supports, it inspired Michael to volunteer to find out for himself. Michael was told it would change his life, and it has. He is dedicated to supporting Hope Shines and the orphan centers in any way he can, and he very much looks forward to the next opportunity he returns to Kigali. Michael holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from the University of Minnesota, but has learned so much from life experience living in Rome and Paris and traveling for several years where he taught English and acting, and worked as an actor, voiceover artist, art school model, and massage therapist.

Joanne DixonJoanne Dixon joined Hope Shines in 2015 after returning to the US from nine years abroad working in energy sector consulting. Joanne comes from an international development background, having managed training programs for energy sector reform across Latin America, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa, at the Institute of International Education in Washington DC. She also served two years in the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa (1998-2000), where she specialized in small business development, and managed a USAID-funded rural community natural resource management training center. She now works as an independent consultant in Power Sector Development and Transactions, in developing countries & emerging markets. Joanne holds a Master Degree in the Economic and Technical Management of the Electricity Sector from University of Comillas (Spain) and a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Religion from the College of William and Mary (USA).

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