Board & Staff
Board of Directors
Statistics Without Borders*
Calibre CPA Group PLLC*
Evelyn Chumbow is a survivor of child labor trafficking turned anti-trafficking activist and public speaker who has focused her life’s work on ending modern-day slavery, a crime impacting some 40 million victims globally.
Ms. Chumbow was brought to the United States from Cameroon at the age of nine and forced to cook, clean, and care for her trafficker’s children. She was never paid for her work, and any hope that she might escape was undermined by the constant beatings she received from her trafficker.
After years of captivity, she finally escaped and her trafficker was sentenced to 17 years in prison. Today,Ms. Chumbow works tirelessly to raise awareness and advocate for other survivors. She strongly believes in the need for professional development for survivors and dedicates her time volunteering at the grassroots level to guide communities on how to create employment opportunities for trafficking survivors.
Ms. Chumbow has been invited to brief several government agencies about human trafficking from a survivor’s perspective, including the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the State Department, and the Department of Justice. She was appointed by President Obama to serve on the United States Council on Human Trafficking to his administration. Ms. Chumbow was an invited speaker at the 2019 Paris Peace Forum and the 2014 Thomson Reuters Foundation Trust Women Conference. In 2016, she traveled to Cameroon to brief the Freedom For All conference on best practices for supporting trafficking survivors returning home from the Middle East, with an emphasis on creating opportunities for gainful employment.
Ms. Chumbow has spoken out against the issue of systemic racism for many years. In 2021, she worked with a coalition of survivor leaders to conduct a survey on racism in the anti-trafficking movement within the survivor community. Following the survey results, Ms. Chumbow co-authored the op-ed, “Racism and the Anti-Trafficking Movement: Survey Results and Personal Reflections.” Among her many honors, Ms. Chumbow is the recipient of the 2021 Abolitionist Award from the Nomi Network, the 2018 African Heroine Award from the Ohio University African Student Union, and the 2015 Peace Seeking Award from the Presbyterian National Church. In 2021, Ms. Chumbow was selected to be included in the launch of Voices of Freedom, an initiative created by Story Corps and the Administration for Children and Families, in honor of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.
Ms. Chumbow serves as an advisor to human trafficking NGOs. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Human Trafficking Legal Center and Free The Slaves. Since 2015, she has worked at the law firm of Baker & McKenzie LLP in Washington, DC, where she has the opportunity to support human trafficking and human rights-related pro bono initiatives. Ms. Chumbow hopes to leverage her unique position as a former child slave to end human trafficking in West Africa, in her hometown, and the rest of the world.
Davina P. Durgana is an award-winning international human rights statistician with more than a decade of experience developing leading global models assessing risk and vulnerability to modern slavery. She is an American Statistical Association Statistical Advocate of the Year, Vice Chair of Statistics without Borders, and a Forbes Top 30 Under 30 in Science for 2017 for her work on statistical modeling, human security theory, and human trafficking. Dr. Durgana is an inaugural 2020-2022 Ambassador for the American Association for the Advancement of Science to motivate women and girls to pursue STEM careers. She is co-lead of the D.C. Forbes Under 30 Board. Dr. Durgana is affiliated faculty at National Defense University’s College of International Security Affairs and Oxford University’s Green Templeton College.
Dr. Durgana was selected as a Google Fellow for Technology and Social Change for her work in human trafficking and technology. She was awarded the Trafficking in America Task Force Award for Service and was named a Disruption Awards Foundation Fellow for 2018. She serves on several expert groups for the United Nations, the Department of Justice and the National Science Foundation, and has authored more than 20 publications. In 2015 she received the University Award for Outstanding Scholarship at the Graduate Level from American University, where she received her Ph.D. in international relations with distinction. She received her master’s degrees in Paris, France while studying human trafficking at the Sorbonne and the American University of Paris, and her bachelor’s degree at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.
*Organizational affiliations are for ID purposes only.
Lila Leno is the treasurer of the board of directors. Dr. Leno is a principal at Calibre CPA Group PLCC in Bethesda, Maryland. She has decades of auditing and accounting experience, including work with nonprofit organizations and government entities. She specializes in organizations that receive federal and state government funding and has performed numerous compliance audits in accordance with Government Auditing Standards, prepared 990s, and solved issues pertaining to tax exemption.
Dr. Leno earned a bachelor’s in accounting and finance from the University of Tirana in her home country of Albania, then continued her studies to earn a law degree and doctorate in fiscal policy. After moving to the United States, she graduated from Sonoma State University with a bachelor’s in accounting.
Before joining Calibre CPA Group, she served in various audit and accounting positions at Squire Lemkin, McGladry & Pullen, Goodman & Company, among other firms, as director of finance at CORE International, and as a fiscal and legal policy expert for the Albania ministry of finance.
Dr. Leno is a registered CPA in the state of Maryland and a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
*Organizational affiliations are for ID purposes only.
Board Vice Chair
University of Kentucky*
Carolyn Long is the vice chair of the board of directors. She retired in 2013 from a career as an international development specialist. She was vice president of two organizations, including InterAction, the largest coalition of U.S. NGOs working in international development and humanitarian assistance. She has three decades of NGO- related experience with a main focus on sub-Saharan Africa, and she has worked at all levels of development from the grassroots to the global level. Her work has focused on capacity strengthening, aid effectiveness, evaluation and a range of advocacy initiatives. She was an activist in the anti-apartheid campaign for 20 years.
She has written extensively on the role of civil society organizations in development. She is the author of Participation of the Poor in Development Initiatives: Taking Their Rightful Place, and several published papers on civil society advocacy initiatives. She served on the boards of Africa Action and Volunteer: The National Center on Volunteerism. Her career began as a Peace Corps volunteer in Gabon, Equatorial Africa. She speaks fluent French.
Sheila Mahony currently serves as director of development at Warren Village, a nonprofit organization providing housing and 2Gen support to single-parent families in Denver, Colorado.
Ms. Mahony has more than 25 years of experience working for youth- and family-serving NGOs, both international and U.S.-based, in both programmatic and fundraising capacities. Her areas of expertise include education, youth development and child protection, particularly around child labor. She lived and worked for several NGOs in Latin America for eight years, focusing especially on capacity building, program evaluation and local resource development. Since returning to her home state of Colorado in 2014, she has worked to apply her experience abroad to advocate for more just, inclusive and equitable systems in her own community.
Ms. Mahony earned a bachelor’s in international affairs from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a master’s in international development at the American University in Washington, D.C. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer for three years in Ecuador from 2001-2004.
Moninda Marube is a former professional runner and a founder of the Moninda Movement. The Moninda Movement is an anti-trafficking initiative that saw Moninda run 3700 miles from Maine to Santa Barbara, CA, to increase public awareness of human trafficking. Moninda is a labor trafficking survivor, a student, and an anti-trafficking activist currently involved in community initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion.
As part of his continued efforts to sensitize and educate the public on human trafficking, Moninda continues to honor invitations by churches, schools, communities, and organizations to share his story, experience, and proactive plan to engage in the fight against modern slavery. Moninda believes that in order for us to win the fight, there need to be sustained efforts towards civic engagement and education as part of a solution-focused approach to fighting the vice.
Moninda has worked as both a behavioral health professional and a case manager connecting those in need with various services, which include integration processes. He will complete his Master’s Degree in Social Work in 2023 at the University of Kentucky and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Health Education from the University of Maine.
Timothy Patrick McCarthy
Anesa “Nes” Parker
Girls First Fund*
Timothy Patrick McCarthy is the chair of the board of directors. An award-winning historian, educator, and human rights activist, he has taught on the faculty at Harvard University since 2005, where he currently holds a joint appointment at the Graduate School of Education and John F. Kennedy School of Government. The adopted only son and grandson of public school teachers and faculty workers, Dr. McCarthy is also the Stanley Paterson Professor of American History and Academic Director emeritus in the Boston Clemente Course, a free college humanities course for lower income adults and co-recipient of the 2015 National Humanities Medal.
Twice named one of Harvard Crimson’s “Professors of the Year,” he is the recipient of many awards for his commitment to students, including the 2019 Manuel C. Carballo Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Kennedy School’s highest teaching honor. Dr. McCarthy has published five books and is a frequent media commentator whose work has been featured in Salon, Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, Pangyrus, The Nation, NPR, Al Jazeera, BBC, and several documentary films. In June 2019, he served as guest editor for The Nation’s historic “Reclaiming Stonewall 50” forum.
Inspired by the activism and organizing of his student years, he has devoted his life to public service and social justice. As founding director of Harvard’s Alternative Spring Break Church Rebuilding Program, he spent fifteen years organizing hundreds of students to help rebuild Black churches destroyed in racist arson attacks. A respected leader in the LGBTQ+ community, Dr. McCarthy was a founding member of Barack Obama’s National LGBT Leadership Council, gave expert testimony to the Pentagon Comprehensive Working Group on the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and was a member of the first-ever LGBTQ delegation from the United States to Israel/Palestine. He currently hosts and directs A.R.T. of Human Rights and Resistance Mic! through the Tony Award-winning American Repertory Theater, where he serves on the Board of Advisors.
Dr. McCarthy graduated with honors in History and Literature from Harvard College and earned his M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in History from Columbia University.
*Organizational affiliations are for ID purposes only.
Anesa “Nes” Parker is a senior manager in Deloitte’s Government & Public Services Practice. During her consulting tenure, Ms. Parker has led engagements for government, nonprofit and philanthropic clients related to strategic transformation. She’s served the European Commission, U.K. Home Office, World Economic Forum, United Nations, U.S. Departments of Homeland Security, State, Health and Human Services as well as Defense. Ms. Parker is passionate about applying Deloitte’s capabilities and solutions to social causes such as anti-human trafficking, refugee response as well as gender and inclusion.
Her work and commentary has been in the Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, Public CIO, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Governing Executive, Profiles in Diversity Journal, and Deloitte University Press. She has also spoken at, among other venues, SXSW, Washington Post Live and as a guest lecturer at Yale University, Georgetown University, George Mason University, and Columbia University.
Ms. Parker graduated magna cum laude from Vassar College with a bachelor’s in political science and economics, and earned a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She’s a board member for BUILD DC and the Chamber of Commerce Human Trafficking Task Force, and resides in Washington, D.C. with her husband and their English Bulldog.
*Organizational affiliations are for ID purposes only.
Fanta Toure-Puri was born and raised in Cote d’Ivoire. She holds a Masters in International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University and a BA in International and Public Relations from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She is currently the director of the Girls First Fund, a donor collaborative that was created to resource community-based efforts to end child marriage.
Fanta began her career working in humanitarian relief for a community-based organization in Somalia. Prior to joining the Girls First Fund, Fanta worked at the World Bank in Social Protection. She firmly believes that progress in our field can only be achieved if and when communities are at the front and center of all discussions.
U.S. Department of Justice*
Amy Komoroski Wiwi
Lowenstein Sandler LLP*
Karen Stauss is the secretary of the board of directors. She serves as senior policy counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit (HTPU). She works on legislative and executive branch policy proposals affecting the capacity of the unit and of U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to prosecute trafficking, and supports building capacity among HTPU’s enforcement partners.
Ms. Stauss was previously the director of programs for Free the Slaves from 2010 to 2016, where she was responsible for overseeing the organization’s policy advocacy work and its partnerships with community-based organizations in eight countries. She was managing attorney and policy counsel at Polaris Project, a national anti-trafficking organization, from 2006 to 2010. From 2003 to 2006, Ms. Stauss was an Africa researcher with Human Rights Watch, where she operated the field office in Democratic Republic of the Congo after holding a yearlong fellowship conducting human rights research in Nigeria. She investigated war crimes and other human rights abuses, conducted advocacy, and strengthened human rights group networks.
Ms. Stauss holds a bachelor’s from Duke University and her law degree from Columbia Law School. Karen is fluent in French and speaks basic Spanish and German. She is a lecturer at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.
*Organizational affiliations are for ID purposes only.
Amy Komoroski Wiwi is a partner at Lowenstein Sandler LLP in Roseland, New Jersey. Long fascinated by the complex relationships among members of the workforce, managers and their employees, Ms. Wiwi translates a passion for problem-solving into strategic counsel and effective dispute resolution. Praised by clients as very knowledgeable and objective – and praised as a superior strategist – she thrives on crafting creative solutions to the most intricate of employment problems.
Ms. Wiwi counsels employers on the myriad issues they face related to hiring, disciplining and termination of employees; family and medical leaves; disability leaves and accommodations; compliance with antidiscrimination and anti-retaliation laws; and workforce reductions. She also drafts and negotiates executive employment and consulting agreements and corporate covenants. Her practice covers a wide range of litigation involving federal and state laws.
Ms. Wiwi is admitted to the bar in New York and New Jersey. She earned a bachelor’s of fine arts (cum laude) from the Syracuse University College of Visual and Performing Arts, and her law degree (cum laude) from Boston University. She is deeply committed to serving her local community. Ms. Wiwi sits on the Jersey Battered Women’s Service board of directors, supporting its work against domestic violence by protecting and empowering victims, rehabilitating family members, advocating social reform to prevent partner violence, and educating the public.
*Organizational affiliations are for ID purposes only.
Bukeni Waruzi has helped put a Congolese warlord behind bars at the International Criminal Court (ICC), has helped women trafficked into domestic servitude in the Middle East, and has served as a human rights champion with American, European and African organizations for more than 20 years.
As executive director of Free the Slaves, he works closely with the board, the global team and headquarters to provide strategic leadership and set a vision for one of the world’s most widely-known and respected anti-modern slavery organizations.
Waruzi has documented human rights abuses, designed and implemented advocacy campaigns, made public presentations around the world, and trained hundreds of human rights advocates and activists in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), his home country, he formed the grassroots nonprofit group AJEDI-KA/Child Soldiers Project to confront the widespread enslavement and the use of children as soldiers by armed militias and forces. Through video, he documented evidence that led to the conviction of a Congolese warlord at the ICC, released more than 360 children from militia in eastern DRC.
In Kenya, Waruzi worked for the Porticus Foundation, overseeing projects on human rights, civic engagement, education, and climate change. For nearly a decade he was a senior program manager for WITNESS in New York, a group that empowers victims worldwide to collect evidence that brings perpetrators to justice. He recently served as executive director of Watchlist in New York, an organization that protects children in conflict zones and advocate for children at the United Nations Security Council.
Waruzi has spoken to high level audiences including the United Nations Security Council, the International Criminal Court and the Children’s Caucus of the U.S. Congress. He currently represents anti-slavery groups as a civil society member of the Global Coordinating Group of Alliance 8.7, the global initiative to attain Sustainable Development target 8.7, the end of child and forced labor worldwide.
DRC Country Coordinator
Bernadette Agano, better known as Dety Darba, is a human rights activist, entrepreneur, and singer located in the DRC. Bernadette is committed to using her music and notoriety in the DRC to raise awareness about the issue of human trafficking and modern slavery. Bernadette will be serving Free the Slaves as the DRC County Coordinator.
Advocacy and Movement Building Country Manager
Trinidad and Tobago
Adrian Alexander is the Advocacy and Movement Building Country Manager for Free The Slaves based in Trinidad and Tobago. He has been privileged to serve as a volunteer with civil society organizations for the past 20 years. For 14 of those years, he has been involved in the fight against human trafficking. Through this work, Adrian is committed to helping shape a more compassionate, trauma-informed Caribbean.
Rasha Al Manha
Mena Regional Manager
Rasha Al Manha is Free the Slaves’ MENA Regional Manager, representing the organization in the region and providing ongoing technical assistance to FTS’s partner organizations in strategic design and implementation.
Rasha has worked in a variety of industries for over 20 years, including banking, human resources and training, and project management and development. Rasha has spent the last ten years of her career supporting the strategic direction of large-scale humanitarian programs in Education, Health, Community Engagement, and Governance, as well as Monitoring and Evaluation by managing projects and programs responding to Syrian crises. Throughout her career, she has worked on UNICEF and USAID-funded projects with different national and international NGOs, including Save the Children, Blumont Inc., Abt. Associates Inc., and Jordan River Foundation.
Rasha has several professional certifications, including Project Management Development (PMD – Pro 1), Certified International Professional Trainer (CIPT), in addition to a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Linguistics.
Mauritania Program Coordinator
Dame brings more than 18 years of community volunteering and civil society engagement fighting slavery, social injustice and racism to his work with Free the Slaves. He has experience working with national and international NGOs, public and private development agencies (U.S. Peace Corps, GRET (French NGO), World Vision, DAI, ILO) on community health and development, humanitarian aid, advocacy, training and capacity building, youth development and employment, child protection, faith and development, and entrepreneurship. Dame is fluent in Arabic, French and English.
Dr. Giselle Balfour
Head of Programs
Giselle Balfour, Ph.D. is a native of Trinidad and Tobago. She has garnered over ten years of experience working with children and families impacted by various forms of child maltreatment, specifically child sexual exploitation. Prior to coming on board at Free the Slaves, Giselle served as the Project Director of the Envision Project at the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy, providing specialized reintegrative services to survivors of child sex trafficking survivors in Georgia, USA. Giselle recognizes that Modern slavery is an egregious abuse of one of life’s most basic human rights and believes it is our obligation to continue this work until everyone is free.
Giselle says, “Free The Slaves has been at the forefront of anti-slavery work globally for well over a decade. Its mission to change the conditions that allow modern slavery to exist is a clarion call for all anti-slavery/anti-trafficking activists to collectively work toward a world where human beings can live freely. I could not pass up the opportunity to be a part of this history-making movement.”
Grace Nana Adwoa Banasam
Grace Nana Adwoa Banasam is the program coordinator for Free the Slaves in Ghana. She has six years of experience in the humanitarian and development sector with civil society organizations.
Before joining Free the Slaves, Grace worked as a management information systems officer at Modesty Foundation, project officer and program support officer during her service with the Social Development and Improvement Agency, and monitoring and evaluation officer at Nature Aid Ghana.
She is experienced in facilitating transparency and accountability processes for decision making; health system strengthening; promoting education, specifically for girls; enhancing the development and improvement of women’s rights and livelihoods; and identifying, monitoring and organizing remediation on child labor issues.
Grace holds a bachelor’s degree in social sciences from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana.
Her passion is to see the elimination of all forms of modern slavery with a system enhanced through participatory monitoring, prevention and remediation.
Global Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Coordinator
Sonia Adu-Gyamfi is the monitoring, learning and evaluation associate of FTS, based in Ghana. Prior to joining FTS, she worked as a Senior Research Assistant with the Center for Migration Studies, University of Ghana for the past six years.
She has been part of several policy-driven research projects to bring about the needed change in the area of migration in Ghana. Key areas of interest in research have been human trafficking, forced labor, migration & development, child migration and migration & gender. She has also worked as a communications officer for the research project “Migrating out of Poverty” for four years. She collaborated with the research team both locally and internationally to develop and implement communications strategies tailored to effectively engage diverse but relevant stakeholders in academia, government, CSOs, community members and key individuals. She has done consultancy work for the Women’s Health to Wealth NGO in Ghana in the areas of monitoring and evaluation.
Sonia is passionate to see young girls succeed and become strong pillars of hope in society, and she mentors young girls in her community to help them make right choices in life, assist and encourage them to excel academically.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in migration studies, both from the University of Ghana, Legon.
Sonia is passionate about issues that promote the wellbeing of women and children, hence her desire to be part of a team that seeks to end modern slavery.
Gemma Bardaji Blasco
Europe and Latin America Manager
Gemma Bardají Blasco is the FTS Europe and Latin America manager. She has degrees in social and cultural anthropology and postgraduate degrees in culture of peace and gender in development.
Gemma has 25 years of international experience, touting expertise in women’s rights; mainstreaming the gender perspective; political participation of women; and, electoral system designs. She managed the Free the Slaves project with the International Association of Women Judges and MUDHA, funded by the U.S. State Department, working to ensure prevention of trafficking in persons, and protection of survivors in majority Haitian descendant-populated batey communities in the Dominican Republic.
Prior to working with Free the Slaves, she worked at the National Migration Institute in the Dominican Republic, where she was responsible for projects pertaining to gender and human trafficking issues. Specifically, she contributed to the development of the National Plan to Combat Human Trafficking and the Illicit Tracking of Migrants with the government of the Dominican Republic. Ms. Bardají also previously worked for more than seven years as an independent consultant within the United Nations system, working both at regional and international levels. She served as a contributor to the Network for Experts on Gender for the United Nations Development Program in Latin America for four years.
Her work has largely focused on social research, methodological design, and planning. In addition to her work in the Dominican Republic, Gemma has also worked in other countries throughout Latin America, including in Bolivia and Guatemala.
Marie Hélène Bouchard
Executive Assistant to the Executive Director
Marie Helene Bouchard is originally from Belgium and has more than 20 years of experience in various positions at national and international levels. She is formally trained in Public Relations, Communications, and Hospitality Management and is fluent in French, Italian, and Dutch. She is an excellent team player and problem solver, known for her high degree of integrity and confidentiality when handling sensitive information. Her results-oriented focus, analytical thinking, and work ethic make her a valuable member of the Free the Slaves team. Her experience successfully working with multicultural teams by providing leadership, inspiration, and motivation to team members contributes to the FTS culture of learning and growth.
Ghana & West Africa Director
Joha Braimah is the West Africa regional director for Free the Slaves. He represents and overseas FTS West Africa Regional anti-human trafficking programs by liaising with implementing partners, forming coalitions and collaborating with government agencies, media outlets and other stakeholders to achieve regional program goals.
Joha has more than 15 years of practical experience in community development. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work; a postgraduate diploma in international development and has been a doctoral candidate in migration studies.
Joha has helped to design and implement anti-trafficking programs in sectors such as fishing, cocoa, mining, and sex trafficking — as well as coalition building and fund raising. Joha also serves on the board of International Cocoa Initiative, Geneva, where he is also an executive committee member. He is a member of Ghana National Steering Committee on Child Labor and the Technical Working Committee of Ghana Anti Human Trafficking Management Board.
He is experienced in persuading authorities to take action for vulnerable groups and has been an active participant in the development and formulation of national policies such as the Ghana National Action Plan on Child Labor, Ghana National Action Plan on Human Trafficking, Standard Operating Procedure on Human Trafficking, Child and Family Welfare Policy, among others.
He was also a professional teacher for five years. Joha is an alumnus of University of Ghana, American Express Leadership Academy, International Visitors Leadership Program and Trent in Ghana Program.
Kuldeep Singh Chauhan
Regional Director for Asia
As the regional director for Asia, Kuldeep’s mission is to change the conditions that allow modern slavery to exist. He represents Free the Slaves in the region; provides ongoing technical assistance to partner organizations in strategic design, implementation, measurement and reporting; and holds responsibility for the overall management of the regional program, strategy development, business development, and program oversight.
Kuldeep is passionate about human rights, social justice issues, community-initiated solutions, and improving access to opportunities for marginalized, economically-disadvantaged communities. He values the field perspective, builds trust and rapport with stakeholders, and believes in a problem-solving attitude. His pragmatic approach has been forged through years of designing and implementing development programs in several Asian countries.
Kuldeep has worked for over fifteen years managing donor-funded programs, training and capacity building on human rights, empowering farmers and workers and ethical standards in private sector supply chains, stakeholder relations, resource mobilization, and oversight of resources and operations. Prior to joining Free the Slaves, Kuldeep worked with Oxfam, Leonard Cheshire Disability, and Fairtrade in Asia Pacific in various operational and senior leadership roles.
Kuldeep holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a double master’s in business management specializing in human resource management and marketing.
In his role as Free the Slaves finance officer, Munya not only ensures that day-to-day finances are in order but assists all departments in tracking income and expenditures against a range of different grants, aiding in the budgeting and planning processes for the organization. His work ensures that fund distributions are accurate to the decimal.
Munya Chitambo was born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe. He joined Free the Slaves in 2015 first as an intern, then as bookkeeper, to his current role as finance officer. His role allows FTS departments to operate at maximum efficiency.
Sokhna Fatou Cissokho
Senegal Program Officer
Before joining Free the Slaves, Sokhna worked as an administrative assistant for the Japan Cooperation Agency and the German Cooperation in Senegal, focusing on public development aid and public-private partnerships. Passionate about humanitarian work and sensitive to the gender approach, she joined the NGO SOLTHIS as a communication assistant for raising awareness of the right to health for all. Then Sokhna joined the NGO Médicos del Mundo as a project officer in the fight against gender-based violence in the region of Kédougou. She has experience in the field of sensitization for behavioral change, health promotion, promotion of human rights — especially for women and girls, and sensitization on gender-based violence.
After a first-year in legal sciences at the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, she continued her studies in business school to obtain a degree in organization management. Today Sokhna holds a Master 1 Professional in development project management and is pursuing her Master 2 online in monitoring and evaluation at the ISDL school in Dakar. Her passion is to participate in the elimination of all forms of modern slavery in Senegal through the process of liberation and reintegration of victims and survivors, and to fight against all forms of violence against women, girls and children through prevention and awareness.
West Africa Finance and Admin Officer
Justine Betuur Dery has been the West Africa Finance and Admin Officer for the FTS Ghana office for the past eight years. He manages the finance and administrative processes, including partner financial review and budgeting. He also provides back up support to the program team and the country director.
Before joining FTS, Justine worked as a team leader with Baah, Quartey & Associates, a leading private audit firm in Ghana. He led audit exercises for both the private sector and state agencies such as the Ghana Airport Company, the Internal Audit Agency under the office of the president of Ghana, Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, and others. His team developed the financial and operational procedure for the Ghana Airport Company and Lex Consult, an international women’s law firm.
He previously managed project funds for MIHOSO International Foundation, a child-rights gender-based NGO, as finance officer.
Justine holds a bachelor’s of commerce with a specialty in accounting and finance from the University of Cape Coast Ghana, a diploma in commerce from the same university, and diploma in business studies from Sunyani Polytechnic in Ghana.
He is passionate about child rights and gender issues, and is always seeking to safeguard child welfare.
Senegal Program Manager
Alphousseyni Diallo is passionate about the empowerment of vulnerable communities. As Senegal program manager, he enables Free the Slaves to define and implement its context-driven strategy to combat human trafficking. He brings to FTS a decade of experience working with USAID and nonprofits such as World Vision, Eclosio, Catholic Relief Services, Humanity & Inclusion, and the department consul of Kedougou, his home region in Senegal.
Before joining Free The Slaves, Alphousseyni helped community-led organizations, famer’s groups, and individuals to access small loans and develop income generating activities in Kedougou, Kolda, Sedhiou, Ziguinchor, and Diourbel. He developed capacity building programs for civil society groups to conduct advocacy, and for elected officials to integrate food security, gender, and nutrition issues into their local development plan.
Alphousseyni holds an executive MBA from the International School of Management of Dakar and a Master 2 degree in rural development and cooperation from the University of Gaston Berger of Saint Louis, Senegal.
He serves as the coordinator in the civil society movement for the development of Bandafassi (BAM: Bandafassi un Avenir Meilleur), locality in Kedougou region.
Asia Program Officer
Tsering’s commitment to the betterment of society, as well as her respect for the Free the Slaves approach to ending all forms of modern slavery, motivated her to join FTS in 2018 as the India country program officer. She supports partner organizations technically and by building their capacity to implement anti-slavery programs successfully. She has also managed the FTS India program’s finance and monitoring, learning and evaluation efforts. She has documented success stories of successful interventions in Indian communities.
Tsering was born & raised in a beautiful place called Ladakh in northern India. She earned a master’s in social work from Banaras Hindu University, Uttar Pradesh, India. She started her career with GoodWeave India as an assistant inspection monitoring and certification supervisor.
She is motivated to improve the lives of people and committed to ending all forms of inequality, exploitation and discrimination. She is dedicated to build a world free from all forms of slavery.
Senegal Program Coordinator
Papa Fall is a statistician by training, holder of a Bachelor’s in Computer engineering, and is finishing a Master’s in Big Data and Artificial Intelligence.
Papa has conducted numerous evaluations of early childhood protection programs. Prior to joining Free the Slaves, Papa Worked as a research consultant/data analyst for many NGO projects and program evaluations in Senegal. For instance, Papa has evaluated the midline and impact of the Her Choice program for the Amsterdam Institute of Social Science Research.
As a Data enthusiast, Papa has a keen interest in handling data and measuring in real-time KPIs using dashboards… He aims to apply Big Data and Artificial Intelligence technologies to improve and accurately measure Humanitarian Interventions.
Dr. Marta Furlan
Marta Furlan is the Research Officer at Free the Slaves. Her areas of expertise include human rights protection, armed groups, and civil conflicts. Marta holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of St Andrews (Handa Center for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence), where she wrote her dissertation on armed groups’ governance practices – and impact on civilians – in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq. Marta has published extensively in leading academic journals, such as the Middle East Journal, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, and Civil Wars. She has also contributed chapters to three books on the topics of armed groups’ approach to International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and armed groups-civilians dynamics in conflict-affected areas. Prior to joining FTS, Marta worked as a research consultant for the NGO Geneva Call.
Global Programs Coordinator
Movement Building Coordinator
Cape Town, South Africa
Bryon Lippincott is the Communications Manager for Free the Slaves. He is passionate about helping people who are marginalized or vulnerable experience safe and abundant lives within healthy communities, as well as helping organizations represent the people who participate in their programs in ways that honor their dignity and respect their value as human beings.
Prior to working for Free the Slaves, Bryon ran a creative agency specializing in strategic communications and media production for NGOs in Asia. He has partnered with more than 100 organizations and individuals in 13 countries. In this role, he partnered with organizations working with child vulnerability, anti-trafficking, HIV/AIDS, refugees, agriculture, poverty alleviation/community development, and education.
Though Bryon was born and raised in Nebraska, USA, on a family farm, his love for culture and humanitarian causes brought him to Asia, where he has been living and working for more than ten years. He lived in China and Cambodia before moving to Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he lives now with his wife, two teenage children, and two cats.
Bryon holds an M.A. in Strategic Communication from California Baptist University.
Southeast Asia Regional Manager
Romcy Madronio brings a decade of experience to Free the Slaves from previous work in academics, government, nonprofits and businesses in the Philippines and Vietnam.
Before joining Free the Slaves, Romcy managed a community-based youth leadership program in the Philippines for the Ayala Foundation, which he expanded to several sites including Muslim Mindanao conflict areas. He became the Ayala Corporation’s Business Club coordinator, enabling efforts to foster business synergy and community outreach. As a project management officer, Romcy developed financial monitoring and report streamlining for various initiatives of Ayala’s corporate resources group.
Romcy holds a university degree in education from Xavier University in the Philippines and a diploma in global environmental issues from the East-West Center in Hawaii, which he attended as a U.S. State Department scholar. He is also an active mentor of the U.S. government’s YSEALI (Young Southeast Asian Leadership Initiatives) in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations region.
Caribbean Regional Director
Smith Maximé is currently serving as the Caribbean Regional Director since 2021, after spending 10 years as Haiti country Director for Free the Slaves. He is playing a key role in the implementation of the Free The Slaves’ 2021-2031 strategic plan in the region which aims at ending the conditions that allow modern slavery to persist in local communities. A Haitian national, Smith completed his primary, secondary, and university studies in Haiti. Early in his career, he worked in journalism and communication. He later devoted his time to organizational capacity building, promotion of the rights of vulnerable groups, gender equality, and project management.
During the past decade, Smith has worked alongside Haitian non-governmental and community-based organizations to strengthen organizational and institutional systems, conducting organizational assessments, and developing and implementing
programs to strengthen institutional capacity. In his work against discrimination, he has worked with organizations of people living with HIV/AIDS, disabled people, and individuals involved in the sex industry. A strong focus of this work has been in assisting these groups to build networks for the promotion of their own rights.
In 2006, Smith joined the office of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Haiti, where he spent five years as the Gender and Rights Program Manager. In this role, the promotion of women’s rights, especially the prevention of gender-based violence, was an important part of his work. Smith completed his university studies in law and earned a master’s degree in project development at Quisqueya University.
Head of Development
East and Central Africa Coordinator
Jodom has over nine years of work and experience in Access to Justice, Human Rights, and Governance. He has worked for programs and projects for Forced Migration, Transitional Justice, Land, Labor, Housing, Leadership, and Basic Education at Non-Governmental Organizations. Jodom has ensured refugees, asylum seekers, victims of human trafficking, and internally displaced
persons have access to and enjoy their rights in accordance with international humanitarian law, human rights law, and national laws.
He has offered legal aid and advice on labor, land, and housing and facilitated out-of-court settlements. He has also advocated and lobbied for policies and legislations favorable to vulnerable persons, including on basic education, and empowered communities and persons to be monitors and champions of their human rights and legal entitlements. Jodom aims to be objective, effective, and to achieve change in his work by employing participatory and people-driven methods, supporting initiatives for peace-building and conflict transformation, advocating for constitutionalism and accountability, and promoting trauma sensitivity and self-care.
Senior Regional Manager- East & Central Africa/ Survivor Engagement Lead
Jackline Mwende is a pan-African feminist, human rights researcher and an expert in human trafficking, labor migration and gender issues with more than 10 years of experience in Africa, Europe, and North America. She has consulted for the African Union and the Government of Germany on the Africa-Europe Action Plan to Combat Trafficking of Persons Especially Women and Children in Africa. She also was involved in a campaign against sexual exploitation of children in detention centers while at the Center for Children Law and Policy in Washington D.C., and a project with WITNESS in New York City.
In Kenya, she supported an International Labor Organization project on elimination of child labor, and a U.K. Department for International Development project promoting education and sports as alternative pathways to child marriages and sex exploitation in coastal Kenya.
Mwende has also worked for Equality in Tourism U.K. and consulted for Women Deliver. She is a recipient of both academic and professional awards, and a graduate in human rights law and policy.
Programs Global Assistant
Loriel Sanchez is a Professional in the fields of Diplomacy and Public Management with more than ten years of experience in managing social and development projects, covering issues such as women’s rights in the context of extractive industries, institutional strengthening for gender equality, political participation of people with disabilities and public investment in childhood and adolescence. She is Trained in the formulation and management of international cooperation projects, feminist philosophy, and management for results. Loriel also has extensive experience in program management, grant administration, and implementation of international cooperation funds.
She holds a Master’s degree in Strategic Public Management from Universidad Rey Juan Carlos and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and affairs from Universidad Catolica Santo Domingo.
Free the Slaves Founders
University of Nottingham*
Voices 4 Freedom*
Kevin Bales is professor of contemporary slavery and research director of the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham, UK. He was a Co-Founder of Free the Slaves in Washington, D.C. and co-Author of the Global Slavery Index.
Going undercover to meet slaves and slaveholders, Kevin Bales exposed how modern slavery penetrates the global economy in his Pulitzer-nominated book, Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy. The film based on this book, Slavery: A Global Investigation, which he co-wrote for HBO and Channel 4, won a Peabody Award and two Emmys.
*Organizational affiliations are for ID purposes only.
Peggy Callahan’s sense of fairness has driven her work as a human rights activist, documentary filmmaker, television reporter, director and television executive.
Peggy has spent 18 years fighting modern day slavery and decades reporting and producing films on poverty, the foster care system, the death penalty, farmworkers, racism, homelessness and slavery.
Peggy co-founded two international anti-slavery organizations that have helped free thousands of people from slavery. Peggy’s powerful, award-winning storytelling has
helped change laws and lives. She has worked on five continents and 15 countries.
*Organizational affiliations are for ID purposes only.
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