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Staff

Keith Wright ,Executive Director

Keith Wright joined the Millennium Water Alliance as Executive Director in 2018.  Mr. Wright brings a track record of global leadership, innovation, and collaboration to the challenge of global WASH access.  Mr. Wright is a global executive leader with more than 25 years of strategic and operational leadership of complex humanitarian and business enterprises in the U.S., Africa, Asia, and Latin America. His experience includes serving as president of Food for the Hungry, Inc, filling national and regional operational leadership roles in Africa, launching an innovative business to accelerate business solutions to poverty, and governance leadership in one of East Africa’s leading financial institutions. He earned a M.Sc. degree in economic development from Eastern University and a B.A. degree in political science from the University of Mary Washington.

John D. Sparks , Director of Advocacy and Communications

John D. Sparks joined MWA in 2010 as the organization’s first Director of Advocacy and Communications. Mr. Sparks has more than 25 years of experience in Washington and New York in lobbying, coalition building, policy development, media relations, and nonprofit executive leadership. Prior to MWA, he was Director of Campaign Finance Reform at the public interest group Common Cause, 2008-2009, and previously was Vice President for Government and Public Affairs at the American Symphony Orchestra League for nine years.  Previous assignments include two for-profit public affairs firms in Washington DC,  two national advocacy coalitions in the nonprofit sector, press secretary for two members of the U.S. House of Representatives, and professional positions in several Congressional campaigns and Presidential campaigns. Some of them were even successful.

 

Laura R. Brunson , Program Director

Laura R. Brunson joined MWA in 2017 to serve as the Program Director.  She holds a Ph.D. and M.S. from the College of Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Brunson’s research focused on fluoride and arsenic removal in emerging regions and was partially funded through graduate fellowships obtained at different times from the NSF and the EPA.  She has a business degree, taught Social Entrepreneurship, examined business models for water implementation, and has worked in both the private and non-profit sectors.  Prior to working for MWA, Dr. Brunson was a Director in the College of International Studies at the University of Oklahoma and served as a consultant for Emory University on water implementation in Rwanda.

Peter N. Gichuru , Senior Accountant

Peter Gichuru joined Millennium Water Alliance as a Senior Accountant in December 2010.Prior to this position, Mr. Gichuru was the Corporate Financial Grants Manager for World Relief Corporation, an international nonprofit organization based in Baltimore, Maryland. Prior to joining World Relief, Mr. Gichuru worked for fifteen years in the United Nations World Food Program Kenya office as an accountant. Born and raised in Kenya, he holds an MBA in accounting from Washington International University.

Cynthia Nyaoro , Accountant

Cynthia Nyaoro is a native of Kenya, where she grew up. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Africa Nazarene University, and spent more than six years working with various international nonprofit organizations in Kenya, including Practical Action, International Medical Corps, and the United Nations Development Program, where she was closely involved in financial management of USAID-funded projects. In 2011, she relocated to Washington DC to be a Project Accountant at the National Democratic Institute. In this position, she was closely involved in developing and monitoring budgets, as well managing financial reports and ledger reconciliation related to projects in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia.

Allan E. Elvir , Program Assistant

Allan Elvir joined Millennium Water Alliance in April 2011. He has more than nine years of professional experience in the legal field working for the public and private sector in his home country, Honduras. Among his professional experience, he worked for the Embassy of Honduras in Washington D.C. as the Commercial Counselor and  as an Associate for the Central American law firm Lexincorp. Mr. Elvir has a law degree from the National University of Honduras, a Master of Business Administration from the University of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in International Business from American University- Washington College of Law.

Jessica Cooper ,Communication Assistant

Jessica Cooper is a student at the University of Maryland, graduating in May 2018 with a degree in communication and minors in professional and creative writing. Prior to joining MWA, Ms. Cooper interned at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, where she collaborated on federal campaigns, conducted research, and created blog posts, articles, roll outs, and other written material for publication. From June 2016-August 2016, she taught English abroad in Hungary and Slovakia. She has also worked as the communication intern for The Future Project, a D.C.-based nonprofit dedicated to education reform.  

Melkamu Jaleta ,MWA-EP Country Representative & Program Coordinator

Melkamu Jaleta became the Coordinator of the Millennium Water Program Secretariat office in Ethiopia in January 2012. Mr. Jaleta has over 24 years of experience working in development, including the WASH sector. Prior to this position, he was Ethiopia Country Program Manager for a UK-based WASH program called Partners for Water and Sanitation (PAWS) for three years, and later he was an Urban WASH Program Management Consultant for WaterAid Ethiopia for 1½ years. Mr. Jaleta served in government offices for more than 20 years in different positions. He has a Master’s of Engineering Degree in Hydraulic Engineering, specializing in Land and Water Development, from IHE, Delft-The Netherlands in October 1997.

Tedla Mulatu Temesgen ,Ethiopia Program Director

Tedla Mulatu Temesgen joined MWA in January 2018 as Ethiopia Program Director. Mr. Mulatu is a multidisciplinary development professional with 17 years of experience in business development, donor management, technical assistance, and program development. Prior to MWA, he worked in various senior level positions for Amref Health Africa, Voluntary Service Overseas, and Generation Integrated Rural Development Consultant. He holds a Global Executive MBA from United States International University, a M.A. degree in Educational Research and Evaluation from Addis Ababa University (AAU), an International Postgraduate Diploma in project management from Cambridge International College, UK, and a B.A. degree in Sociology and Social Administration from AAU. 

Mussie Tezazu ,MWA-Ethiopia CQI and MEL Manager

Mussie Tezazu joined MWA in March 2015 as a Continuous Quality Improvement and Monitoring & Evaluation Manager. He received his B.A. in Planning and Management and his M.A. in Social Work and Social Development from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. He has more than fifteen years of experience in strategic planning, executing WASH, and sustainable development program management. From 2009 -2015, Mr. Tezazu worked at the Catholic Relief Service in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he served as the Program Officer for Monitoring and Evaluation, and Water, Sanitation, and Communication. In this position, he specialized in WASH communication, project design and management, proposal development, and community managed disaster risk reduction (CMDRR).

Yisehak Leta Guttema ,MWA-Ethiopia Grants Manager

Yisehak Leta Guttema was born in Nekemte, in western Ethiopia. As a child from farming family, he worked in many areas of agriculture, including growing coffee and raising cattle and other livestock. Mr. Guttema earned a degree in biology at Kotebee collage of teachers education in July 1990, and taught in public Secondary School. He also earned a BA in accounting at Addis Ababa University in July 1999. He has worked at Ethiopian Assurance Corporation as junior auditor, and at CARE Ethiopia for nearly 11 years in different positions, such as Project Accountant, Area Finance Head, Senior Internal Auditor, Audit Officer, and Grant, Contract and Budget Specialist. He came to MWA-EP as the Grant, Contract and Budget Manager in July 2014.

Doris Kaberia , MWA-KP Director and Chief of Party, Kenya RAPID Program

Doris Kaberia joined MWA in February 2013 as the Director of the Kenya programs. She now works as the Chief of Party for the Kenya RAPID Program.  Ms. Kaberia has more than 15 years of experience in food security and livelihood program management and administration, sustainable community development, grant writing/fundraising, and program monitoring and evaluation.  Ms. Kaberia is also an expert in pastoral and agro-pastoral livelihood programming in drought-prone Horn of Africa.  She has experience in programs funded by USAID, OFDA, SDC, ECHO, DANIDA, EC, USAID and DFID.  She received her undergraduate degree from Egerton University in Kenya, and a Master’s degree in Natural Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point.

Kenneth Owuocha ,Deputy Chief of Party, Kenya RAPID

Before joining Millennium Water Alliance in June 2016, Kenneth Owuocha was a Senior Economist with the Athi Water Services Board, where he directed utilities reforms, performance and change management, strategy formulation, development and implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and project design, as well as the management of partner-financed development projects. Development partners included the World Bank, African Development Bank, Agence Francaisse Development, European Union, KfW (formerly KfW Bankengruppe, Germany), and the Government of Kenya. Mr. Owuocha is a Kenyan national with 15 years professional experience, and is a member of the Institute of Economic Affairs-Kenya. He graduated with Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Economics from the University of Nairobi.

Violet Moenga , MWA-KP Finance and Administration Manager

Violet Moenga joined MWA in August 2005 as the finance manager for the first USAID-funded program in Kenya. She previously worked for World Vision Kenya, and is now the Finance and Administration Manager for MWA Kenya.  She is a certified public accountant. Ms. Moenga received her undergraduate degree from Kenyatta University and her accounting degree from Strathmore University.

Job Kitetu ,WASH Adviser, Kenya RAPID Program

Before joining MWA Kenya in October 2015, Job Kitetu worked as the  Associate Director of WASH at World Vision Kenya, and a Field coordinator at CRS. He has over 20 years of experience in management, programming, fundraising, donor liaison, humanitarian emergency assistance, and use of renewable energy in water and construction. He is an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Lead Expert, a member of the Environmental Institute of Kenya, a member of the Institution of Engineering Technologists of Kenya, and a registered Professional Technology Engineer. He is a solar photovoltaic Systems Installation Expert, skilled in appropriate water technologies. Mr. Kitetu holds an MSc. Degree in Engineering and Disaster Management and is currently pursuing his Ph.D in Renewable Energy Engineering at Kenyatta University. 

Elizabeth Nduku Kasyoka ,Office Assistant

Elizabeth Nduku Kasyoka is responsible for front office services for the MWA Kenya office. She joined the organization in January 2016. Ms. Nduku has more than 11 years’ experience in front office management, housekeeping, and messenger services. Ms. Nduku previously worked at Food for the Hungry Kenya as an office assistant.

Beatrice Akinyi Otieno ,Agriculture and Nutrition Adviser, Kenya RAPID Program

Beatrice Akinyi Otieno joined MWA Kenya in December 2016. Previously, she worked for AMREF, ACF-USA, and Save the Children International, where she managed multisectoral nutrition-sensitive and nutrition-specific programs in partnership with other non-governmental agencies and State Departments both at County and National levels. She has more than 11 years of experience working in both development and humanitarian contexts in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and South Sudan with interests in project design, management, monitoring, evaluation, documentation, partnership and awards management, and donor liaison. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health and a BSC in Nutrition from Kenyatta University. She is a member of the Kenya Nutritionists and Dieticians Institute.

Shyrine Simiyu ,Procurement and Administration Officer

Shyrine Simiyu joined MWA Kenya in January 2016. She holds a Bachelor’s of Commerce from the University of Nairobi. Ms. Simiyu has three years of experience in procurement and supply chain management, administration, and logistics management. She is enrolled as a member of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply.

Ayub Odhiambo Were ,Monitoring Evaluation and Learning Specialist

Ayub Odhiambo Were joined MWA Kenya in January 2017 as the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning specialist. His expertise lies in program design, monitoring, learning, and evaluation, and he holds a Master’s in Arts from Maseno University. Mr. Were has more than 10 years of experience. He has previously worked with various international organizations in Kenya including World Vision Kenya and CARE Kenya in various monitoring and evaluation roles.

Boniface Mwendia Thiga ,Driver

Boniface Mwendia Thiga joined MWA Kenya as a Driver in November 2015. He has over 10 years of experience in motor vehicle mechanics and professional/defensive driving. He also has interests in logistics management. Mr. Thiga holds a certificate in motor vehicles mechanics from Rift Valley Institute of Mechanical Engineering. He previously worked for Put Sarajevo Engineering Company and, most recently, CARE Kenya, where he worked as Program Driver.

Hilda Amagove Omega ,Finance and Administration Officer

Hilda Amagove Omega has seven years of experience in managing complex budgets and awards, as well as the management of institutional donors including  Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ECHO, SDC, DFID, UNICEF, IIED and USAID. She joined MWA Kenya in May 2016 as the Finance and Administration Officer, having previously worked in similar roles at Technoserve and Drylands Learning and Capacity Building Initiative. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Nairobi.