Since her heart is really in development work, training, and program evaluation, she looks forward to using her experience and passion as part of the Friends of Liberia team. She is also involved in arts, health, children, and women’s empowerment organizations as a volunteer, and maintains many contacts in Liberia.
Prior to joining GAO in 1981, Don was manager of teacher training programs and reading education curriculum for the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Education from 1975-1980. From 1971-73, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer elementary teacher in Salayea, Lofa County, Liberia. Don holds a Bachelors Degree in political science and international relations from the Pennsylvania State University and a Masters Degree in education from Boston College.
Before WCI, Monica served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Romania where she worked with the minority Roma community on health education and grassroots organizational capacity building. She holds a masters degree in Public Administration from Columbia University with a concentration in management, and has implemented programs and conducted research in India, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Angola and Iraq. Her favorite Liberian dish is kidney beans.
From 1986 – 1996 he worked in Financial Management with USAID contractors in francophone countries. In the second half of 1996, he returned again to the US and eventually found work in the emerging internet sector in 1998, finally becoming a Controller at an aerospace business-to- business marketplace site. In 2005 he joined the Curtiss-Wright Flow Control Company, transferring in 2008 to their Nuclear Power Division and retired from there in 2015 having attained the position of Business Unit Controller.
He and his wife of 30+ years currently live in Blue Ash, OH and have two grown daughters who carry on their own lives along the Trenton, NJ to Washington, DC corridor.
Since her return to the U.S. in 2010, she has been working at Peace Corps Headquarters, first as a Regional Recruiter in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Office, then as a Recruitment and Placement Specialist with Peace Corps Response. She recently transitioned to the CIO where she works as an IT Specialist. She continues to travel to a different country at least every other year and as many new cities in the U.S. as she can in the years in between. She lives in Maryland.
Since 1998, Pat has helped design and secure funding for education interventions. The Liberian Education Assistance Project sent master U.S. teachers annually to Liberia for 14 years to train primary grade teachers. She is now on the Education Working Group that will oversee the Family Literacy Initiative. During the Ebola crisis, she helped raise $100,000, which was awarded in small grants to communities working on prevention. She was also on the Ebola Task Force of the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), which awarded $80,000 to communities fighting Ebola in three countries. Pat worked as journalist on five newspapers, including more than a decade at the Washington Post. She was a public affairs officer for the EPA and Homeland Security. She is a former chair of the board of the NPCA. She lives in Virginia.
After returning to the United States, Pat worked as a RN in a hospital in Tucson, AZ. In 1974, Pat completed the Certificate Program for Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP) and then earned a Masters’ Degree in Pediatric Nursing. Pat taught in the Nursing and Nurse Practitioner programs at the University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University. She has also worked in a variety of clinics for uninsured or underinsured families as a FNP and started and ran a school-based program for uninsured children. Pat is now retired and lives in Flagstaff, AZ with her husband, Jim. She volunteers with the US Forest Service in their trails and wilderness program and in a 2nd grade class at a local elementary school.
Pat joined FOL in 1996 and was the Secretary for FOL for 4 years. Pat and her husband Jim have 2 children and 5 grandchildren.
In 2011, he founded Education First, Inc. a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of education in rural and underserved communities in Liberia. Two years later his organization established an early childhood center and an elementary school in Harper, Liberia.
He has been a mathematics education consultant for a number of schools in Long Island, New York and the New York city providing professional development workshops for K-12 mathematics teachers.
Blidi was elected to the board of FOL in 2013 and since then he has served as the chair of the Post Ebola Grant Committee and he is currently the chair of the programs committee of FOL.
James moved to Liberia in 2009 as Chief of Party of the USAID ALP PLUS program which provided accelerated learning opportunities for out-of-school youth through the Ministry of Education. He was subsequently Chief of Party for the follow-up programs, the USAID Core Education Skills for Liberian Youth (CESLY) project in 2010-2011 and the USAID Advancing Youth Project in 2011-2013.
Prior to living in Liberia, James spent several years in Afghanistan and Pakistan where he helped establish the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, implemented a teacher training project, worked on the Constitutional Loya Jirga and assisted in the 2004 and 2005 elections. He previously worked in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Serbia for the OSCE.
James is currently working on his doctorate of education at the University of Bristol in the UK. James received his Master’s degree in Development Management from the Open University, his Post-Graduate Certificate of Education from the University of the West of England and his Bachelor’s degree in Geography from Lancaster University.
Harmon long professional career includes multiple leadership positions including Executive Director of MADCO/MACEP, creating economic development programs for Mexican Americans in Texas. In addition, he was the chief administrator for two Texas state agencies: the State Attorney General’s Office, and the Texas State Comptroller and was the Executive Director of the State of Texas Veteran’s Land Board. From 1994 until he retired in 2007, Harmon was the Executive Director of the Institute for Career Development, (ICD), a national joint labor/management education, training and research corporation. Harmon has served on many national governing boards for education and training programs and is presently the Chairman of the Board of “Architecture 2030″. He and his wife of 41 years have two children and three granddaughters and currently reside in Western Colorado.
Nancy has held a variety of position in private sector companies, NGOs and government agencies. These included Vice President for Computer Frontiers, Inc., Director of Business Development for High Street Partners’, Inc., Director of International Operations for the state of Maryland.. She holds a M.S. Degree in Development Management and a B.S. Degree in Management and Marketing.