Board Members

Sarah Morrison
Sarah MorrisonPresident
Sarah was a Peace Corps Volunteer from 1985-87 in Monrovia, serving the Ministry of Health headquarters as a national Training and Logistics Coordinator for the Combating Childhood Communicable Diseases program. The experience led to her leaving a career in Louisiana, where she had earned a MSW from Tulane and began as a protective services and foster care clinical social worker. Personal travels over ten years to places including China, India, and the Middle East hooked her on following through with an application to Peace Corps and leaving her job as Director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Program Evaluation. The Peace Corps experience introduced her to both Friends of Liberia and the U.S. State Department Foreign Service, from which she officially retired in late 2014 (though she accepted two temporary assignments in 2015 to help out with grants management in Kathmandu and Dubai). During this career of 25+ years, she served in Florence (as Consul General), Kabul (Strategic Communications Deputy Director), Mbabane (Deputy Chief of Mission), Malabo (Charge’/DCM), Washington (International Affairs Public Affairs Officer), Monrovia (PAO), Buenos Aires (Asst. Cultural Affairs Officer), and Rome/Milan (entry level tour).

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.

SeekingVice President
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SeekingCommunications Committee Chair
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Don Drach
Don DrachEducation Program Chair
Don Drach is an independent consultant, trainer and volunteer with over 35 years experience in international relations and capacity building. Don completed federal service in January 2009, serving most recently as director of international relations in the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s Strategic Planning and External Liaison office. He also served as the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Government Auditing and was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the INTOSAI Development Initiative, an international training organization. Don was an Adjunct Faculty member in GAO’s Learning Center and now conducts training seminars and workshops domestically and internationally. In addition to his work with Friends of Liberia, he serves on the board of Solas Nua, an Irish arts organization and mentors returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

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.

Monica Gadkari
Monica GadkariSecretary
Monica Gadkari, is a Program Manager for Social Impact, managing projects in Africa and Asia. Prior to working for Social Impact, Moncia worked for Women’s Campaign International (WCI) as a Program Manager for multiple projects, which included multiple programs in Liberia. She lived in Liberia from 2012 to 2014 supporting the daily operations in-country along with managing projects in Angola and Iraq. Monica’s leadership and program expertise has strengthened activities in Liberia and expanded the opportunities for Liberian rural women to include peace and security programs along with economic empowerment activities.

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.

David Holmes
David HolmesTreasurer
David Holmes served as a Peace Corps English teacher at C. H. Dewey High School in Tubmanburg, Bomi County from 1978 – 1979. After completion of service in 1979, he worked at Hotel Victoria in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County until the 1980 coup. He then found work in Monrovia at the U.S. Embassy snack bar on Mamba Point. Returning to the US in 1982 he began work on retooling his career from education to business and finally graduated with an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, located in Glendale, AZ, in 1985.

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.

Alison McReynolds
Alison McReynoldsMembership Committee Chair
Alison McReynolds grew up in Lexington, KY where she attended a performing arts school and was exposed to people from all over the world. As a junior in high school, she got the opportunity to spend a month in France with a host family and it ignited her desire to live and work abroad. She went on to study Anthropology and Mathematics at Ball State University in Muncie, IN but it was a semester abroad in England during her junior year that cemented her decision to apply to Peace Corps. She found a kindred spirit in a fellow Sri Lankan student and knew that she had to go live and experience something completely different. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mauritania until 2009 at which point she immediately applied for a Peace Corps Response position in Liberia. She served at ZRTTI in Fissebu, Lofa County, Liberia, where she helped start the new library on campus.

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.

Pat Reilly
Pat ReillyActing Development Committee Chair
Pat Reilly was a volunteer Peace Corps English teacher at Bassa High School in Buchanan, Liberia, from 1972-75. On returning to the United States, she was a Peace Corps recruiter in New York City and at Ohio University, where she earned a master’s in Journalism. She has been on the executive committee of Friends of Liberia for more than 20 years as the former Peace Corps alumni group transformed itself into a force for advocating peace in Liberia throughout the 1990s.

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.

Pat McGeorgeHealth Program Chair
Pat McGeorge was a Lutheran Missionary Nurse at Curran Lutheran Hospital in Zorzor, Lofa County, Liberia from 1970-1971. She met her husband Jim, who was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zorzor, while working at Curran Hospital.

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.

Blidi Stemn
Blidi StemnSmall Grants Program Chair
Dr. Blidi Stemn has been in the field of education in Liberia, the United Kingdom and the United States for more than two decades. He is currently a mathematics educator at State University of New York College at Old Westbury. Prior to that he was an Associate Professor in Mathematics Education at Hofstra University in New York. Upon graduating from Cuttington University in Liberia, he taught mathematics at Booker Washington Institute for 6 years before pursing his masters degree in mathematics education at Cardiff University of Wales. He later earned his doctorate degree from the University of Connecticut.

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.

Simon James
Simon JamesBoard Member At Large
Simon James is Senior International Technical Advisor for Education Development Center, a US-based non-governmental organization working in education, health and economic development.
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 Lisnow
Harmon LisnowEntrepreneurship Program Chair
Harmon Lisnow served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Liberia, Group II, from 1963 to 1965. He taught elementary school and high school at the Lutheran Training Institute (LTI) in Salayea, Lofa County. Harmon has stayed active in Liberia putting past students through school, and working to initiate for-profit and non-profit corporations. After his Peace Corps service, he worked as a professional trainer for the Peace Corps in the United States. He has traveled to Liberia six times since 2005 working through the Steelworkers Union (USW) and the AFL-CIO’s Solidarity Center with the Liberian Ministry of Labor, training Liberian labor leadership at Firestone, as well as other unions. In 2011, he returned to Liberia for three months to help rebuild the Liberian Education Trust, (LET).
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 Wallace
Nancy WallaceBoard Member At Large
Nancy served as Peace Corps Response volunteer in 2008-2009 in Kataka as a mentor to the business managers for the Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute (KRTTI) and the Webo Rural Teacher Training Institute (WRTTI). In 2010, Nancy served as Country Director for Women’s Campaign International for Liberia where she establish their office and implemented a multi-million dollar project to provide business and leadership. After returning to the USA, she became the Executive Director of Women’s Campaign International. She has more than 25 years of hands on experience working in over 35 countries has developed in-depth knowledge of business practices in regions worldwide, extensive experience of market development activities, and expertise in project design and management. She has proven ability to work in multi-cultural environments, manage diverse staff and meet financial goals. She began her humanitarian career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone (1992) then Nicaragua (1992 – 1994) working with small businesses and agriculture programs.

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.