African Hope Network is guided by an international board of directors and a board of technical advisors.

james photoJames Christie: Founder & President of Board

The Reverend James Christie works as a hospice chaplain and bereavement counselor at Kaiser Permanente. An ordained Christian Orthodox Priest, James loves stand-up comedy and produces Laughs for Africa, a comedy fundraiser, which raises money for African Hope Network. James founded African Hope Network after spending a year teaching in Uganda and being inspired by the young people he met. He graduated from Yale Divinity School in 2010.


Daniel Getty: Board Treasurer

Daniel brings nearly 20 years of international accounting and financial management experience to AHN. As Chief Financial Officer of Kodiak Networks, Daniel is responsible for all aspects of Kodiak’s accounting and financial operations and takes an active leadership role in financing, business modeling, sales compensation, as well as customer and partner deal-making. He has been at the company since its inception, initially serving as Corporate Controller. Prior to Kodiak, Daniel held management positions at a variety of technology-focused companies, including VP & Controller of inOvate Communications Group and Accounting Manager of Investment Technology Group. Daniel began his career at KPMG, where he served the world’s premier financial institutions, including Citigroup, Credit Suisse, and Deutsche Bank. Daniel earned the position of Senior Manager at KPMG while working in the firm’s New York, Taipei, and Frankfurt offices. Daniel holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting, with a concentration in Finance, from Binghamton University.


DaveDavid Halliday: Board Member

As a PhD candidate in Business Strategy at University of North Carolina, Dave helps shape AHN’s strategic focus. His research interests revolved around the intersection of psychology, finance, and strategy. His current research focuses on venture capital investment decision making and the relationship between trading by mutual funds and the commission of fraud by firm managers. Before joining the PhD program, he was a Research Analyst at Blenheim Capital Management, a GMAT Instructor, and a Trader at a high-return private trading group. Dave has his MBA in Finance from Yale University School of Management and a BA in Humanities from Stanford University.


MikeMike Leatherwood: Board Member

Mike is a successful serial entrepreneurial and brings to AHN strategic insights on building successful organizations and world-class professional development programs. Mike is the Founder and CEO of Bone Daddy’s House of Smoke, a chain of barbecue restaurants in Texas with seven current locations. Before Bone Daddy’s, Mike was the Founder and CEO of Razzoo’s Cajun Café for 18 years. Mike is renowed for his ability to build culture and invest in the professional and personal development in each of his employees. He brings this passion for supporting the growth of young leaders to AHN, where he is a founding board member.


WandaWanda Gass: Board Member

Having started and grown her own nonprofit, Wanda brings deep nonprofit experience to AHN. Wanda is dedicated to helping more young women choose an engineering degree in college through her role as President at Design Connect Create, a summer physics camp for young women. For over ten years, this program has helped prepare young women to choose and persist in STEM degrees in college. Wanda has more than 30 years experience as a VLSI design engineer. She was elected as a Texas Instrument Fellow in 1998 and elevated to IEEE Fellow in 2007. She’s also a volunteer for IEEE Solid State Circuit Society as Women in Engineering Liaison and a part-time coach of robotics teams at The Hockaday School. Wanda served on the board of directors for the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity Education Foundation for three years and is a current Steering Team Member of the Rice Engineering Alumni – DFW Chapter. Wanda received her BS in electrical engineering from Rice and MS in electrical engineering from Duke.


Heather Parillo & Linh Quach: Board Member (profiles forthcoming)



Technical Advisory Board (non-voting members)

DrGulobaDr. Madina Guloba

Madina is an Economist, with a PhD and Masters of Arts in Economics from University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania under the Collaborative Postgraduate Programme of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), Nairobi-Kenya. Madina is currently a Research Fellow at the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC). In this capacity she served as co-author for the 2011 study “Management and Motivation in Ugandan Primary Schools,” which provides the evidence-base for AHN’s current scorecard program.  She has more than eight years of research experience in a variety of fields. She is also a member of the National Working Committee on Monitoring and Evaluation; the National Sub Committee of Evaluation both under the Office of the Prime Minister and the National Committee on Green Economy under the National Planning Authority (NPA) in Uganda.


SarahSarah Kabay

Sarah is a doctoral student in International Development Education at NYU. Her research interests include movements towards Universal Primary Education, the rise of private educational institutions in developing countries, the role of parents and communities in school finance and management, and research methods. Previously she worked for Innovations for Poverty Action for five years. She was based in Uganda for four years, primarily working on the implementation and randomized evaluation of a primary school savings program. She received her B.A. in Poverty and Development from Yale University.


PaulSparksPaul Sparks

Paul is the Director of Research at Peripheral Vision International in Uganda. At PVI he develops innovative research projects exploring the use of entertainment media to educate, influence social norms and change behavior. Previously Paul managed BRAC Uganda’s Research and Evaluation Unit, overseeing a portfolio that included over a dozen large-scale field experiments and a research budget of approximately $4.5 million. Paul personally oversaw the design and implementation of a randomized control trial evaluating the MasterCard Scholars Program at BRAC, an education program providing 5,000 disadvantaged, academically high-achieving young people with comprehensive scholarships to attend to top secondary school in Uganda. Over the course of his career he has contributed to projects and evaluations ranging in topic from conditional cash transfer, to ultra-poor targeting, microfinance, family planning and reproductive health, vocational training, and small enterprise development, among others. He received a BS in Sociology from Manchester College and an MA in International Development from The American University.


DavidWasherDavid Washer

David is a Senior Associate Consultant at The Bridgespan Group, a strategy consulting firm that advises nonprofit and philanthropic leaders. At Bridgespan, he is active in the firm’s global development practice and co-leads its impact investing initiatives. Previously David served as a Program Analyst at the Ford Foundation and Investment Analyst at McKinsey and Company. He has served in numerous non-profit advisory roles, including Program Manager at the Grameen Foundation and Alumni Leadership Council President of International Justice Mission. He graduated from Yale University with a BA in International Studies and Religious Studies.


JuliaBuzanJulia Buzan

Julia is a Senior Consultant for Vera Solutions where she works with social impact organization to create affordable, powerful and flexible technology solutions to capture and analyze data. Vera’s clients have included several education organizations, such as Pratham, Educate!, STIR, and WAVE.  Julia  previously worked as a research analyst with Cambridge College in Boston, as well as interned with Innovations Poverty Action in India and FINCA International in Uganda. She graduated from Yale with a BA in Political Science with a focus on International Economic Development.