EFE-Global & EuropEFE Teams

Andrew Baird

President & CEO, EFE-Global

Andrew Baird is the President & CEO of the global hub of the Education For Employment Network (EFE), the leading youth employment and nonprofit job placement Network in the Middle East and North Africa. Previously, Andrew was the Program Area Director, Workforce and Economic Development Group for RTI International, where he led a team of 130 employees and a $150 million portfolio. There, he provided leadership, strategic direction and technical support in workforce development, livelihoods, entrepreneurship, youth, and other areas closely related to EFE's work. Andrew brings to EFE more than twenty-five years of experience in advancing private sector-led strategies to create inclusive employment and livelihoods around the world - including in several countries where EFE operates. He co-founded the Global Center for Youth Employment, a membership-based organization devoted to developing collective solutions to the challenges of youth employment. Andrew is a skillful business development expert and has managed a number of long-term donor-funded projects. He has held leadership positions in a range of organizations in the field and home offices of RTI International, Making Cents International, Chemonics International, and the Peace Corps. Andrew holds a BA from The College of Wooster and an MA from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Jasmine Nahhas di Florio

Senior Vice President, Strategy & Partnerships, EFE-Global

Jasmine Nahhas di Florio has over 20 years of experience spanning the nonprofit, philanthropy, government and private sectors. Having joined Education For Employment (EFE) in 2005, she worked closely with the organization’s Founder and Chairman to start and run programs for private donors in Afghanistan for Afghan Women Leaders Connect at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, and Arzu, a carpet social enterprise. Today, EFE is the leading youth employment and nonpfrofit job placement Network in the Middle East and North Africa. Previously a corporate attorney at the international law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, she also served as an attorney-advisor at the U.S. Department of Treasury. Jasmine consulted the United Nations (UNFIP) on private-public sector partnerships. A Rhodes Scholar, Frank Knox Scholar and Fulbright Scholar, she is a graduate of the University of Alberta, Oxford University and Harvard Law School. She also completed the Columbia Business School's Social Enterprise Program Senior Leaders Program for Nonprofit Professionals and currently serves on the board of the Middle East Children’s Institute. Jasmine’s expert commentary on economic opportunity, women’s empowerment and youth issues has been featured in The Financial Times, Forbes, Stanford Social Innovations Journal, and Finance Middle East, among others.

Salvatore Nigro

CEO, EuropeEFE; Vice President, EFE-Global

Salvatore Nigro leads EFE’s business development, partnership and program management in Europe to support the operations of the EFE Network in the Middle East and North Africa. With over fifteen years of experience in workforce development and strategic management, prior to joining EFE Mr. Nigro was Director of the Advocacy Department of the Glocal Forum, where he contributed to one of the largest campaigns for youth and children in conflict areas: ‘We Are the Future’. He is used to negotiating, mediating and facilitating at the highest levels of national and international institutions. He has experience working both with governmental offices such as the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with non-governmental organizations and in multicultural, multi-linguistic environments. He has advised governments, international organizations and employment agencies in the Mediterranean on the development of youth employment policies and programs. He holds an MBA from the University of Malta, an MA in International Strategic Studies, an MA in International Political Science and a BA in Political Science from LUISS University.

Amr Abdallah

Director of Gulf Programs, EFE-Global

Amr Abdallah has over 20 years of experience working in the MENA region in senior roles in non-for-profit, public and private sector. Prior to joining EFE, Mr. Abdallah served as part of the MENA leadership team at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). Before moving to the US, he taught Public Administration, Principles of Business Administration, Strategic Management and Business Policy at Egyptian and Arab Universities. He held several Senior Executive level positions in projects funded by international donor organizations like USAID, UNDP and is used to mediating and facilitating negotiations at the highest levels of national and international institutions. He has significant professional experience in designing, directing, implementing and evaluating public, private programs, and performing management-consulting services to government, public and private companies and institutions in the MENA region. Amr joined EFE in 2015.

Ashley Barry

Senior Manager, Evaluation & Learning, EFE-Global

Ashley joined EFE in 2015, offering a breadth of experience in the technology, conservation, education, and international development fields. Before joining EFE, she worked in corporate and foundation relations at The Nature Conservancy. Prior to that, she worked at Facebook, participating in the launch of the Arabic site. She also served as a faculty member at the Middlebury Arabic School and as an election observer with the Carter Center during Tunisia’s parliamentary elections in 2014. She has worked to advance young women’s employment in the MENA region, authoring the report, First Jobs for Young Women in the Middle East & North Africa: Expectations and Reality, produced by EFE in partnership with YouGov and Bayt.com. She holds a Master of Public Administration from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and a B.A. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures: Arabic from the University of California, Berkeley.

Sergio Branca

Business Value Assistant, EFE-Global

Sergio has several years of experience in sales and customer services, having worked in many European countries, including in Spain and Italy, as well as the United Kingdom. He has helped medium and small companies develop new business plans and look for new business opportunities, build client relationships, and has carried out market assessments with a view to optimise new product sales. Before joining EFE, he was working at a social innovator Spanish startup focused on developing and managing a global surge roster for emergency response. He is also highly committed to helping others, having volunteered at NGOs in Italy, Lithuania and the UK, including “The Welcoming Ltd” (Edinburgh, UK), where he participated in learning projects for migrants. Sergio holds an MSc in International Business Management from the Heriot-Watt University of Edinburgh and an MA in International Project Management from the Sapienza University of Rome.

Emily Crane

Program Associate, EFE-Global

Emily joined EFE-Global as a Program Associate after interning with EFE's Strategic Initiatives and Programs Departments and supporting on EFE-Global’s internship program. Her work experience includes a research assistantship with the Women and Gender Program at the Office of International Research, Education, and Development at Virginia Tech. She has also interned with the Office of Emergencies in the Diplomatic and Consular Service (M/EDCS) and worked with a women’s collective as an English teacher while studying in Meknes, Morocco. In addition, she engaged in employment and skills training for high-school and university students at the Lycée Camille-Corot in Saint-Lô, France. Her research includes an analysis of the overlap between rural education and sustainable development in small island developing states, and the determinants of refugee integration programs’ curriculum in the European Union. Emily graduated with honors from Roanoke College with a double major in International Relations and French.

Dina Dandachli

Senior Program Manager,EFE-Europe

Born in Barcelona (Spain) of Lebanese descent, Mrs. Dandachli lived and studied in Beirut for 9 years and is fluent 5 languages, including Arabic, French and English. She holds a BSC in Environmental Sciences and has advanced studies in International Relations, Euro-Mediterranean Relations and International Development Cooperation. Prior to joining the EFE Network, she worked for over 7 years at different international and non-profit organizations, including the Club de Madrid, UNDP Burkina Faso, Nantik Lum Foundation and the Autonomous University of Madrid.

Mary Eleanor “Mariel” Davis

Senior Manager, Communications & Partnerships, EFE-Global

Mary Eleanor “Mariel” Davis leads global communications at EFE and collaborates with the organization’s major corporate partners to implement initiatives that highlight the positive potential of youth in the Middle East and North Africa. Mariel joined the EFE team from Qatar, where she served as a consultant for the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative and a Georgetown University - Qatar University Arabic language fellow. Previously, she coordinated development and public relations for the Arab American Association of New York and co-designed the first international exhibition at the US National Children's Museum. Currently based in Egypt, Mariel has also researched and worked in Yemen, Palestine, Qatar, Jordan, Tunisia and Morocco. She received her Bachelor’s degree with high honors from Columbia University, and her Masters in Global Management with distinction from the London School of Economics. In 2013, she was named a Carnegie New Leader.

Amnah Hilou

Program Officer, EFE-Global

Amnah Hillou is a Program Officer for EFE. Before joining, she provided project management oversight and contributed to monitoring and evaluation frameworks for security sector contracts with the Africa Bureau at the U.S. State Department. Apart from working with clients at State, USAID, and the Department of Defense, she oversaw all aspects of the budget, personnel, contracting, and quality assurance. She also provided program administration support to the Bureau of Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Affairs at USAID, with a focus on the Great Lakes region of Africa. In the past, Amnah worked with organizations focused on domestic abuse prevention, small business development, and refugee resettlement in Morocco, Jordan, and Greece. She has a BS in Psychology and MA in International Affairs and speaks varying levels of Arabic, French, and Spanish.

Usha Kaul

Country Program Director (UAE), EFE-Global

Usha Kaul is the EFE-UAE Country Program Director and manages the development and implementation of all local programs in the UAE. Prior to joining EFE, Usha was the Director of the Center for Executive Education at the University of Dubai. She has more than 17 years of experience in the executive and higher education arena, having worked extensively in implementing educational and entrepreneurship projects across the UAE. In addition to leading the coordination of several international and regional conferences related to higher education and women in leadership, Usha has become a regular speaker at conferences on topics ranging from education to supply chain management. Usha has held several board and committee positions at the regional chapters of professional qualification awarding agencies such as the Institute of Management Accountant (IMA USA), and the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM UK), among others. Usha has a MBA in Banking & Finance, University of Hull, UK (2001), and a B.Sc. (Hons) in Psychology from Calcutta University, India.

Brad Kushner

Controller, EFE-Global

Brad Kushner has been the C.P.A. and controller of The Brookhill Group for 14 years.

Sarah Little

Senior Manager, Programs, EFE-Global

Sarah Little joined EFE in 2009 as a program coordinator and has held several different positions on the team over the past eight years. Before joining EFE, Ms. Little worked for SOS Children’s Villages, a Washington, D.C.-based international non-profit organization, and for the Michigan State University Office of Study Abroad as a student adviser. She also interned for a non-profit, humanitarian organization called Secours Populaire Francais in Paris, France, where she worked mostly with French immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa. Sarah holds a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with specializations in Muslim Studies and Western European Studies from Michigan State University.

Anouk Manassen

Program Assistant, EFE-Europe

Passionate about culture, diversity, technology and the future of work, Anouk is a migrations expert with a Master’s degree in ‘Migration, Integration, and Ethnic Relations’ from the University of Utrecht. Anouk is French and Dutch; she studied in Amsterdam, and further completed her field research and internships in Canada, Australia, and Peru. Her thesis on Intersectional Identity theory was published in the International Review of Social Psychology. Upon graduation she started her professional career at the International Organization for Migration in the Hague, where she assisted a variety of projects aimed towards the labour market integration of refugees in the Netherlands. Anouk developed trainings and counseling sessions focused on the development of soft skills, followed by immersive practical volunteer experiences for newly arrived immigrants in Dutch companies and organizations. She strongly believes in the global social benefits of economically empowering youth, women, and migrants, by stimulating their self-confidence and finding the perfect match between one´s skills and ambitions and the evolving needs of the labour market. Anouk is fluent in French, Dutch, English, and Spanish.

Rita Alvarez Martinez

Evaluation and Learning Analyst, EFE-Global

Rita joined EFE in 2017 as an Evaluation and Learning Analyst. Previously, she worked as Research Manager at J-Pal in Mexico and as a Senior Research Assistant at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington, D.C. She has participated in several multi-country international development projects, being responsible for data management and analysis, and program and policy impact evaluation, including field work on the implementation of several randomized control trials. She has experience in a wide range of policy topics, from food security and technological adoption in agriculture, to labor markets and education, her main areas of interest. She holds a BA in Economics from Universidade de Vigo, an MA in Economic Analysis from Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, and an MPP from the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.

Ana Martiningui

Senior Research & Communications Manager, EFE-Europe

A communications and international relations expert, Ana has nearly 15 years of experience in the non-profit and private sectors. Before joining the EFE Network, she was Communications Chief and Publications Coordinator at the international think tank FRIDE, organization she joined in 2004. During the same period, she also acted as Communications Advisor for several institutes, including Concordia21, DARA, ECFR Madrid office, Toledo International Centre for Peace, Global Observatory, Carbon War Room and MarViva Foundation. Previously, she worked in the private sector at Globalia Corporation, one of the largest holdings of the travel and tourism industry. She holds an MA (Hons) in International Relations from the University of St. Andrews and an MA in International Relations and Communications from the University Complutense of Madrid. She is author and editor of various publications on communications, European foreign policy, youth unemployment and the Middle East and North of Africa.

Alex Merrill

Programs Associate, EFE-Global

Alex Merrill joined the EFE team in August 2017 as a Program Associate working with Gulf Programs. Before joining EFE, she worked in the Kogod Center for Business Communications at American University. Prior to her work at American University, she taught English at Lycée Alexandra David-Néel in Digne-les-bains, France. Alex also enjoys working as a French-English translator supporting a variety of projects. She holds a B.A. from Georgetown University with majors in French and Psychology and a minor in Arabic.

Dima Najim

UAE Managing Director, EFE-Global

Dima Najim has over 13 years of experience working in the MENA region in senior NGO roles. Prior to joining EFE, Dima served as part of the World Wildlife Foundation - UAE fundraising team. Before moving to the UAE, she held the position of Chief Operations Officer of Relief International/MSME in Iraq, and in 2010 was part of the team assigned by AGFUND to establish the first microfinance bank in Syria, where she assumed the role of Operations Manager. Also, she was part of UNRWA's Microfinance Department management team. Dima has significant professional experience in women and youth empowerment and financial inclusion, in addition to her experience in partnership management, fundraising and operations management of NGOs. Born and raised in the MENA region, Dima holds a BA in accounting from Damascus University and a Master’s degree in finance from the Arab Academy for Banking and Financial Sciences.

Valeria Pizzi

Development Associate, EFE-Europe

Valeria joined EFE-Europe as Development Associate in August 2018 after serving as the Development and Marketing Assistant at our New York City office. Italian-born and raised in Spain and Argentina, Valeria graduated Cum Laude from Columbia University with degrees in Human Rights and Psychology. As a student, Valeria focused her studies on data-driven political science, including conducting fieldwork in Caldas, Colombia, clarifying ways to facilitate the post-conflict reintegration of child soldiers into civil society . She served as International Student Representative on the university student council, and as Media Committee Chair for the Columbia Undergraduate Committee on Global Thought. Valeria held research assistantships in labs focusing on social and cultural studies within psychology and later interned in the Counseling Department of the World Food Programme. Before coming to EFE, Valeria worked as the Development Intern for a large non-profit organization that strives to protect the human rights of individuals with Down Syndrome in the United States.

Brian Reagor

Director of US Philanthropy, EFE-Global

Brian Reagor leads EFE’s US Philanthropy efforts to support EFE’s Global Hubs and the operations of the EFE Network in the Middle East and Africa. He joins EFE with the unique experience of having been both an international educator and nonprofit development director in the US. Having spent the first eight years of his career working on educational programming in the Middle East and Africa, Brian has experienced firsthand the innumerable benefits of job skills training and a great education. Working with local youth in classrooms in Kuwait and Oman also inspired a lasting passion for the MENA region and its people. Following his international postings, Brian transitioned into grants and partnership management where he has spent the past five years working for a variety of US-based nonprofits, most recently serving as a Program Development Director in New York City. He holds an MA in Economic Development from the Patterson School of International Commerce and Diplomacy (UK) and a BA in Middle Eastern History and Islamic Societies from Boston College.

Maria Tabanera

Senior Finance Manager, EFE-Europe

Mrs. Tabanera has 20 years of experience in management and finance, both in the private and the NGO sectors, having worked in multi-lingual national and international environments. At EuropEFE, Mrs. Tabanera manages large-scale budgets for several grants as well as the organization’s general finances. Prior to joining the EFE Network, she worked as Finance, HR and Operations Manager for a British financial consultancy firm in New York. She has also held positions at Citigroup in London and Oxford University. Mrs. Tabanera has a BA in Business Administration from the University of Salamanca in Spain, a Diploma in Forensic Accounting from the New York University, and an MA in Strategic Planning and Development Projects from IPADE in Spain.

Agustin Perez Vilaplana

Director of Programs & Operations,EFE-Europe

Agustin Perez Vilaplana has more than 27 years of experience in operations, technology and project management in Citibank, working as Senior Country Operations Officer in 8 different countries in Latin America, the United States and Europe. Prior to joining the EFE Network, his last position was Senior Vice President in charge of Latin American Account Services for Corporate Clients out of Bogota, Colombia. Mr. Perez Vilaplana also run his own consultancy company, focusing on human resources and operations in Spain, Morocco and Chile.

Abbey Walsh

Program Associate, EFE-Global

Abbey brings more than three years of experience in designing and implementing programming for youth as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) in Southern Morocco. Her accomplishments in this role include increasing attendance of girls at the local youth center by 60%, securing two USAID grants to fund local projects aimed to educate youth on healthy lifestyle and inclusion projects, delivering a 2-day Training of Trainers to educate other PCVs and their local counterparts on working with people with disabilities, and organizing an inclusive week-long camp for youth with and without special needs. Abbey holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies with a minor in International Business from American University and is fluent in Moroccan Arabic.

Hannah Zuzek

Program Officer, EFE-Global

Hannah joins the EFE team as a Morocco & Tunisia Program Associate after completing her master’s degree in Sustainable Development at SIT Graduate Institute in in Washington DC. Her studies focused on social innovation, education, youth policy and inclusion. Her thesis concentrated on private sector engagement in addressing youth unemployment in the MENA region. Previously she spent three years in Morocco, for the first two years she served as a Youth Development volunteer in Morocco for the Peace Corps. While living in various regions of the country she taught English at the local youth center, facilitated youth leadership camps and organized girls’ empowerment workshops. In addition to her Peace Corps experience she lived in Rabat, Morocco where she volunteered for a local art gallery that provided artisanal and entrepreneur trainings for at-risk women and girls and also taught English at Berlitz Language Center.

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