Betsy Williams is the Founder of Emerging Public Leaders and Executive Director. She is also the founder and currently serves as PYPP International Advisory Board Chair and on the PYPP Liberia Board of Directors. Ms. Williams launched PYPP with Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf upon seeing the country's urgent need for a stronger civil service following two civil wars, and recognizing the potential of youth to drive that progress. Ms. Williams' work has focused on the intersection of social development, foreign policy, and global health, having launched and supported innovative programs at USAID, JSI, Asia Society and Physicians for Human Rights.
In 2017, Ms. Williams was conferred Liberia's highest civilian honors and awarded Dame Officer, Most Venerable Order of the Pioneer. She is also a Rainer Arnhold Fellow of the Mulago Foundation. She graduated cum laude from Princeton University and received her MPH from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University where she currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Overseers.
Ms. Edelman is the Chief Operating Officer of Emerging Public Leaders in her capacity at the Global Development Incubator (GDI). Since early 2015, she has been providing strategic, operational, and financial support and oversight to the President’s Young Professionals Program of Liberia. At GDI, she has also worked extensively with the Donor Collaborative, Precision Agriculture for Development, and co-authored “More than the Sum of Its Parts: Making Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives Work.” Ms. Edelman joined GDI from the World Bank Group, where she specialized in monitoring and evaluation at the IFC and provided private sector development advisory services to the Governments of Nigeria, Tanzania, Swaziland, and Sudan. Ms. Edelman earned an MA in Applied Economics from Georgetown University and a BA/MA in Economics and Management from Oxford University.
Mariam is a Program Associate at Emerging Public Leaders. Prior to joining Emerging Public Leaders, Mariam lived in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania working with Smart Codes, a local digital marketing agency, on developing an innovation lab for Tanzanian startups. She previously worked at Dexis Consulting and holds significant volunteering experience with Learning Enterprises in Panama and The Foundation for Sustainable Development in Uganda.
Mariam graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2016 with a B.A. in Government and Politics and minor in International Development and Conflict Management. During her time at Maryland, she won the Boren Scholarship to study Swahili in Arusha, Tanzania from 2015-2016. In her free time, she enjoys discovering new coffee shops and searching for the best travel deals online.
Darin Kingston is an Advisor to Emerging Public Leaders and a Senior Manager at the Global Development Incubator (GDI), where she works closely with the Development Frontiers focus area. She also serves as the Interim COO of Convergence, a GDI-incubated initiative, and as an Advisor to Unorthodox Philanthropy. Ms. Kingston co-authored “More than the Sum of Its Parts: Making Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives Work.” She has experience designing and implementing social performance strategies at a range of mission-driven organizations, specializing in monitoring and evaluation and economic development. Before joining GDI, Ms. Kingston led the social impact measurement work of the top solar energy provider for developing markets, d.light. She earned a MA in International Affairs from Columbia University and a BA in International Relations from Brown University.
Michelle Gavin was the Managing Director of The Africa Center. From 2011 to 2014, Ms. Gavin served as the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Botswana and the U.S. Representative to the Southern Africa Development Community. Prior to that, she served as Special Assistant to President Obama and Senior Director for Africa on the National Security Council. Before joining the Obama Administration, she was an Adjunct Fellow for Africa and an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Ms. Gavin has also served as legislative director to U.S. Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO), spent six years serving as the primary foreign policy adviser to Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI), and has served as the staff director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on African Affairs. She earned a Masters of Philosophy in International Relations from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar; and a Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
Antoinette Monsio Sayeh oversaw and significantly enhanced the International Monetary Fund’s engagement with its sub-Saharan African members as Director of the African Department between July 2008 and August 2016. As Minister of Finance in post-conflict Liberia (January 2006 through June 2008), she led the country through the clearance of its long-standing multilateral debt arrears, the HIPC Decision Point, the Paris Club, and its first Poverty Reduction Strategy, significantly strengthening its public finances and championing public financial management reform. Before joining President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Cabinet, Ms. Sayeh worked for the World Bank for 17 years, including as Country Director for Benin, Niger, and Togo; Senior Country Economist on Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as an Advisor in the Bank’s Operations Policy Vice Presidency and as Assistant to its principal Managing Director. Before joining the Bank, Ms. Sayeh worked in economic advisory positions in Liberia’s Ministries of Finance and Planning. Ms. Sayeh graduated with a bachelor’s degree with honors in economics from Swarthmore College and a PhD in International Economic Relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.
Andrew is the Founder, President + Executive Director of GDI, which provides strategic, operational, and fiduciary support to EPL. He leads the team across focus areas and crafts unconventional perspectives to drive the global development sector forward. Mr. Stern has played many roles within GDI initiatives, including Interim CEO of Convergence, and serves on the advisory boards of the President’s Young Professionals Program of Liberia, mhNOW, and Tendrel. Prior to founding GDI, Mr. Stern was a Global Operating Partner at Dalberg Global Advisors. During that time, he helped design and launch ANDE and served as the founding chairman of mothers2mothers. He holds a joint MBA/MPP from Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School and a BA in Economics from Princeton University.
Witney Schniedman is Senior International Advisor for Africa where he leads Covington’s Africa initiative and is a senior member of the firm’s Public Policy and Government Affairs Practice Group, the International Strategy Group and the International Trade and Finance Group. Dr. Schneidman, a non-lawyer, has nearly 40 years of experience working across Sub-Saharan Africa. Drawing on his experience in the State Department, the World Bank, think tanks and his own consulting practice, Dr. Schneidman, has advised energy, technology, consumer and health companies, among others, on projects in more than 30 African countries. Dr. Schneidman provides strategic advice on the varied political, economic, social and regulatory issues that are critical to companies’ success in Africa. This includes issues related to Corporate Social Responsibility, compliance, and market entry and risk mitigation. Dr. Schneidman has written extensively on African economic and political issues and aired his views on CBS News, CNN, National Public Radio, the BBC and the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation, among other media outlets.
Betsy Williams is the Founder of Emerging Public Leaders and Executive Director. She is also the founder and currently serves as PYPP International Advisory Board Chair and on the PYPP Liberia Board of Directors. Ms. Williams launched PYPP with Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf upon seeing the country's urgent need for a stronger civil service following two civil wars, and recognizing the potential of youth to drive that progress. Ms. Williams' work has focused on the intersection of social development, foreign policy, and global health, having launched and supported innovative programs at USAID, JSI, Asia Society and Physicians for Human Rights. She graduated cum laude from Princeton University and received her MPH from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University where she currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Overseers.
Hh Zaizay serves as the Executive Director and leads the in-country team of the President's Young Professionals Program of Liberia. Mr. Zaizay provides critical leadership support, and is responsible for the management and implementation of program-related activities and curricula in Liberia. Mr. Zaizay serves as the main point of contact in Liberia for all partners and stakeholders. He holds a MA in Gender, Peace, and Security from the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center in Accra, Ghana and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the United Methodist University in Monrovia, Liberia.
Dr. Puchu Leona Bernard is the Chair of the Board of the President's Young Professionals Program of Liberia and Director-General Designate of the Liberia Civil Service Agency. Prior to her appointment, Dr. Bernard served as deputy director general for human resources management and policy. During her tenure as Deputy Director General/ Human Resource Management & Policy, she crafted the human resource manual for the civil service, revised the civil service standing orders and created a harmonious working relationship with personnel directors of various ministries and agencies. She holds a PhD in Development and Public Policy from Howard University in Washington, DC.