Jean-Claude (JC) Nkulikiyimfura has over 17 years of experience in education, marketing, government and corporate communication. Currently serving as Executive Director of the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV), a holistic learning community for orphaned and vulnerable youth located in the Eastern Province of Rwanda, JC manages a diverse team of educators and care providers while building successful local and international partnerships. JC’s passion lies in his country’s development and he believes that Rwanda and Africa’s success will be achieved through an educated, empowered and resilient youth. Initially pursuing a career in journalism, he received a degree in Mass Communication from the University of Central Arkansas before returning to Rwanda to work as a media and protocol officer in the Office of the President in 2001, where he would serve until 2006. He then moved to South Africa for two years to undertake a Master’s program in International Relations and founded XLcom, a communications agency which provided communication services to various organizations, including the African Development Bank. JC later worked as General Manager for Saatchi & Saatchi Rwanda until 2011, when he joined ASYV as Village Director. Managing the Village with skill, dedication, and compassion, he was promoted to the position of Executive Director in 2015.
Vincent has more than ten years of experience working directly with communities on employment and economic development, focusing particularly on youth. After obtaining a degree in Food Science and Technology from the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology, Vincent began his career as a Quality Assurance Supervisor at Inyange Limited, before finding employment as a Business Development Specialist and Organization Coordinator with the USAID Dairy Competitiveness Project. Between 2011 and 2015, Vincent worked for TechnoServe as a Senior Business Advisor for the Regional Youth Development Program, where he helped to substantively improve quality of life and income potential for 48,000 youth between the ages of 18 and 30. Vincent leapt at the chance to work for Agahozo-Shalom in 2015, because he identifies strongly with the Village’s youth and is passionate about helping them to achieve their potential.
As the Founding Member and current Board Chair of AIESEC Rwanda, his utmost source of self-actualization hinges on social entrepreneurship and human capacity development. Vincent is also an International Associate in the area of Civic Leadership from Wagner College.
Shiri Sandler joins ASYV as the Managing Director. Most recently, she was the Director of PJ Library in New York. Previously, Shiri was the U.S. Director of the Auschwitz Jewish Center at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. Shiri directed fundraising, educational programs for North American students, and Board relations for the Center, an affiliate of the Museum’s. While at the Museum, she led immersive programs on dehumanization and genocide for military students, developed new ethics programs for professional school students, and taught about the Darfur genocide. Prior to joining the Museum, she was the Interim Chief of Staff at the Genocide Intervention Network, a Darfur genocide activism organization. Shiri received her M.A. in Modern European History from Brown University and her B.A. from Cornell University. Her academic research is on Soviet liberator rape of Jewish concentration camp survivors. Shiri is the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors.
Laurie Toll Franz
Laurie founded the Five Together Foundation along with her siblings in 2005, to provide support to vulnerable populations. Based on the shared values of justice, equal opportunity and compassion, The Five Together Foundation supports initiatives in education and youth empowerment, food and housing security, services to families in need, and environmental and social justice. She is also passionate about building community around shared values.
Laurie serves in leadership roles for several non-profit organizations. She is currently serving as the Board Chair for the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda, and as a board member of InterFaith Family, JEVS Human Services and JEVS Foundation. She also sits on the CATT Committee of the USC Shoah Foundation. She has served in several Board and leadership positions at the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. Laurie graduated from the University of Delaware (B.A. in English) and currently resides in Philadelphia.
Michael is ASYV's treasurer, having previously served on our finance committee for many years. He also helped our Founder, Anne Heyman, develop ASYV's initial financial plan. He is an experienced financial executive. Trained at General Electric before moving into the mortgage industry, he has held two CFO roles at US-based lending companies.
Jeff was hired in 2006 to build LNU, Liquidnet’s corporate university, and run learning and organizational development globally for the firm. As a member of the Liquidnet Global Talent Engagement division, he is strategically involved in all aspects of the business, primarily focused on creating a learning culture that drives business results. Jeff and his team have successfully created and implemented an ongoing industry curriculum called “Headway,” geared specifically for Liquidnet’s key customers, the buy-side head trader community. In April 2012, Jeff and his team were recognized by the Chief Learning Office Magazine as one of the top global learning organizations, ranked 32nd. Jeff has been an Adjunct Professor at New York University since 2010, teaching Transformational Leadership and Teambuilding as part of the Master’s program in Human Resources at SCPS.
Bill is the Principal and Founder of levelUP Group, LLC, a consulting practice that supports organizations with systematic growth strategies. Bill has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Pennsylvania State University. He resides in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania and has two adult children, Bill Jr. and Brian.
Ran is Owner of Rango Science & Medicine, and Founder and CEO of Eliaso Holdings, Ltd. and Eliaso Consulting, Ltd. Eliaso is a global organization devoted to meeting the needs of patients, or their loved ones, confronting life-threatening situations and who seek the highest-caliber of world-class medical consultation and assistance. Ran has an MD and Ph.D. from The Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School.
Kathy is the Founder and Managing Director of Harris Allied, a New York-based Executive Search and Consulting firm that helps companies find, hire, and retain exceptional talent. Actively philanthropic, Harris Allied proudly supports the following organizations: the Food Bank for NYC, ASYV, St. Mary's Health Care System for Children, and the Women’s Breast & Heart Health Initiative. Kathy credits her philanthropic roots to her mother, a consummate professional volunteer. Kathy received a B.S. in Psychology at Rutgers University.
Gideon is Executive Director of International Partnerships at the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. For the past 13 years, Gideon's primary focus at the JDC has been the development and implementation of programs and partnerships for vulnerable populations in Israel and across the globe, including Ethiopia, Rwanda, and most recently, post-earthquake Haiti. Gideon holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of California at Berkeley. He currently lives on Moshav Beit Nekofa in the Judean Hills.
John is the Senior Vice President of The Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies and Chief Professional Officer of Chasbro Investments. He has been involved in the founding and management of several private businesses and charitable entities. John has a Master’s in Business Administration from Farleigh Dickenson University and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Economics from SUNY.
ASYV Program Committee Chair
Lisa Issroff and her husband, David, co-founded the Issroff Family Foundation in 2007 which partners with community based organizations in order to improve outcomes for children, youth, and their communities. Serving as IFF’s Executive Director, Lisa is particularly interested in providing funding, capacity, and advisory support to early stage organizations engaged with empowering youth in South and Eastern Africa, New York and Israel. Building on her experience working with these organizations, Lisa is also focused on helping to build networks in the New York area to support a vibrant and supportive funder community. Lisa serves on several of the boards of IFF’s partner organizations. She is the current Chair of the Board for both Generation Citizen and Ongoza. Additionally, she serves on the boards of the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village, Educate!, the Advisory Board of Afrika Tikkun, and the Executive Advisors Circle of Echoing Green. She is also the New York Chapter Head for the African Leadership Academy. Lisa graduated from Wesleyan University and currently lives in New York City.
Jean Kagubare is the Deputy Director for the Global Primary Health Care systems on the Integrated Delivery team. He provides technical and managerial leadership for Bill & Melinda Gates foundation's health financing and health systems strengthening work around the world to improve the state of the art of Primary Health Care systems strengthening and health financing. Jean has over 25 years of experience which cover clinical and public health areas, especially in planning and management of public health programs in developing countries. Before joining the foundation, he was the Global Technical Lead for Health Care Financing at Management Sciences for Health (MSH) where he provided technical expertise for the design and implementation of results based financing programs and community health insurance schemes. He obtained his Medical Degree from the University of Kinshasa, an MPH degree from the University of Brussels and his PhD in health systems from the Johns Hopkins University.
Bertrand “Kiki” Kayiranga
Kiki is the Founder, Owner, and Managing Director of the Bear/Sarl, Consulting Firm. He is also Vice President of the Rwanda Association of Architects, and Counselor member of the East African Association of Architects. He has won many national and international competitions, including 1st prize for Rwanda Television’s 5-stories building competition, and 1st prize for his work in a mall in Kigali City Market. Kiki has a degree in Architecture from L’Institut de Bâtiment et de Travaux Publics.
ASYV Finance Committee Chair
Jason is a Senior Investment Manager on the North American Equity team at Aberdeen Asset Management, a FTSE 100 company that manages over $400b in assets for both institutions and private investors around the world. In this role, he is responsible for the co-management of client portfolios with regard to securities within the North American equity market. Jason has a Master’s in Business from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Delaware. He is a CFA® charterholder.
ASYV Development Committee Chair
Christy is always up for a challenge and a problem to solve. She has launched three successful companies into the marketplace: Strategic Meetings & Events, SME Displays, and Christy Lamagna Consulting. With SME entering into its 15th year, Christy and her team have produced over $15 million in events across 16 countries. In addition to planning, Christy has taught two college courses in strategic planning for the last ten years. A firm believer in giving back, Christy donates one day a week to mentoring students, pro-bono event work and supporting a variety of charitable organizations. Follow her work and read her articles. @SMECHRISTY on Twitter. Strategic.Events/inthenews
Jason is a writer, director, animator and editor for film and television. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering for Computer Science. Jason attended the groundbreaking for The Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village as the production assistant to documentary filmmaker Asaf Peri. Since then he has visited the Village more times than he can count, filming major community events, including making short films for the yearly Stand Up and Be Counted fundraiser. While there, he often leads student workshops in narrative film, as well as tutoring students in Spanish, English, Math and Physics. Jason’s hero and biggest inspiration is his mother, and he is committed to helping the causes that mattered most to her.
Sam owns The Merrin Gallery, Inc., established in 1999. While formally incorporated that year, it is a second-generation Ancient Art business founded by Edward H. Merrin in the mid-1960’s when he started dealing in Pre-Columbian art, becoming an expert in this field. After receiving a B.A. from Tufts University, Samuel Merrin worked at United Jewish Appeal and The Cloisters Museum, and interned at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He is a recognized expert in the authenticity and value of ancient art, from antiquities to Pre-Columbian art, appraising ancient objects for the IAAATA, various clients, and institutions.
Seth is currently the Executive Director of Team IMPACT, a national non-profit whose mission is to improve the quality of life for children living with serious and chronic illness through the power of team. A nonprofit leader with extensive experience in organizational growth, strategic planning, fundraising and building stakeholder relationships, Seth is focused on building the organization’s reputation and program nationally. Most recently, he served as Assistant Vice President for Principal and Major gifts at Boston Children's Hospital Trust, where his team raised over $100 million per year for Hospital priorities. Prior to that, he served as Vice President of development at Combined Jewish Philanthropies, where he led the organization through a strategic plan and grew the fundraising from $33 million per year to $54 million per year in 5 years. He also served as Executive Director of Development at The George Washington University, where he worked with the President to realize a $1 billion campaign for the University. Rosenzweig earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from The George Washington University School of Business and Public Management and a Masters of Education in Higher Education Administration from Harvard University Graduate School of Education. He serves the boards of Michael B. Rukin Family Foundation and Yemin Orde.
Liz is a former journalist, teacher, and painter married to Emanuel Stern, and the mother of three daughters. Her daughter Josie raised money for ASYV for her bat mitzvah project by selling bracelets and ribbons, as well as asking for donations in lieu of gifts. Liz received a Master’s in International Affairs & Journalism from Columbia University, and a Master's in Education from Bank Street College. She has visited the Village twice.
Brian Walsh oversees impact for Liquidnet, a New York-based financial services company that uses technology and a trusted global network to improve the performance of capital markets. As founder and Executive Director of Liquidnet For Good, Brian is responsible for putting the resources of Liquidnet to work to have a positive impact in the world. Brian currently sits on the boards of GlobalGiving, a nonprofit crowdfunding platform that connects everyday donors with thousands of vetted grassroots organizations around the world, and CalSo, a Californian nonprofit leveraging French social enterprise experience to incubate and launch projects to fight social exclusion. He is an adjunct professor in the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where he teaches a seminar called Financing Social Impact.
ASYV Staff leadership
Health & Wellness Team Leader
A passionate health practitioner from an early age, Théoneste earned his A2-level certificate in general nursing studies from ESI Kirinda in 1999. After serving as head nurse and manager of a rural health center from 1999 to 2002, he would earn an advanced diploma, A1-level, as a mental health nurse from the former Kigali Health Institute in 2005.
From 2005 to 2012, Théoneste worked as a mental health care professional at the Icyizere Psychotherapeutic Centre, established to treat genocide survivors suffering from PTSD. In 2012, Théoneste joined Agahozo-Shalom as a mental health nurse and head nurse of our Health and Wellness Center. In 2016, he was awarded a postgraduate licentiate in homeopathic medicine from the College of Practical Homeopathy – CPH/London and became Team Leader of our Health and Wellness Center.
Director of Finance
Christine is a professional accountant with extensive experience of 11 years in financial services. Christine is a finalist of Certified Public Accountant (CPA). She holds a Bachelor’s degree of Business Administration in accounting from University of Rwanda, College
of Business and Economics (UR-CBE) former School of Finance and Banking. Christine joined the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in October of 2008 as an Accountant. Christine was promoted to the position of Director of Finance in 2013. Prior to joining ASYV, she worked as a Finance and Business Development Specialist at Sustaining Partnerships to Enhance Rural Enterprises and Agribusiness Development (SPREAD RWANDA) for two years from 2007 to October 2008.
Science Center Coordinator
Josiane Ishimwe grew up in the Western Province of Rwanda where she attended high school and was awarded by the first lady of Rwanda for her performance on the national exam. She went on to study Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering at the University of Rwanda Campus of Science and Technology. Josiane likes to give back to the community and served as a mentor to young girls through the Imbuto Foundation. After university, she worked at IHS Rwanda as a Network Operating Center Engineer where she monitored over 300 telecommunication towers. There she was awarded as best employee of the year. In September 2015, Josiane joined the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village as Science Center Coordinator. In her role she works hand-in-hand with science center trainers to create fun and educational programming to encourage a love of science and technology among the ASYV students.
Science & Technology Coordinator
While studying information technology at the Adventist University of Central Africa from 2002-2005, Deo began his career as a computer teacher and Deputy Principal of Discipline at Ingenzi College, a school for genocide survivors. In 2006, he joined SOS Technical High School as a computer teacher and IT technician. Affiliated with “SOS Village d’Enfant,” the majority of students at SOS Technical High School were also orphans.
In 2008, Deo came on board at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village as a computer teacher, before being promoted to the position of Village IT Coordinator in 2012. In 2016, Deo was again promoted to the position of Science and Technology Coordinator. Born in Burundi, Deo first came to Rwanda after the Genocide of 1994. As a child of Rwandan refugees, Deo always likes to lend a helping hand to those most in need, and loves helping the children of the Village reach their full potential.
After earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the University of Rwanda’s College of Education, formerly known as the Kigali Institute of Education, Aloys began his work with the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in 2009 as a Math and I. E teacher, before becoming Deputy Principal of the Liquidnet Family High School in 2011. In this capacity, he oversaw the teaching-learning process, designed and monitored performance indicators, analyzed grades, and organized teacher capacity building. From December 2015 to December 2016, Aloys served as Director of the Residential Department and ASYV Philosophy, where he oversaw our Parental Wholeness process and designed after-school program modules. In January 2017, Aloys became our Academic Director. Back at the Liquidnet Family High School, Aloys now leads the school as its chief administrator, managing personnel while developing and implementing academic policies and programs.
With training in teaching methodologies for at-risk and post-conflict youth from MASHAV and FHO, in Jerusalem and London respectively, and training in instrumental enrichment and the mediated learning experience from Israel’s ICELP, Aloys enjoys helping his students succeed by building confidence and a sense of stability.
Human Resources Coordinator
Christian Muhawenimana, Instructional Coach
Christian Muhawenimana is an educator whose more recent experience as an English and Leadership Instructor has made him a first-hand witness to how a learner-centered approach and competency-based education has resulted in a total paradigm shift in matters related to education in his native Rwanda. From August 2015 until the time he joined ASYV, Christian served as an English and Leadership Instructor at Akilah Institute for Women. Prior to joining the Akilah Insititute for Women, Christian worked for the famous ULK (Kigali Independent University) as an English Language Lecturer, a position he held after serving as the National Executive Secretary for ARDE/KUBAHO and as the Executive Director of COFORWA, two local non-profit organizations that focus on water supply, sanitation and hygiene education.
Christian has also worked for a year at Water For People, a US-based NGO focusing on ensuring that all the world’s people have access to safe drinking water and sanitation. As he began to see the impact of clean water and sanitation, Christian became increasingly passionate about the cause. He championed implementation of the Kisaro Water Supply Project, which would provide access to clean water for nearly 18,000 people in the district’s Kisaro Sector. He also helped in socio-economic identification for new water supply projects in the district’s Burega and Ntarabana sectors.
Prior to his involvement with clean water and sanitation projects, Christian – who received a Bachelor’s Degree of Arts with Education (B.A Ed with a specialization in English and Literature) from the Kigali Institute of Education – enjoyed a six-year career in education. He taught English and literature in numerous schools in the Kigali area, including the FAWE Girls’ School, Kacyiru Islamic School, Glory Secondary School, and AIPR Nyandungu. Christian served as headmaster of College APEGIRUBUKI, a private secondary school in the Gicumbi District, and taught English in different schools up-country, including Nyamata St. Francois Xavier Secondary School-APEBU, Ecole Secondaire de Gaseke, Ecole Secondaire de Bukure, and Ecole Secondaire de Kageyo. He also worked for the Ministry of Education training teachers in the Nyabihu and Gasabo Districts as part of the English for Teaching/English for Teachers program.
After six years in education, Christian went to work in the Parliament of Rwanda in the Chamber of Senate. Christian is now finalizing a Master's Degree in Educational Management and he hopes that it will equip him with new skills to support his role at ASYV. Before he turns 40, Christian hopes to get a PhD in Adolescent Education. He is very passionate about teacher capacity development, project management, public relations and communication, fundraising and advocacy; and international relations.
Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Noella attended the Lycee de Kigali before obtaining a degree in Business Administration, specializing in Finance and Banking, from Mount Kenya University. Noella began her career in 2009 as Finance & Operations Officer for Binkleb, managed by SDV Transami. She would later join CDH Capital, affiliated with Ecobank, as their Settlement and Administration Clerk in 2011. Coming on board at the Village in 2012, she has lent us her expertise as interim Director of Finance and our Administrative Assistant. She currently serves in our Finance Department as an accountant. Noella enjoys the Village’s philosophy and sense of family, and appreciates the strong bonds that form between students and staff. Noella is also enrolled in a Master’s program at Mount Kenya University.
LEAP (Life Enrichment Applied Programs) Coordinator
Married and father to three children, Parisien studied biology, physical education, and sports at the Kigali Institute of Education before graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education. After teaching at St. Vincent High School for two years, he joined ASYV in December 2008. Originally serving as our grade coordinator in charge of sports development, Parisien was promoted to Programs Coordinator in 2011. In this capacity, Parisien manages our Life Enrichment Applied Programs, including the arts, sports, clubs, and individual or group projects. He also works with our entrepreneurship program. Parisien has a passion for sports and loves working with the young people of the Village.
Issa Jean Marie Vianney Sikubwabo
Director of Operations & Procurement
With an undergraduate degree in Law and several years of professional teaching experience, Issa joined ASYV as a teacher at our Liquidnet Family High School in January 2010. Working in this capacity for four years, Issa next became our Director of Informal Education and Training. Following the completion of his Master of Arts degree in International Economic and Business Law in 2014, Issa then took on the role of Director of Operations and Procurement in January 2015.
Guided by more than twelve years of experience in the field of education and professional development, Issa’s contemporary advocacy work enjoys a keen sense of the law and the necessities of training. Leading with the benefit of numerous local and international seminars and training sessions, Issa strives to cultivate a teaching atmosphere that engages classrooms and meets his passion for giving back whenever the opportunity arises.
New York city Staff
Matthew joined ASYV in April 2016 as our Development Associate, and assists in the management of grant applications, grant reporting, and targeted communications to our friends and supporters. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Religious Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Matthew obtained an MA in Conflict, Security, and Development from the Department of War Studies at King’s College London.
Jill joined ASYV in April 2016. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Union College, Jill found her passion in nonprofit work and youth development while serving with AmeriCorps as a City Year corps member in her hometown of Philadelphia. She moved to New York City in 2012 to join the team at Starlight Children's Foundation, where she supported and managed the organization's programs for children living with illnesses for three years. She is thrilled to combine her passions for fundraising and programs in her role as Operations Associate for the Village.