I’m thrilled to join NDItech as a Senior Manager for Technology Innovation, where I get to combine so many of my interests into one awesome new job.
A humanitarian aid worker by both education and training, my interest in the transformative nature of technology was piqued during my years working in Iraq with Mercy Corps, where we quickly determined that infrastructure repair alone was insufficient for improving livelihood opportunities, especially among youth. Among other initiatives, we worked together with communities in south central Iraq to open three university-based ICT training centers, where students and community members could access free tech trainings and potentially gain critical job skills.
In the decade since, I have tethered my international development career (and graduate studies) to the rapidly changing world of technology initiatives and products - moving through a range of approaches over the last decade as the business explored approaches such as the once ubiquitous telecenter, e-government kiosks, multitudes of online portals, smartphone apps, crowdsourcing platforms, and even looking at how blockchain may allow us to finally implement a voting system completely immune from tampering allegations (just kidding, tampering allegations are here to stay).
I’m most well-versed on the Middle East, where I spent the better part of six years on the ground in Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria, and another four hovering around the region from a desk based in DC. Most recently, I worked at IFES, where I managed projects on the Middle East portfolio, as well as oversaw the organization’s approach to integrating ICT into its democracy-strengthening programs. As a “digital immigrant,” I embrace my role of being on the pioneer side of technology use, and like to think that it’s my responsibility to test everything out before inviting the masses to come follow me on the
Oregon Technology Trail.
And speaking of Oregon, I’m a very proud one, and yes - while we gave America this fine human, and this may be what people recall most recently - one of your favorite childhood films was shot there, and this reason alone may be worth the trip to Portland. I have been known to wax poetic at any given opportunity about why you should visit the most beautiful state in the union (hint: start here).
Geographical preferences aside, I’m incredibly excited to join the team here at NDI, and to have the opportunity to explore all the innovative ways in which technology can improve government-citizen interaction, enhance access to information, strengthen communities, and increase civic participation in the democratic process.