EFE-Global & EuropEFE Teams

Andrew Baird

President & CEO, EFE-Global

Andrew Baird is the President & CEO of EFE. 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 of 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 Collect 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 nearly 20 years of experience spanning the non-profit / philanthropy, government and private sectors. Joining EFE in 2006, she worked closely with the Founder and Chairman on EFE’s start-up. Jasmine started up and ran programs for private donors in Afghanistan for Afghan Women Leaders Connect at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, and Arzu, a carpet social enterprise. Previously a corporate attorney at the international law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, she also was an attorney-advisor at the U.S. Department of Treasury. She 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.

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.

Jamie Bussey

Senior Program Manager, Morocco & Tunisia, EFE-Global

Prior to joining EFE, Jamie Bussey worked for the International Rescue Committee, specifically in the economic empowerment sector with refugee resettlement in Silver Spring, MD, managing and building program capacity in areas of early employment and career development. A returned Peace Corps volunteer, Jamie has more than six years of experience with training and education, particularly in areas of workforce development and higher education. Additionally, she has facilitated trainings for UN peacekeepers deploying to conflict areas in Africa, and in 2013, participated in the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

Dina Dandachli

Senior Program Manager, EuropEFE

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 is currently completing the London School of Economics Executive Global Masters in Management program. In 2013, she was named a Carnegie New Leader.

Luma Hawamdah

Business Systems Support Specialist, EFE-Global

Luma is a results-oriented IT professional with a strong foundation in business process improvement, performance management, and system analysis. Prior to joining EFE, Luma worked as the Senior Consultant and Analyst for International Affairs with the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission in the USA. She developed expertise as a business unit liaison and communicator by converting complex technical analysis into understandable business problems. Born in Washington, DC, she relocated to the MENA region and received her Bachelor’s in Computer Science from the University of Jordan. She has worked as a System Analyst for GamaTec in Tripoli, Libya and as an Academic Services Administrator with International Schools in Jeddah, KSA. She returned the USA to obtain her Master’s of Science in Information Technology in Health Informatics.

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


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.

Ana Martiningui

Senior Research & Communications Manager, EuropEFE

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.

Eva Marín

Project Assistant, EuropEFE

Eva Marin has over 15 years of experience in administration, management and education. She has held crucial roles in several international schools in Spain, working closely with children and adolescents. She has spent great part of her professional career in Ireland. Mrs. Marín studied Marketing and Public Relations to masters’ level at Formatic Centre Madrid, Social-Cultural Work at Fundación para la Formación y Estudios Sociales y Sanitarios (Fufess) and is pursuing further studies in social work.

Shadia Murad

Program Associate, EFE-Global

Shadia joined EFE in 2015 after completing her M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown University. Her studies were mainly focused on educational development and access to higher education in Palestine. Prior to joining, Shadia worked as the Office Manager for the Palestinian American Research Center. She supervised and administered research and travel fellowships to doctoral and post-doctoral students and was responsible for maintaining accountability and regular assessments of programs to improve projects. A native of New Orleans, she was active in coordinating target programs on issues related to intercultural understanding in her community. She organized several Palestinian cultural events and was an active member of Palestinian solidarity groups.

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.

Jack Nourieh

Finance, Grants & Administrative Associate, EFE-Global

Jack joined EFE in 2015 after completing his Master’s Degree in International Business from Grenoble Ecole de Management in Grenoble, France. Jack has experience living and working in the Middle East, interning for UNDP and Byblos Bank in Damascus, Syria. As an intern in the Accounting Department at UNDP, he gained experience in the field of UN compliance, financial rules and regulations and procurement procedures. He held a B.S. in Business Administration from the Lebanese American University in Beirut, specializing in Banking and Finance. During his undergraduate studies, Jack participated in an international summer exchange program at UC Berkeley in California.

Matthew Osborn

Evaluation & Learning Associate, EFE-Global

Matthew Osborn joined EFE in 2016 after serving as a Survey Administrator at Geopoll, where he was responsible for managing polls for news organizations, development groups, and corporations. Prior to his work with Geopoll, he served as the Outreach Manager for The Middle East & North Africa Consultants Association. Additionally, he has interned with a diverse group of organizations including the US Department of State Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, the National Council on US-Arab Relations, and Al-Arabiya News. Matthew graduated from American University with a BA in International Studies and a minor in Arabic Language, and he studied Arabic abroad at the University of Jordan.

Maria Tabanera

Senior Finance Manager, EuropEFE

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, EuropEFE

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.

Hannah Zuzek

Program Associate, 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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