Degan Ali

Executive Director and Board member US, UK and Kenya

A highly experienced Executive Director who has demonstrated the ability to lead diverse teams of professionals to new levels of success in a highly competitive and fast-paced environment. She has strong professional qualifications with an impressive track record of more than 20 years of hands-on experience in strategic planning, organizational development, program management, and business development strategies. The organization she leads is an African development and humanitarian organization that is changing the way people think about and deliver aid in Africa by empowering communities to be agents of change and using new and innovative aid delivery methods. Among other things, in 2003, Degan designed and oversaw the delivery of the first large-scale cash aid distribution program in Africa implemented by a NGO rather than a government agency.  Under Degan’s leadership, Adeso has pioneered and championed market based and dignified solutions to aid – globally allowing cash transfers to become a standard type of aid response.

Degan is a regular commentator on humanitarian action. “She is not afraid to speak her mind when lives are at stake, speaking on a variety of issues such as food and nutrition security information, the Somalia Famine response, cash programming, and the importance of supporting private sector driven remittances. She has also been a Contributing Writer to articles for the Overseas Development Institute/Humanitarian Policy Group and the Global Food Security Journal.”

Most recently, Degan has been acting as a leading advocate for the empowerment of Southern NGOs; calling for a global network of NGOs ‘run by the south, for the south’, where the voices of local, national and regional southern actors can be heard.

Fatima Jibrell

Founder and Board member US, UK and Kenya

It is Fatima’s drive, courage and leadership that have made Adeso the organization it is today.

Fatima is not only Adeso’s founder and former Executive Director, but is also an engaged member of both the Kenya and US Board of Directors. Under her leadership, Adeso played a key role in developing an indigenous environmental movement in Somalia, and gained international acclaim for inspiring social and political change.

Fatima has also worked hard to educate rural pastoral communities, and has faced war, drought and harassment in a prolonged effort to organize women and protect Somalia’s natural environment. Aside from her work with Adeso, she has co-founded an NGO dedicated to the use of affordable solar cooking in Somalia, and serves on the board of a local Somali radio station dedicated to peace and human rights.

Fowsiya Warsame

Board member US

Fowsiya Warsame is a Senior Research Associate at Cambridge Associates, LLC, a leading investment advisor to foundation and endowments, private wealth, corporate and government entities. Over the years, Fowsiya deepened her knowledge of investment products, performance measurements and accounting methods. As a senior Research Associate, Fowsiya is responsible for the development of performance reports as well as ensuring the integrity and timeliness of information. Prior to joining Cambridge, Fowsiya worked as Quality Control Specialist at Sibley Memorial Hospital, where she specialized in core compliance measurements. Fowsiya graduated Cum Laude from Virginia Commonwealth University with a dual degree in International Business Management and Financial Analysis.

Sandra Brock Jibrell

Board member US

Sandra is a dedicated advocate for families, campaigning for fair public systems and safe and supportive environments.

Her career includes positions as a Director at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a national foundation dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged children and families, and an evaluator of nation-wide education initiatives at the Academy for Educational Development.

Sandra provides us with high-level specialist knowledge and know-how. Aside from Adeso, she is also a trustee for the Washington DC women’s fund, a Maryland State African-American history museum and the National Center for Healthy Housing.

Leslie Fields

Secretary and Board member US

With more than 20 years experience working in environmental law and policy – across all sectors and levels of government – Leslie is a leading voice on American environmental justice and a key member of Adeso’s US board.

As Director of the Environmental Justice Program for the Sierra Club, an adjunct law professor at Howard University, and a former director of Friends of the Earth, Leslie’s environmental expertise and passion for the intersection of environmental justice, democracy, governance and globalization makes her expertly placed to guide our work in these areas.


Abdia Mohamed

Board member US

As a development professional, Abdia draws on her experience in issues such as conflict, refugees and grassroots community development to actively inform our work. Currently working for the World Bank, she has spent many years in the Horn and East of Africa, including stints in the field in Somalia and Kenya. She also provides valuable insight into African government and legislation having worked at the Somalia Embassy in the United States, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Somalia Democratic Republic.



Friederike Brandt

Board member UK

Friederike Brandt has held a number of senior managerial operations roles within the Energy Trading industry as well as board member and chair functions within private sector committees and industry workgroups.

Friederike holds a BSc in Environmental Management from Birkbeck University as well as a translation degree from AMA in Germany. Through extensive travel in East Africa, Asia and Latin America, she has seen the challenges and poverty local communities all over the world face which has prompted her to take a more active role in helping transform peoples’ lives by initially volunteering for a small South African project and then becoming involved in Adeso.

Faiza Abdalla Mohamed

Board member Kenya

As a prolific fundraiser and board member of several charities in Kenya’s Somali community, Faiza provides a much needed link to local Somali business communities which are committed to giving back to both their host countries, and their homeland. Faiza brings with her essential management, fundraising and business development skills; all of which are key to the operations at Adeso. For over 25 years, Faiza has founded and managed companies that work primarily in the procurement sector across East Africa. Most recently, she has expanded her work to include the sustainable promotion of essential oils from Somalia, and supporting local farmers and traders in Puntland. Faiza also has significant experience in facilitating medical supplies to NGOs and has been a CEO of a private company.

Fanta Toure

Board member US

Fanta Toure is an Operations Officer with the World Bank where she manages social protection interventions in francophone African countries.

Fanta has worked for a number of organizations including American Jewish Word Service, Horn Relief (now Adeso), Columbia University/Government of Liberia, the United Nations and the International Crisis Group in various aspects.

She has been instrumental in managing partnerships with a wide range of Community Based Organizations and supervising capacity building initiatives in the organizations she worked for. Fanta is well experienced in fundraising, grants management, donor liaison, project implementation, budget management, and monitoring and evaluation among other things. She has a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and International Affairs from the University of Wisconsin.