Adeso has two governing board of directors, our Kenya Board and our US Board.

Kenya Board

Ibrahim Lethome, Board Chairperson

Sheikh Ibrahim is a Kenyan Muslim Religious Scholar, an expert in Islamic law and a long-standing lawyer specializing in Muslim personal law matters. Sheikh Ibrahim is the chairman of both the Shariah Advisory Committee of KCB, (Sahl) and that of the County Pension Fund (CPF-Salih) on interest free banking and Shariah compliant financial transactions. He consulted for USAID in developing a programme for youth in Nairobi and Mombasa to prevent radicalization. Currently Sheikh Lethome is the Secretary General of Centre for Sustainable Conflict Resolution (CSCR) whose flagship project is known as Building Resilience Against Violent Extremism (BRAVE), and is one of the leading Consultants on how religion can be used to address Violent Extremism, specifically training religious leaders, community P/CVE champions, youth and other stakeholders in this regard.

Degan Ali, Board Secretary

Degan Ali has been with Adeso since 2003 and became its Executive Director in 2006.  Degan Ali is a global humanitarian leader in revolutionizing the aid system so those working on the ground have the money and power to best help local communities. She pioneered the first large-scale cash transfer, in 2003 in Somalia, leading to global acceptance of cash assistance. Her advocacy to funnel humanitarian funds to local actors helped spur the “Grand Bargain” 25% commitment. Degan is co-founder of the first Global South civil society network for local and national humanitarian organizations, the Network for Empowered Aid Response (NEAR). And at Adeso, she is currently leading the startup of two social enterprises that will give visibility and credibility and de-risk local organizations in the global south so that more funding can go directly to those closest to the issues.

Fatima Jibrell, Board Member

It is Fatima’s drive, courage and leadership that have made Adeso the organization it is today. Fatima is Adeso’s founder and former Executive Director, and also an engaged member of Adeso’s Kenya 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. She also worked hard to educate rural pastoral communities (a legacy that endures today as one of our great areas of work), 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 cofounded an NGO dedicated to the use of affordable, solar cooking in Somalia.

Sagal B.H. Musa, Board Member

Ms. B.H Musa is a Managing Director of BHM Holding, Ltd, one of the largest FPCs in East Africa, focusing on real estate development and private equity investments. She has over seventeen years of corporate finance, asset management, private equity, and business development experience working for and alongside Merrill Lynch, HSBC, Orange, IFC, UNDP Private Sector, Credit Suisse, and Deutsche Bank. Ms Musa has demonstrated experience in international commodity trade, real estate, developmental initiatives around agribusiness and climate change, and telecom. She is skilled in Portfolio Management, Corporate Finance, Business Development, Venture Capital, and International Trade.

Abdirashid Abdullahi Hussein, Board Member

Mr. Abdirashid Abdullahi Hussein has been the Head of Regional Programs in East Africa funded by the Global Engagement Center (GEC) of the State Department in Peacebuilding and Extremism Practice. He has extensive knowledge and understanding of Kenya and Somalia’s past and current state of affairs with an Msc in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, an M.A. in African History from Rhodes University, and a B.Ed. from Kenyatta University. Mr. Abdirashid is fluent in Kiswahili, English, Somali and Arabic.

Abdi Ismail, Board Member

Mr. Abdi Ismail is an Architect by profession with more than 20 years’ experience in the United States and in Kenya. Abdi has been involved in designing layout site plans and master plans for various mixed-use projects including apartments and retail space as well as preparing construction documents for residential and commercial architectural projects throughout the US. He also coordinated construction progress with clients, engineers, and consultants to resolve complex building systems integration and advised clients in the acquisition of commercial and residential real estate assets and land in the $10 million to $50 million range. He is currently the Director/Architect at Pyramid Builders/Designworks Ltd in Nairobi, where he oversees the design process and manages construction ranging from single family homes, apartments and commercial properties in Nairobi’s upscale neighbourhoods and contributes to various marketing and advertising efforts.  He is the AAK representative & Chairman at the Nairobi City County (NCC) Building Plans Technical Approvals Committee Member Architectural Association of Kenya and is registered with the Board of Registration of Architects and Quantity Surveyors. Abdi has a B.Sc. in Environmental Design, a Bachelor of Architecture, and a Master of Architecture from the University of Houston in the US.

US Board

Nancy Reynolds, Board Chairperson

Nancy Reynolds is involved with several philanthropic groups which are focused on shifting the power and resources to local community-based organizations. She has experience across eight countries in education, leadership, and clinical nursing. Nancy is the Chair of Health Builders, focused on increasing access to healthcare in low resource rural settings. She is also Chair of YPO’s Rwanda Action Forum, which works with the Government of Rwanda on business investment and development. Her interests are hiking, reading, and exploring other cultures. She currently lives in the UK with her husband while her three sons, daughters-in-law, and grandsons reside between the US and Europe


Degan Ali, Board Member

Please see Degan’s bio in our Kenya Board above.



Fowsiya Warsame, Board Member

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. Fowsiya graduated Cum Laude from Virginia Commonwealth University with a dual degree in International Business Management and Financial Analysis.


Fanta Toure, Board Member

Fanta is the inaugural director of the Girls First Fund. Fanta was born and raised in Cote d’Ivoire. Fanta firmly believes that positive long-term outcomes on social change can only be achieved if and when communities are at the front and center of all discussions. Prior to joining the Girls First Fund, Fanta worked at the World Bank managing loans and grants to aid in providing productive social safety nets (cash-based interventions to reduce poverty and improve human development outcomes), social assistance delivery systems youth employment, early childhood development, livelihood support, and post-conflict stabilization. She holds a MA in International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University and a BA in International and Public Relations from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Leslie Fields, Board Member

Leslie Fields has over thirty years of experience in federal, state, local and international environmental justice and environmental law and policy. She is the Sierra Club’s National Director of Policy, Advocacy, and Legal. In addition to Adeso’s, Leslie serves on the boards of the Children’s Environmental Health Network and Empower DC. In 2018, she received the American Bar Association SEER Dedication to Diversity and Justice Award and the Sierra Club Mike McCloskey Award. In 2021, Fields received the Gertrude R. Rush Award from the National Bar Association. Leslie is a graduate of Cornell University, the Georgetown University Law Center and licensed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the District of Columbia and the US Supreme Court.

Tim Hanstad, Board Member

Tim Hanstad leads the Chandler Foundation as its CEO. Tim previously co-founded and was the long-time CEO of Landesa, the world’s leading land rights organization. Tim led Landesa’s growth from a 2-person operation to the No. 1-ranked human rights NGO in the world. He is a Skoll Social Entrepreneur Awardee and a 2008 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur Fellow. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Washington Post, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Huffington Post and beyond. Tim is the proud spouse of Chitra and a father to four adult children from whom he draws inspiration. He has two law degrees from the University of Washington and has completed certificate programs at Harvard Business School and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.


Wendy Chamberlin, Board Member

Wendy Chamberlin is a Development professional with over 17 years’ experience working in both the philanthropic sector and in direct implementation including a specific focus on developing and delivering solutions to drive financial inclusion in emerging markets. She has deep experience in developing and implementing strategies that are focused on multisectoral interventions. She also has SubSaharan Africa experience with a focus on technology, financial inclusion and agriculture and a strong focus on organizational culture and establishing dynamic, highleverage linkages across diverse teams

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