Adeso has two governing board of directors, our Kenya Board and our US 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.
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.
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-Puri was born and raised in Cote d’Ivoire and holds a Masters 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. She is currently the Director of the Girls First Fund, a donor collaborative that was created to end child marriage. Fanta started her career working in humanitarian relief for a community-based organization in Somalia. Prior to joining the Girls First Fund, Fanta worked at the World Bank in the human development department. She firmly believes that progress in our field can only be achieved if and when communities are at the front and center of all discussions.
Leslie Fields, Board Member
Leslie Fields has worked for thirty years in federal, state, local, and international environmental justice and environmental and civil rights law and policy, most recently as the National Director, Policy Advocacy and Legal at the Sierra Club. She spearheaded national policy, advocacy, and legal strategy at one of the nation’s most progressive civic organizations. Fields designed and implemented strategies operating at the intersection of environment and democracy, addressing urgent challenges related to climate, voting rights/civic participation and cultural protection. She serves on the boards of the Children’s Environmental Health Network and Empower DC and has been an adjunct Law Professor at Howard University School of Law. Fields was appointed by President Obama to serve on the Board of the Mickey Leland Urban Air Toxics Research Center and has been awarded Washingtonian Magazine: DC’s 500 Most Influential People, 2022/2023; among other esteemed awards. Fields is a graduate of Cornell University, Georgetown University Law Center, and licensed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, DC, and 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 multi–sectoral interventions. She also has Sub–Saharan Africa experience with a focus on technology, financial inclusion and agriculture and a strong focus on organizational culture and establishing dynamic, high–leverage linkages across diverse teams.
Anu Menon, Board Member
Anu Menon is currently the Director of Strategy and Impact at Remake, an organization working at the intersection of climate change and the labor movement. Prior to that she was the Executive Director of Oasis for Girls, a San Francisco-based non-profit providing intensive after school and summer programming to low-income BIPOC girls in high school. She also led Community Partnerships at Help a Mother Out, a Bay Area nonprofit working to improve family wellbeing by increasing access to diapers for families in need. Anu served as the Director of Admissions and Operations at Presidio Knolls School and led graduate support services at De Marillac Academy. She holds a BA from Stanford University, an MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University, and a JD from the University of California, Berkeley.