From left to right: Jim O'Donnell, John Amman, Lissa Rockwood, Edward Monaghan, M.J. Lavin, Muckson Sesay, Jim Phillips, J. Albert Kamara, Maureen McNamara
Board of Directors
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President, J. Albert Kamara
Bio: Born in Mamaka, taught in Kamabai and Lungi elementary schools. Was a Language and Cultural Instructor (LCI) for the Peace Corps at Binkolo, Mapaki and Matotoka villages in 1982. Worked as a pharmacist for hospitals in Freetown, Makeni and Lungi. Has served on the staff of UCSF Medical Center as a Pharmacy Technician for the past 20 years.
Executive Vice President, John Amman
Bio: Served as Peace Corps volunteer in Fadugu (Koinadugu District) from 1979 to 1982. Went on to get an MS from Cornell in 1990. Currently works as a Business Representative for the International Cinematographer’s Guild in New York City and has published two books, including a collection of letters detailing Sierra Leone’s rebel war, Black Man’s Grave.
1st Vice President/Acting Treasurer, Mary Jane Lavin
Bio: Served as Peace Corps volunteer in Gbendembu (Bombali District) from 1979 to 1982. Retired from a 27 year career in the federal government as Special Agent in Charge with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Recently received her MPA degree with a focus on non-profit management, leadership, and global policy from the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
Secretary, Edward Monaghan
Bio: Served in the Peace Corps at Makeni Teachers College (MTC), Makeni (Bombali District, Northern Province) from 1979 to 1982. Received a doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction from New Mexico State University in May, 2001. Currently serves in the US Department of Education in Washington, DC.
Director of Development, Maureen McNamara
Bio: Worked in corporate marketing for 11 years before travelling to Sierra Leone twice in 2009 to visit SLVP projects. Currently applying for a post-graduate degree in International Development.
Board Member, James O'Donnell
Bio: Served in the Peace Corps as a Primary Workshop Educator in Kabala (Koindadugu District) from 1980 to 1982. Received a doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1990. Returned to Sierra Leone in 2008 on a Fulbright Scholarship. Currently the Department Head of the Department of Curriculum & Instruction in the College of Education at New Mexico State University.
Board Member Fundraising Committee, James Phillips
Bio: Served in the Peace Corps from 1978 to 1980 in Bapuya, Samu Chiefdom Kambia District (25 miles west of Kambia) and during 1981 in Makeni. Went on to get a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics. Currently working as an Agricultural Economic Consultant stationed in various locations including Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and Afghanistan.
Board Member Fundraising Committee, Lissa Rockwood
Bio: Served in the Peace Corps as a Teacher Trainer in Matotoka from 1980 to 1982. Went on to become a nurse and has worked in health care for 23 years. Also developing a line of eco-friendly accessories with percentage of proceeds going to SLVP.
Board Member IT Committee, Muckson Sesay
Bio: A native of Mamaka, Muckson spent his childhood in the village and received his high school education in the neighboring town of Mile 91. He was a young entrepreneur with a thriving photography business when the war broke out in Freetown. When his home was no longer safe, he and his siblings took shelter in the National Stadium refugee camp where he and his brother organized study groups, taught students, and started the first kiosk inside in the refugee camp. As a result of his leadership, he was awarded a scholarship to attend college in St. Petersburg, Russia. He left Russia in 2004, just short of obtaining his degree, and came to the United States as part of the United Nations resettlement program. He is currently working and studying Computer Engineering in Maryland.