Who We Are

Key Staff

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Zach Swett

Executive Director

 

Zach is responsible for all aspects of organizational management and strategic planning for ASAP, including program design and execution, fundraising, financial oversight and external partnership development.

Jackson Nzemya

Regional Project Coordinator

 

Jackson ensures the smooth operation of ASAP projects in Tanzania's Lake Region, overseeing construction, arrangements for ASAP volunteer trips and community relations in the villages where ASAP operates.

Violeth Villon

Kupanda Project Manager

 

Violeth manages all aspects of ASAP's Kupanda Project for Girls, our initiative to increase secondary school completion rates for rural Tanzanian girls, and teaches our girl's leadership and empowerment curriculum.

 

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Board of Directors

 

Lorez Meinhold, Chair

Lorez brings over fifteen years of health care policy experience as a director of multi-lateral initiatives involving the public, private and civic sectors, working at the local, state, and national levels. Lorez has worked in many capacities implementing and integrating health programs, connecting early childhood and health communities, delivery and payment system reforms, and efforts that required statewide stakeholder engagement. Prior to joining The Keystone Center, Lorez served as the Deputy Executive Director and Director of Community Partnerships for the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. She also served as a Senior Policy Advisor for Governor Hickenlooper and Senior Health Advisor for Governor Ritter. Prior to her work at the state, she served as a Senior Policy/ Program Officer at the Colorado Health Foundation as well as serving as the founding Executive Director of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative.

 

Charles Musiba, PhD, Vice Chair

Charles is associate professor of biological anthropology in the department of anthropology at the University of Colorado Denver. He is also an adjunct professor, department of anatomy at Saint Francis University College of Health and Allied sciences in Ifakara, Tanzania. Charles is a native of Tanzania, born and raised on the shores of Lake Victoria in Mwanza town. After completing his undergraduate studies at the Institute of Anthropology of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität in Frankfurt, Germany, Charles returned back to Tanzania and worked as an Assistant Conservator of Antiquities in the Department of Antiquities in the Ministry of Natural Resource and Tourism until 1986 when he was awarded a two years Demokritos Foundation fellowship to join the Anthropological Museum of Xanthi as a research fellow and trainee, which was followed by a master’s degree in human ecology at the Free University of Brussels in Belgium in 1991. Charles passion has always been in prehistory, especially biological anthropology and as a result he received his second master’s degree in biological anthropology in 1995 followed by a Ph.D. in 1999 from the University of Chicago. Currently Charles is serving as a member of International Council of Archaeological Heritage Management scientific committee and a member of an International committee that is helping Tanzania to build an on-site museum at Laetoli as a sustainable conservation solution for the 3.6 million years old pre-human footprints at Laetoli.

 

David Falicia, Treasurer

Dave spent 23 years with OppenheimerFunds, having traded and managed investment portfolios as large as $40 billion dollars. Through those years, Dave was always a source of finding innovative solutions to the challenges presented by market conditions. Dave currently consults for investment firms in the fixed income and lending space. Dave’s relationship with ASAP began in June, 2014, when he and his family participated in ASAP’s Friends and Family volunteer trip. The experience was incredibly impactful for the entire family and ultimately drove him to get more involved in the organization. Dave brings significant and invaluable financial skills to his role as board member and treasurer.

 

Sofia Rainaldi, Secretary

Sofia has been an active member of ASAP since 2011, initially traveling with her family to Tanzania where she helped ASAP construct a primary school outside of Arusha. After that first impactful trip, she returned to Tanzania with ASAP on numerous other school building trips, a successful expedition up Mt. Kilimanjaro, and eventually spearheaded ASAP's popular student volunteer trip program in partnership with Kent Denver School.  Sofia is now a Senior Product Marketing Associate at the New York-based professional womenswear company, M.M. LaFleur.

 

David Akerson, Board Member

David Akerson is an attorney and computer geek who has specialized in human rights and atrocity investigations for over thirty years.  He served as staff attorney for Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) in South Africa, a prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the Chief of Evidence for the International Tribunal for Rwanda, a law professor at the University of Denver College of Law (DU), a senior advisor at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, a senior legal advisor at The Commission for International Justice and a senior technology and workflow advisor for the United Nations Investigative Team for the Accountability of Da'esh (ISIS).  He is currently the CEO of AuriScrib, a startup that is developing an app for investigative interviews. 

 

Lieko Earle, Board Member

Lieko Earle is a Senior Researcher in the Buildings and Thermal Sciences Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, where she has worked since 2009 on all aspects of improving the energy efficiency of residential building systems. Lieko was a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania from 1997 to 2000, where she taught Physics at Minaki Secondary School and served as the Women-In-Development (WID) coordinator for the Peace Corps Tanzania program. In this role, she organized numerous workshops directed at empowering girls and encouraging them to stay in school. As a woman in science Lieko has always been keenly interested in issues related to girls and their opportunities in society and believes that women are a key gatekeeper to sustainability and long-term economic prosperity in developing communities. Lieko holds an Sc.B. in Physics from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Colorado.

 

Mark Eddy, Board Member

Mark is owner of Mark Eddy Communications, a strategic communications/messaging/public education firm specializing in public policy issues.  Eddy is an expert at assessing and quickly understanding complicated issues, synthesizing large amounts of information, team building, project management, strategic planning, and visioning on an organization-wide basis, strategic communications, public education and political campaigns, policy development, local and statewide messaging, writing and editing, advocacy and crisis communications.  Eddy works with a number of foundations and non-profit groups as well as for-profit companies ranging from a two-person disability rights law firm to an $18-billion multinational corporation.

 

Taryn Finnessey, Board Member

Taryn Finnessey has spent her career working on water, natural hazards, and climate change at the federal, state, and local levels. She works to integrate scientific and policy innovations that increase Colorado’s ability to address climate change impacts and reduce emissions. She has helped to establish Colorado as a national and international leader on drought resilience, and has worked in the nonprofit sector seeking cost-effective approaches to the balance between human water demands and protection of the natural environment. She was drawn to environmental science and policy work while studying abroad in Tanzania where she spent time in Iringa, Lushoto, Tanga, Dar es Salaam, and numerous other small villages. She holds a B.A. in Earth and Environmental Science from Wesleyan University, and an M.A. in Global Environmental Policy from American University.

 

Francoise Mbabazi, Board Member

Francoise Mbabazi is a passionate human rights activist and community engagement leader with over 10 years of diverse work experience in the nonprofits strengthening their board-staff and coalition development. Currently an employee of the Colorado Trust, she is committed to education equity, economic justice, social justice, empowerment of women and girls, and poverty reduction. She has worked and collaborated with local, state, and national, organizations committed to the advancement of sound policies for all Francoise Mbabazi has a master’s degree from Arizona State University, Phoenix AZ in Interdisciplinary Studies, with Women's Studies emphasis and a bachelor’s degree from U.S International University, Nairobi, Kenya in International Business Administration.

 

Dr. Luka Powanga, Board Member

Dr. Powanga, a professor of Economics and Finance at Regis University has over 35 years of executive management experience at local and international levels in international trade, finance, economic development, mineral processing and entrepreneurship. He consults with companies in international investments, energy project development and investments, capacity training and development.  In addition to being on the advisory board for a consortium of universities and organizations that includes IBM, he also participates in the World Bank/IMF combined meetings on infrastructure structure investments and the Congressional Black Caucus. In 2013, he participated in the U.S. Whitehouse briefing on the Power Africa resulting in the first US-Africa leadership Summit. He co-founded the Energy Africa Conference (energyafricaconference.com), a premiere conference on how Africa can meet its energy demand.