OGHENERUNO (RUNO) OKIOMAH (Runo@maabara.org) - Ever since her childhood in Nigeria, Ogheneruno's major goal included helping her nation by empowering people to be self-reliant. An architect certified in Sustainable Design, her passion for change spurred the initial design for Maa-Bara as her Master of Architecture thesis at MIT. She won the 2010 MIT Schlossman Travel Grant to the Niger Delta of Nigeria where she conducted field research. Ogheneruno collaborated with a local university- Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), Shell Petroleum Dev. Company (SPDC) and a premier local NGO- Enterprise for Development International (EfDI) to set in motion the Maa-Bara idea. Her thesis won the 2011 Departmental Archiving Honor and the 2012 MIT-Ralph Adams Cram Award for Multi-disciplinary Excellence.
ELISHA GOODMAN (Elisha@maabara.org) - Elisha comes from a culture of growing her own food to increase self-reliance. She has seven years of experience with tropical farming in Hawaii and spent a year teaching people how to grow food sustainably in low water conditions in the high desert of Arizona. Her certificate in Permaculture Design led her to research closed loop agricultural systems such as aquaponics. Elisha's Master thesis at MIT explored aquaponics as a means of community and economic development. In October 2010, Elisha constructed a 50-gallon proof-of-concept aquaponics system in Lynn, Massachusetts, demonstrating the techincal feasibility in the Maa-Bara system.
TIMO BANDELE LASSAK (TLassak@maabara.org) -Timo lives in Germany and has a broad background in international development finance. Timo’s academic background is in business administration. He pursued his undergraduate studies at Howard University in Washington D.C. where he developed a strong interest in development finance and completed his graduate studies at Universität Paderborn. Back in Germany his master thesis focused on commercial investment in microfinance institutions. He has extensive working experience in both emerging markets and Germany and has worked for commercial banks, development organizations, and NGOs alike. Timo is currently a credit officer for local startups and promotional loans.
SANDY HUANG (firstname.lastname@example.org) - Sandy is from Taiwan and Seattle and spent the last 4 years working at Amazon.com's Corporate Development team, where she worked with several start-up ventures to optimize revenue performance, develop advertising strategies, and implement short-term and long-term growth initiatives. Sandy is an MBA student from MIT's Sloan School of Management with a focus on social entrepreneurship and sustainability.
DR. CALESTOUS JUMA (email@example.com) - Calestous was raised on tilapia in Kenya before becoming Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and Founding Director of the African Centre for Technology Studies in Nairobi. Calestous is currently Professor of Practice of International Development at the Harvard Kennedy School. He directs the Agricultural Innovation in Africa Project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and serves as faculty chair of Innovation for Economic Development executive program. Dr. Juma is the recent author of "The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa."