Speaker Bios for the UAA 2022 Annual General Meeting

Paloma Adams-Allen is the USAID Deputy Administrator for Management and Resources. She was formerly the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Inter-American Foundation and, before her time at the IAF, served as Senior Director for global private-sector-partnerships initiatives at Winrock International.  She worked at the Organization of American States in several hemispheric development policy, programming. and leadership roles, at the law firm Coudert Brothers and the advocacy organization Caribbean-Central American Action, and at USAID as Deputy Assistant Administrator and Senior Advisor in the Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean from 2010 to 2016.  Ms. Adams-Allen attended Brown University and Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. She holds a juris doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center.


Masood Ahmed is president of the Center for Global Development. He joined the Center in January 2017, capping a 35-year career driving economic development policy initiatives relating to debt, aid effectiveness, trade, and global economic prospects at major international institutions including the IMF, World Bank, and DFID.  Ahmed joined CGD from the IMF, where he served for eight years as director, Middle East and Central Asia Department, earning praise from Managing Director Christine Lagarde as a “visionary leader.” In that role, he oversaw the Fund’s operations in 32 countries, and managed relationships with key national and regional policy makers and stakeholders. In previous years, he also served as the IMF’s director of External Relations, and deputy director of the Policy Development and Review Department.  From 2003-2006, Ahmed served as director general, Policy and International at the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID). In that role, he was responsible for advising UK ministers on development issues and overseeing the UK’s relationship with international development institutions such as the World Bank.  Ahmed also worked at the World Bank from 1979-2000 in various managerial and economist positions, rising to become Vice President, Poverty Reduction and Economic Management. In that role he led the HIPC (heavily indebted poor countries) debt relief initiative, which has to- date brought relief from debt burdens to 36 of the world’s poorest nations.  Born and raised in Pakistan, Ahmed moved to London in 1971 to study at the LSE where he obtained a BSc Honors as well as an MSc Econ with distinction.  Ahmed is a leading expert on Middle East economics, having served on the Advisory Board of the LSE Middle East Center, as well as on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Middle East and North Africa.


Michelle Bekkering currently serves as Director of National Engagement at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC); a bipartisan organization that advocates for America’s global leadership. Prior to joining USGLC, Bekkering was nominated by the President and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Assistant Administrator for Economic Growth, Education and Environment at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) which later transitioned into the Bureau for Development, Democracy and Innovation. A policy expert, Bekkering’s diverse portfolio included democracy, rights and governance; economic growth and e-commerce; education; the environment; innovation, technology and research; and trade and regulatory reform. A passionate advocate for women’s empowerment and equality, Bekkering was a leading architect of the White House led Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP); a whole of U.S. Government initiative to economically empower 50 million women by 2025. Prior to joining USAID, Bekkering served at the International Republican Institute. During her tenure at IRI, Bekkering provided leadership on global democracy, rights and governance initiatives, including serving as IRI’s country director based in Indonesia and the Director of the Women’s Democracy Network. Bekkering has served in numerous positions in the U.S. Government. In addition to her service at USAID, she served in the National Security Council under President George W. Bush and worked on Capitol Hill as an aide to Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (CA-46).


Rolando Bogran is currently the Executive Director for the National Foundation for the Development of Honduras (FUNADEH). Rolando supervises four department heads and is responsible for the foundation´s overall operation; 134 employees, working at either headquarters, or any of the four regional offices throughout Honduras; and its annual operating budget of $3.5M. Rolando presents the Foundation´s Board of Directors monthly reports, including those of the eight social programs it is implementing, at the Board´s monthly meetings. FUNADEH was established in 1983 by Honduran private sector leaders, with a profound sense of social responsibility. Their focus was to create a foundation that would dedicate its efforts to the social and economic development of Honduras by providing those individuals, which lacked the resources and/or opportunities, with the necessary training to enter the workforce or to become entrepreneurs themselves. Over the past twenty years, FUNADEH has dedicated its efforts towards the implementation of social programs and projects, in some of the most vulnerable communities in Honduras. During those years, FUNADEH has supported microenterprise activities in more than eighty communities, receiving support from several international donors including the World Bank. In 2014 FUNADEH received financing from USAID via Counterpart International and in 2015 FUNADEH received a direct grant from USAID, for the Genesis project, with a focus on maintaining and creating active Youth Outreach Centers. One of these centers´ strategies was, and continues to be, the prevention of youth violence by providing alternative activities for youth in communities that were (and are) severely affected by gang violence, within seven major Honduran cities. There are now sixty-five such centers, with most of them self-sustaining by charging fees for services and using volunteer labor from the Honduran private sector. During his career, Rolando had the honor of being selected to attend the FBI National Academy. Rolando is a U.S. citizen born in Honduras. After graduating from high school, he moved to Alabama to pursue higher education. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Justice Studies from Athens State University and a master’s degree in Criminal Justice & Public Safety from Auburn University Montgomery.


Carlos Cuellar has been URC’s Executive Vice-President and Chief Programs Officer since May 2020. Carlos’ leadership of large, challenging health service delivery and health system strengthening projects provides him with a deep technical and managerial understanding. He has more than 30 years of experience improving the performance of health programs in the public and private/NGO sectors in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Carlos started his career with the Ministry of Health of Bolivia as an epidemiologist with the National Center for Tropical Diseases and later as a rural district medical officer. He is co-founder and former executive director of PROSALUD — the single largest and fully sustainable health care NGO in Bolivia. Established in 1985 with USAID funding, PROSALUD is an internationally recognized model with a national network of 14 comprehensive health centers and six referral hospitals providing affordable quality healthcare to underserved Bolivians. PROSALUD also runs a nationwide social marketing program for contraceptives, multivitamins, and other health products. Carlos is currently a member of its Board of Directors.  Before joining URC, Dr. Cuéllar was with Abt Associates as vice president and senior fellow. At Abt, he worked in Jordan as chief of party for the Primary Health Care Initiatives, the Health Systems Strengthening, and the Jordan Communication, Advocacy, and Policy projects. He was also chief of party for the Maternal & Child Centers of Excellence Project in the Dominican Republic and portfolio manager of the Clinical HIV/AIDS Services Strengthening Project in Mozambique.  Dr. Cuéllar received his MD from the Catholic University of Córdoba, Argentina, a master’s degree in public health from the Institute of Tropical Medicine of Antwerp, Belgium, and a Diploma in Management from NUR University of Bolivia.


Peter McPherson retired in September 2022, as President of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), a North American higher education association representing public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations, working to advance college access and completion, and bolster university-community engagement. McPherson served in a variety of positions in the Ford and Reagan administrations. He served as a Special Assistant to President Gerald Ford. In the Reagan administration, he led the United States Agency for International Development (the U.S. foreign aid program). He later served as Deputy Secretary of the U. S. Department of Treasury. In 1987, he was a principal negotiator in the final weeks of negotiations of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement, the forerunner of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Immediately before coming to APLU in 2006, he served as President of Michigan State University for 11 years, where his work included vastly increasing study abroad participation, controlling tuition costs, bringing an independent law school to Michigan State, and increasing research.  A tax lawyer by profession, he was also managing partner of the Washington D.C. office of a large Midwestern law firm. He later served as an Executive Vice President of Bank of America, where his responsibilities included the bank’s operations in Canada and Latin America. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, an M.B.A. from Western Michigan State University, and a J.D. from American University.


Ken MacLean. As Deputy Mission Director, Ken leads and supervises seven office directors and two FSN staff. Together with the Mission Director, he oversees a large Mission and complex $797M portfolio, set the strategic vision and tone to advance USAID priorities and broader USG foreign policy objectives, and address Honduras-specific development challenges. Prior to his arrival in Honduras in 2020, Ken headed the Democracy and Governance (DG) Office in Guatemala. His portfolio included USAID/Guatemala’s citizen security work in justice/rule of law and crime and violence prevention targeting gang or narco-controlled areas with high homicide rates. Ken also served in Nicaragua, the Latin American and Caribbean Bureau, Iraq, and Yemen.  Mr. MacLean has over 25 years of international development experience around the world working in multiple countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America.   In addition, Ken has worked in the private sector in technology and privatization consulting. He has a Master’s in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from the Isenberg School of Business of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. He was born and raised in Massachusetts. He has four children.


Kennedy Odede is founder and CEO of Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO).  Raised in Kibera, the largest urban slum in Kenya, Mr. Odede experienced the devastating realities of life in extreme poverty at first hand. Determined to make a difference in his community, Mr. Odede saved 20 cents from working at a factory to purchase a soccer ball, which led to the founding of Shining Hope for Communities in 2004. Today SHOFCO is Kenya’s largest grassroots movement and catalyzes large-scale transformation in urban slums.  It provides critical services for all, community advocacy platforms and education and leadership development for women and girls. Today, the organization reaches over 2.4 million people 50 sites in Kenya.  Kennedy also founded the Global Alliance for Communities, a coalition of grassroots organizations leading the localization agenda. SHOFCO has been on the front lines of COVID-19 response in Kenya’s urban settlements, delivering health care, WASH, food relief, and economic stability at scale.  Mr. Odede has received numerous awards honoring his organization’s achievements, including the 2022 Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship Innovator of the Year Award, the prestigious UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour and the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize. He was named to Forbes 2014 “30 Under 30” Top Social Entrepreneurs list and received the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award that same year. Mr. Odede is also a Clinton Global Initiative member, Obama Foundation Fellow, Aspen New Voices Fellow, UBS Global Visionary, Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council.  Kennedy served on the UN International Commission on Financing of Global Education Opportunities, the Kenya National COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, and the Kenya National COVID-19 Community Engagement Task Force.  He serves on the board of Americares as well as the Human Capital Africa Advisory Board. He lives in Nairobi with his family.


Sarah Rose is a Senior Advisor for Localization in the Office of the USAID Administrator. Prior to coming to USAID, she was a policy fellow at the Center for Global Development, where her research focused on US development policy and aid effectiveness, including localization. Her work looked at US government aid effectiveness. Areas of research and analysis include US development policy in fragile states, the use of evaluation and evidence to inform programming and policy, the implementation of country ownership principles, the policies and operation of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), and aid transition processes. Prior to CGD, Rose worked for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Mozambique as a specialist in strategic information and monitoring and evaluation. She also worked at MCC, focusing on the agency’s country selection and eligibility processes. She graduated from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service and has a Master’s in Public Policy from Georgetown University.


Ambassador Eric S. Rubin is President of the American Foreign Service Association.  He served as Ambassador to the Republic of Bulgaria as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.  Prior to that assignment, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow (2008-2011).  A career foreign service officer, Mr. Rubin joined the State Department in 1985 following two years as a reporter trainee at the New York Times. His overseas assignments included working as the political and human rights officer in Honduras (1986-1988), Deputy Political Counselor in Kyiv (1994-1996), and Consul General in Chiang Mai, Thailand (2001-2004).  His Washington assignments include the State Department Operations Center (1989); the Office of Soviet Union Affairs (1989-1991); regional and security affairs officer for Central and Eastern Europe (1991-1993); special assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs (1996-1997); Assistant White House Press Secretary for Foreign Affairs and NSC Director for Public Affairs (1997); special assistant to Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Pickering (1998-1999); Director of the Office of Policy Planning and Coordination of the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (2004-2006); and Executive Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (2006-2008).  Mr. Rubin holds a B.A. in history from Yale University. He was Dean and Virginia Rusk Fellow and a resident associate at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy from 1999-2000. He speaks Thai, Spanish, French, Ukrainian, and Russian.


Tessie San Martin is Chief Executive Officer, FHI 360. Prior to joining FHI 360, San Martin was CEO and President of Plan International USA, an international development and humanitarian organization that partners with adolescent girls and children around the world to overcome oppression and gender inequality.  Previously, San Martin served as group vice president at Abt Associates, a consulting company providing research and technical assistance expertise on a wide range of social and economic policy issues, and as director for the Operations Group of the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).   She has more than 30 years of experience working as an executive in the public and private sectors, bilateral and multilateral development agencies and academia, focusing especially on economic growth and political reform. She has been a forceful advocate for aid effectiveness, serving as co-chair of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) and a board member of Friends of Publish What You Fund, which supports greater aid transparency, and InterAction, which convenes U.S.-based nongovernmental organizations working to eliminate extreme poverty and strengthen human rights and citizen participation.  San Martin has been published in media such as The New York Times and The Washington Post. She has a doctorate in political economy and government from Harvard University, a master’s degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.


Christine Sheckler is President of the San Diego World Affairs Council.  She lived and worked overseas for 30+ years as a career U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Foreign Service Officer (ret), Peace Corps Volunteer/Liberia (RPCV) in the remote bush, and international development expert. She crossed the Sahara Desert on her own (1984). She specializes in conflict, fragile, and transition countries with extensive on-the-ground experience designing, implementing, managing, monitoring and evaluating U.S. international development programs at the country-team leader level.  She was the senior USAID advisor to nine Ambassadors. USAID: AIDREP Sierra Leone (2015-16) – managing the U.S.G. response to the Ebola crisis; USAID Washington Office of Civilian-Military Cooperation Advisor (2014-15); Director of USAID/Cairo Office of Democracy and Governance during the Arab Spring (2012-13); Senior Development Advisor to senior military as a member of the Provincial Reconstruction Team.; USAID Country Coordinator: Sierra Leone (2004-2008) – post 11-year “blood diamond” civil war reconstruction; Belarus 2000-4, Lithuania 1998-2000, Tajikistan 1997-8, Georgia/Caucasus 1994, and Pakistan 1989-1994). With the fall of the Berlin Wall, she was the AID/W/Europe & Eurasia Office of Democracy & Governance Civil Society lead for 28 countries mostly from the Former Soviet Union (1995-1997).  Christine earned an M.B.A in International Business from the University of Oregon and a B.A. in Pre-med/Zoology/Entomology from the University of California, Berkeley. Originally from Mill Valley, California, she worked in the California Academy of Sciences as a researcher. As the daughter of a Department of the Army & WWII vet father and a Vienna-born triplet mother, she and her sister spent much of their time growing up in Europe.

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