Board of Directors
- Akhtar Badshah
- Scott Jackson
- Susan Jeffords
- Marty Kooistra
- Melissa Merritt
- Jane Meseck
- Dan O’Neill
- Will Poole
- Jeffrey Riedinger
- Sara Rogge
- David Wu
- Katie Young
Akhtar Badshah, Ph.D., is a seasoned executive with over 30 years of experience in international development, managing a corporate philanthropic program and co-founding a global nonprofit for social enterprise.
Badshah currently teaches at the University of Washington at the School of Business, Bothell campus and at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance. He is the founder and curator of Accelerating Social Transformation, a mid-career professional development certificate course on social impact. His expertise is in social innovation, social entrepreneurship, global business, corporate social responsibility, information technology for development (ICT4D), nonprofit development, and creating opportunities for youth.
Badshah has experience in creating a vision and then executing on it. He has built global programs with diverse teams, based on the conviction that programs need to be effectively global and appropriately local. Badshah has worked effectively with various stakeholders from government, business, and nonprofit leaders, to academics, to ordinary citizens. His approach is to set the vision, provide direction, engage stakeholders and develop effective partnerships. He has traveled extensively around the world, has experience working on global programs, and works comfortably in any socio-economic and culturally diverse environment.
Badshah has authored Our Urban Future: New Paradigms for Equity and Sustainability, co-authored Technology at the Margins – How IT Meets the Need of Emerging Markets, and co-edited Connected for Development – Information Kiosks for Sustainability. He has also published numerous articles in international journals on CSR, ICT4D, megacities and sustainability, housing, and urban development.
Badshah has also taught architecture and urban development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as lectured at numerous universities around the world. He is an acclaimed international speaker on issues of social innovation, sustainable development and global philanthropy.
Badshah has extensive experience serving on numerous boards. He is currently the president & chair of the board for Global Washington. He is also the incoming chair of the board for Bellevue LifeSpring, and serves on the board for the Microsoft Alumni Network and Jolkona; and also serves on the advisory board of the U.S. Chamber’s Corporate Citizenship Center. He has served as the vice chairman of the board of the Council on Foundations, the chairman of the Telecentre.org Foundation, and a board member of Youth Empowerment and Sustainability.
Badshah is a doctoral graduate of MIT. He and his family are very active in the Seattle community.
Scott Jackson is the president and CEO of Global Impact. Global Impact’s mission is to grow global philanthropy and build partnerships and resources for the world’s most vulnerable people. It has raised $1.8 billion since inception. A global development, fundraising and marketing veteran, Jackson has held leadership positions in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, including the global health and development nonprofits PATH and World Vision. He has worked in more than 60 countries, and his global relief and development efforts have taken him to remote villages in Africa and Asia, to the heart of the Holy Land, and inside some of the most powerful institutions and governments around the world. Jackson has worked with global leaders, including four U.S. presidents and their administrations, and he has represented international development issues with the offices of U.S. Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, and Hillary Clinton.
Jackson was a founding nonprofit member of The ONE Campaign to “make poverty history” and has worked on initiatives with Bono and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He is a member of several national boards and advisory committees, including the Clinton Global Initiative, YourCause, Global Justice Center, International Center for Research on Women, National Development Committee of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Global Washington, World Trade Center Seattle, and CEO Connection’s Leadership Committee for Social Impact. He currently works closely with the leadership of more than 100 nonprofits around the world, such as Save the Children, CARE and Heifer International.
Jackson is the author of Take Me with You, released in March 2017, a moving personal story written to inspire people to take action and find the “charity within” — Jackson’s personal philosophy of making a choice to live in a way that improves life for others. He was recognized by the Center for Nonprofit Advancement as a 2016 winner of the Gelman, Rosenberg and Freedman EXCEL Award, which recognizes leadership achievement in the areas of innovation, motivation, community building, ethical integrity, and strategic leadership.
Before taking leadership roles in the global development humanitarian sector, Jackson founded TRADEC (Trade and Development Consortium), one of the first marketing and communications firms in North America to specialize in international trade and development, which later became part of APCO, a worldwide communications firm. During his early career, Jackson served as assistant to a U.S. congressman, and he held a number of roles in national politics. He has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Huffington Post.
Jackson received an MBA from the University of Edinburgh School of International Business. He also holds an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Puget Sound, where he received a B.A. in history. He lives in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Susan Jeffords joined the University of Washington Bothell in September of 2007 as vice chancellor for academic affairs. Jeffords has led delegations abroad in community-university strategic partnerships and was appointed by the UW president as the chair of the UW International Task Force in 1995, which resulted in a university-wide report on the UW’s international expertise and current activities. Jeffords has written and taught broadly in the area of American popular culture, with a particular emphasis on Hollywood film, the Vietnam War, and feminism. She is particularly committed to increasing opportunities for more diverse and underrepresented communities to participate actively in higher education, including expanding opportunities for international engagement.
Marty Kooistra is the current executive director of Housing Development Consortium and he started this role in December 2013. Prior to that, Kooistra was the CEO of Habitat for Humanity’s Seattle/South King County affiliate since 2008. Under his leadership, the affiliate has aligned its strategies and outcomes around neighborhood revitalization. To this end, the affiliate’s programs directly target sustainability (at the family, neighborhood and environmental levels), community and global engagement, and the essential role of affordable homeownership in a robust local housing continuum.
Prior to joining the Seattle/South King County Habitat affiliate, Kooistra held several leadership positions with Habitat for Humanity’s international headquarters (HFHI). As regional director, he established standards for accelerated asset recovery and oversaw the Native Peoples Initiative. As vice president of post-Katrina collaborations & strategic partnerships, he convened two powerful Gulf recovery coalitions involving Enterprise Community Partners, Enterprise Corporation of the Delta, HFHI, LISC, NeighborWorks, RALLY, Tulane University, and World Vision. Kooistra also served as HFHI’s director of construction & environmental resources and senior director of global program design & implementation and was appointed to HFHI’s enterprise strategic planning leadership team.
Kooistra serves on the Seattle housing levy oversight committee; the state legislative committee of the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance; the community service committee of Seattle Rotary; the new market tax credit advisory committee of Global Green; and the affiliate enhancement committee of Habitat’s U.S. Council. Past service positions include: Federal Home Loan Bank advisory council; Lifecycle Building Challenge judge; Iowa Human Services coordinating board; Siouxland diaconal conference; JFA NW Iowa board of directors; and Sioux Empire homeless coalition.
Melissa Merritt understands change. In fact, she seems to thrive in it. Having worked with teams from West Africa to London, New York to Seattle, and many places in between, her vision of where an organization can go and how they can get there is invaluable to Waldron’s clients.
Merritt joined Waldron as an executive search consultant in 2008. She assumed the Principal role in 2017 and oversees service design and delivery, client relationship management, and executive searches with key foundations, start-up social enterprises, and NGOs. As a member of the leadership team, she shapes organizational strategy and lends her expertise in international settings to ensure Waldron identifies the right leaders to authentically represent some of our largest clients.
Prior to Waldron, Merritt spent nearly 20 years living and working in London, Paris, Hong Kong, and New York. She consulted with senior international executives transitioning to the U.S. with companies such as Microsoft and Russell Investments, and she spent 10 years leading international searches at Bird & Co, an executive search firm in London. Prior to Bird & Co, Merritt worked in the private sector as an international account director at multinational ad agencies representing global brands. She began her career working in New York and West Africa as a communications manager and program officer for a small NGO. Merritt holds a BA in French and Business from the University of Colorado.
When she’s not nurturing her team or working with clients, Merritt is an active community volunteer and board member, serving with Global Washington, the Women’s Funding Alliance, and others. Ask Merritt about her membership in Seattle Rotary and her role as founder of Women Leaders in Philanthropy and you’ll quickly come to understand that she brings a unique optimism to everything she does.
Jane Meseck leads strategy, program development and partnerships for Microsoft’s global philanthropic programs. Her work includes leading Microsoft’s commitment to provide nonprofits worldwide with access to technology products, services and solutions to create positive social change. Last year, Microsoft’s software and services donations totaled $922M to over 120,000 nonprofits globally. Meseck also oversees Microsoft’s industry leading Employee Giving programs, supporting employee gifts of time, product and cash. In 2014, Microsoft employees raised $117M and donated over 500,000 hours of services across 20,000 nonprofits.
Prior to joining Microsoft in 1997, Meseck was a researcher and lecturer at the UW Daniel J. Evan’s School of Public Affairs. Meseck started her career as a management consultant, designing technology solutions for Fortune 500 companies. Meseck volunteers for a number of nonprofit organizations, including Seattle Humane Society and Media Impact Funders.
Founder, Mercy Corps
Dan O’Neill has committed his life to international service since 1972. As a volunteer for a faith-based NGO in Africa, Europe and the Middle East, he encountered oppression, extreme poverty, famine and wars which he documented in photos, articles and journals.
In 1979, O’Neill co-founded Save the Refugees Fund, an emergency relief task force assisting Cambodian refugees following the infamous “Killing Fields” catastrophe. In 1980, he attended White House Cambodia Crisis Committee events at the request of then-First Lady Rosalynn Carter, who has continued to lend her support and encouragement over three decades.
In 1981, O’Neill incorporated Mercy Corps with a mission to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people to build just, secure and productive communities. Since then, the global aid agency has generated billions of dollars in humanitarian assistance in more than 100 countries, assisting children and families with cost-efficient, high-impact relief and development programs through a broad range of services and innovative strategies.
O’Neill has traveled the world meeting many political and religious leaders, observing Mercy Corps programs and witnessing natural disasters, political upheaval, war, famine and other humanitarian crises. He has been a White House guest during the Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton administrations, and has appeared on CNN, the BBC and many other national and local TV and radio networks. O’Neill has authored numerous books, articles and opinion pieces.
O’Neill earned his BFA degree from the University of Washington and in 2008 was named among its top 100 graduates. He has received honorary doctorates from Warner Pacific College (2004), Willamette University (2007) and the University of Portland (2009).
O’Neill received the Mother Teresa Award in 2006. Most recently, he was honored with the Seattle World Affairs Council’s 2014 World Citizen Award, following such recipients as Governor Christine Gregoire, Governor Gary Locke and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN’s “GPS”, stated at Mercy Corps’ 2013 Board dinner that the best thing Dan O’Neill has done for the world, and himself, was to start Mercy Corps.
O’Neill and his wife, Cherry, reside in Sammamish, WA and are the parents of five grown children.
Will Poole is co-founder and managing partner of Unitus Seed Fund, investing in startups that innovate for the masses in India. He also serves as chairman of NComputing, a leader in low-cost, low-energy computing, and co-founded Bangalore-based Pengala Learning, whose mission is to change the way India learns. Poole founded Social Venture Partners Seattle’s Fast Pitch program, serves on the investment committee of the W-Fund, and serves on the board of Global Washington and rural health pioneer, VillageReach.
Poole was previously a corporate vice president at Microsoft, where he led several global businesses, including Windows. His career started by founding startups at the dawn of the PC era, working in the early days at Sun Microsystems, and pioneering e-commerce at eShop, which was acquired by Microsoft in 1996. Poole advises Western Governors University and Brown University on technology and is a trustee of Pinchot University.
Dr. Riedinger has leadership and administrative responsibility for the University’s diverse global programming including support for international research, study abroad, student and faculty exchanges, and overseas centers. He also serves on the faculty of the University of Washington School of Law, and is a member of the Board of Directors and Vice President for Scholarship and Institutional Strategy for NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
An expert on the political economy of land reform, sustainable agriculture and natural resource management, Vice Provost Riedinger has carried out research in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Central America and the Middle East. He has conducted briefings on foreign aid, land reform and other development issues for members of the White House staff, state department and USAID personnel, members of Congress, the World Bank, non-governmental organizations and private foundations. His publications include two books and more than 30 articles, chapters, reviews and monographs. Most recently, he co-authored an article featured in China Economic Review.
A native of Washington, Dr. Riedinger earned a Juris Doctorate from the UW School of Law as well as master’s and doctoral degrees from Princeton University. He previously served as Dean of International Studies and Programs and faculty member at Michigan State University.
Sara Rogge is deputy director and advisor to the director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s global policy & advocacy division. In this role she works with the program advocacy and communications team, which leads the foundation’s policy, advocacy and communications work on its global priorities. Prior to joining the foundation, Rogge was vice president at williamsworks, a strategic advocacy consulting firm.
Rogge has also spent a significant portion of her career working in both policy and advocacy in Washington, D.C. As deputy policy director for ONE (formerly Debt AIDS Trade Africa – DATA), she managed the organization’s portfolio on trade, agriculture and economic development policy. Prior to joining ONE, Rogge was director for market access in the Office of Industry, Market Access, and Telecommunications at the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). In this position, Rogge was part of the market access team for negotiations with Russia, Morocco, Vietnam and the Southern African Customs Union. She also developed U.S. government policy positions in the WTO industrial goods negotiations in the Doha Development Agenda.
Rogge has an M.A. in international economics and African studies from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a B.A. from Valparaiso University.
David rejoined the zoo in 2017 with the goal of mobilizing ideas and solutions that propel this premier cultural institution forward in an exciting direction of innovation in conservation, science education, and animal care, and in new ways of connecting everyone to animals and nature.
In this new role, Wu provides strategic leadership to mobilize multiple revenue bases for sound operational management and financial sustainability, and to engage more people from diverse sectors by cultivating their passion for saving animals. He leads an interdisciplinary division spanning the departments of communications, public affairs, marketing, membership and development to amplify the zoo’s mission and scale up its reach and impact.
Recently, Wu served as chief development officer at PATH (2012-2016), an international nonprofit organization, expanding operations and the resource base to accelerate innovations in global health. Prior to that, he was the zoo’s vice president of external relations (2004- 2012) overseeing fundraising, communications and public affairs, and architecting the zoo’s $80 million, seven-year More Wonder More Wild Campaign. Wu was also instrumental in the University of Washington’s $2 billion Creating Futures campaign, serving as acting vice president for development and alumni relations and leading that operation to a record $239 million in funds raised during his tenure, and earlier as assistant dean for development and external affairs for the College of Arts and Sciences.
He is currently on the boards of Global Washington, Friends of Waterfront Seattle, Global Impact and Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. He was a faculty member for the CASE Summer Institute for Fundraising at Dartmouth College, and a visiting philanthropy expert at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Wu earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Virginia Polytechnic and a master’s degree in higher education administration from Bowling Green State University.
Katie Young is vice president for food category at Starbucks Coffee Company. She recently joined Starbucks from McKinsey & Company, where she worked in several major sectors including social sector, consumer packaged goods, and agribusiness. Her work primarily focused on agricultural development and food security. Example work included developing food security strategies to reduce poverty and malnutrition for 16 USAID Missions in SSA, Asia, and Latin America, developing an end-to-end strategy to increase soy productivity, and processing in Sub Saharan Africa though private sector demand sinks, and creating a frontline change strategy for the Ethiopian Government’s 60,000 extension agents. She also was part of the team that modeled agriculture’s potential impact on reducing global hunger and poverty. This work resulted in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation making a commitment to agriculture as a strategic priority.
Young holds a master’s in public policy, focusing on international development, from the University of Chicago, and a bachelor’s in Spanish and honors political science from Kenyon College.
William H. Clapp is a recognized social entrepreneur, thought leader, philanthropist, and executive with experience in both the international non-profit and for-profit sectors.
Clapp helped found and lead the Matthew G. Norton Company, and, along with his wife Paula, founded three high-impact and high-profile non-profits: Global Partnerships, Global Washington, and Seattle International Foundation. He remains involved in each of the organizations.
Clapp started his career as a bush pilot and businessman in Alaska in 1967. He returned to his native Seattle in 1975 where he led the founding of Matthew G. Norton Company, a privately held company with investments in real estate, fisheries, heavy equipment, as well as a prominent hotel in Hawaii. Clapp served as CEO and then Chairman for almost three decades, until 2002. The company is one of the largest private holders of industrial property in the State of Washington.
In 1992, he and his wife, Paula, developed an interest in international development and, after two years of research, founded Global Partnerships in 1994. Global Partnerships has become a leading international impact investor with over 70 partners in Central and South America, the Caribbean and Africa. The organization has provided loans and grants totaling $252 million since it was founded, impacting the lives of 7.7 million people. Clapp served as Executive Director of the organization until 2006.
In 2002, Clapp co-founded the Initiative for Global Development with William H. Gates Sr., former U.S. Senator Daniel J. Evans, former EPA Administrator William D. Ruckelshaus, and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General John Shalikashvili. The organization, now headquartered in Washington D.C., works to create successful businesses in Africa.
In 2006, Clapp began discussions which eventually led to the founding of Global Washington in 2008. He served as the organization’s first chairman. Global Washington supports the global development community based in Washington state — an association that includes more than 160 organizations working to create a healthier and more equitable and safer world. Global Washington hosts numerous events and an annual conference, publishes an annual international philanthropy guide, and represents and promotes the sector. It is unique in the U.S. for its composition of such a diverse membership: non-profits, for-profits, foundations, philanthropists and universities.
In 2008, Bill and Paula Clapp founded the Seattle International Foundation to both help grow the international philanthropy sector in Washington State and to support development in Central America where they began their work. Since 2008, SIF has granted or facilitated grants of over $20 million to 219 high impact organizations. It is the only foundation with a singular focus in Central America and plays host to the annual Central American Donors Forum, which brings together a large array of foundations, agencies, country representatives and businesses to discuss strategies and progress in the region. SIF is an operating and granting foundation, which runs its own programs as well as programs for other foundations. It publishes research and a guide for donors that highlights local NGO’s in Central America. SIF was also one of the founding members of the Central America Leadership Initiative. SIF has staff in Seattle, Miami, and Central America.
The Clapps also have strong philanthropic ties to Seattle. Bill Clapp has been recognized for his international work, has written op-eds and essays on topics of international development, and has been a frequent participant in development conferences and panels.
He also served on the boards of Alaska Air Group, 20 years, and Weyerhaeuser,16 years. He has also served on numerous private company boards and community committees. He is currently a member of the Advisory Board of INCAE Business School in Costa Rica.
Bill and Paula Clapp live in Seattle and continue to make frequent visits to Central America.