Staff and Board

Polly Byers

Polly Byers

Executive Director

pbyers@cdacollaborative.org

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Gabrielle Aron

Gabrielle Aron

Program Director – CDA Myanmar

garon@cdacollaborative.org

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Kiely Barnard-Webster

Kiely Barnard-Webster

Program Manager

kbarnardwebster@cdacollaborative.org

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Susan Brau

Susan Brau

Finance Manager / Comptroller

sbrau@cdacollaborative.org

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Sarah Cechvala

Sarah Cechvala

Senior Program Manager

scechvala@cdacollaborative.org

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Gabrielle Collins

Gabrielle Collins

Administrative Coordinator

gcollins@cdacollaborative.org

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Anita Ernstorfer

Anita Ernstorfer

Director of Advisory Services

aernstorfer@cdacollaborative.org

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Michelle Garred

Michelle Garred

Senior Advisor - Conflict Sensitivity and Peacebuilding Effectiveness

mgarred@cdacollaborative.org

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Isabella Jean

Isabella Jean

Director of Collaborative Learning and Evaluation

ijean@cdacollaborative.org

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Rory McLaughlin

Rory McLaughlin

Director of Programs - CDA Myanmar

rorym@cdacollaborative.org

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Ben Miller

Ben Miller

Associate Director of Advisory Services

bmiller@cdacollaborative.org

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Chaw Mueral Kyaw

Chaw Mueral Kyaw

Operations Manager – CDA Myanmar

cmueral@cdacollaborative.org

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Zar Ni

Zar Ni

Partnership Manager – CDA Myanmar

zarni@cdacollaborative.org

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Eva Østbye

Eva Østbye

Myanmar Country Director

eostbye@cdacollaborative.org

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John Jeffry Seng

John Jeffry Seng

Program Manager – CDA Myanmar

jseng@cdacollaborative.org

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Sweta Velpillay

Sweta Velpillay

Senior Advisor - Conflict Sensitivity and Peacebuilding Effectiveness

svelpillay@cdacollaborative.org

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Jasmine Walovitch

Jasmine Walovitch

Communications Associate

jwalovitch@cdacollaborative.org

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Surendrini Wijeyaratne

Surendrini Wijeyaratne

Deputy Country Director - CDA Myanmar

swij@cdacollaborative.org

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Board of Directors

David Whittlesey, Board Chair

David Whittlesey is a Senior Advisor with Interpeace and founder of MaineStreams Finance. In the span of the past 30 years, David has worked as a Foreign Service Officer with the US Department of State as a Consular Officer and in the Bureau for Refugee Programs; as Head of the Refugee and Humanitarian Assistance Division and subsequently as Director for Strategic Planning and Human Resource Development at the International Organization for Migration (IOM); and as Director of Operations and Senior Advisor with Interpeace. Now living in Maine, he is focusing his attention more locally through serving in local town government and spearheading local development initiatives, while continuing to consult with Interpeace.

Richard (Dick) Harter, Board Treasurer

Dick Harter serves as a director, trustee or advisor for affiliates of the United Church of Christ and other non-profit organizations. Dick serves as a Trustee of Chicago Theological Seminary and served as its interim president in 2002. He also previously served as President of the Massachusetts Council of Churches and as a director of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay. In addition, he served as President of the Union Club of Boston. Dick retired from serving as a partner in the large law firm Bingham McCutchen LLP.

Maxine Hart, Board Member

Maxine Hart brings extensive human resources and organizational development expertise to the CDA Board. She is currently Chief Human Resource Officer for Reading Cooperative Bank and has held senior level human resource positions with for-profit and non-profit organizations in the Boston area since 2003. She is a trained mediator and negotiator and previously worked in change management with governmental and private sector organizations in South Africa and as an independent consultant in Mexico.

Dan Connell, Board Member

Dan Connell is a researcher and writer whose primary focus over the past 40 years has been Eritrea. He is currently working on a book on refugees and migration routes for which he has interviewed more than 500 Eritreans in camps and communities in nineteen countries across five continents since 2014. Dan is a visiting scholar at Boston University’s African Studies Center and a retired senior lecturer in journalism and African studies at Simmons College. His reports and commentary on Africa were carried by the BBC, Reuters, The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The Financial Times, The Guardian, Le MondeWashington Post and other media, and he’s the author or editor of ten books. He is also the founder and former director of Grassroots International, the chair of the Cape Ann Forum, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Middle East Research and Information Project.

Elizabeth D. Gibbons, Board Vice-Chair

Elizabeth Gibbons’ career in social development and humanitarian affairs has spanned more than three decades, during which she lived and worked in Togo, Kenya, and Zimbabwe. She is currently a Visiting Scientist at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights in the Harvard School of Public Health, and a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Kozmetsky Center of Excellence in Global Finance at St. Edwards University. Prior to these academic appointments, Elizabeth enjoyed a lengthy career in the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and served as head of UNICEF’s offices in Haiti and in Guatemala. Elizabeth is the author of Sanctions in Haiti: Human Rights and Democracy under Assault, and a contributing author to several other books.

Ruth Allen, Board Member

Ruth Rhoads Allen joined CDA’s Board in 2017 after collaborating as an advisor, trainer, or consultant with CDA for over 15 years. Ruth brings her passion for fostering community resilience in the face of inevitable social, political, and environmental systems-level challenges, as well as her expertise in strategic organizational change processes. From 2004-2013 Ruth served in multiple positions at Mercy Corps, including leading the agency’s global technical portfolio as Director of Governance and Partnerships, and sat on Mercy Corps’ Leadership Council. As Founder of ViewFinder International in 2013, Ruth enjoys integration of governance, social inclusion, and peacebuilding through long-term engagements with INGOs and UN agencies. As Senior Advisor at Mercy Corps and in other consulting, Ruth focuses on strategic planning in sensitive environments. Ruth began her career in South Africa as an international observer for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and lived in Kenya while a Rotary Foundation Scholar at the University of Nairobi and researcher at Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai’s Greenbelt Movement. Ruth is a Department Instructor at Clark University’s International Development, Community, and Environment program and guest lecturers elsewhere. Ruth holds an MSc from the same department at Clark University and a BS in Geology/Environmental Sciences from Dickinson College.

Polly Byers, Executive Director

Opportunities

CDA is not currently hiring.