BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Mr. Reeder, a Senior Manager at General Motors, formed the African Leadership Bridge after he developed a connection with our first Scholarship Award recipient during a job shadowing day sponsored by the Texas Exes. He is passionate about giving back to the local community, as well as the larger global community. Rick is a graduate of the University of Texas and earned an MBA from Southern Methodist University. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the Austin Affiliate of the Susan G Komen for the Cure Foundation for 6 years, including 2 years as President.
Suresh Sundarababu was born in India and immigrated to the USA to pursue his post graduate degree, due to the advantages of the educational system and the tremendous opportunities that USA presented. Suresh steadfastly believes in the value of education to the advancement of a society and is looking forward to using his 19+ years of international leadership background, skills and passion to further the cause of The African Leadership Bridge. Suresh holds a Bachelors in Engineering from Bharathiar University, India and a Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering from University of Florida.
Rudi Ngnepi, a R&D group manager at National Instruments, was born in Cameroon in Central Africa. He also lived in Kenya for one year and immigrated to the United States in 2000 to attend the University of Oklahoma where he received both Bachelor and Masters of Sciences in Engineering. Rudi's strong interest in educational leadership, global outreach, and the African continent got him involved with the African Leadership Bridge (ALB). He has particularly connected with the ALB aspiration of providing financial and community support to African student leaders, with the goal of assisting them in overcoming challenges, adversities and seeing them succeed. In his spare time, Rudi enjoys spending time with his family, traveling and playing basketball and soccer.
Wayne is a lifelong supporter of African development, a returned Peace Corps volunteer (Gabon 1988-91) and a business and program management professional (PMP) with 18+ years of experience in manufacturing management and product, process and solution development at Dell, Inc. and Fairchild Semiconductor. He has degrees from the University of Kansas (B.A., English; J.D.) and Columbia University (M.B.A.).
Chris is a Social Enterprise enthusiast with 7+ years international experience connecting communities and building business ideas. After helping a beekeeping cooperative in South Sudan make natural honey their country’s first export to the USA, he came back to Austin to build out the Texas side of Texas-Africa engagement with organizations like The African Leadership Bridge. Chris believes that education is essential for empowering more people to become more connected through the international exchange of goods, ideas, and services - and that is why he is proud to be a member of The African Leadership Bridge team.
Dionelle, a wealth manager at Torres Financial Services, has always had a passion for giving back, both locally and worldwide. Dionelle was born and raised in San Antonio, Tx. He received his degrees from The University of the Incarnate Word (B.A., Accounting and M.B.A.), where he played on a basketball scholarship. Dionelle enjoys spending time with family and friends, working out, reading and philanthropy.
John Kidenda was born and raised in Kenya. He has a deep passion for the African continent and supports the ALB mission to provide innovative scholarships to help talented African students study in the US and thereafter become change leaders within their home communities. John was the first ALB scholar and the inspiration for our organization. John finished the Engineering Route to Business program at UT Austin and recently completed a Masters in Public Administration in International Development at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. John is now a Senior Consultant with Dalberg Global Development Consulting.
Yves Mafolo is ALB's second alumnus. He graduated at the top of his class from the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University in December of 2014. He has since returned to Africa to work for General Electric's Oil & Gas division in Angola. Yves does Project Finance work and is part of the GE accelerated leadership program. He is excited about living in Angola and learning Portuguese as quickly as he can! Yves' focus on the Board is working on our organizational culture and how to involve alumni in tracking and growing our impact.
Having been born and raised in India, Kumar is well aware of the opportunities and challenges students face in emerging countries. He graduated from the University of Rochester, NY and has walked in the shoes of students who experience the thrill of higher education and being in America all at once. Kumar is passionate about finding elegant solutions to complex problems and having a ton of fun all along. In his day job, he is a Strategy Consultant and Executive Coach. He loves great food, exploring new cultures, and spontaneous adventures.
Bart has always had an interest in causes and charities that benefit children and promising young minds. The African Leadership Bridge is the perfect vehicle for people that want to help high-potential kids get an outstanding education, and in many cases returning to Africa and making a difference within the community. The leadership of the ALB is also a big reason Bart enjoys supporting this great organization; people that are passionate about what they do, and making sure every dollar is spent wisely and efficiently spent adds to the reward of giving. Bart Arnold was born in Galveston, Texas, but moved to Austin as fast as he could, which was age three. After graduating from Austin High School, he graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in Finance. Bart is currently employed at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) as the Director of Regional Sales for the Lenovo Global Account Team. Previous to coming to AMD, Bart was a Regional Sales Manager at Dell, Inc., where he ran the Mid-Atlantic regional sales team in Corporate Business Group.
Natasha was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa and her interest in languages and cultures has led to career opportunities in Germany, France, and currently Austin, Texas. She is responsible for agency operations and studio production, both on and offshore for Adpeople Worldwide. She has extensive photography experience, with a degree in Photographic Technology as well as Organizational Communication. Her interest in ALB is rooted in a passion for the African continent and a shared vision to help develop the continent's future thought leaders. This interest continues to grow as she interacts with the ALB students, who embody the goals of the organization. Natasha enjoys traveling, music, reading, and is never without her camera.
Olga is a telecom engineer at General Motors and has lived in Austin for 13 years. She’s originally from Mexico and grew up understanding the importance of education, becoming the first in her family to graduate college by earning a computer science degree from Texas A&M University. While in college, she was very active in the Mexican American Engineering Society, serving as their VP of Outreach and reaching out to hundreds of underprivileged students to encourage them to pursue a college education. She has worked at Dell, Rackspace and HP in her time in IT and has been involved in various diversity, outreach and volunteer programs and is currently serving on the board of GM’s Hispanic Initiative Team. Olga understands that she and her family would not be where they are today without the help of others so she strives to give back as much as possible to help others achieve their goals and dreams. Olga was recently awarded the “Science Spectrum Trailblazer Award” given by the Career Communications Group Inc., which recognizes minority men and women who actively create new paths for others in science, research, technology. She is looking forward to learning more about Africa and finding opportunities to help ALB and the number of students who benefit from such a great program.
Joe Ciccarello is the Vice President of Tax and Treasury at Solar Winds and is one of the original founders of The African Leadership Bridge. Joe also serves on the Advisory Board for the Eastside Community Connection and enjoys spending time with his family and playing/coaching soccer.
Dr. Alexandra Loukas
Dr. Alexandra Loukas is the Barbie M. and Gary L. Coleman Professor in Education at The University of Texas at Austin. A native of Canada, she has lived in the U.S. since 1992 and has called Austin home since 1999. Alex earned a PhD in developmental psychology from Michigan State University. Her research focuses on adolescent and young adult health with an emphasis on tobacco use in college students. Alex is passionate about education, and as a professor endeavors to have a positive impact on individual students’ lives through teaching and mentoring, and on the larger community through her research.
Ambassador Lewis Lucke
Ambassador Lewis Lucke spent a decade living and working in Africa as a development expert, diplomat, and U.S. Ambassador. He is currently Executive Director of Daroke Resources, managing U.S. and international investment into developing countries in Latin America and Africa, especially infrastructure projects such as affordable housing, mining and renewable energy. Ambassador Lucke was nominated by President George W. Bush and served as U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Swaziland during the Bush Administration. He also served with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Foreign Service. Ambassador Lucke is from Austin, Texas, married with three grown children. He received a Bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona. Mr. Lucke is fluent in French and Spanish and has a working knowledge of Arabic. He is the author of Waiting for Rain: Life and Development in Mali, West Africa published in 2000.
Bailey is the former Executive Director of The African Leadership Bridge and now proudly serves on our Advisory Board. In 2010, Bailey and her family went to Kenya on a safari, where they not only saw the magnificent animals, but experienced and learned about various cultures. Bailey had long considered a career in education, but it was on this trip that she fell in love with Africa and knew she wanted to combine that love with her interest in education. After graduating with honors from Huston-Tillotson in Austin, Texas, Bailey returned to Kenya where she taught in Primary and Secondary schools and coached volleyball and basketball. She has returned multiple times and has learned the tremendous difference that education can make.
After graduating from the University of Georgia, Adam spent two years in Togo, West Africa providing local agricultural assistance with the Peace Corps. After coming back to the United States, he became aware of problems in the agricultural industry and started an online farmers market, Citysprout, and co-founded Kakaxi, Inc., a mobile "Farm to Table" app. Based in Austin, Texas, Adam is passionate about food and Africa (especially West Africa) and seeks to promote a better understanding of Africa on the part of Americans. In his spare time, Adam enjoys live music, cooking, and going on hikes at greenbelt.
Ambassador Joseph D. Stafford III
Joseph D. Stafford III is a career Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State, holding the rank of Ambassador. He joined the Foreign Service in 1978, serving his first assignment in Tehran, Iran. Ambassador Stafford and his wife, Kathleen, were among the six diplomats who evaded capture during the Iranian Hostage Crisis, eventually being smuggled out of Iran by the CIA. In June 2012, he was assigned to Khartoum, Sudan as Chargé d’affaires of U.S. Embassy, Khartoum.