The Aumazo Team
Katherine McDonagh is the Outreach Coordinator for the Institute for Leadership. She graduated in 2011 from the Mount with a major in international studies and completed her M.B.A. at the Mount in 2012. As an undergraduate student, Katherine was focused on community activism, international partnerships, and global politics. She interned for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and for the Catholic Mobilizing Network to End the Use of the Death Penalty. Her international work was substantial, involving study abroad in Prague (interning while there at the non-profit multi-cultural center), preliminary research in Tobatí, Paraguay, to prepare for international students coming to Mount St. Mary’s University, and travel to Bankonji, Cameroon, as part of a service-learning project. Her interest in global politics developed through her major and found expression in activities such as the Model Arab League and European Union Simulation. Through all of her work and her studies, Katherine has learned about and taken an active interest in developing her leadership skills, which she intends to continue while working at the Institute for Leadership.
Abbe Fessenden, M.A. is Chair of the Board of Directors for Aumazo. She is a principal and co-founder of Value-Add, L.L.C, with more than 35 years of international development experience. She has worked on design, oversight and evaluation of technical assistance and policy reform activities, primarily in West Africa, including Cameroon. Her work often involved integrating institutional and organizational assessments into project design and evaluation as well as strategic planning. As a program/project development officer for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), she took a leading role in design and evaluation of many projects in agriculture/natural resources, economic growth, economic and marketing reforms, health, and infrastructure in nations throughout Africa. Among her assignments were developing the Africa Bureau’s Non-Project Assistance (NPA) guidance, working for Africa Bureau’s Project Development Office, and managing the Southern Africa Regional Program portfolio. She holds a Master of Arts in International Affairs (African studies, Economics), from the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington D.C., and a B.A. (Political Science, History), from Barnard College, Columbia University, N.Y.
Francis Gilbert, Ph.D., is founder and principal of the consulting group under his name, specialized in interpretive development and exhibit consulting. He is a program development specialist with broad background in business management, strategic planning and program implementation. His experience in nonprofit organizations includes designing and implementing environmental outreach programs; fostering positive national, international and cross-institutional cooperation, and managing all development phases of complex projects. Among his projects are development of a strategy for interpreting the National Marine Sanctuary System’s multifaceted holdings, and serving as Director of Development of the Sonoran Sea Aquarium project in Tucson, where he spearheaded plans to develop a facility focused on Arizona’s rivers and the Gulf of California. He is active in MetroDogs, a newly formed canine urban Search and Rescue organization in the DC area, and serves on its board of directors. A native of France, he has traveled widely. He holds a doctorate in Cultural Studies, and a master of arts in Francophone culture, both from the University of Arizona.
Carol Gegia Matteini
Carol (Gegia) Matteini, M.A. is a widely traveled linguist fluent in French, Italian, and English, with knowledge of Spanish and Russian. Her commitment to improving lives through education has been expressed in service as a language teacher, and as an interpreter and translator for the Smithsonian Institution. As an amateur musician, she is the member of several choirs. She grew up in a European family in the heart of New York City, participating it its rich cultural life, something that greatly broadened her human education and encouraged her travels. She has lived and worked teaching language in Europe (Italy, England) and Africa (Cote d’Ivoire). She has lived in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the U.S. She now lives in Washington, DC with her husband and two almost grown children. She works as the personal assistant to the president and CEO of America Speaks, a non-profit organization which promotes citizen engagement in governance. She received her M.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Education from Teacher’s College at Columbia University, and her B.A. in Art and Architectural History, with a minor in French language and literature from Oberlin College.
Mohamed Kouyaté, M.A., Aumazo treasurer, is specialized in IT management, systems analysis and data management. He regularly conducts community activities and participates in the management of a nonprofit organization. He has created software tools that have improved the Badegna Cultural Center’s technology department – based in Silver Spring, Maryland. He focuses on the human component of technology. He takes into account the social dimension of technology as well as the one contributing to the effective management of informational resources. Mohamed has expertise in the fields of finance, telecommunications, and business management. He was born and raised in the Ivory Coast and received his degree in Finance at the University of the District of Columbia and a Masters in Management Information System at Bowie State University.
Robert C. Newland
Robert C. Newland, CPA, is a public accountant in Beltsville, Maryland.
Paul B. Essex
Paul B. Essex, Esq., is a practicing attorney in Beltsville, Maryland.
Sylvester Seuyam Youssa
Sylvester Seuyam Youssa (Lead Field Manager) was born and lives in Cameroon. He became a priest after graduating from the Regional Seminary of Douala-Cameroon in 1997. Successively, he has worked as an Assistant priest, a vice steward of the rural parish of Bakou, a Cure and as a Spanish teacher at the middle school in Bankondji-Cameroon. Father Sylvester is currently the first priest in function at the parish St. Joseph of Bankondji. Father Sylvester carries with him the private pain of losing a mother to ignorance at age 9. After his mother’s death, he had to forgo his childhood to help his father raise his three younger brothers. Despite his priesthood, he clearly understands the struggle of single parenthood and a sad reality of losing a mother too early. He strongly believes in female education. He vows to dedicate the rest of his life not only to saving souls, but also to raising awareness on the importance of girls’ education.