Larry Zacharias


Larry is Professor emeritus of Law, Organization and Policy, School of Management, UMass-Amherst. In the past, Larry has accompanied Dennis Hanno to Ghana and Rwanda to teach high school students and young entrepreneurs and has been struck by the high quality and tremendous potential of his students there.

Email: [email protected]

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Thomas O’Brien


Tom was the dean of the Isenberg School of Management from 1987-2006 and is a retired Professor of Finance from the University of Massachusetts.  He served as Vice President for Finance at Harvard University from 1977-1987. As dean he promoted entrepreneurship and served as a board member of several start-up companies.

Email: [email protected]

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Nicole Smith


Nicole (left) is a passionate advocate, collaborator and leader of youth empowerment and college and career readiness initiatives. She is an Education Pioneer having just completed the program whose mission is to improve K-12 education for all students, especially low-income students and students of color.

Email: [email protected]

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Greg Brown

Board Member

Greg (left) works on the Legal and Compliance team at an investment manager in Boston. Previously, Greg worked at the Boston office of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Greg has been committed to The Nyansa Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to spreading the principles of entrepreneurship to adults and teens, in Ghana and surrounding regions.

Email: [email protected]

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Isabelle Byusa

Country Director Emeritus

Isabelle Byusa was IDEA4Africa’s first Country Director in Rwanda. She is from Kigali, and is a 2013 graduate from Babson College in the US with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Prior to working with IDEA4Africa, she played a lead role in developing youth entrepreneurial leadership programs for Babson College.

Email: [email protected]

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Mike Herlihy

Board Member

After working for State Street Bank and IBM, Mike took an early retirement and went to Rwanda to help build a school. While there he met the former headmaster of the Byimana School, Brother Stratton, and decided he wanted to help the school develop. For the last 10 years Mike and his wife have been working with the Biymana School, outside of Kigali, working to provide resources and money to help build labs and provide scholarships for Rwandan students.

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Tony Jordan

Board Member

Tony is a CPA and partner at Ernst and Young specializing in forensic accounting investigations. Tony has traveled to Ghana in each of the initial three years that the mission of IDEA4Africa (I4A) was being conceived. The initial trips formed the concept of what became the Nyansa Project and has transitioned to IDEA4Africa

Email: [email protected]

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Catherine West Lowry

Board Member

Cathy West Lowry has been a Senior Lecturer II in Accounting at the Isenberg School of Management, UMass-Amherst, since 2006.  She earned a BA in Accounting (1996) and MBA (2001) from the Isenberg School.  From 1996-2002 she served in Arthur Anderson’s audit and tax departments, and then became the Tax Manager of Meyers Brothers Kalicka, PC (MBK), a regional Western Massachusetts accounting firm offering diversified services, from 2002-2010.  Since 2011, Cathy has been teaching at Isenberg full-time.

Email:[email protected]

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Krissy McQuaid

Board Member

Krissy is an HR Professional with a dozen years of experience working in the Healthcare and BioPharma industries. Receiving her Bachelors in Business Management from Babson, and an MBA from Temple University, she also has her Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification and has a Six Sigma Greenbelt from the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering.

Email: [email protected]

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Lisa Sajedi

Board Member

Lisa currently serves as a Board Member and Sponsorship Chairperson for the Clover Foundation, a grassroots organization serving preschool and school age children living in Kampala, Uganda. The Clover Foundation is currently expanding and in the process of building a new school. Previously, she was the Executive Director for the Clinton County Youth Bureau/STOP DWI Programs.

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Debra Swersky

Board Member

Debra has spent her career building, scaling, and managing operations in start-up organizations. Currently, Debra works with early-stage companies and entrepreneurs to hone in on their brand message, develop their pitch, and apply their desired first impression to their customers, new employees, investors, and/or partners. In 2014 Debra worked with Dennis to establish IDEA4Africa as a 501(c)(3) organization, and served as the organizations initial Executive Director.

Email: [email protected]

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