Meet the Team

Suzanne Smith


Suzanne Smith’s career in development has spanned nearly 30 years from Niger to Mozambique, and from Bangladesh to Afghanistan. At the age of 24, she joined the Peace Corps in Niger to design and deliver nutrition and immunization education for village women and children. By the late 1990’s, poverty alleviation became her top priority, when she headed for Bangladesh to begin consulting to micro credit organizations, including PLAN International, the South Asian Network of Micro Finance Initiatives and NORAD on the effectiveness of their methodologies, key performance indicators and responsiveness of clients. Suzanne also monitored the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) Flood Rehabilitation Project, through the European Community’s Humanitarian Organization (ECHO).

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Taryn Ash

Program Director

Taryn Ash is a master trainer and an award-wining curriculum designer and ICF-certified coach. Originally from Canada, her career has based her out of Japan, China, Singapore, the US and now the UAE. She’s developed and delivered programs for multinational organizations in a wide-range of industries including airlines, global energy corporations, airports, banks and many others. Her expertise is in intercultural communication, leadership development, sales, business management, train-the-trainer and evaluating the impact of training.

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Sam Dale


Sam is passionate about practical solutions to international economic development, poverty reduction and energy access. He began his career as a journalist, covering the Asia energy industry, and then turned his attention to energy consulting, in which he led sales and business operations in South-East Asia, North Asia, and North America. Sam has appeared numerous times as an expert energy industry commentator on CNN, Bloomberg, MSNBC and BBC World. Sam has an MBA (University of Nottingham, UK) in International Finance, and…

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Calvin Strope

Online Learning Technical Advisor

Calvin is passionate about making high-quality education available to all. He specializes in web technologies and the psychology of learning so that he can be a leader in the movement to democratize education. Calvin studied Mathematics at Colorado School of Mines.

Concerned with the mounting student debt crisis, Calvin mathematically derived the most efficient way to pay back loans, and made a free on-line calculator. Now anyone can plug in their various student loans and see how to save time and money on their loans.

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Fidel Santos

Master Trainer

Fidel has more than 25 years of experience in international development. He is passionate about community economic development and how it relates to bio-diversity conservation. He was country director of two UNESCO funded bio-diversity projects in Guatemala and Honduras. He was also the director of the Guatemalan National Park Punta de Manabique, where he worked to promote the health and economic development of the 20 indigenous communities living in the park. These projects were designed to both benefit the communities while at the same time protecting the biodiversity of the area.

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