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Brenda Lee Pearson


Brenda Lee Pearson, founder and President of Cui Prodest LLC, works at the intersection of gender equity and equality, good governance and sustainable economic growth that enable societies to flourish. She is a global leader in mainstreaming diversity, equity and inclusivity into international development approaches, peace-building and private sector engagement. Her deep commitment to translating humanitarian values into action around the world is reflected in more than 120 publications. Brenda is a dynamic results-oriented executive with 30 years of proven success growing, managing and leading complex diplomatic and international development assistance programs in more than 50 countries in Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe, and the Middle East. Earlier in her career, she managed American presidential and senate campaigns. She holds dual M.A. degrees in International Economics and American Foreign Policy from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and speaks Italian, French and conversational Egyptian Arabic.


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Dr. Maia Giorbelidze

Social Impact, Change Management, Eurasian and Russian Expert, Monitoring & Evaluation

Dr. Maia Giorbelidze grew up in the shadow of war in her native Georgia and is an expert in Eurasian and Russian politics. She has extensive experience in political economy analysis, data analytics, outcome metrices and results-based management in support of  organizations and private sector companies. Maia created monitoring, evaluation, and learning systems to track progress and deliver evidence of achievements in Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Jordan, Yemen and the Philippines. She supports businesses in assessing existing operations and systems, sustainability of supply chains, ESG targets, and devising strategies to boost productivity and optimize workforces. She holds a PhD degree in Business Administration and MBA degree in Business Analytics from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University and the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.  Maia speaks fluent English, Georgian and Russian.


Dr. Andrew T. Greene 

Applied Research, Adaptive Management, Democracy, Human Rights and Governance, Countering Disinformation and Malign Influences, Global Project Management 

Dr. Andrew Green brings 25 years of applied research and academic experience in Economic Growth, Education, WASH, and the DRG sector, including rule of law, anti-corruption, civil society, election processes, media and organizational development. Andrew provides expert technical assistance to USAID field missions for strategic and programmatic planning and produces knowledge management products and platforms for adaptative management and learning. He was the technical lead for USAID’s Analytic Task on Authoritarian Resurgence that assesses risks in closing civic space and corruption in infrastructure and extractives.  He has been Team Leader for numerous USAID DRG Assessments and Political Economy Analyses in Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia. Andrew received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and has been Visiting Professor at this university as well as a Visiting Scholar and Adjunct Professor at USAID, Woodrow Wilson International Center and Georgetown University. He is fluent in Czech, English and proficient in multiple Eastern European languages and Russian.

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Dr. Sarah Eissler

Gender, Rural Development, Climate Change, Monitoring & Evaluation

Dr. Sarah Eissler specializes in gender, rural development, monitoring and evaluation. She provides technical assistance in women’s empowerment, gender-sensitive analytics, gender-mainstreaming, social inclusion, gender and agriculture, and mixed method research designs. Sarah has designed and led impact evaluations, including those that utilize the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) to measure sex-disaggregated empowerment outcomes. She holds dual PhDs in Rural Sociology and Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment from Penn State University, where she focused on issues related to gender and women’s empowerment, climate change, and small-scale agriculture in Indonesia. She is proficient in French, Spanish and Portuguese.


Dr. Lawrence Robertson

Democracy, Human Rights and Governance, Ukraine & Russian Expert, Civil Society, Monitoring & Evaluation

Dr. Lawrence Robertson finds innovative solutions to addressing closing civic space, network strengthening and activism. Post-conflict resolution and governance are the foundation of his career as a senior political economist with more than 25 years designing and leading reconstruction and stabilization efforts for the U.S. State Department and USAID, where he served as a foreign service officer for 8 years. He led political economy analysis teams in 6 countries, including Russia and Ukraine during his career. He holds a PhD degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles, MA degree in Russian and East European Studies from Stanford University, and BA  degree in Political Science and History from Stanford University. He speaks fluent Russian.


Claire Grimes

Digital & Cybersecurity, NATO, International Diplomacy, Middle East & North Africa, Media, Peacekeeping

Claire Grimes guides our digital programming in support of open, secure, and inclusive digital ecosystems that advance democracy, counter digital authoritarianism, promote digital literacy and provide equitable access to underserved communities. She is an expert on strengthening communication and citizen participation in issues related to freedom of expression, empowering civil society, reducing corruption and building capacity of governing institutions and journalists and media actors to operate safely. During her 25 years with the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office and NATO, she served as NATO Deputy Director of Security Intelligence in Brussels. Earlier in her career, she served as a spokeswoman for United Nations Peace-keeping Missions in Gaza and West Bank, Macedonia and Croatia. She holds a BA degree in Arabic and Politics from the University of Durham and Diploma in Arabic Language and Literature from the University of Damascus, Syria. She speaks fluent French, Arabic, and is proficient in Spanish, German and Farsi.

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Ghada El Sherif

Gender, Gender-based Violence, Digital Ecosystems, Corporate Social Responsibility, People with Disabilities, Middle East & North Africa Expert, Monitoring & Evaluation

Ghada El Sherif is an expert in gender equity and equality, preventing and mitigating gender-based violence, women’s economic empowerment, TVET, support to women entrepreneurs and inclusive workforce development. She has conducted 20 evaluations and baseline studies on gender and youth issues in Egypt, Jordan and Morocco. Ghada collaborates closely with the Giza Systems Education Foundation to support people with disabilities in the use of digitally fabricated tools to marginalized communities. Ghada holds a MA degree in Planning from the School of Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia. She speaks fluent English, Egyptian Arabic, and is proficient in other Arabic dialects.


Geoffrey Mazullo

Social Impact, Environmental, Social & Governance, Leadership Coaching, Russia, Europe & Eurasia Expert, Monitoring & Evaluation

Geoffrey Mazullo is an executive-level director of oversight and monitoring programs in corporate governance; corporate social responsibility (CSR); environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting; investor relations; socially responsible investment (SRI); and sustainable development in Central Europe and the former Soviet Union. Under his direction, he helped establish corporate governance structures at the Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), Investor Responsibility Research Center (IRRC) and launched of long-term financial sector development projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Egypt, Moldova, Poland, and Russia. He is an accomplished  instruction designer and trainer who has delivered courses on sustainable finance in more than 30 countries. He holds a MA degree in Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BS degrees in Political Science and Foreign Service from Georgetown University. He speaks German, Russian, Polish, Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, French and Italian.

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Ellen Goldstein

International Diplomacy, Results-Based Management, Leadership Mentoring and Coaching

Ellen Goldstein’s 35-year career as a senior executive with the World Bank included appointments as the Country Director for Bangladesh, Nepal, Burkina Faso, Western Balkans, Myanmar, Cambodia and Lao PDR. Ellen led large, multicultural teams in the design and implementation of strategies to foster economic development and reduce poverty in low- and middle-income countries with complex social, political and historic contexts. Ellen is author of the 2023 highly acclaimed book "Damned if You Do: Foreign Aid and My Struggle to Do Right in Myanmar." As a certified leadership coach, brings together results-based management theory and leadership coaching to help leaders and teams define priorities, build a shared vision, align institutions, improve team dynamics and overcome visible and hidden barriers to successful achievement of results.  Ellen holds a MA degree in Public Affairs from Princeton University and MPH degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University.  She speaks fluent French.

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Dr. Nisha Onta

Gender, Rural Development, Climate Change, Gender Lens Investing, South Asia Expert, Monitoring & Evaluation

Dr. Nisha Onta is an expert in gender and climate change. Her expertise in cross-cutting sectors of gender and climate change supports private and public sector clients. She has provided training in women's leadership, women’s economic empowerment and mainstreaming gender in programs and policies. Nisha has also provided technical support to conduct M&E, developing gender mainstreaming documents and facilitated discussions between investors and entrepreneurs in the context of gender lens investing. She is a guest lecturer for the Environment Development and Sustainability Interdisciplinary Program in Graduate School of the Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. Her PhD thesis title is “Gender and Caste Relations in Climate Change Adaptation: The case of Burgaon village, Humla district, Nepal.” She was a recipient of NORAD fellowship and UNDP Human Development Academic Fellowship. Nisha has been engaged in research in South Asia and Southeast Asia related to climate change adaptation, livelihood diversification and gender and climate change. Nisha is a dynamic presenter in gender and climate change discussions and has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals. She speaks fluent English, Nepali and Hindi.


Dr. Laura McGrew

Gender & Inclusive Development, Civil Society, Mediation, Peacekeeping, Southeast Asia Expert

Dr. Laura McGrew has has played key roles in designing transitional justice initiatives and reconciliation activities for United Nations agencies, the US Department of State, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), the European Union, and international NGOs in Cambodia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Nepal, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Guinea. As a global expert in conflict analysis and coexistence, Laura has led teams to measure impact of women’s and other peacebuilding interventions; she facilitated conflict assessment processes used in West Africa by community-based organizations to analyze conflict and make recommendations for interventions. Laura holds a PhD degree in Peace Studies from Coventry University, holds a MA degree in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International studies and a MSc degree in Medical Science from Emory University School of Medicine.  She speaks French and fluent Khmer.


Sarah Farnworth

Democracy, Human Rights, Civil Society, Media, Peacekeeping, International Diplomacy

Sarah Farnsworth is an American expert who expanded and secured peaceful transitions of power and built democratic institutions during her 30-year career, with specific focus on Burma, Balkans, Ukraine, and Haiti. Sarah fosters locally-driven solutions that address threats to democracy and political process for countries undergoing democratic openings. She specializes in advancing civic and political leadership initiatives, and empowering citizen movements for collective action by strengthening these movements connections with each other and as well as access to expertise and resources from multilateral institutions, donors, researchers and civic actors. Earlier in her USAID career, Sarah guided the development of programs to assess the relevancy and implications of global social, political, economic, geographic, and military issues affecting the formulation and execution of U.S. foreign policy. Sarah has a BA degree in International Relations from Tufts University and is a certified Professional Life Coach.

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