We are a diverse, motivated team of professionals with a passion for improving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children. Our staff is composed of grantmaking, communications, development, finance and operations teams, working together to carry out our mission.
The Management Team
Susan Goodell, Chief Executive Officer
Susan Goodell joined The Global Fund for Children as CEO after serving for 13 years as president and CEO of Forgotten Harvest. During her more than 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, Susan has forged an impressive track record as a passionate advocate for children and families.
During her tenure at Forgotten Harvest—metro Detroit’s only food rescue organization and the largest emergency food provider in Michigan—Susan increased the volume of rescued food from less than 1 million pounds annually to over 45 million pounds. She also propelled the organization from $300,000 in cash and in-kind donations to over $85 million, while creating a separate organization based in Canada. She forged strategic partnerships with libraries, foundations, corporations, and government agencies to amplify Forgotten Harvest’s work and success.
In 2010, Susan was awarded the prestigious McGregor Fund fellowship, which recognizes and encourages excellence in nonprofit leadership. As part of her fellowship plan, she studied food rescue best practices in Australia, Germany, and Israel—as well as social change movements across the US—to advance the cause of food rescue. She was the 2011 recipient of the Eleanor Josaitis Unsung Hero Award, which recognizes an individual who may not have received the widespread recognition he or she deserves for long-standing efforts to improve regional cooperation and understanding. In 2012, Susan was appointed by Michigan governor Rick Snyder to serve on the Michigan Food Policy Council.
A native of Maine, Susan is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University.
Victoria Dunning, Executive Vice President
As executive vice president of The Global Fund for Children, Victoria Dunning oversees a $4 million global grants portfolio and helps to build and strengthen GFC’s capacity-building services to its grantee partners. Victoria has more than twenty years of international development experience and has significant expertise in program planning, management, and evaluation.
Prior to joining GFC, Victoria served as the senior program officer for women and population at the United Nations Foundation. She oversaw a program portfolio on strengthening youth health and development and maximizing access and quality of reproductive health services with the United Nations and international NGO partners. Before that, Victoria was at the Pacific Institute for Women’s Health, where she oversaw research and evaluation activities on youth development and women’s health in East and West Africa. Her previous positions include NGO sector advisor at USAID Tanzania, clinic manager for the Young Men’s Clinic in New York City, project design and development trainer with developing-country professionals, and Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa.
Victoria has a master’s degree in public health from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in politics and international affairs from Mount Holyoke College. She enjoys working with her national and international colleagues at the United Nations, USAID, government ministries, foundations, nongovernmental organizations, and community-based organizations at all levels in a multicultural environment. Victoria is fluent in French and proficient in Wolof, Swahili, and Spanish.
Carol Cassidy, Vice President for Marketing and Communications
Carol Cassidy leads The Global Fund for Children’s marketing and communications strategy, helping to raise GFC’s visibility, build its community of supporters, and reach even more children around the globe. Carol has more than 30 years of experience in marketing and fundraising for nonprofit and corporate clients, including the Red Cross and the Autism Society of America. Prior to joining GFC, she served as the vice president of resource development at Capital Caring, one of the largest and oldest hospice care organizations in the US. There, she built a comprehensive fundraising program, managed a capital campaign, and integrated the organization’s fundraising and marketing strategies. A native of Washington, DC, Carol holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Bob Jones University.
Cara Ciullo, Vice President for Development
Cara Ciullo leads the strategy and operations for The Global Fund for Children’s US fundraising team, building relationships with individual, corporate, and foundation donors and helping to grow GFC’s profile and brand in the philanthropic field. Cara has worked as an advocate for people in need for 20 years—practicing law in a rural Vermont poverty law clinic, working with refugees and internally displaced people in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and serving as a fundraiser and advocate for nonprofit organizations. Before joining GFC, Cara served in several resource development capacities at the American Red Cross over a ten-year period, specializing in securing funds for the international humanitarian work of the organization and the global Red Cross network.
A native New Yorker, Cara holds a law degree from Vermont Law School and a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton.
Jim Klein, Vice President for Finance and Operations
Debra Burke, Managing Director for UK Trust
Debra Burke leads the strategy and operations for The Global Fund for Children’s UK and European fundraising—building relationships with individual donors, developing partnerships with corporations and foundations, and helping to grow GFC’s profile and brand in the philanthropic field. Debra has over 17 years of experience with nonprofit organisations in fundraising and development, gift solicitation, account management, and building strategic relationships with corporate foundations and high-net-worth individuals. She has previously served as director of fund development for UNLtd South Africa, a start-up organisation for early-stage social entrepreneurs in South African townships; development director for The Legal Assistance Trust in London, which supports the rights of the poor in South Africa; executive director of Ubuntu Education Fund, which provides education and healthcare for at-risk children in South Africa; and national director for individual giving and major gifts at City Year, Inc., an international youth service organisation. Debra is an American citizen and has lived in London for 6 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in world history from Saint Anselm College.
Joseph Bednarek, Program Officer for Europe and Eurasia
Joseph Bednarek leads The Global Fund for Children’s grantmaking and capacity building in Europe and Eurasia. Prior to joining GFC, Joseph worked as the director/education programs manager for the Ukraine field office of IREX (International Research & Exchanges Board), implementing education programs funded by the US Department of State and the Carnegie Foundation. During his time with IREX, he also worked closely with exchange program alumni on professional development trainings, conferences, and seminars. Joe’s interest in East Central Europe and Eurasia stems from his Polish roots and his experience working as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine. He has also worked as the administrative coordinator for the Chicago-based nonprofit Health for Humanity. Joe received a master’s degree in Russian, Eastern European, and Central Asian studies from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Georgetown University. He is proficient in Ukrainian and Russian.
Mamadou Diallo, Associate Program Officer for West Africa
Mamdou Diallo provides support for The Global Fund for Children’s grantmaking and capacity building in West Africa. Prior to joining GFC, Mamadou worked for Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake, Catholic Charities USA, and Pottal, a community-based organization in New York City. With experience in resource mobilization, communication for development, networking, and community-based organizations, Mamadou also hosted a community-oriented radio program on a station affiliated with Multicultural Radio Broadcasting, Inc. Earlier on, he worked as a journalist and human rights campaigner in Guinea, focusing on unaccompanied refugees, displaced children and youth, and children in conflict with the law. He interned at the Voice of America and, in New York City, at the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, the Citizens Budget Commission, and Youth Empowerment Mission, Inc. Mamadou holds a master’s degree in policy analysis and evaluation from Baruch College, a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Memphis, and a degree in journalism from Gamal Abdel Nasser University of Conakry, in Guinea. He is fluent in French, Fulani, Mandingo, and Susu.
Sarah Ellison, Associate Program Officer, Grantmaking and Knowledge Management
Sarah Ellison provides support for The Global Fund for Children’s grantmaking and capacity building in South Asia. She also develops tools to increase grantee capacity cross-regionally and assists in analyses to improve GFC’s organizational knowledge. Sarah first came to GFC as a graduate grantmaking intern and continued on as a William Ascher summer fellow. Prior to joining GFC, she completed qualitative research on gender and education in South Africa and interned in the International Children’s Rights and Education program at Wellspring Advisors. Sarah served in Benin, West Africa, with the Peace Corps and Peace Corps Response for three years, first as an education development specialist and later as a visual arts program coordinator. She has also volunteered with underserved communities in Washington, DC. Sarah received a master’s degree in international development from the School of International Service at American University and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is fluent in French.
Kulsoom Khan, Program Officer for South Asia
Kulsoom Khan leads The Global Fund for Children’s grantmaking and capacity building in South Asia. Kulsoom has extensive experience in social innovation and a deep commitment to developing holistic approaches for child protection and empowerment. Prior to joining GFC, Kulsoom led several initiatives at Ashoka, including managing global relations with Asia offices, developing the Global Fellow Security program, and expanding Ashoka in Pakistan. During this time, she was responsible for sourcing cutting-edge social innovations on the ground, creating and implementing security trainings for human rights defenders, and building a supportive environment for social entrepreneurship through fundraising and network creation. Kulsoom also helped launch the Child Rights Initiative with Vision, a citizen sector organization that increases awareness on child abuse and develops child protection interventions in Pakistan, and she currently serves on its board. Kulsoom received her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in law and society from American University. She is fluent in Urdu, Hindi, and Punjabi.
Sandra Macías del Villar, Program Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean
Sandra Macías del Villar leads The Global Fund for Children’s grantmaking and capacity building in Latin America and the Caribbean. Prior to coming to GFC, Sandra worked for the International Rescue Committee’s Anti-Human Trafficking Program in Miami, Florida, where she was responsible for handling cases of human trafficking survivors in the South Florida region. Sandra also worked as a consultant in Haiti for the Haitian Education and Leadership Program and for the Institute for Philanthropy, based in the United Kingdom. During her time in Haiti in 2008, she assisted in the creation of Konbit Pou Edikasyon, a nonprofit organization that sponsors primary and secondary education for children and youth living in disadvantaged communities throughout Haiti, and she currently serves on its board. Sandra has taken graduate courses at the School of International Training, and she received a master’s degree in planning, public policy, and administration from the University of Oregon and a bachelor’s degree in international business and management from Oregon State University. Sandra is a native Spanish speaker and is fluent in French and Portuguese and proficient in Haitian Creole.
Eva Miller, Associate Program Officer for Mexico and Central America
Eva Miller provides support for The Global Fund for Children’s grantmaking and capacity building in Mexico and Central America. Eva has experience living and working in several Latin American countries, including the Dominican Republic, where she served as a Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer in a rural community, and El Salvador, where she served as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer with the Ministry of Education. This past summer she carried out a practicum for her master’s degree, working in Nicaragua on a gender-based violence project. Eva holds master’s degree from the International Development Management Program at American University’s School of International Service, and a bachelor’s degree in art history from Whitman College. She is fluent in Spanish.
Emmanuel Otoo, Program Officer for Africa and the Middle East
Emmanuel Otoo leads The Global Fund for Children’s grantmaking and capacity building in Africa and the Middle East. Emmanuel has extensive experience in human rights interventions and has worked with major national and international development agencies for over 13 years. Prior to joining GFC, he was the West Africa regional director for Free the Slaves, where he focused on combating and eradicating human trafficking and modern-day slavery through strategic partnerships. He previously worked for Geneva Global, Mercy Project, and Touch a Life Foundation on similar issues. Emmanuel has managed a number of integrated corporate social development programs for international development organizations such as Plan International, African Development Fund/Government of Ghana, UNDP, and ILO/IPEC. He has also provided technical assistance to grassroots NGOs in West Africa to build their capacity. His work with Free the Slaves was featured on CNN’s Freedom Project.
Emmanuel holds an MSW, an executive MBA in project management, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Ghana, Legon. He is proficient in Ga, Twi, and Fanti and has a working knowledge of French and Portuguese.
Pamela Pratt, Program Associate for Africa
Pamela Pratt provides support for The Global Fund for Children’s grantmaking and capacity building in Africa. Prior to joining GFC, she completed two years of service with Peace Corps as a community economic developer in Velingara, Senegal, where she worked with children and other vulnerable groups to implement sustainable solutions to local challenges. She has traveled extensively in Africa and Europe and interned for major international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law (Sierra Leone). Pamela also facilitated a number of capacity-building initiatives in human rights issues in various provinces of Sierra Leone. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Hood College in political science, with a focus on African and international politics. She is fluent in French, West Africa Creole, and Fulani.
Tara Sun Vanacore, Program Officer for East and Southeast Asia
Tara Sun Vanacore leads The Global Fund for Children’s grantmaking and capacity building in East and Southeast Asia. Prior to joining GFC, Tara was associate director of the 100,000 Strong Foundation, a nonprofit organization and former State Department initiative seeking to strengthen US-China relations through study abroad and Mandarin language study. She created the Mandarin program at the Shady Hill School in Cambridge, MA, and has directed experiential education trips to China for Putney Student Travel. Tara also worked for the Mandarin Immersion Program in Portland Public Schools as part of the Chinese Flagship Program and for the Woodrow Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum in Washington, DC. She is especially interested in the contribution that youth make to peace-building efforts both locally and internationally.
Tara earned a master’s degree in ethics, peace, and global affairs from American University’s School of International Service and a bachelor’s degree in Chinese language and literature from Middlebury College. She is fluent in Mandarin.
Susan Berkun, Senior Development Officer for Foundations & Corporations
Susan Berkun leads The Global Fund for Children’s development team in sourcing and building relationships with corporate and foundation donors. Susan has over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Before joining GFC, she served as grants director for Share Our Strength’s “No Kid Hungry” campaign, overseeing a transformation in the scope and strategy of their grantmaking programs. Susan also spent eight years working on corporate and foundation fundraising for the National Park Foundation, where she was responsible for two of the organization’s largest-ever grants from private foundations. Susan’s early career focused on international development, particularly international family planning and education and refugee assistance. She has spent time in Namibia, Malawi, and Mozambique. Susan holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Boston University.
Genna Byrd, Foundation and Corporate Development Officer
Genna Byrd works as a member of The Global Fund for Children’s development team to build and maintain strong relationships with corporate and foundation supporters. Prior to joining GFC, Genna served as development coordinator at the Empire State Pride Agenda, New York’s only statewide LGBT civil rights organization. There, she secured resources for educational and advocacy programs from institutional supporters and major donors.
Genna has devoted her career to building capacity for nonprofit organizations around the world. She provided research support for international development projects at the Institute of Development Studies in the UK, taught English in rural Japan, served as community development specialist at a nonprofit organization in Hawaii, and supported nonprofits and socially minded businesses at a consulting firm in her native Chicago. Genna holds a master’s degree from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex in England and dual bachelor’s degrees in economics and political science from Loyola University Chicago.
Chris Lester, Development Associate
Chris Lester contributes to the development team’s work of raising support for The Global Fund for Children’s programs. Prior to this role, Chris served as GFC’s graduate grantmaking intern, where he worked on several projects to improve the organization’s metrics and services. As a former Bonner Scholar and AmeriCorps volunteer, Chris has worked extensively with grassroots, community-based organizations focused on children’s education, poverty alleviation, and refugee assistance. Chris has also worked internationally as a program coordinator and teacher at a foundation in northern Thailand that educates and provides opportunities for low-income, marginalized children. Chris’s professional interests include education and migration policy as well as supporting international development through grassroots organizations. Chris holds a master’s degree in international public policy from Central European University and a bachelor’s degree in religion from Davidson College.
Palmer Shepherd, Database and Online Fundraising Manager
Palmer Shepherd supports The Global Fund for Children’s development team with data analysis and fundraising, in addition to maintaining database and email systems. Palmer has over 15 years of nonprofit experience, with a strong focus on addressing the operational needs of fundraising and creating strong and efficient infrastructures. His expertise includes donor databases, online fundraising and communications, prospect research, and event management. Prior to joining GFC, Palmer worked for the National Breast Cancer Coalition, the Dallas Zoological Society, and Meridian International Center. He earned a master’s degree in music from Carnegie Mellon University and a global master’s degree in international relations from Webster University, where his studies took place in Austria, England, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Thailand. Palmer is conversant in Arabic and French.
Finance and Operations
Andrew Barnes, Senior Grants Manager
Andrew Barnes manages due diligence and grantmaking systems for The Global Fund for Children’s grantmaking program. Andrew Barnes joined the finance and operations team in 2007 as grants manager. Previously, he administered a tax amnesty program for businesses at the Multistate Tax Commission (MTC). His expertise is in systems design, database management, and client relations. Prior to his work for the MTC, he was a remedial writing instructor at Camden County Community College in New Jersey, and he has lived and studied in Oxford, England. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Taylor University and a master’s degree in English from Rutgers University.
Alizeh Amer, Summer Grantmaking Intern
Alizeh is a summer grantmaking intern at The Global Fund for Children. A rising senior at Bryn Mawr College, she is pursuing an undergraduate degree in international studies, with a focus in international development and a minor in economics. Last summer, Alizeh was selected for a ten-week fellowship in community development in rural northern Ghana. There, she collaborated with a community radio station regarding health and women’s programming, conducted site visits and evaluations for UNICEF’s hygiene awareness initiative, and created free IT literacy classes for high-school girls. Alizeh has also spent many years in her native Pakistan working with The Citizens Foundation. A passionate advocate for universal access to education, she took a leading role in a national campaign for girls’ education in Pakistan, in partnership with the documentary Girl Rising. She is fluent in Urdu.
Natasha Bashir Din, Graduate Grantmaking Intern
Natasha Bashir Din supports The Global Fund for Children’s grantmaking and grants management teams. Natasha has experience working in after-school programs in the Salt Lake City area and teaching English to elementary-school students in South Korea. As part of her graduate studies, she completed a semester abroad at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore and traveled throughout Southeast Asia. Natasha holds a master’s degree in public policy from the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Westminster College (Utah). She is conversant in Urdu and French.
Laura Neff, William Ascher Fellow
As the William Ascher fellow for The Global Fund for Children, Laura Neff is working on a research project to increase GFC’s capacity to leverage additional funds for its grassroots partners. Laura first came to GFC as a graduate grantmaking intern, and she recently earned her master’s degree in international development from American University’s School of International Service, where she focused on children and education, specifically in sub-Saharan Africa. Laura holds a bachelor’s degree in gender studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. After receiving her undergraduate degree, she backpacked through Europe, Asia, and South America, volunteered in Africa, and worked for Rustic Pathways in Costa Rica. She also started her own 501(c)(3) in 2011 to raise money for the organizations she visited on her travels.
The Global Fund for Children UK Trust
Danielle Bidos, Development Officer
Danielle Bidos is responsible for building and maintaining strong relationships with corporate, foundation, and individual donors in Europe and for growing the Giving Circle program for The Global Fund for Children UK Trust. Danielle previously worked for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, where she managed a broad portfolio of individual and foundation donors while executing large-scale fundraising events. Her past experience includes serving as a volunteer with the Syria Trust for Development in Damascus, Syria, where she created a training and employment program for disenfranchised youth to help them access critical resources and develop key skills. Danielle is passionate about the Middle East, youth empowerment, and supporting the sustainability of grassroots organizations around the world. Danielle holds a bachelor’s degree in geography from King’s College London.
Barbara Davidson, Development Operations Manager
Barbara Davidson takes care of the daily operations of The Global Fund for Children UK Trust, including the management of accounts, gift acknowledgments, and donor files. She also manages the yearly audit process and all governance procedures. Barbara has been involved in the UK’s charity sector for over 14 years and has considerable experience in the development of administrative systems and procedures as well as publicity and fundraising. Prior to joining the UK Trust, she served as the communications manager at Chapel & York Limited, a leading provider of cross-border fundraising services that assists NGOs with raising funds for projects all over the world. She previously worked at the Legal Assistance Trust, a UK charity that seeks to maintain and protect the fundamental rights of the most disadvantaged sections of the South African population. Barbara lives outside of London and is a British citizen.