Founder and Executive Director of Lifeline, Dan graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1986. After serving two years as an attorney-adviser at the State Department, Dan has spent the last 25 years in private legal practice and spearheading a series of ground-breaking lawsuits on behalf of victims of governmental and corporate abuse. Dan has also donated his legal expertise to disadvantaged communities in Vietnam through the Legal Assistance for Vietnamese Asylum Seekers (LAVAS) project.
Wanting to give back further, Dan created the International Lifeline Fund (Lifeline) in 2003 to help individuals and communities gain access to clean drinking water and realize the benefits of clean cooking. Thus, Lifeline’s mission is not only to provide clean water and clean cooking to communities, but to do so in a sustainable manner so that each community’s quality of life is improved in a permanent way.
VJ joined Lifeline from UNHCR and local agencies, overseeing programs for refugees, displaced persons and street children in Afghanistan. He came to Lifeline in 2006 as Program Director in Darfur where he launched projects in five different locations and presided over the production of over 15,000 fuel-efficient stoves. In March 2008, he was appointed Deputy Director of Lifeline. Under his wings, VJ has launched operations in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Haiti.VJ received his B.A. in International Management from the University of Baltimore and has extensive managerial experience in the private sector.
In his spare time, VJ enjoys exploring the unexplored, understanding cultures and “crazy” traveling.
Devon brings over ten years of experience in the refugee, international aid and donor relation fields to the International Lifeline Fund. For eight years, she focused on conflict and poverty-related issues, working at UNHCR, the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), and the U.S. government, in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), where she made legal determinations allowing refugees to resettle in the U.S. She has worked in development and managed large donor partnerships, and at international foundations recommending and awarding grants and advising on grant strategy. She also writes for Ashoka’s Change in the Making blog on Forbes. She received her B.A. from Wellesley College, and her Master’s from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
Debbie is a freelance photographer whose images have been exhibited at the Lincoln Center in New York, The Institute for African Affairs at NYU and the Art Basel in Miami. In the early 1990s, Debbie established herself as a fashion photographer and music photographer in New York City. Since 2004, she has focused her creative energies on humanitarian photography. Debbie has participated on numerous missions to Africa for both Refugees International and Lifeline. Here, she has utilized her artistic vision to capture the desperate plight of refugees and other impoverished persons by uncovering the beauty of their everyday life in its simplicity and grace.
Dawn T. Calabia is the senior management consultant and human resource specialist for Lifeline since July 2012. Dawn, a fellow with Refugees International a humanitarian advocacy organization co-authored with Roberta Cohen a 2010 Brookings report on ways to improve US policy and programs for internally displaced persons. Dawn is a ten year UN veteran serving as deputy director for the UN’s Washington Information Office and external relations officer for the UN Refugee Agency. Earlier, she was the US Catholic Conference’s director of refugee policy and development and a staffer on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and aide to a NY representative. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, treasurer of the Women’s Foreign Policy Group, and a founder and Commissioner of the Women’s Refugee Commission, Dawn believes in advocacy for sustainable development, human rights and poverty alleviation. A former New Yorker, she holds a Masters from Fordham University and a BA from St. John’s University. Honored by President Clinton for her work on behalf of refugee women and children, she now wants to see ILF’s programs grow while she relaxes with gardening, music, ethnic cooking and keeping up with her grandkids.
Heidi joined ILF in January 2013 with 20+ years of accounting experience in various industries. She has worked with Holiday Inn as an auditor, Eurpac, Inc. (a military brokerage firm) as a billing manager, Rockland, Inc. (textile manufacturing) as an accountant, Sprenger + Lang, PLLC (a law firm) as director of accounting and with Phi Sigma Sigma (a national women’s sorority) as the director of finance. Heidi got her degree from McConnell but continued pursuing her education at various colleges around the United States, depending where she was living at the time. She lived in Puerto Rico as a child but mostly grew up in Wisconsin. After which, she moved around the country until settling in Maryland. Heidi and her husband, Rich, have one daughter who is married and have a beautiful 7 month old granddaughter. She loves to ride her Ducati and spend time with family and friends. After many years in the private sector, she is excited to be working towards making a difference in so many lives. She is focusing on improving the accounting and financial procedures, both at HQ and in the field.
Sabrina joined the Lifeline team in October 2013 as the Human Resources/Office Manager. The non-profit world is a new endeavor for Sabrina as all of her previous roles have been with for-profit organizations. Sabrina brings nearly 10 years of HR and office management experience and is excited to lend her skill set to an organization dedicated to such an admirable cause. She is a graduate of Binghamton University where she received a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics & Law. Although her undergraduate studies were pre-law focused, at the present she has plans to continue her education by obtaining PHR/SPHR certification. Sabrina is a Brooklyn, New York native and a fairly recent transplant to Maryland. In her free time, she enjoys relaxing with her husband Gerald and spending time with their 2 year old son Jackson.
Jen Marley has spent the past six years working in international development, with experience both at headquarters and the field. Prior to joining ILF, Jen worked as the Program Manager at Uganda Hands for Hope – an NGO based in Uganda dedicated to helping families living in Kampala’s slums. Prior to her time in Uganda, Jen worked at the Millennium Challenge Corporation as a Program Officer in the Policy and Evaluation Department where she worked on a variety of governance programs. Jen is currently pursuing her Masters at American University. Jen loves traveling and is looking forward to finishing her studies and going on her next adventure.
Brings twenty-three years of management experience honed in West and Central Africa, and has devoted most of his life to serving vulnerable populations on the African continent. Nicholas’ interests focus on developing low-cost, high-impact public health and social interventions that demonstrate measurable improvements in health and welfare. He has coordinated a development project fund for the US Embassy in Cotonou, Benin, served as West and Central Africa manager for the Clinton Health Access Initiative, and has consulted for UNICEF.
For fifteen years, Nicholas operated a company based in Benin that distributed rice and other foodstuffs throughout the West African sub-region. Nicholas is an active member of Rotary, and volunteers much of his free time promoting and developing Rotary’s humanitarian programs and mission.
Raffaella is the Country Coordinator in Haiti. Her most recent experience was as consultant in sustainable energy and communication. She has worked as project manager in several contexts and her primary focus areas have been in monitoring and evaluation, carbon accreditation and the coordination of communities of practice. Her interest is in international development with focus on energy delivery models and social enterprising. She directed the HEDON Household Energy Network an energy practitioner’s global platform for knowledge sharing and networking which also publishes the journal “Boiling Point”.
Raffaella’s previous experience is as research engineer and clean-tech entrepreneur. Originally trained in environmental physics she also holds a PhD in combustion engineering and a master in communication for development.”
Scott is working with the Lifeline WASH Team based in Lira, Uganda, where his background in geology and drilling operations is being utilized to the benefit of the rural poor. Over the past two years, he has worked on water projects and strategy development with other community development organizations operating in Kenya, Mali and Morocco. Before making the switch to community development, Scott worked in the petroleum industry for 5 years where he worked on oil and gas drilling rigs in the western United States, and exploration and production assignments in Chad, Madagascar, and Canada. He earned a MS in Earth Sciences from Montana State University in 2006 and BS in Earth Science from Montana State University 2004. For fun, Scott enjoys exploring mountainous terrain on skis, foot and bike.
Kayeswar Sulpya joined International Lifeline Fund as a technical consultant on fuel-efficient stove program. Prior to joining Lifeline, Kaye served as an Inventory Manager at Agrolabs Inc. in Texas, as a Technical Consultant to GERES in Cambodia, as a Lecturer and Researcher in a Research Center for Applied Science and Technology (RECAST) at Tribhuvan University in Nepal, and has been involved with several NGOs doing consultancy work. Kaye received his Master degree in Science in Botany from Tribhuvan University in Nepal and received training on energy efficiency and management from various institutions from the UK and The Netherlands.He enjoys travelling and working in remote areas, serving disadvantage communities.
Entela has extended experience working in the humanitarian sector for different NGOs, like CRS, Italian Cooperation, COOPI, UMCOR, GVC, MDM, covering all kind of position, program, finance and admin, operations, representation, etc. She has been working in different countries in Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean. Entela also served as Finance Officer for the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Cote d’Ivoire. She has considerable experience in finance in the private sector as well, working for different companies in Italy. She has completed successfully the studies in Biology in Albania and Communication Sciences in Italy.
Austin Tunnell worked in Houston for a year-and-a-half as public accountant until he decided to take his life in a new direction. He desired an opportunity that would be conducive to his personal and professional goals. With that said, Austin took what he deemed to be the most logical step in his mind. He quit his accounting job and moved to Panama to be an unpaid intern. In Panama, he worked for Kalu Yala, a sustainable real estate company attempting to build the most sustainable city in the world in the jungles of Panama. While working in Panama, he received an invitation to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in Uganda (More unpaid employment? How could he resist!). On April 25, 2013, Austin moved to Uganda where he is now partnered with International Lifeline Fund. Austin is extremely excited to see what the future has in store with this amazing NGO!