Jeannette M.E. Tramhel serves as the Board Chair and recently retired as Senior Legal Officer of the Department of International Law, Secretary for Legal Affairs, of the Organization of American States (OAS), in Washington, DC, where she was responsible for projects that promote the rule of law and law reform in OAS member states and for managing technical assistance projects and field missions. Jeannette is passionate about Food Justice and has done research and work on the issue as an agricultural economist, international lawyer, and environmental planner working in the field of international development. Prior professional experience includes as an environmental and international development consultant, project coordinator and professor of law in her native Canada and the U.S. Jeannette holds a Master of Law from Georgetown University, a B.S. in Agricultural Economics and a Master of Environmental Design. She is a member of the bar in Ontario, Canada, and the State of New York. Jeannette joined the Groundswell International Board of Directors in 2019 and current serves as chair of the Resource Development Committee.
Jay Slaughter serves as the Vice Chair and is a Management Consultant and President of JBS and Associates, based in Alexandria, VA. He is an accomplished executive with extensive experience in finance, management, operations, strategic thinking, governance and fiduciary oversight. Jay held various positions with Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), Washington, DC, from 1996-2014, and most recently as the Executive Director of Business and Plan Operations (2009-14). In that position, he was responsible for Executive Oversight of the Federal Employee Program’s Project Management Office, responsible for five million lives and related medical insurance claims. Jay lives in Arlington, VA, enjoys travel, and is committed to diversity, inclusion and sustainable development.
Bhadra Durgabakshi serves as the Board Treasurer of Groundswell International and also serves on its Program Committee. Bhadra has over 25 years of experience in international development. She works at the World Bank in budgeting and finance and has worked extensively in the Africa Region. Bhadra lived in Mozambique for two years, where she became interested in community development using sustainable solutions with locally grown products. Bhadra holds an M.Sc in Management with a specialization in Nonprofit and Association Management, and an MBA from the University of Maryland. Bhadra worked as a journalist for a leading English language newspaper “The Island” in Colombo, Sri Lanka, before migrating to the United States.
Margaret (Peg) Malloy serves as the Board Secretary and is an associate broker with a residential real estate firm in Oklahoma City and has been in the residential business for over 25 years. She has been a member of a number of organizations including the Junior League of Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma City Zoological Society, National Society of Colonial Dames of America – where she currently serves as the Oklahoma President, and was president of the Metropolitan Fair Housing Council and sat on the Board of World Neighbors. Peg is also a trained facilitator and has worked with companies and non-profit boards. She is an avid traveler. Long interested in sustainability, Peg is a founding member of the Environmental, Health and Sustainability Commission in her local incorporated town. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in English. Peg has one daughter, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
D. Merrill Ewert serves as a board member. Merrill holds a B.A. from Tabor College, and an M.A. in anthropology and Ph.D. in adult education from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. Merrill’s career combines relief and development (7 years in Africa), with teaching, research and administration in higher education. With a focus on learning and the facilitation of community development, Merrill completed a Fulbright fellowship researching the role of farmers’ organizations in building social capital in the Philippines. He served for 12 years as the Director of Cooperative Extension and Associate Dean for Outreach for the Colleges of Agriculture and Human Ecology at Cornell University and rounded out his career as President of Fresno Pacific University in California where he is President Emeritus. Merrill retired to the Phoenix area where he continues writing, speaking and consulting on higher education and international relief and development.
B. Jan Middendorf previously served as Groundswell International’s Board Vice Chair. She is the Associate Director for Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sustainable Intensification (SIIL) at Kansas State University (KSU). In this role, Dr. Middendorf conducts research and leads SIIL’s impact assessment and monitoring and evaluation efforts. She is also responsible for establishing and maintaining effective partnerships with other U.S. and international institutions, industry, USAID Missions and developmental partners. Prior, Dr. Middendorf was Program Director of Project and Program Evaluation in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) for the National Science Foundation (NSF). She also served for ten years as director of an evaluation center at KSU. Dr. Middendorf has over 25 years of experience in project development, management, implementation and evaluation of multi-institutional, interdisciplinary programs and projects in national and international settings. Dr. Middendorf earned her Ph.D. from KSU after completing her Master’s and Bachelor’s from Ohio University and University of Rhode Island, respectively.