Afua Bruce is the Chief Program Officer of DataKind, a nonprofit that works with volunteers and organizations across the world to harness the power of data science in service of humanity. Afua was previously the Director of Engineering for the Public Interest Technology program at New America, where she oversaw projects in criminal justice reform, foster care, immigration, and more. Previously, she spent several years leading science and technology strategy and program management in the Federal government—as the Executive Director of the White House’s National Science and Technology Council and in a variety of positions at the FBI. Afua holds a degree in Computer Engineering from Purdue University, and an MBA from the University of Michigan.
Cantave Jean-Baptiste serves as Groundswell International’s Board Liaison for Latin America and the Caribbean. Cantave is a Haitian agronomist and rural development practitioner with over 30 years of experience supporting rural development, agriculture and sustainability, as well as strengthening peasant organizations. He is also the Executive Director of Partenariat pour le Développement Local (PDL), Groundswell’s partner organization in Haiti. Before creating PDL, Cantave worked with Caritas (Gonaives and Hinche) from 1981 to 1991 as sustainable agriculture program coordinator, and then from 1995-2009 as the national director of World Neighbors Haiti. Cantave holds a degree from the College of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine, State University in Haiti. He speaks English, Haitian Creole, Spanish and French. Since 2014, Cantave has attended the Opportunity Collaboration annual meeting which convenes global leaders to promote innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.
Fatou Batta serves as Groundswell International’s Board Liaison for West Africa. Fatou is one of Groundswell’s co-founders and also the founder of Association Nourrir Sans Détruire (ANSD), Groundswell’s local partner in Burkina Faso. Until 2009, Fatou worked for over 15 years as the World Neighbors’ Area Representative for West Africa, overseeing all aspects of strategy, programs and management for the region. Prior to joining World Neighbors, she held several positions with the government of her native Burkina Faso, where she helped to develop family planning policy and planned and administered projects sponsored by international agencies. Fatou received her MPH from Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans. She completed her undergraduate work at School of Technical Education in Paris and holds a diploma in participatory development at the Coady International Institute at St. Francis Xavier University.
Tim LaSalle champions his science-based hope for a regenerative food system that will mitigate climate change by sequestering 100% of the current emissions and provide the most robust ecologically regenerative method to feeding a growing world population. Tim is currently the Co-founder and Co-director of the Regenerative Agriculture Initiative at Chico State University. LaSalle previously served as the first CEO of Rodale Institute, Executive Director of the Northwest Earth Institute, Executive Director of the Allan Savory Center for Holistic Management, and he was consultant, advisor, and research coordinator for the Howard G. Buffett Foundation in Africa on soils and food security for smallholder farmers. While serving as a professor at California Polytechnic State University, he also started and operated his own dairy farm and became involved with the California Agricultural Leadership Program. As its CEO, he arranged educational leadership programs in more than 80 countries with heads of state, ministers, community leaders, and he personally became exposed to and a student of many of humanity’s global challenges.
Karen Ansara is currently a 2023 Fellow in the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative. Karen and her husband Jim make grants (especially in Haiti) to address global health systems and the deep poverty that leads families to surrender their children. To inspire more international philanthropy, in 2008 Karen launched what is now the Network of Engaged International Donors (NEID Global), a learning and grantmaking community of 180+ philanthropists, foundations and impact investors. After the 2010 earthquake, Karen cofounded the Haiti Fund at the Boston Foundation, now the Haiti Development Institute (HDI). In addition to serving as Board Chair of NEID Global, Karen serves on the boards of MCE Social Capital, Women Moving Millions, Groundswell International, and Build Health International (founded by her husband), and as Board Emeritus for HDI. Karen is a graduate of Wellesley College (Pol. Sci.), Andover Newton Theological School (M.Div.), and the Non-Profit Management and Leadership Program at Boston University. Karen and Jim live in Essex, MA and have four young adult children.
David Conner is Senior Director of Talent Development for Duke University’s Office of Alumni Engagement and Development. In this role, he is responsible for developing, championing, and executing training and professional development strategies, processes, and activities on behalf of Duke’s university-wide alumni and development community. A native of Pittsburgh, Dave completed both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL) and received an Ed.D. in Adult Continuing Education with a concentration in Southeast Asian Studies from Northern Illinois University. He holds current certifications in both human resources (HRIC-SPHR) and coaching (ICF-ACC). Dave’s career has included work in higher education (extension & continuing ed.), international relief & development, fundraising consulting, and local church ministry & administration. Dave lived and worked in Thailand for 10 years and is fluent in Central Thai. He has also travelled for business or education to more than 25 other countries. Dave and his wife, Mary, have four children – all in various stages of young adulthood – and one grandson, Wes! They currently reside in Austin, Texas, where Dave continues to perform his role remotely for Duke.