Our team and trustees
Our team and trustees
Meet the team, trustees and advisors behind WONDER Foundation.
Carmen Gonzalez has a breadth of experience in fundraising, training and youth work in the NGO sector. She has run numerous youth and female empowerment programmes in the UK and overseas. Carmen brings enormous insight into inter-cultural partnership working, participatory development and project management. She studied at Queen Mary University of London and at the LSE.
Director of Programmes and Policy
Olivia studied Geography at UCL, where she focused on overseas development. She has previously undertaken a range of policy and project management work for a number of civil society organisations. She has extensive volunteer experience, which includes setting up and leading projects for women and young people nationally and internationally. She holds the APMP project management qualification.
Paola is an experienced professional with a track record as a senior financial analyst in private/listed companies and public institutions in the UK, Switzerland and Italy. She has 15 years’ experience as a volunteer coordinator of an international camp for children of immigrant families. She strives to cultivate her passion for improving the wellbeing of women for a better and more peaceful world.
Izzy has been working in the international charity sector for six years. She has extensive experience of working in Central America, India and East Africa. A proven project manager, Izzy is also our partner support and grants manager. She studied in Trinity College, Dublin.
Partnerships and Corporate Fundraising Manager
Julia has a background in languages and communication, studying Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh. She spent time living and working abroad, in hospitality and within the charity sector for the 4 years before joining WONDER. She is always eager to meet new people and develop collaborations, events and partnerships to drive positive, sustainable change for women.
Nicole studied journalism in Canada, where she worked as writer and editor covering health, wellness, and social justice. Before moving to the UK, she assisted with communications at a food bank catering to new immigrants and their families in Toronto. She holds an MSc in Gender, Media and Culture from the LSE.
Gabriele has a BA in German and Peace Studies, as well as having recently completed her MSc in Gender, Peace and Security from the LSE. Before her graduate studies, Gabriele was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Germany, working with refugee and migrant students. She is passionate about improving access to education and gender equality.
Blanca Elena Gutierrez
Blanca studied Industrial Engineering in Mexico and worked for 4 years in consultancy and banking. She has a strong financial and data analysis background. She also volunteered at a school in Mexico giving mentoring sessions to young girls with financial difficulties, where her passion for advising and training woman for the construction of a better society began.
Mentoring Consultant Africa
Jackie studied Economics at the University of Nairobi. She is a Certified Public Accountant and has previously worked for KPMG Kenya. She is passionate about mentoring and mental health issues. She enjoys being involved in social projects aimed at economic sustainability.
Mentoring Consultant LATAMFederica studied Business Administration at Universidad de la Republica in Uruguay. For the past three years, she has been managing the mentoring programme at Wonder’s UK partner, the Baytree Centre. Before joining Baytree, she worked in procurement for the hospitality sector. She has volunteered in different social projects in Kenya and Uruguay, and is passionate about social mobility and community development.
Ami is a digital and innovation executive with experience in both industry and consulting environments. She has a track record in helping organisations achieve customer and commercial outcomes through strategic reframing of business models, design of new propositions and impactful delivery of complex transformation initiatives. She has built up extensive global experience, having worked with colleagues and clients across Europe, the US, South America and Asia.
Alejandra has immense entrepreneurial experience, collaborating in several start-up efforts in the realm of finance and social enterprise. She also has a strong background in investment banking and an MBA degree from IESE. Being exposed to a multitude of experiences, cultures and societies after living in more than 16 cities in 5 continents, she has a conviction that societies can be transformed with tremendous positive change through foundations like WONDER. Alejandra advises the foundation on its strategy, early-stage development of projects and financial viability.
Modupe Da Silva
Treasurer and Finance Advisor
Modupe da Silva was born in the UK and spent her childhood in both London and Nigeria. An ACCA-qualified accountant, she is WONDER’s treasurer. Having grown up in Nigeria and having family there she understands many of the issues affecting Sub-Saharan African countries. In her spare time, she runs a youth club in West London.
Diversity and Participation
Raphaella is a qualified solicitor at a city law firm after achieving a 1st at UCL in Ancient World Studies and a distinction in both the Graduate Diploma in Law and the Legal Practice Course at BPP Law School. Born into a family who left Sudan as refugees, Raphaella has volunteered in her local community since she was 14 and went on to volunteer in Kenya as a team leader with the VSO ICS program for three months, as well as in Croatia and Uganda. She regularly takes part in WONDER events in London and supports a local shelter for homeless people.
Uzo studied Maths at Cambridge before moving into investment banking at Goldman Sachs. Raised in a British-Nigerian family committed to excellence in education, Uzo brings a diaspora perspective to our work alongside strategic, business and analytical skills.
Born and raised in Nigeria, Ekene moved to the UK at 17 to further her education and is a qualified chartered accountant. She became a trustee in 2013 and was elected Chair in 2015 until 2019. She is now a member of the finance sub-committee and utilizes her expertise to support our financial due diligence of overseas projects.
Kirtana works in the pharmaceutical industry, specializing in medicine safety. Growing up in India with a top-tier education, she is passionate about equal opportunities for women, especially through education. She provides a wealth of experience in leading projects globally and in strategic direction.
Syeda Zainab Sabzwari
Public Policy and Southeast Asia Advisor
Zainab is a public policy analyst, and an economist with an eclectic work experience ranging from various governments to think tanks, regional development banks, and international development organisations. Her forte includes public sector trainings, women entrepreneurship development, tourism development for economic growth, conducting successful negotiations in challenging international environments, and socio-economic development based on evidence and research. She is currently leading her research, and is involved in private ventures focused on human development and education.
Julie is currently the Human Resources Director for Unilever UK and Ireland. Prior to this, Julie was Unilever’s Global HR Director, working on capability building and talent management of HR leaders. Over the past decade, she also undertook a number of business partnering roles for Unilever’s Asia, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe region and local business units in the Philippines. Julie provides voluntary HR support to Wonder as well as advice on employability skills in relation to our work with women and young people.
Dr Rick Adams
Rick undertook undergraduate medical training at Cambridge University and clinical medical training at University College London. He worked full-time as a medical, then as a psychiatric doctor from 2004-10, obtaining his MRCP and MRCPsych. From 2009-10 he did a part-time MSc in the Philosophy of Mental Disorder at King’s College London. From 2010-14, He did his PhD at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at UCL. He is now an NIHR Clinical Lecturer in Psychiatry at UCL. Rick was a WONDER trustee from 2013-2016 and has also worked in Africa.
Cote d’Ivoire and Healthcare
Originally from Côte d’Ivoire, Manuela is an international health specialist with expertise in epidemiology and newborn health. She is currently based at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and has particular experience of working with remote communities in Ethiopia.
Central America Advisor
Maria is a quantitative finance analyst at Mazars UK, her experiences include Analytics in the Latin American private sector as well as fiscal policy and Analysis at the Guatemalan Finance Ministry. She holds a bachelor in math from Universidad del Valle de Guatemala and two masters degrees in math and finance from Imperial College London and North Carolina State University. Maria is a Fulbright alumni passionate about financial math, analytics and education. She supports diversity and equality programs at her company and considers herself a promoter of women in STEM.
Cristina is a teenage fundraiser with a lot of success under her belt and a passion for making a difference. As our schools champion and a secondary school student, she helps us to make sure that our resources and engagement with young people is attractive and socially provocative.
Olive studied Ancient World Studies at UCL. During her time at university, she mentored teenagers and developed and delivered Project RAISE, which was designed to encourage girls in East London. After graduating she worked in TV and new media at a variety of organisations. She brings a wealth of experience in front-line delivery and co-producing projects with young people.
Dr Chisom Emecheta
British-Nigerian Chisom Emecheta is a medical doctor with a particular interest in women’s health. She has gained a range of experience working in the UK, has worked in Somalia and Sierra Leone, and undertaken a range of community work on FGM awareness and prevention.
Ana trained as a teacher and has been involved in WONDER projects from 2015, having worked in state schools as well as private schools. She is the mother of a young daughter and helps us. Ana helps us develop toolkits and materials for schools and educational purposes.
Tseday is a family law solicitor with a Master’s in Children’s Rights. Originally from Ethiopia, she has an understanding of the issues affecting women in developing countries. She has volunteered extensively; currently, she mentors young women from disadvantaged backgrounds at our partner, the Baytree Centre, and is a volunteer legal adviser at a women’s charity in London in her spare time. Tseday was previously Chair of Trustees at WONDER.
Kazakhstan and Eurasia Advisor
Botagoz is British of Kazakhstani heritage. Botagoz has over 20 years bilateral, public, government and private sector experience including at the World Bank and the UK Department for International Development. She holds a Master’s from the London School of Economics and Political Science and diploma of the CCF Impact and Institute of Leadership and Management in Geneva and speaks English, Kazakh, Russian, Uzbek, Kyrgyz and Tatar.
Belinda Nwosu, FIH
Nigeria and Vocational Training
Belinda is a faculty member in the Organisational and HRM Department at Lagos Business School. Prior to this, she worked as a senior consultant at the W Hospitality Group. She is a well-respected professional with several years of experience as a lecturer and academic administrator at Wavecrest College of Hospitality, a leading hospitality institution and WONDER partner in Nigeria.
Dr Lucy Nyaguthii Gikonyo
Kenya and Hospitality Management
Lucy is a lecturer in Hospitality Management at the Centre of Tourism and Hospitality Management at Strathmore University in Kenya. She was involved with the foundation of the centre in 2006 and has been lecturing there since it opened in 2008. From 1987-2006 she worked at Kibondeni College, a Diploma College in Catering and Institutional Management. There she became Deputy Principal, delivering and developing the training curriculum as well as programmes for the training-of-trainers, the management of industrial training for trainees, and mentoring. Additionally, she developed income generation strategies.
Dr Brenda Osieyo
Public Health and Kenya
Born and raised in Kenya, Brenda moved to the UK in her teens and went on to study medicine. She has gained a range of experience in UK hospitals and worked in public health in South Africa. Brenda has volunteered with WONDER since 2010.
Youth Active Citizenship
Marion is a leader and writer working to restore humanity’s relationship with the natural environment. She has launched several platforms for global action on sustainable development. Marion currently convenes a global network on SDGs across WWF’s global network of 90 offices. She facilitates collective action for the implementation of the SDGs through strategic advocacy, private sector engagement and coalition building for the SDGs. She read Classical Studies at the University of Exeter and holds a Master of Science in Global Governance and Diplomacy from the University of Oxford.
Education, Policy & Central and Eastern Europe
Marta is a lawyer, a graduate of law and political science from the University of Warsaw, Expert at the Educational Research Institute, Poland and the Chair of the Working Group Education and AI within the Polish Ministry of Digital Affairs. She gained professional experience in the private and public sector both in Europe and the U.S., among others, in law firms, the European Parliament and the Center for Civic Education. In 2013, she was a visiting researcher at the European Association for Education Law and Policy in Antwerp. Her academic interests focus on international law and education law.
Women and Technology
Raised in India and Australia, Shefali is the Chief Operating Officer of TrueLayer. She is the former Chief Compliance Officer (Europe) and MLRO for Stripe. She currently sits on the Boards of Adas List, a women’s in technology network, and Photoworks, a photography collective. She has undergraduate qualifications in law, economics and finance, and postgraduate qualifications in journalism and economic history, from RMIT, Oxford and LSE respectively; she has an EMBA from Oxford’s Saïd Business School, where she now also teaches. In 2016, Shefali was named on Innovate Finance’s Most Powerful Women in FinTech List, and in 2017, Shefali delivered her first TEDx talk, on ethics and business.