Board of Directors
- Noella Coursaris Musunka, Founder and Chief Executive Officer
- Yamandou Alexander, Director
- Alain Pakabomba, Chief Program Development Officer
- Majda El Bied, Advisor
- Anthea Gray, Advisory Board Secretary
- Sonya Shannon, FFH Program Manager
- Adriana Henriquez, Chief Financial Officer
- Fabrizio Morello, Budgetting & Planning
- Carl Andrew, Web Master
- Chloe Manchester, Advisor
- Nitsa DeVore, Web Content Manager
- Elena Johnson, Graphic Designer
- Milondo Kabamba, Education Advisor
Noella Coursaris Musunka, Founder and CEO
Noella Coursaris Musunka was born in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo. At age 5, she sadly lost her father, and her mother, lacking the resources to raise her, sent Noella to live with relatives in Europe. Noella was educated in Belgium and Switzerland, and after achieving a degree in business management, she moved to London and embarked on a career in international modeling. Her successful modeling career brought Noella to New York where she started the Georges Malaika Foundation in 2007 in tandem with her active modeling career.
Fiercely proud of her African heritage, her determination to help improve the lives of Africa’s youth has made her an international advocate for their welfare. She has addressed UNICEF and the Congolese Parliament about issues confronting underprivileged girls, was a panelist in the Global Creative Leadership Summit in 2009 and was a featured speaker at the United Nations’ Investing in Women and Entrepreneurship Solutions to Address the Millennium Development Goal 3 on International Women’s Day 2011. Noella has also been featured on CNN’s Connect the World and CNN’s African Voices and in various international publications like Vanity Fair.
Noella’s true passion lies in developing relationships that will support the girls of her homeland. To encourage the international community’s interest and involvement in Congo, Noella has facilitated organized visits to Congo for many influential people, including students from Columbia University, Khaliah Ali (daughter of Muhammad Ali), Russell Simmons and the Ben Affleck Foundation. Noella also works tirelessly to encourage the Congolese youth to work for peace, gender equality and poverty reduction for their continent. With that goal in mind, she has helped organize and present at screenings of documentaries that reveal the horrific impact of war and rape. She also actively volunteers for numerous projects independent of her work with GMF, such as KickStart, an organization that offers efficient irrigation systems to farmers, and Project C.U.R.E., a program that ships surplus medical supplies from the U.S.
With passionate dedication, Noella works to further any cause she believes will empower the Congolese people to bring socio-economic development to their country, allow children the opportunities they all deserve and ignite positive change throughout Africa.
Yamandou Alexander, Director
Yamandou is Founder and CEO of ASG Telecommunications, an international voice, internet and satellite service provider. Mr. Alexander is an international telecommunications expert holding vast and empirically derived knowledge of virtually all aspects of the industry. While personally overseeing ASG’s early growth, he witnessed the myriad of difficulties facing Africa. In part, this experience has prompted Yamandou to pursue and negotiate agreements to develop an extensive and long-term communications network to benefit African businesses, organizations and communities. Yamandou has been an essential component of the Georges Malaika Foundation from its inception. Not only is he the liaison to studioMDA, our pro bono architecture firm, but he also oversees construction of the GMF school in the Democratic Republic of Congo where he has met with leaders from the village, the government in Katanga, and local NGOs during his frequent trips to the country. Yamandou’s vision and dedication are integral in all of GMF’s successes.
Alain Pakabomba, Chief Program Development Officer
Alain joined the Foundation in July, 2008, after 14 years in the investment-banking world where he gained extensive leadership experience while maintaining a strong involvement serving in a number of local and national non-profit organizations. Passionate about the power of education, Alain strongly believes that Africa must commit to improving education standards so that economic growth can be sustained. Alain brings his wealth of experience and passion to help shape GMF’s strategic direction and structure in supporting and managing its future growth.
Alain works as a Senior Director in Investments and Capital Markets for a fortune-500 company. Alain has an MS in International Management/Finance and an MBA from the University of Maryland.
Majda El Bied, Advisor
Majda El Bied has experience in fundraising, education and media. She worked in the charity sector in London for three years and also worked for the BBC and for the Africa Liberal Network.
After volunteering in an orphanage in Ghana, Majda promised herself that she would donate her time and talents when she found an organization dedicated to improving education in Africa. She believes that GMF is focused on this goal, so she joined GMF in November, 2010. Majda strongly believes that through education livelihoods are improved for entire communities.
Anthea Gray, Advisory Board Secretary
Anthea currently attends Pepperdine University, where she will obtain her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology. As a former counseling advocate for survivors of rape in domestic violence in the emergency rooms of New York City and research assistant at Cornell New York Presbyterian Hospital–Westchester, Anthea is committed to the emotional well being of others.
A firm believer in education as the tool that will set one free and an advocate of the women’s empowerment movement, Anthea lends her previous public relations and event planning experience to GMF with great strides.
Anthea holds a M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University’s Teachers College.
Sonya Shannon, Football for Hope (FFH) Program Manager
Sonya Shannon holds a B.A. in International Relations and is currently a M.S. candidate in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Over the years, she has worked as an advocate to end extreme poverty in Africa through promoting the message of women’s and girls’ rights and empowerment. She has interned for various international organizations and believes strongly in the approach of development through partnering with and empowering communities on the ground. A global citizen, committed to working toward a peaceful and just world, she believes a firsthand account can be a powerful tool for change and has lived abroad and visited numerous countries to better understand different perspectives, conditions and solutions.
Adriana Henriquez, Chief Financial Officer
Adriana has six years of experience in the development and implementation of the telecommunications sector of Africa. This background led her to further involvement and interest in the educational sector of many of the African countries, including the DRC. She maintains a strong conviction for education as the catalyst instrumental in making positive changes in the economic and cultural environment of the DRC by empowering tomorrow’s potential leadership.
Ms. Henriquez has volunteered with various NGO’s that have solidified her understanding on the issues of greatest importance to the African cause. She also acquired extensive knowledge on the special operational concepts related to development and implementation of successful programs of foundations.
Fabrizio Morello, Budgeting & Planning
Fabrizio is a dynamic professional with 20 years of rich experience and a strong background in finance and analysis of financial processes, advising top managers within airline and airport organizations. Globally, he has 23 years of experience in delivery consulting services across Europe, North America and the Middle East, working for major companies such as Arthur Andersen, IBM and Deloitte.
As an active contributor to the GMF effort, he has found a passion for GMF’s causes complementing his previous experience of providing volunteer service for the S. Egidio Community in Italy. He plans to utilize his professional skills to serve the GMF by defining a financial plan that will ensure that the girls of the Democratic Republic of Congo receive proper educational opportunities.
Fabrizio is a firm believer that girls represent the backbone of their societies and are responsible for the survival of children: their education can improve their health, life skills and entrepreneurship.
Carl Andrew, Web Master
Carl lives in London and has been working with Georges Malaika Foundation since its inception. Drawing on over eight years’ experience in the Web/Graphic Design and Multimedia industry, his expertise in branding and promotion, and his passion for African history, culture and people, Carl is a key developer of GMF’s media image, identity, and accessibility. Carl believes that many people working collectively can make a difference for the good of Africa. He is motivated by the direct impact he sees GMF having in individual young women’s lives. He works enthusiastically and sees himself a small cog in a bigger machine generating positive change in Africa.
Chloe Manchester, Advisor
Chloe was raised in Tanzania, Cameroon and China, where she developed a passion for working with underserved communities. After studying Political Science at Northeastern University, Chloe has been working for a number of non-profit organizations in education, public health, peace and conflict resolution and human rights. In her role as Advisor with GMF, Chloe contributes to a number of different areas within the organization. She is involved mainly in development and donor relations, but she is also very involved in program planning for malaria and physical education projects at the school.
Chloe currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she works for an international reproductive health organization which has offices located all over the world.
Nitsa DeVore, Web Content Manager
Nitsa joined the GMF team in early 2012 after viewing a CNN video about the GMF School for Girls. Currently living in Florida, she brings her professional experience in social media and web-presence management to maintain GMF’s web content on a daily basis while assisting with social media campaigns. Nitsa believes that through technology, education and youth empowerment, a community’s potential can be fully recognized. She is inspired by the work that GMF does and the opportunities it gives their students and the community, and she is a strong believer in sustainable communities.
Elena Johnson, Graphic Designer
Elena Johnson has been the charity’s graphic designer since 2010 and became an advisor on GMF’s Communications Committee in 2011. Elena leads the visual identity of GMF, creating most of the printed materials (posters, flyers, business cards, event invitations, etc.) and text-heavy documents, such as funding presentations, often in French (which she does not speak).
Elena founded the graphic design agency Live Breathe Design in 2006 and currently resides in Wellington, New Zealand. Live Breathe Design enjoys an extensive client list from KPMG and governments to Oxfam. Elena relishes in fast turn-around, and as such has clients spanning many time zones.
She trained at Kingston University, London, acquiring strong technical skills, inventive problem-solving and how to anticipate changes within media trends. Prior to design, Elena’s background was in fine art and performative poetry.
Elena is passionate about education and human rights and has a strong family history of humanitarianism, and she is proud to continue this legacy through her work with GMF.
Milondo Kabamba, Education Advisor
Milondo Kabamba was born in Kinshasa, DRC, and spent most of her childhood moving throughout several countries, exposing her to many different cultures. She holds a B.A. in French with a minor in Education from Florida International University and a Master Degree in Special Education from Walden University. She has more than ten years of experience working with children in a variety of settings such as preschool, kindergarten, middle school, high school and with special needs children.
One of her core teaching principals is community outreach, especially the importance of serving one’s community in order to be a productive member of society. In keeping with this philosophy, she works and also actively volunteers as an advisor for the Key Club, an international student-led organization which provides its members with opportunities to perform community service hours, which in turn builds character and develops leadership in serving one’s home, school, and community. Throughout the year, she participates in service activities such as Race for the Cure to fight breast cancer, Juvenile Diabetes Walk, food drives, The Ronald McDonald House to support kids with disabilities, and much more.
Her love for culture has opened her eyes to the importance of education and how teachers can make a difference in children’s lives. Teaching allows her to fulfill what she believes to be a fundamental responsibility, which is to communicate information to her students and to provide a strong foundation for life-long learning.
Currently, Milondo works as an educator in Miami, Florida, providing the necessary support to help her peers and students succeed to become the leaders of tomorrow.