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Our Team

We Empower Women After War

The African Women Rising staff, board, advisors, and directors are made up of individuals who are passionate about global women’s empowerment. Our board members and advisors are experts in various fields. Our staff in Uganda are from the communities where they work and their experience is critical to our success.

Meet the Team

Miriam Lakot
National Finance and Administration Director

Proscovia Anena
National Program Director

Staff in Lamwo

Staff in Gulu

Executive Director and Founder | Linda Eckerbom Cole

Linda, a Swedish national with Berber roots, has spent most of her adult life living between Uganda and the US. She began her development career managing complex emergency operations in conflict and post-conflict areas of Angola, Mozambique, Guinea- Bissau and Uganda. She has extensive fieldwork experience in community needs assessments, preventive health interventions, and small-scale farming. She has published expertise on the re-integration of women back home after war, most notably in the book, “Women and Wars – Women, Girls, Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration.” Linda has a Master’s degree in Humanitarian Assistance from the Friedman school of Nutrition, Tufts University and is the recipient of the 2014 Leah Horowitz Humanitarian Award.

African Women Rising was established in 2006 with a vision to build social, economic and political equality for women and girls in Africa. These underlying values are realized through programs that enable and empower women in the conflict-affected region of Northern Uganda to rebuild their lives through increased food production, natural resource management, financial security, and education. AWR’s approach is based on a belief, as well as firsthand experience, that when women are actively involved in decision-making, be it post-war reconstruction or small-scale civic responsibility, their voices ensure that vital societal priorities are incorporated.

Beginning with 5 groups of women (150 people) who were directly affected by the conflict in Northern Uganda 15 years ago, AWR has since grown to directly serve more than 20,000 women and their households. This expansion has been based on conversations with participants and the larger community, which led AWR to initiate adult literacy and girls’ education programs alongside its post-conflict recovery agricultural and microfinance efforts to help sustain and strengthen the peace

Board of Directors

Bonita Birungi
Director, Programs ELMA Philanthropies, East Africa

Thomas Cole
Co-founder, Consultant in Agriculture and Livelihood

Joy Margolis, Esq.
Founder and owner of Joy for Creators, Strategic Business Advisor

Brook Eiler
Founder and owner of Harvest Santa Barbara

Carrie Randolph
Founder, Greater Good Insights

Kristin McWilliams
Community Volunteer

Walter Okidi Ladwar
Human Rights and Land Rights Lawyer

Advisory Board

Betty Ochan
Member of Parliament

Tobias Stillman
Senior Advisor/Director, Nutrition and Food Security Division at FHI 360

Dyan Mazurana
Co-Director, Gender Analysis and Women’s Leadership Program at The Fletcher School at Tufts University

Jordan Tappero
Deputy Director, Global Health, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

John O. Niles
Senior Manager, Natural Climate Solutions at Salesforce

Kofi Taha
Equity Designer at Equity Meets Design

Hilal Elver
PhD Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, UN

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