MEET THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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Mame Toucouleur MBaye

OUR FOUNDER & PRESIDENT

Mame T. MBaye is currently The Honorary Consul of Senegal in Los Angeles and a Peace Ambassador appointed by the Global Prosperity and Peace Initiative GPPI. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University Cheikh Anta Diop in Civilization, Literature, that broadened her background in Sociology, Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics where she developed her skills in four languages: French, English, Spanish and Wolof. Mame is an Executive Board member of the Los Angeles Consular Corps (LACC) and the President for the Los Angeles Consular Corps Spouses Association (LACCSA). She is also the President of the Association of Honorary Consuls of Senegal In the US (AHCSUSA), highlighting Senegal’s valuable presence in the Continent of Africa and the face of the World. With her foundation, Tekki Foundation, she has been affiliated with many organizations doing humanitarian work in the United States and in Senegal. She is one of the founding members of the FGM Taskforce- Greater Los Angeles, a group of 6 women founders of organizations that work to eliminate violence against women and young ladies, empowering them to do better for themselves. Mame served as the Vice President of African Focus, Inc. and worked with UCLA African Studies Dept as a frequent guest lecturer on West African culture and schools. She has worked for many years with the Los Angeles, San Diego and the Bay Area Superior Courts, interpreting and advocating for battered and under-represented women of the Diaspora and Immigrants. She is also an Executive member of the Senegalese Association Los Angeles (SALA) and built bonds with UN Women Chapters of Los Angeles. Mame is always looking for ways to be the voice for underprivileged children and women, to build the bridge between Senegal, the United States and the rest of the world through socio-cultural, economic, educational and leadership programs.

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Judy Smith

OUR SECRETARY GENERAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Judy Smith is a Landlord-Tenant Commissioner in the City of Burbank and was elected as a California State Delegate for the 43rd District in 2015.Judy received her certificate in Public Relations at UCLA and studied Chinese Mandarin & French. Her career in International Relations began with an internship at Mayor Bradley’s Office of Protocol, and later became Senior Program Officer for the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles (IVCLA) where she developed a keen interest in Africa; she was invited to Tunisia by the Minister of Cultural Affairs, and to Zaire, by the Minister of Transportation and Communication. She then joined the Leakey Foundation Annual Fellows as the world leader on an archeological safari trip to Tanzania and Kenya. In 2019, she went on a humanitarian and medical mission to Senegal with Tekki Foundation for underprivileged Women and Children.

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BARRY WAYNE SIMON

OUR UN WOMEN OUTREACH DIRECTOR

Barry was born and raised in Portland, Oregon.  Attended the University of Oregon and graduated from Portland State University, majoring in business and psychology.  He has lived in San Francisco, Marin County, and Florence, Italy, and currently lives in Santa Monica, CA The events of the 60’s and 70’s (assassinations, war, poverty, etc.) led to his commitment to make a difference, to improve the quality of life for all people. To that end, he began a career in financial services to assist others in achieving their financial goals.  Barry provides quality investment portfolio management to individuals and businesses as an independent investment consultant affiliated with Wedbush Securities, Inc. To further his commitment to a world that works for everyone, Barry has been an active member of the United Nations Association of the USA (www.unausa.org) for 16 years.  Barry currently serves as the President of the UNA-USA Southern California Division (www.usa-socal.org), working with the twelve local chapters throughout Southern California.  The chapters work to educate their community and advocate on behalf of the mission of the UN, informing the community about the importance of a strong UN-US relationship, and supporting the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals (the SDGs). In addition to his role with the UNA-USA, and serving his clients investment objectives, Barry also created and produces “Conversations for Peace” with several episodes now on the web. (see www.conversationsforpeace.com). Barry also enjoys playing golf, riding his bike, talking politics, traveling, and personal growth and development seminar training.

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ABDEL BENGELOUNE

OUR CFO/TREASURER

Abdel Bengeloune is an accountant and has worked in many corporate entities and investment companies where he handles their budgets. For many years, he has supported the Senegalese Association, handling their financial documents and working closely with local philanthropists for Africa. He is also a philanthropist and has been involved in many humanitarian projects with other organizations in West and North Africa. His commitment to serve his community and support faith-based entities financially, offering positive psychology and mentorship programs, has been remarkable. Abdel also supports many underprivileged widows, women and children in Senegal.

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GAIL MARSHALL

OUR ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR

Gail Marshall is the Assistant to the Executive Editor of the Los Angeles Times. Before joining The Times in 2017, she served as the Event Director for Senator Ted Cruz’ 2016 presidential campaign. Prior to this position, she was the Marketing and Communications Director for iCONECT Development, a legal review software provider, and Practice Aligned Resources, an eDiscovery and legal services company. Gail received her B.S. from Woodbury University, and also holds a Certificate in Human Resources Practices from Cornell University.  Gail is a native of Miami, Florida and currently resides in Encino, California with her husband.

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LORI ORTON

OUR PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Lori Orton has had extensive experience working with charitable, civic and women’s organizations in both the US and around the world. She spent 25 years living internationally (Thailand, Egypt, Indonesia and Kazakhstan) and served on the boards of numerous organizations that work to meet the needs of women and children in those countries.  She is the mother of four children and knows that raising a family as an expatriate has its challenges, but that it also brings tremendous opportunities and can be a great experience for a family.  She moved to Los Angeles in 2018 to work in Public Affairs and was involved in organizing humanitarian projects in various countries around the world, including Senegal. She has served on the committees that planned and organized various events such as the International Women’s Day event in Los Angeles. She moved to Provo, Utah in July of 2020 but continues to be involved in good causes that will help make life better for those in need.

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KHALIPHA ABUBAKAR

OUR PUBLIC AFFAIRS COORDINATOR

Khalipha Abubakar resides in Los Angeles having come to the U.S. from Tanzania when he was 22 years old. He was with the Best Western Hotels for two decades and in 2010 served as CFO of Switch International, a fashion design company, where he travelled extensively throughout Europe and Asia. Khalipha frequently travels to Tanzania helping needy children with school uniforms and tuition, assisting villages with water projects and arranging medical attention for those in need. Khalipha serves on the Board of Directors of the SoCal Tanzanian Community. In 2019 he travelled to Senegal with the Tekki Foundation on a humanitarian tour for underprivileged women and children. Khalipha is a skilled chef and is fluent in Arabic, Japanese and Swahili. 

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JANET ELLIOTT

OUR PUBLIC AFFAIRS DIRECTOR

President/CEO of the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles, Janet Elliott has served as President/CEO of the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles (IVCLA) since 1995, where she was previously Director of Special Programs at IVCLA, a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization that connects the Los Angeles region with  the rest of the world.  IVCLA coordinates the U.S. Department of State sponsored International Visitor Leadership Program, which brings emerging leaders from around the world to the United States to share professional information with their U.S. counterparts and experience the diversity of U.S. culture. Ms. Elliott came to IVCLA with a ten-year background in marketing and sales. She is currently Chair of the Heidelberg Club International Los Angeles Chapter and serves on the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce World Trade Week Committee where she previously chaired the Public Relations and Legislative Outreach sub-committees. She served as a director on the Beirut/Los Angeles Sister Cities board where she assisted in establishing the Beirut Student Exchange Program. She also served on the board of American Women for International Understanding, and was an advisory board member for the African Marketplace, Inc. She has served on the executive committee of the Los Angeles Sister Cities Committee and chaired the National Council for International Visitors Conference in Washington D.C.

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JENNIPHA-LAURÉN

OUR FUNDRAISING COMMITTEE CHAIR

Jennipha-Laurén knows first-hand the impact that an individual can have on the global community. Through advocacy and outreach, she has used her skills and digital expertise as a program designer for 10 years. She has specialized in the areas of Human Rights, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Gender Equality, Universal Education and Rights for Persons with Disabilities. “I’ve seen the numbers and looked into the faces of those we’ve saved, simply because we chose to act and not merely stand by” - Jennipha. At the conclusion of the Commission for the Status of Women at the United Nations this year, she has begun work in South Africa with the Sinqoba Ngemisebenzi Program. In this she will be providing women entrepreneurial skills and teaching best practices in sustainable manufacturing. As an Ambassador, Jennipha is honored to assist the global mission of United Nations and UN Women USA in Los Angeles. Living in L.A., one of the most diverse cities in the world, she works to create an impact locally that can take root and expand globally.