Who We Are
 
The Women Behind 
Media Matters for Women

Ndeamoh Mansaray has extensive experience in broadcast media in Sierra Leone with specific expertise in innovative radio programming targeting women and girls. She began her radio career at Cotton Tree News (CTN), the largest public service media project in post-war Sierra Leone, and continued her work as a journalist, presenter, and producer while earning her degree in Mass Communications from the University of Sierra Leone.  In 2010 she became a founding member of Media Matters for Women (MMW) reporting in the Western Region. In 2015 UN Women selected Ndeamoh to travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to participate in negotiations on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Ndeamoh was the only civil society representative from Sierra Leone.  She is a member of Women in Media Sierra Leone and the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ).   Ndeamoh currently works as Interim Project Manager.

Sarah Bomkapre Kamara is a founding member of MMW. She is an experienced broadcast journalist and producer from Freetown, Sierra Leone currently doing a PhD in Communication Science (with a focus on Journalists from Sub Saharan Africa) at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany.  She holds a master’s degree in International Journalism from the University of Groningen, Netherlands and a  B.A. degree in Mass Communication (Honours) from the University of Sierra Leone. She worked as part of the core team of reporters at “Cotton Tree News” (CTN), where she was Editor and Presenter of CTN’s daily lunchtime news program as well as CTN’s weekly program on education. She worked as an intern at the BBC Trust in Sierra Leone, Star Radio Liberia, and a Freelancer for Deutsche Welle in Germany.

Alinah Kallon is a journalist and radio broadcast and TV producer based in Freetown, Sierra Leone.  Alinah’s journalism career took off in 2006 when she was selected to be one of nine journalists which formed the core team of “Cotton Tree News” (CTN), a nation-wide media project funded by several European countries and located at the University of Sierra Leone.  She reported for CTN’s daily news as well as weekly feature programmes, and her work was recognized by both UNICEF and the BBC World Service Trust. She gained a deeper understanding of the standards of fairness, accuracy, and ethics in media by earning a B.A degree in Mass Communication (Honours) from the University of Sierra Leone. Alinah is a founding member of MMW and serves as a Senior MMW Journalist based in Makeni.  She was selected by UNESCO/UN Women to represent MMW at an annual conference in Paris on women’s empowerment and technology in 2015.

Rachel Horner is a Senior Reporter at the Concord Times in Freetown, a leading daily newspaper providing independent news and feature stories on Sierra Leone.  She has won special recognition on several occasions for her journalistic skills from the Independent Media Commission of Sierra Leone. She is presently pursuing a degree in Mass Communications and Journalism at the Northern Virginia Community College in the United States.  She is an leader in many media organizations, including Women in Media Sierra Leone (WIMSAL) and Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ).

Sharon Bylenga is an agricultural economist and former U.S. diplomat (Geneva, Rome). She has extensive experience combining economic analysis and project development for the World Bank, United Nations, and USAID.  She has worked in Rwanda, Turkey, Macedonia, the West Bank and Gaza, Bosnia, Zambia, Timor, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea-Bissau.  Most recently she served as Project Manager for West Africa for the Swiss-based Hirondelle Foundation, Media for Peace and Human Dignity, which builds and operates public service radio stations in post-conflict and crisis zones, often in partnership with the UN.   Sharon served as Founding Director of MMW for five years and now serves as Chair of the Executive Board.


Penelope Mawson is a senior communications and fundraising consultant who is passionate about low cost innovations from the global South that can go to scale.  She is a proven leader in global communications for large international non-profits and has held director level positions at organisations including: BRAC (the world’s largest NGO); LEAD (a global leadership network in more than 80 countries); and icddr,b (a leading global health research organisation based in Bangladesh). She has secured significant funding for development programmes in countries including Liberia, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. As a consultant, she focuses on designing international communications strategies, developing award winning global brands, and securing high-level partnerships.  She has an MSc in Environmental and Development Education from South Bank University.

Katharina Samara-Wickrama is an expert in the field of humanitarian accountability particularly responding to sexual abuse and exploitation of beneficiaries by humanitarian workers.  She worked at UNHCR as the Co-ordinator of Building Safer Organizations (BSO) project and in 2007 she brought BSO to the Humanitarian Accountability Project (HAP) and took on the responsibilities of Regulatory Services Director (managing social audits of humanitarian organisations) before being appointed HAP’s Executive Director (interim) in 2010. She is presently NHRP Phase II Project Coordinator at ICVA, the International Council of Voluntary Agencies. The NHRP project is implementing practical ways to bring the national and international NGO voice to the UN led humanitarian reform process, recognizing that civil society has a key role in responding effectively to crisis.  She is a member of the Executive Board of Directors of MMW.

Carmel Crawford brings together a rich perspective and range of skills from law, social work and the non-profit sectors.  She has experience of working within the UN system, including the design and implementation of an innovative gender and livelihoods program for the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR). She has been consulting and advising international and local NGOs on strategic development and impact over the last several years.  She is a founding member of Media Matters for Women (MMW) and headed the 2014 evaluation of MMW operations in Sierra Leone as well as an informal field assessment in 2016.


Liz Umlas is an independent researcher and consultant with extensive experience in the field of business and human rights, and a particular interest in labor rights issues. She spent several years as a senior analyst in socially responsible investment research, and has also worked for Oxfam America and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. She is a co-founder of Sustainable Finance Geneva, and most recently has designed and taught a masters course in business and human rights at the University of Fribourg. Liz has a doctorate in political science from Yale University.  She is a member of the Executive Board of Directors of MMW.

Nancy D. Lind has worked for several multinational companies in a variety of roles over the past 25 years, and has particular strengths in business strategy, organization development, people management and web strategies.  Recently she has applied her commercial business experience and knowledge to assist non-governmental organizations with programs in developing African countries, helping them validate their purpose and strategy and better define their objectives and priorities in order to identify and source appropriate resources and implement needed systems and platforms.  She is a founding member of MMW.

Ann-Byrd Platt is a mobile-banking and financial-inclusion consultant for research and branchless banking initiatives in India, Bangladesh, and other developing countries. Based in Switzerland, Ms. Platt has 25 years of experience in banking, telecom, and new technology in New York, San Francisco, Paris, Belgrade, Zurich and Geneva. She has also taught and lectured in the US, France, and India. She began her career as a journalist and continues to publish extensively on microfinance issues.

Linda Spencer is an Interactive Multimedia Designer with extensive experience in both international organisations as well as commercial media companies in London.  She is a founding member of MMW.

Monika Emch holds a Masters degree in International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies. Monika is currently a Senior Program Assistant with the National Democratic Institute, supporting programs in Southern and East Africa. She recently coordinated a general observation program on the 2015 Zambian presidential by-elections. She has worked in both the private and public sector, in research and project management at the International Labour Organization, the International Action Network on Small Arms and the Open Society Institute. Additionally she holds a Bachelors from New York University - Gallatin School in International Business and Development.  She is a founding member of MMW.

Rose Morowitz is a graduate of Drexel University with a bachelor's degree in International Area Studies. She has experience traveling and studying in Morocco, Egypt, Israel, the West Bank and Jordan. Rose has also spent time working with women's empowerment and refugee groups as a mentor and English teacher. Most recently, she interned at Layalina Productions in Washington to promote cultural diplomacy between the Arab and American communities through television programming and publications.  She is a founding member of MMW with particular expertise in solar rechargers.

Karine Lubambu, an experienced administrative and accounting manager, is presently living in the U.K. following several years as a key member of the executive team which built Giving Women, a highly successful new non-profit in Geneva focused on global philanthropy. After earning her bachelor and graduate degrees from the University of Geneva in Switzerland she held positions with the United Nations as well as several local NGOs in the Geneva area. She was officially recognized for her outstanding contribution to the launch phase of Giving Women from 2011 to 2013 by the organization’s members. 

Ashley Hartz is an innovative educator, writer and current student of international affairs and development at the Graduate Institute of Geneva in Geneva Switzerland. She is interested in the nexus of technology, education and innovation and has explored this interest in the United States, Tunisia, India, Cameroon and Fiji.  She is the author of the 2014 evaluation of MMW’s pilot project in Sierra Leone.

Bintu Conteh reports on women’s and children’s issues from Radio Moa in Kailahun and now Eastern Radio in Kenema.  She is a founding member of MMW and reports from Kenema.  Bintu Conteh brings to her work as a reporter her experience as a former social worker for IRC and the Mano Rover Union Women’s Peace Network. In particular she has produced programming on sexual abuse, domestic violence and sexual exploitation, giving voice to victims and providing critical information to women and girls. As a volunteer for the highly acclaimed Fambul Tok, she trained women to act as moderators for programs in their communities. Bintu has taken a special interested in access to justice for women, covering the magistrate court proceedings for sexual violence cases and providing important follow-up to cases brought before the courts. She speaks and reports in English, Creole, Kissi, Mandingo Mende and some French.

Delia Perez-Paya has extensive experience in global business and is a recognized leader in the field of corporate transformation. She earned a master’s degree in Economics from the European University in Brussels with a full scholarship from the Foreign Ministry of Spain.  She began her career with Accenture in Spain in the consumer goods sector and after five years was hired for Lafarge’s management and financial audit team. Delia was promoted quickly within Lafarge, eventually becoming Vice President of Sales and Marketing with oversight of EUR 9 million in annual sales and direct manager of teams in seven countries, including China and Nigeria.  She presently manages sales performance at Tarkett, a KKR portfolio company.  Ms. Perez-Paya has been recognized for her work in setting up innovative programmes and managing commercial transformations to improve bottom-line performance.  She speaks five languages and is an Executive Board Member of Media Matters for Women (MMW). 

Laurence Debavelaere is a social sciences, human resources and communications expert that knows companies from the inside (Danone, Veolia Environment, Plan.Net...) where she contributed to innovative projects.  As head of the corporate internal communications of Danone and in charge of the global communications of its social business incubator (based in Bangladesh and France and founded by Franck Riboud and Muhammad Yunus), she has led worldwide projects to engage employees on social innovation projects and to raise awareness about economic and social issues of corporates.  With her 12 years’ experience (both academic and corporate), she created Mondrian in 2014, a consultancy firm that brings support to organizations in their transformation, innovation and change projects.  She holds a Ph. D. in Social Sciences from Paris Descartes University - La Sorbonne and is graduate of HEC School of Management in Human Resources.  She is a member of the Executive Board of Directors of MMW and heads the MMW corporate outreach initiative.

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Paige Smith Jernigan has extensive experience as a senior global equity analyst and is also a recognized fundraiser for major gift campaigns of London-based charities, with specific expertise in managing large capital improvement funding initiatives.  Paige is a Board Member of Media Matters for Women (MMW) and she and her family volunteer in rural Rwanda every summer with the nonprofit Bridge to Rwanda.

Valentina Barbacci presently serves as CEO of MMW.  She also serves as Fundraising and Marketing Manager at the Association for the Protection of Women's and Children's Rights (APWCR), a human rights NGO in Limbe, Cameroon. APWCR's mission is to target the most under-privileged - including rural women, female student drop-outs, teenage mothers, and commercial sex workers - by offering protection and promoting human rights through research, education, advocacy and developmental programs at the local, national and government level in Cameroon. Valentina brings a wealth of public and private sector experience to her role at MMW, including over four years of Client Relationship and Project Management in Financial Services Research in London and over five years of Events Management and Program Coordination in U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Lisa Eppert of Arch Marketing Solutions is based in the U.S. and executes marketing programs for a broad range of national and international clients. Her experience includes development and procurement of marketing support elements, sponsorship activations, games, contests and sweepstakes, new product launch campaigns, fulfillment, and other consumer and business to business marketing efforts.   Lisa heads procurement of equipment and marketing materials for MMW projects.

Tara Moller is a freelance documentary photographer currently based in the UK.  Her work centres around humanitarian issues of migration, refugees, identity, human rights and travel documentaries. Assignments for charities, partnering with grassroots developments, humanitarian NGO s and media as well as personal projects have taken her to nearly every region of the developing world.  She loves visual story telling, and to be able to deeply connect with the viewer in order to generate effective assistance for those who need it most. Within her 21 year career she has shot extreme sports, feature films, documentaries,  events, fashion, product and bespoke reportage weddings.


Caitlin Kraft-Buchman, Senior Advisor to Media Matters for Women, is the Founder and CEO of Women@TheTable, a Geneva based NGO whose mission is to support, propel, coalesce and scale leaders who articulate the need for equal numbers of women at decision-making tables wherever decisions are being made; with a particular focus on government, trade, technology, education, sustainability, and peace. She is also Managing Director of The Strategic Message, an international consultancy for strategic planning & communications for Non-Profits, International Organizations and foundations helping organizations and individuals make vision, message, and strategy a reality. Recent collaborations include TEDGlobal,TEDSalons, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, CERN + the International Telecommunication Union’s Tech Needs Girls.  Caitlin is passionate about women’s rights, and sees the issue of girls and technology as a vital means to resolve the imbalanced gender equation. She is a member of Democratic National Committee; Board Member of  Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Caucus; Executive Committee member of Human Rights Watch Geneva; and former Board member and Chair of Strategic Planning for the International School of Geneva.

Jeannette Regan became acquainted with the daunting issues facing Sierra Leone by translating documents for the Hirondelle Foundation. Her feminist involvement in the 1970s inspired a passion for questions revolving around women and money that led to co-founding the Alternative Bank of Switzerland and active membership in ACTARES (shareholders for a sustainable economy). She wants to ensure that MMW gets the solid funding it needs to accomplish its objectives. Jeannette moved from the USA to Switzerland in 1980. She teaches academic English writing to researchers at Swiss universities. Her initial academic training  was in politicial science and her doctorate is in psychology from the University of Lausanne.

Katherine Kreuter is a communications professional with extensive experience of print journalism and commercial conferences. Educated in the US, where she earned an MSJ from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, she has worked in Hong Kong, London, Brazil, and South Africa. In her commercial conference work, she has engaged audiences in many different industries, balancing the interests of sponsors and vendors with those of attendees and experts. In retirement, she is supporting several charities with their community engagement and website development. As a board member at MMW she will be supporting various projects from her base in UK.