BIOS FOR MALI NYETA, THE FOUNDATION FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF MALI, WEST AFRICA
Bios for Mali Nyeta the foundation for education in Mali
Madame Bintou Sissoko Founder and Executive Director
Madame Bintou Sissoko was born and raised in Kita. She graduated from Institut Pedagogique d’Enseignement Generale in Bamako, Mali. She taught for three years in a Bamako school (grades K-4), and then she became principal of that school. Over the next seven years, she added a grade level to the school each year, eventually creating a school that ran through the 12th grade by the time of her departure.
Lassana Keita Secretary
Lassana Keita received his “certificat d’aptitude professional” (an accounting degree) from the Centre de Formation Technique de Quinzambougou. He has worked as an accountant in several countries in Africa and in France, and he has owned an accounting firm in Mali. M. Keita grew up in the capital city of Bamako, and traces his roots to the village of Kangaba, about 90 kilometers from Bamako in the province of Koulikoro. Just as in the circle of Kita,the schools in Kangaba are few in number, grossly over-crowded, and inaccessibly sparse for much of the populace.
Jane Sasseen Treasurer
Jane Sasseen is a distinguished business journalist. Most recently, she was Editor-in-Chief for Opinions and Politics at Yahoo News. Previously, she was the Washington bureau chief for BusinessWeek magazine. During her academic career, she examined the effectiveness of Western aid in African countries. She spent eight years as a journalist in Paris, covering international affairs — including the continuing ties between France and West Africa.
Jinny St. Goar Chair of the Board and US Project Director
Jinny St. Goar strongly believes that education is the key to health and well-being, in short to economic development. She has worked as both a business journalist — most recently for Institutional Investor magazine — and as a general interest journalist, covering US diplomatic and military affairs. As a native French speaker with ties to Africa, she is passionate about the school in the Djangoula villages, the cornerstone of Mali Nyeta’s economic development program.
Sonya Gary Board Member
Currently based in Hong Kong, Sonya Gary is Vice President at Morgan Stanley where she does strategic financial, communication and technology work for Corporate Services. Growing up in a family that focused on philanthropy, Sonya learned the importance of serving others. Her recent volunteer platform has been educating children. While in New York, she tutored at Midtown West School for three years. For the past two years in Hong Kong, she tutored at the Little Life Warrior Society and St. James Settlement. Sonya is honored to serve on the Board of Mali Nyeta and hopes to make a difference in the lives of those in Mali, West Africa through education.
Nassira Traore Board Member
Nassira Traore was born and raised in Bamako. She comes from a family with roots in Kangaba. While Nassira grew up in Bamako, she understood from childhood the difficulties that children in rural Mali face in getting to school. Nassira worked with textiles before moving to New York City, where her four sons (ages 6 – 13) were born.
Anne Prost Board Member
Prior to relocating to the New York City area, Anne Prost was chief executive officer of Medical Aid Films, an innovative London-based NGO producing and distributing teaching and training films focussing on maternal and child health in low resource settings. Originally from France, Anne trained as a research scientist and subsequently worked in London as a management consultant and science attaché at the French Embassy. She strongly supports the community-led approach adopted by Mali Nyeta with the aim of fulfilling people’s rights to education and healthcare.
Tawanda Pasirayi Board Member
Tawanda was born in Harare, Zimbabwe, and attained a BA in Mathematics and Economics from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME. He is very passionate about the economic development of the African continent, particularly pertaining to education and micro-finance. Tawanda is currently an Investment Analyst at Guggenheim Investments in NYC, where he spends his time analyzing corporate debt investment opportunities.
Aashna Sinha Board Member
Aashna Sinha currently works with c-suite executives on succession planning and organizational design needs, and previously worked as a management consultant focusing on strategy, operations, and human capital challenges. She graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in economics, statistics, and international affairs from The George Washington University, and holds an MBA in marketing and organizational effectiveness from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. From community service activities to pro bono consulting projects, working with mission-driven organizations has been a constant theme in Aashna’s life. She is a particularly passionate about empowering underserved populations like women and children to break the cycle of poverty through access to education, healthcare, and employment. Aashna looks forward to serving on the Board of Mali Nyeta and contributing to its overarching goal of sustainable development.
Damayanti Chaudhuri Board Member
Damayanti is a Senior Engineer with Desimone Consulting Engineers, and specializes in the art and science of structural engineering. Her experience encompasses structural analysis, design and construction administration of high-rise and long-span structures including commercial, office and high-end residential construction. Her portfolio includes several high profile building structures in the US, Mexico, China, India as well as the Middle East.
She manages large-scale projects, possesses creative problem solving skills and turns architects’ and developers’ ideas into reality.
She was born and raised in India and cares deeply about the upliftment of under-developed communities. She aims to use her background in civil engineering to solve real-life problems of people and desires to contribute toward the betterment of lives of the people of Mali.
This post is also available in: French