Board of Directors

Dr. Barbara Czachorska-Jones — Global Communities (formerly CHF International)
Director of Operations, Policy and Innovation

Barbara Czachorska-JonesBarbara Czachorska-Jones

Before she joined Global Communities (formerly CHF International) in the early 1990s, Dr. Barbara Czachorska-Jones pursued a legal career in Poland, receiving her doctorate degree in law from the Institute of Legal Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

In her various senior positions at Global Communities, she has managed cooperative housing and development projects focusing on cooperatives in the Philippines, South Africa, Bosnia, Poland, Mongolia and Rwanda. Czachorska-Jones has extensive experience managing shelter delivery projects, housing and privatization reforms, civil society and capacity building, development of cooperatives and training and leadership programs.   

In her involvement with OCDC, Czachorska-Jones has been integral to the CLARITY project since its inception, using her legal and regulatory experience to contribute to the design and content of this initiative. She continues to work on cooperative advocacy projects and as lead specialist on several collaborative projects focusing on cooperatives. Currently, she chairs the OCDC board of directors.

Maria A. Kendro — CCI
Executive Director

Maria Kendro Maria Kendro

Maria Kendro has over 25 years of public and private sector experience in information and communications technology (ICT) and international development. Prior to co-founding CCI, she worked as vice president for international programs at the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association, a nonprofit association of rural U.S. telecom cooperative and commercially owned telecommunications systems. Earlier, she held legal and regulatory executive positions at Sprint, the global provider of voice, data and Internet services and served as a business development advisor for the Peace Corps.

Kendro has extensive experience managing programs and working at the national, regional and grassroots levels to expand access to ICTs in underserved areas and reduce legal, regulatory and other environmental obstacles to ICT expansion. She holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan, a J.D. from the University of Maryland and an M.P.H. from George Washington University. 

Mebratu Tsegaye — CCI
Director of Programs

Mebratu TsegayeMebratu Tsegaye

Mebratu Tsegaye has over 30 years’ international development experience with information and communication technologies and microfinance and international credit union development.  Prior to co-founding CCI, he worked for the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association, a nonprofit association of rural U.S. telecom cooperatives and commercially owned telecommunications systems. His career includes 19 years with World Council of Credit Unions, where he headed up regional programs and served as chief of party in Africa and the South Pacific. He also has worked for FINCA, directing and providing technical assistance to over 22 microfinance country programs.

Among Tsegaye’s educational credentials are a B.S. from Haile Selassie University and a Diploma in Management and Cooperative Studies from the University of Nottingham.

Scott Aebischer — HealthPartners, Inc.
Senior Vice President, Customer Service and Product Innovation

Scott AebischerScott Aebischer

Scott Aebischer and his staff are responsible for serving more than 1.36 million HealthPartners members through several service centers, including member services, CareLineSM nursing services and Nurse NavigatorsSM. He also is responsible for the organization’s product development, marketing and sales systems, market research and strategic information and overall web development. Since 1997, Aebischer has led HealthPartners’ USAID-funded programs in Uganda.

Before joining HealthPartners in 1991, Aebischer worked as the manager of provider relations at PreferredOne and was director of social services with Fairview Hospitals. He holds a master's degree in public health administration and a B.S. from the University of Minnesota.

Barbara Tretheway — HealthPartners, Inc.
Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Barbara Tretheway Barbara Tretheway

In her role at HealthPartners, Barbara Tretheway provides comprehensive legal advice and direction to the management and governance of HealthPartners and its affiliated entities. She also manages the legal, clinical and enterprise risk management and sustainability functions of the organization.

Prior to joining HealthPartners, she practiced law at Gray, Plant, Mooty, Mooty & Bennett, P.A., in Minneapolis. Tretheway received her J.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School. She is a recipient of the 2011 Diversity in Business Award and regularly has been recognized as a Super Lawyer in health care. She is a member of the American Bar Association, Minnesota State Bar Association, Wisconsin State Bar Association and American Health Lawyers Association. Tretheway also serves on the boards of Mississippi Market, a natural foods cooperative, and People, Inc., a mental health agency.

Bradley Buck – Land O’Lakes
Director of Strategy and Practice Management

Bradley BuckBradley Buck

Since 1997, Bradley Buck has been designing and managing international agriculture and agribusiness development programs. He served as Chief of Party for Land O’Lakes on a USAID-funded dairy development program in Uganda from 2000-2005 and as Land O’Lakes Deputy Regional Director for Africa from 2005-2008 before assuming his current role. Buck received his MBA from the University of Tennessee. He currently is based in Washington, D.C.

 

Cornelius Blanding – NCBA
Directory of Field Operations and Special Projects

Cornelius BlandingCornelius Blanding

Cornelius Blanding began his career in development work as an economic development intern for the City of Miami Beach. Since then, he has gained a broad experience base that includes cooperative, rural and international development, and business development, management and marketing. He has worked as a small-business development and management consultant, the manager of a multi-million dollar revolving loan fund and director of marketing and international development for the Federation of Southern Cooperatives.

In his current role, he works with field staff in six states to ensure that programs are effective and membership driven and manages various organizational initiatives including disaster relief and recovery, asset building and resource development for cooperatives, self-help groups and rural communities.

Amy Coughenour Betancourt
Vice President, International Programs and Development

Amy Coughenour BetancourtAmy Coughenour Betancourt

Amy Coughenour Betancourt joined the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) in 2011 as vice president of international development. She oversees CLUSA’s $30+ million international portfolio in 15 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Prior to joining NCBA, Coughenour served as deputy director of the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF. She also worked for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on its Americas Program Caribbean initiatives and the Center for Occupational Research and Development, a workforce education and training organization. She currently serves on the board of Cooperative Business International (CBI Global).

Coughenour holds an M.A. in International Policy Studies (Latin America) from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, a B.A. in German and received a teaching Fulbright scholarship in Germany.

Dr. Dan Waddle – NRECA International
Senior Vice President of Operations

Dr. Dan Waddle is an expert in rural electrification project and program design with more than 25 years’ experience in Africa, Asia and Latin America. He has extensive experience in small- to medium-scale power generation, including grid-connected and off-grid technologies, as well as load forecasting, financial analysis and geographic information systems applications for rural electrification planning and analysis. Waddle has managed numerous projects funded by USAID, the U.S. Department of Energy, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank and a host of local sponsors. He received his doctorate of engineering from Texas A&M University and his M.S. and B.S. from Virginia Polytechnic and State University.

Paul J. Clark – NRECA International
Senior Advisor

Paul ClarkPaul J. Clark

Paul Clark has served NRECA International in various capacities, retiring as a vice president in 2008. He has extensive experience with rural electric cooperative development overseas, primarily in Latin America and Asia.Prior to joining NRECA in 1981, Clark was a member of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee professional staff from 1977 to 1981 and legislative assistant to Sen. Gary Hart of Colorado from 1975 to 1977.

 

 

Stephanie Azar — World Council of Credit Unions
Development Finance Manager

Stephanie AzarStephanie Azar

Stephanie Azar has seven years’ experience working with credit unions and financial cooperatives around the world. She manages World Council pilot programs, coauthors development finance publications and has carried out research on savings, remittances, value chains, group lending and youth. Prior to joining World Council, Azar provided job training and placement support to immigrants in Boston, taught English in Ecuador and worked for a rural community development credit union in Kentucky. She is proficient in Spanish and holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of Virginia.

Michael Edwards — World Council of Credit Unions
Chief Counsel and Vice President for Advocacy and Government Affairs

Michael EdwardsMichael Edwards

In addition to Michael Edwards’ responsibilities for legal matters at the World Council of Credit Unions, he also advocates on behalf of credit unions before international standards setting organizations, such as the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the International Accounting Standards Board, the Financial Action Task Force and the G20, as well as before the European Commission, the European Parliament and other European Union entities. Edwards also supports the advocacy efforts of WOCCU’s members at the national level and performs World Council's role as the secretariat of the International Credit Union Regulators' Network (ICURN). 

Prior to joining World Council, Edwards worked for the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in Washington, D.C., as its senior assistant general counsel.  At CUNA, he advocated for credit unions’ interests before U.S. regulatory agencies and the U.S. Congress and advised on litigation and other legal matters.  Edwards also has worked as an articles editor for the American Bar Association’s Administrative Law Review and for a Philadelphia law firm.  He holds J.D. degrees from American University-Washington College of Law, an M.A. in International Affairs with an international development specialization from American University-School of International Service and a B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Paul HazenPaul Hazen

Paul Hazen became executive director of the Overseas Cooperative Development Council in February 2012. Previously, he represented one of the member organizations and served as OCDC’s board chair and board member.

Prior to joining OCDC, Hazen was CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based National Cooperative Business Association. Under Hazen’s leadership, NCBA’s cooperative development portfolio grew from $8 million to over $30 million annually. During his 25-year tenure with the organization, he held key positions, including chief operating officer, vice president of public policy, vice president of member services and director of consumer cooperatives.

Hazen is the one of the founders of DotCoop, the top-level domain for cooperatives around the world. He currently is leading IMPACT, an initiative to document the economic and social benefits cooperatives provide in the developing world.

Active in cooperative matters at many levels, Hazen serves on the boards of the International Cooperative Alliance, where he chairs the Human Resources and Election Committees. Past board service includes the Consumer Federation of American, Cooperative Development Foundation, Cooperative Business International and NCB Retail Finance Corporation.

In demand for his cooperative expertise, Hazen speaks frequently at national and international forums on the role of cooperatives in community and economic development. In 2001, he was named CEO Communicator of the Year by the Cooperative Communicators Association.

A native of Wauzeka, a rural community in western Wisconsin, Hazen holds a B.A. in economics and finance from the University of Wisconsin.