Alumni Directory

Ahmed Abdulla 2009-2010 Fellow with 2iE/International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering, Burkina Faso Princeton University Class of 2009

Fellow Bio:

Ahmed is a chemical engineering major specializing in engineering management and entrepreneurship. An international student from the island nation of Bahrain, Ahmed is fascinated with languages and etymology. His interest in languages extends to Arabic Calligraphy. Ahmed is also a freelance 3D-modeler and an amateur astronomer. Ahmed has interned at banks and oil companies in Bahrain, as well as Princeton research laboratories in the School of Engineering. He is looking forward to spending a year developing 2iE’s carbon assessment strategy in Burkina Faso.

Heran Abiy 2022-2023 Fellow with Kucetekela Foundation, Zambia Clark University Class of 2021

Heran Abiy is an Ethiopian/Kenyan young passionate professional driven by her curiosity in decolonizing development, community planning, and storytelling for meaningful change. In 2021, Heran graduated from Clark University with a B.A. in Sociology, Global Environmental Studies, & Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies. She also holds an M.A. in Community Development and Planning in Education Development + Forced Migration. Her academic interests intersect at socio-cultural anthropology, community organizing, education, and public affairs. She seeks to understand how communications can leverage indigenous funds of knowledge and recenter peoples’ stories to bolster the success of nonprofits. She is particularly interested in community organizing in the context of Africa and the African Diaspora. Heran’s passion for storytelling has been embodied in her work with the United Nations Foundation as a Communications Intern. At Abt Associates Heran works as a Global Equity Intern. She has collaborated with Yale University, as a Young African Schools Mentor, providing academic guidance to African scholars. Heran’s work includes serving as a Legal Intern at the U.S. Department of Justice supporting assistant attorneys with legislative research. Recently, she has served as a Communications Manager for Inclusive America and Mansa Colabs where she developed communications plans and wrote articles. Furthermore, at the African Community Education Center Heran wrote a grant to Address & Destigmatize Mental Health of African Refugee Youth in Worcester, Massachusetts. Heran hopes to pursue a career in leveraging African narratives and decolonizing development in the non-profit sector on issues pertaining to youth and forced migrant rights by applying her knowledge of communications and placed-based community organizing in Sub-Saharan Africa. She is thrilled to be joining Kucetekela Foundation (KF) as a PiAf Fellow for this upcoming year!

Jephthah Acheampong 2018-2019 Fellow with mSurvey, Kenya New York University Class of 2016

Jeph graduated from New York University with a degree in Economics and Business Studies. He is originally from Ghana where he founded Ghana’s first data science talent accelerator, Blossom Academy. The company’s purpose is to provide university graduates with the technical and soft skills needed to launch meaningful careers in Data Science; their most recent selection process attracted over 950 candidates. Prior to founding Blossom Academy, Jeph led the creation of Anansi Global, a nonprofit that produced and sold bracelets that symbolized positive growth. As part of Anansi Global’s mandate, they also designed a mentorship initiative to assist orphans to build critical life skills through entrepreneurship that help them thrive in their respective communities. He has also helped model, scale, and fundraise for Esusu, a rotational savings platform with a mission to build tools that cultivate financially healthy communities, that is now available in the Apple store. Jeph’s work has been recognized by the Clinton Foundation, the New York Stock Exchange, and the African Youth Excellence Awards. He was also recently named a 2018 Future of Ghana 30 under 30 Pioneer. As a Princeton in Africa Fellow at mSurvey in Nairobi, Kenya, Jeph is excited to learn about the role data plays in shaping the growth of businesses serving African markets.

Adams_Bailey_WebsiteBailey Adams 2016-2017 Fellow with Gardens for Health International, Rwanda American University Class of 2016

Alumni Update:

In several months Bailey will be moving to Cambodia where she will work as a Nutrition Officer with the World Food Programme. For now, she resides in Washington DC, having just finished a graduate degree in Global Human Development from Georgetown University.

Fellow Bio:

Bailey graduated from American University’s School of International Service in 2016 with a degree in International Studies. She concentrated in International Development and Peace, Global Security, and Conflict Resolution in Africa and earned a minor in Public Health.  While at American University, Bailey served as president of Empower Congo, a student-led organization dedicated to addressing and raising awareness about the conflict in the DR Congo. She held a number of internships during her academic career with organizations ranging from Vital Voices to the Enough Project, the Rockies Venture Club, the Philanthropiece Foundation, and Heshima Kenya. Her passion for development in Africa was strengthened through her experience studying abroad in Nairobi, Kenya. In Kenya, Bailey worked closely with unaccompanied refugee girls through an internship with Heshima Kenya, leading to her senior thesis on UNHCR discourses and programming efforts for unaccompanied refugee children. She also spent a semester in India studying public health spending time in local health facilities. Originally from Colorado, Bailey loves skiing, hiking, biking, and spending time outdoors. She is excited to explore Rwanda, make new friends, learn Kinyarwanda, and gain a deeper understanding of agriculture and malnutrition through her work with GHI.

Mark Adams 2011-2012 Fellow with Kucetekela Foundation, Zambia Tufts University Class of 2010

Alumni Update:

After recently completing his MBA at MIT Sloan, he joined a leadership development program at Mastercard (Corporation) based in New York where he is focusing on developing new financial products for emerging markets.

Fellow Bio:

Mark (Tufts ‘10) graduated with degrees in International Relations and French. While at Tufts he ran the Hip Hop for Social Change Organization, was a member of the Zeta Psi fraternity, and played trumpet in a band. In the past, he had the chance to work and study in Cape Town, South Africa and Dakar, Senegal. In Zambia he is looking forward to getting to know new people and a new city, and working with the Kucetekela Foundation scholars.

Pinto Adhola 2010-2011 Fellow with Africare, Tanzania Princeton University Class of 2010

Fellow Bio:

Pinto ’10 is a Sociology major from Princeton, NJ. He also earned an African Studies certificate. At Princeton, he was the house manager of the Princeton Terrace Club, treasurer of the Black Men’s Awareness Group, and an active member at the International Relations Council. While in Tanzania next year, he hopes to learn Swahili, spend some time in the Indian Ocean, and climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Ayesha Agarwal 2017-2018 Fellow with Lwala Community Alliance, Kenya Columbia University Class of 2017

Ayesha graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Economics and Mathematics. She grew up in Singapore, where she was exposed to all kinds of development work from a young age. Her active involvement in NGO work cultivated an interest in economic development, which she pursued in her formal studies of economics and math. She spent a semester abroad at CIDE in Mexico City, where she studied healthcare and broader development economics. She has maintained internships throughout her time in college, working in a variety of market-oriented capacities. As part of her internship at the Smithsonian Institution’s endowment, she routinely performed quantitative and qualities analyses to assess the relative success and risk of the organization’s portfolio. Her internship at KKR continued that exposure to market analysis, allowing her to analyze and explore the different strategies of the hedge funds that her team was invested in. She later worked at the investment bank Lazard Frères & Co., a global advisory firm that focuses on mergers and acquisitions. Her time at Lazard was similarly rooted in financial and industry analysis. She is excited to apply the lessons she has learned through her academic studies and professional experiences to the Lwala community!

Neena Aggarwal 2017-2018 Fellow with The BOMA Project, Kenya Georgetown University Class of 2017

Neena graduated in May 2017 from Georgetown University with a B.S. in Global Health.  She spent a semester in Ghana conducting research for her thesis on risk factors for youth suicidal behaviors.  She has additional research experience working with a Georgetown team to conduct a systematic review of the health of transwomen sex workers in the United States.  Neena has interned at the World Bank, where she wrote blog posts discussing health issues in Africa, as well as USAID’s Evidence to Action Project, where she conducted literature reviews on youth mental health and male engagement in gender equity.  Her other internship experiences include educating patients about nutrition at a federally qualified health center and supporting participants of a domestic violence shelter.  At Georgetown, Neena was involved in GU Medical Brigades, a group that assists doctors to provide medical services to a rural community in Honduras, as well as GIVES, an organization that implements random acts of kindness.  As outreach director for both organizations, she coordinated over fifty community service events for members.  She is looking forward to exploring Kenya and pursuing her passions for service and international development during her fellowship with the BOMA Project.  

Sheila Agiti 2011-2012 Fellow with African Leadership Academy, South Africa Princeton University Class of 2011

Fellow Bio:

Sheila (Princeton ‘11) is an economics major from Ghana. While at Princeton, she pursued a certificate in political economy, and was involved with Akwaaba and Voices of Africa magazine. Through Princeton, Sheila studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa and interned in Monrovia, Liberia. She looks forward to the prospect of bungee jumping in the coming year and filling up the pages of her passport through travels around Africa.

Maria Jose Aguilar Belmont 2022-2023 Fellow with , Togo New York University Abu Dhabi Class of 2022

Maria was born and raised in Mexico City where she attended a French Lycée. She recently graduated from New York University Abu Dhabi with a major in Economics and a minor in Business. As an undergraduate, Maria was deeply interested in social entrepreneurship. She participated in Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship’s Bootcamp where she created her own startup with a social focus. She also worked at Endeavor Mexico where she studied the challenges and opportunities of Tech companies in developing countries. In parallel, Maria participated in numerous research projects in development economics. From analyzing the gender profit gap in North Africa with The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to conducting research on the global trends of education, and leading her own research project on the female labor participation in North Africa, she developed strong quantitative and qualitative research skills. Maria hopes to combine a passion for social entrepreneurship with her research skills to empower women. As a PiAf Fellow, she is extremely excited and humbled to direct said interest toward the Togolese health sector, and work on issues such as infant mortality and women’s death from preventable causes. Maria speaks English, French, Spanish and Portuguese and enjoys long runs, cooking, and playing the piano.

Our History

In 1999, a group of Princeton alumni, faculty, and staff launched Princeton in Africa as an independent affiliate of Princeton University inspired by the University’s informal motto, “Princeton in the Nation’s Service and in the Service of All Nations.” In 2010, the program opened up to include graduates of any US accredited university in order to meet the growing demand from host organizations and allow more young professionals access to the unique opportunities afforded by PiAf. During the past 20 years, we have placed over 600 Fellows with more than 100 organizations in 36 countries, while developing more strategic partnerships across Africa and creating more opportunities for our alumni community to engage with the continent and with one another.


The International Rescue Committee has been so fortunate to have had a longstanding relationship with Princeton in Africa since our very first Fellows landed in Rwanda in 1999.  Whether it was Emily or Renee in 1999 or the 110 Fellows across 14 IRC countries over the years, we have been blessed by the relationship, the quality of the Fellows and the impact on what IRC does on the ground every single day.

Brian Johnson
Chief Human Resources Officer
International Rescue Committee

My fellowship has been the most impactful personal and professional development opportunity of my life. I wanted a post-college experience that would push my limits, expand my comfort zone, and help me discern the next steps in my career journey. And this has been the case.

Ryan Elliott
2014-15 Fellow
Baylor Pediatric AIDS Initiative in Lesotho

I can honestly say that this year has changed my life and my view of what’s possible for the future. Princeton in Africa isn’t just a one-year fellowship, it’s an introduction to a particular way of life and a new way of thinking about the world. I feel like so many doors are open now that I never would have considered before.

Katie Fackler
2010-11 Fellow
UN World Food Programme

My Princeton in Africa fellowship was everything I could have hoped for and much more. The myriad of experiences makes my head swim, and it has strengthened my desire to help underserved populations worldwide.

David Bartels
2006-2007 Fellow
Baylor Pediatric AIDS Initiative

Princeton in Africa was an invaluable experience for me. I learned an infinite amount through my work and through living in Uganda. I also realized that I want to continue working on African issues as long as I can.

Alexis Okeowo
2006-2007 Fellow
The New Vision

The International Rescue Committee’s experience with Princeton in Africa has been exceptional. Each Fellow brings excellent writing and analytical skills as well as unique interests and passions that enrich the program and the field office environment. We were so pleased we expanded the program to more field offices.

Susan Riehl
Human Resources, IRC

The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has been working in Africa for over 11 years through its Secure the Future program.  One common theme in all aspects of program implementation is having passionate, energetic individuals on the ground who can think outside the box and then transfer the skills for sustainability.  The Princeton In Africa Fellows have been a huge asset in this regard and our programs and patients have been better for it.

John Damonti
President, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation