Olivia started with DIG in 2013 with a vision for adapting and expanding our programs in Western Kenya. Her expertise is in sustainable agriculture, environmental management, community based agribusiness, gender equity, and monitoring and evaluation. She is a governing board member of PELUM Kenya, a network of organizations promoting agro-ecological solutions for small holder farmers. Olivia has brought immeasurable benefits to both the organization and our farmers in the region. She has a Bachelor of science in agriculture and a Masters in project planning and management. She is married and the mother of 2 exceptional boys who are proud to see their mother leading other women towards improved health and empowerment through nutrition sensitive agriculture.
Gloria is the Program Coordinator for the Uganda DIG program. After graduating with a diploma in business from the Uganda College of Commerce in December 2017, she joined the DIG team as a facilitator the next month. Using lessons her mother taught her from childhood, Gloria’s skill and knowledge of organic agriculture made her a great teacher. Her ability to engage communities personally, commitment to high quality work, and strong leadership at staff meetings made her a standout choice for coordinator. She has seen 20 groups through farmer field schools and she is motivated to continue expanding the reach of the program to more communities
Seckou was trained in DIG’s Farmer Field School Program in 2019 and joined in 2020. Prior to joining DIG, Seckou was living and working in Senegal's capital, Dakar. Through his work, he started to become interested in community development and wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. Coming back to his birthplace, Ziguinchor, Seckou was eager to get involved in the community and joined DIG’s Farmer Field School. From farmer to facilitator, Today, Seckou is DIG’s Program Manager and leads our program in Senegal.
In 2006, while serving in the US Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa, Sarah co-founded DIG. Her Peace Corps experience emphasized community-centered development which conflicted with more traditional Western development models she saw being implemented. Both offered important perspectives and fueled her determination to establish a different approach as a global development organization. Prioritizing trust and collaboration, Sarah's passion lies in empowering communities to lead their own solutions, while striving to connect our local and global stories and understand our collaborative role in generating positive change.
Sarah D joins DIG as our Director of Global Programs. Having previously served as a program specialist at the Carter Center and a consultant for the Foundation for Community Development and Empowerment in Uganda, Sarah holds a unique role on the DIG team. She ensures each program upholds the shared mission, vision, and values of the organization, and works closely with the country teams, providing support in tackling challenges and devising strategic plans for program growth, monitoring, and evaluation. Additionally, she collaborates with the development team to establish connections between funders and various program objectives. Sarah’s contributions are instrumental in driving the organization's impact and success.
Melissa Pierce joins DIG as our first Director of Development. She affectionately describes herself as a "program person in a development body," highlighting her deep commitment to the work. Melissa's passion is evident in everything she undertakes. With an extensive background in development, she brings valuable experience from her tenure at prominent organizations. With DIG, Melissa embraces the chance to engage directly with the country teams themselves, collaborating closely to devise growth strategies tailored to their distinct circumstances. She appreciates the opportunity to make meaningful impacts at the local and global levels.
Heather Troutman first joined DIG as a volunteer, generously sharing her time and talent photographing our annual US Cocktails & Castoffs events. She has a gift for visual storytelling and has helped produce a series of beautifully printed Cocktails & Castoffs cookzines to tell DIG's story through the medium of food. Heather has since joined the DIG team in a more official capacity as a social media officer and collaborates on a variety of projects including creating meaningful events, short films, reports and communications for the organization.
Noah Derman holds a Master in Public Health from the Global Health Department at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health and an International Development Certificate from the Evans School of Public Affairs. He is a professor of Public Health at the University of Vermont with 15 years of experience working on public health issues in the public and private sectors both domestically and internationally. He was also a Peace Corps Volunteer serving communities impacted by HIV/AIDS in Northeast Thailand. Noah served as DIG's Deputy Director for seven years.