Our Team

Board of Directors

Rukundo International, a recognized 501(c)(3) organization in the United States and a distinguished international NGO in Uganda, is guided by a unified Board of Directors. Our commitment to fostering cross-cultural collaboration and mutual learning is at the heart of our mission to alleviate poverty.

To ensure comprehensive governance and maximize our impact, we have established a cohesive board comprising members from both the United States and Uganda. This diverse group works synergistically, bringing together a wealth of perspectives and expertise. Each member serves on both the US and Ugandan boards, contributing equally to our shared goals and responsibilities.

While we work collaboratively on shared issues and goals, each board member also undertakes specific roles and governance duties within their respective countries. This dual-focus approach allows us to address local challenges effectively while maintaining a unified vision and strategy for Rukundo International.

By embracing this collaborative model, we aim to harness the strengths of both nations, fostering an environment where innovative solutions and cultural insights drive our efforts to create lasting, positive change in the communities we serve.

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Andrea Sedlock - Founder and Executive Director

Andrea Sedlock

Andrea found her life’s passion and purpose while participating in a volunteer service trip to Kabale, Uganda, in 2009. After many trips to Africa, Andrea started, in 2014, the charitable organization Rukundo International (RI). Initially bringing clean water to the Kabale District of Southwestern Uganda, four years later, RI launched its Flagship Program, Rukundo Preparatory School. The school is located in the rural community of Kyanamira, with the goal to partner and impact the whole community: one child at a time. Currently, RI helps over 1,000 people via five community-based projects.

Andrea holds a B.S. in Animal & Veterinary Sciences and an M.S. in Genetics and Developmental Biology from West Virginia University. She is currently employed as a biologist at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and successfully runs RI in Uganda and the U.S. She resides in Gaithersburg, Maryland, with her husband and daughter.

Grace Nyakaishikyi Kamuhanda

Grace Kamuhanda

Grace Nyakaishikyi Kamuhanda was born in Kabale, Uganda, and raised in America. After serving in the U.S. military, she relocated to Uganda in 2005. With her diverse background in management, marketing and sanitation, Grace has gained valuable experience over her 17 years in Uganda, including a 5-year employment with Crest Tanks as an internal auditor, ensuring ISO certification and compliance.

Grace’s journey with Rukundo International (RI) began by teaching the staff and students income-generating skills, like baking, and quickly led to her involvement on the organization’s board. Being close to her hometown, she finds immense joy in witnessing the positive impact of RI’s programs on the community. Her interactions with the children, community members, and even her own relatives involved with the organization are deeply rewarding, often moving her to tears. Grace is dedicated and passionate about making a difference.

John Sprieser

John Sprieser

John’s early career was in finance, where he eventually became CFO of a venture-backed company providing IT services to the entertainment production industry. He later moved into operations as the chief operating officer of a major advertising research firm and subsequently purchased, grew and sold a Chicago-based computer systems company serving the industrial process controls industry. He and his wife now live in North Bethesda, Maryland.

He holds a BBA from the University of Oklahoma, an MBA from Indiana University and is a registered CPA in Illinois.

Loyce Kyomugisha

Loyce Kyomugisha

Loyce holds a diploma in Business Education from Kyambogo University, and both a Bachelors and a Masters of Business Administration from Kabale University.  She has a lengthy career working with Rugarama Hospital in Kabale, where she quickly moved from cashier, to the school bursar for the nursing and midwifery section, to her current position as an Accountant and the Head of the Finance Department. Her volunteer experiences include sensitizing the community on various health issues, including certification in HIV and AIDS counseling. In her spare time she enjoys volunteering, being outdoors, and traveling. 

Photo of board member Tanya Parker.

Tanya Parker

Tanya Parker has over 20 years of experience in nonprofit leadership and oversight, both as an employee and as a board member. She has devoted much of her career to leading reproductive health care services delivery to diverse and vulnerable populations. Tanya currently serves as Director of Compliance and Strategic Projects for a Planned Parenthood affiliate and is based in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Tanya holds both a Master’s degree in African History and a Master of Public Health from Boston University and spent her early career working in international development. Her time in East and West Africa solidified her lifelong dedication to supporting work in local communities.

Innocent Muhereza

Innocent Muhereza is a professional medical clinical officer and instructor working with Rugarama Hospital Diocese of Kigezi, Kabale, Uganda. Innocent is a vibrant Ugandan with a great passion for service. He is a past President of the Rotaract Club of Kabale and Assistant District Rotaract Representative for the west zone 3 for Tanzania and Uganda.

Through service to other people, he has managed to help the surrounding communities in many ways by improving their health, social and emotional wellbeing, knowledge, and capacity building. He believes service is the rent we pay for the opportunity to live on this earth.

Peter Namanya

Peter Namanya

Peter is a skilled public relations professional with vast experience in fostering positive relationships between organizations and the media. Peter has a strong academic background, having served as a lecturer at Uganda Christian University, and a passion for serving his local community. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Uganda Christian University and is currently pursuing his Masters in Public Health from the University of Suffolk.

Peter’s possesses a deep commitment to making a positive impact on community health and well-being. As the Director of the NGO Kabale Christian Care, he believes in extending the love of Christ through healthcare and education services, particularly to those who are marginalized or face barriers to accessing essential resources.

Beyond his professional achievements, Peter is a loving husband and a devoted father to his lovely daughter. His personal experiences as a family man further fuel his desire to create a better future for his community, ensuring that everyone, regardless of their circumstances, has access to quality healthcare and education.

J. Timothy DiPiero

J. Timothy DiPiero

Attorney J. Timothy DiPiero is known for his formidable experience and trial skills. As a member of DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC, his extensive professional experience and high-level legal skills are valuable assets to the firm’s clients. Due to his passion and dedication, Mr. DiPiero is highly sought after for representation in both personal injury and criminal matters. He holds an AV® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, and is named to the West Virginia Super Lawyers® in “Personal Injury Plaintiff” and “Criminal Law.”

Mr. DiPiero’s career includes serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia before entering private practice. He was previously a partner at DiTrapano & Jackson. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1971 and earned his law degree from West Virginia University College of Law. He served as a clerk for Hon. Charles H. Haden II during Judge Haden’s tenure as Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals and later as a U.S. District Judge.

In June 2018, at the 60th Annual Conference and Seminar, J. Timothy DiPiero was honored with the Stanley E. Preiser West Virginia Association for Justice Member of the Year Award. This prestigious award recognizes his excellent representation in civil and criminal matters, as well as his efforts to positively impact the community. It is the highest honor bestowed by the West Virginia Association for Justice.

As an educator, Mr. DiPiero has served as a visiting professor at the American College of Rome, Italy, and is frequently invited to present lectures at legal seminars.

Ruth Kendegye Ndyabahika

Ruth is a distinguished Ugandan Child Psychologist and a fervent advocate for marginalized children and women. She is renowned for founding Grace Villa in 2013, a sanctuary in Kabale, Uganda, dedicated to at-risk girls. Under her leadership, Grace Villa has evolved into a multifaceted intervention supporting orphans and vulnerable girls in Western Uganda.

Ruth’s approach at Grace Villa emphasizes empowerment and equipping girls to thrive independently beyond its walls. Her philosophy, “Not to enable but to equip our girls,” reflects her commitment to sustainable change and self-reliance.

Beyond her work at Grace Villa, Ruth has served as president of Uganda’s International Community of Banyakigezi (ICOB), promoting cultural preservation and community development.

Her impactful contributions have garnered international recognition, including awards from Senator Edward Kennedy, Dr. Jane Goodall, OXFAM International, and several esteemed organizations like the Diamond Awards and Rotary Club. These accolades underscore Ruth Kendegye Ndyabahika’s enduring dedication to child welfare, women’s rights, and community empowerment in Uganda and globally.

Vivian Shih

Vivian Shih

Vivian is a dedicated board member with over 20 years in healthcare research and more than a decade in the pharmaceutical industry, where she has helped develop medicines for respiratory, neurological, immunological, and dermatological diseases. She holds a doctorate in biostatistics in public health and is passionate about patient-centered science. Vivian uses her biostatistics expertise and patient research experience to amplify patient voices in clinical trials and transform healthcare decision-making.

Since her first RI trip in 2016, Vivian has participated in service trips to Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania. She applies her statistical data expertise to her efforts for Rukundo International and has been a devoted volunteer and the executive assistant for Andrea Sedlock for many years. Locally, she serves as a Board Member of Germantown Help, providing emergency food and other essential needs to residents.

A lifelong learner, Vivian is pursuing master’s degrees in psychology and finance. Originally from Southern California, she has lived on the East Coast since 2013 and resides in Maryland. She enjoys spoiling her dog Suubi, hiking, trying new tapas, and listening to true crime podcasts.

Benet Byereta

Benet Byereta

Benet Byreta is a dedicated community development farm worker with extensive experience in farming activities. He holds an Advanced Certificate from Kigezi College Butobere in Kabale, Uganda. Benet has also completed the Horticulture and Irrigation Management Program for Uganda at the Galilee International Management Institute in Haifa City, Israel.

With his educational background and specialized training, Benet brings a wealth of knowledge in horticulture and irrigation management to his work. As the Managing Director of Canrose Uganda Ltd, he applies his expertise to support and motivate workers, ensuring successful day-to-day operations and long-term projects.

Benet is also a trainer of trainers in agribusiness, focusing on empowering young women and men with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in the field. His commitment to community development goes beyond his professional work. He has volunteered with Compassion International and actively serves on school management and construction committees.

Glenda Cole-Bobo

Glenda Cole-Bobo

Glenda Cole-Bobo is a recent retiree from Montgomery County Public Schools, where she dedicated 30 years of service. She holds dual certification in both general and special education and is a wife of 26 years and a proud mother of two adult children.

Glenda earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Morgan State University and a Master’s in Education from Johns Hopkins University. She is an active member of the Montgomery County Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, serving as the International Awareness and Involvement Co-Chair, focusing on global missions aligned with the grand chapter’s thrust.

Another organization close to her heart is Children’s International Summer Villages (CISV), a non-profit that provides international peace and friendship opportunities for youth aged 11-19. Over the past 20 years, Glenda has chaperoned delegates to countries such as Egypt, Japan, China, Norway, and Germany.

Travel is one of Glenda’s favorite pastimes, and she enjoys exploring diverse cuisines and cultural activities worldwide. Her goal is to visit each continent at least twice before turning 75.

Rebekah Johnson

Rebekah Johnson

Rebekah is a digital marketing professional with extensive experience in SEO strategy, website project management, and content creation. A committed community volunteer, Rebekah has been a key member of Rukundo International since 2014, contributing as a donor, as well as on the Steering Committee,  the Communications Team, and serving as its Webmaster.

Previously, Rebekah managed operations and communications for The Cupcake Girls, a nonprofit supporting survivors of sex trafficking and individuals in the sex industry. She has also consulted with local nonprofits in the Las Vegas area

Rebekah is a voracious reader and an avid kayaker. You can often find her on the Colorado River near sunny Las Vegas, where she lives with her one-eyed wonder dog.

Melissa de Jesús

Melissa is a public health practitioner with over 20 years of domestic and international experience, with a focus on HIV prevention, reproductive health, substance use disorders, & mental health issues. Her expertise includes program development and management; technical assistance; monitoring and evaluation; partnership development; cross-sector collaboration, and grants management. As a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Uganda 2003 – 2005), she was part of the first cohort of volunteers that helped to implement the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

Melissa’s career has included the implementation/management of federally funded grant programs and subsequently monitoring federally funded grant recipients. Her experience has spanned work in federal, state, and local government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and a consulting firm. 

She holds a Master’s degree in Science with a focus on Community Health from Towson University. She also holds a bachelor degree in Biological Anthropology and Anatomy and a Healthcare Leadership Certificate from Duke University.

Kimberly Newman

Kimberly Newman

Kimberly has worked in the Hospitality and Tourism Sales industry for over 25 years. Specifically in the area of large Global Events Sales & Marketing. A majority of her focus was on acquisition, event execution, and cultivating new industry partner relationships.

Kimberly’s roles include VP of Business Development, Virtual Planner, and Event Travel Director. She has a wealth of experience overseeing global event services for Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and sporting associations. Kimberly’s career highlights include events like Presidential Inaugurations, White House Correspondents dinners, and the Super Bowl. Committed to community service, she has supported fundraising efforts for various missions. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kimberly played a crucial role in national relief efforts and collaborated with FEMA and government agencies. 

Outside of working, Kimberly’s spare time is spent introducing her 13-year old son to the world of volunteerism and travel. 

Grant Milne Bio Image

Grant Milne

In early January 2022, Grant retired from the World Bank Group in Washington DC after a 19 year career. During this time, he worked as a Senior Technical Specialist and Advisor, focusing on poverty alleviation tied to agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and water resources. Grant led teams to prepare and provide oversight on major development projects and analytical work in South Asia and Africa, and supported smaller operations in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. He also was a peer reviewer on more than 120 internal quality assurance panels for lending and non-lending projects.

From 1992 to 2003, Grant lived and worked throughout Africa, first as a Chief Technical Advisor in the Zimbabwe Ministry of Environment and Tourism, and later as a private consultant for a range of international clients. He was a founding partner and non-Executive Board member of a major financial institution in Zimbabwe and a Board member of a large non-governmental organization dealing with environmental management. He holds a BSc in Forestry and an MSc in Natural Resource Economics from the University of Alberta, and a Ph.D. in Natural Resource Economics and Policy from Edinburgh University. He has lived in six countries (Canada, USA, UK, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, South Africa) and has extensive experience in another 60 countries.