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We are a youth-led organization working for young people. Our leadership team consists of diverse, socially-driven development professionals, community mobilizers, and research scientists

Leadership

Co - Founder & Executive Director
osborn@shamiri.institute
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Tom Osborn

Tom is a community mobilizer, entrepreneur and research scientist. Born and raised in poverty in rural Kenya, he has started and worked for organizations that aim to disrupt the status quo and lift communities out of poverty. At 18, he co-founded GreenChar, a social enterprise that provided homes and institutions in rural Kenya and urban slums with clean energy. For his work and leadership at GreenChar, he was the youngest recipient of Echoing Green Fellowship – an award for the world’s best social entrepreneurs. At 19, he was named on the Forbes’ 30 under 30 list in Social Entrepreneurship, the second youngest person to receive the honor. He has also been awarded the Women Deliver Social Entrepreneur Award in 2016, the Anzisha Prize Energy Award and many other awards. Salt Magazine has also listed him as 30 under 30 social entrepreneur. Besides his entrepreneurial experience, Tom graduated from Harvard College with a degree in Psychology (High Honors).


Co - Founder & Scientific Director
venturoconerly@shamiri.institute
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Katherine Venturo-Conerly

Katherine graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College in 2020 with a degree in Psychology, a minor in Global Health and Health Policy, and a citation in Spanish. During her time at Harvard College, she amassed considerable experience in youth psychotherapy research, publishing ten manuscripts, completing over ten scientific presentations, receiving over 15 grants and fellowships, and receiving awards from organizations including the American Psychological Association and the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology.  Additionally, she worked at labs including the Columbia Global Mental Health Lab, the department of psychiatry at the University of Chile, Santiago, and the Center for Humanitarian Health at Johns Hopkins University, and at nonprofits including the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Katherine has recently begun her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the Harvard Laboratory for Youth Mental Health.

Team

Akash Wasil

Fellow
Akash Wasil is a second-year PhD student and National Science Foundation research fellow in clinical psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Akash graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard.

Jessica Austin

2020 Summer Marketing Intern
Jess is a Sophomore at Harvard College.

Benny Otieno

Junior Programmer
Benny is a junior software developer.

Board of Directors

Alan Davidson

Alan is the Executive Director of The Kenya Scholar Access Program (KenSAP). He is a lawyer by training and before KenSAP, he handled legal matters for early-stage American technology companies. He holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, and a Bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Michigan.

Marianne Potvin

Marianne F. Potvin holds a Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Science Technology and Society Studies (STS) from Harvard University. She has held academic positions at Perry World House, the University of Pennsylvania's global policy research center, as well as at the Harvard Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, the Harvard Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. Prior to academia, she led social protection and humanitarian response  projects in Iraq, Afghanistan and Darfur.

Gail O'keefe

Gail  was a Faculty Dean at Harvard College for the past ten years. She brings a background in developmental psychology and decades of experience working with young people in their homes, schools, families and communities.

Science Board

Eve Puffer

Dr. Puffer is an Assistant Professor in Psychology and Neuroscience and Global Health at Duke University. Her research focuses on developing and evaluating family- and community-based interventions to address child and adolescent mental health needs in low-resource settings. Current research studies include evaluations of parenting programs, family strengthening and family therapy interventions, and community-based mental health and HIV prevention efforts in religious congregations. Dr. Puffer is an investigator on trials in Kenya, Liberia, Thailand, Ethiopia, and El Salvador.

David Ndetei

Prof. David Ndetei is a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Nairobi, and founder and Executive Director of Africa Mental Health Research and Training Foundation which he founded to address the existing gap in mental health research and provision of mental health services in Kenya. He is also the current Chair of the African Division of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (UK) and Zone 14 representative of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA).

Christine Wasanga

Dr. Christine Wasanga is a Senior Lecturer of Psychology at the Department of Psychology, Kenyatta University. Her research focuses on Educational Psychology, Clinical Psychology and Developmental Psychology.

John Weisz

John is a Professor of Psychology at the Department of Psychology, Harvard University and Harvard Medical School. John’s research involves development and testing of interventions for youth mental health problems, as well as meta-analyses and systematic reviews characterizing and critiquing the science of youth mental health care.

Advisory Board

Christian Desrosiers

Christian Desrosiers is a co-founder of Monument, a no-code artificial intelligence and machine learning platform. He previously led technology projects at the United Nations, and has worked in a variety of international development roles in Indonesia, Myanmar, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He holds a Master in City Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Science Board