Board of directors

Founding President and Executive Director
Marlyn TadrosPh.D.

Marlyn Tadros

Marlyn Tadros is Associate Professor of Media Arts and Communication at the Southern New Hampshire University. She was a Research Affiliate at the Middle East Center at Northeastern University and was also a Visiting Scholar in their Women’s Department. Tadros occasionally taught human rights and Middle East Studies at the Political Science Department, and was a Visiting Fellow at the Human Rights Program at Harvard University. Prior to coming to the US in September 1998, Tadros was Deputy director of the Legal Research and Resource Center for Human Rights in Cairo, Egypt, and Executive Director of the National Steering Committee of the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development which took place in Cairo in 1994. She continues to be involved in human rights issues in the Arab World.

Tadros served on the Board of Directors of Grassroots International, Boston, and other human rights-related organizations and has been appointed to the International Fellowships Panel of the American Association of University Women.She has also founded Virtual Activism and its project MENGOs [ Middle East NGOs: Center for Knowledge Society] both of which were pioneering projects that dealt with the intersection between technology and human rights and development. Tadros currently organizes training workshops in technology and human rights in several countries around the world, with special focus on the Middle East. She is also author of numerous papers on the Middle East with several publications in both English and Arabic on issues ranging from human rights to education and technology.

Vice President
Melissa Daley

Melissa Daley is an educator and digital media professional with a background in video production, business/marketing communications and public speaking.  She did her graduate work at Emerson College in Boston, MA in Visual Media Arts and has a BA from Emmanuel College in Boston in English/Communication Arts.  Melissa is committed to using the power of the web for positive, respectful communication and social justice.

Jes Waldrip

Jes Waldrip

A full stack web-focused developer who has worked on projects for Clients such as ESPN, Sprite, and Boston University. Currently a Software Engineer at Livestock labs, Ms. Waldrip is working within the implantable technology space and has successfully helped develop products for both Bovine and Human applications.

Jes has been volunteering for Virtual Activism for many years and has participated as co-trainer in its workshops in Morocco.

B. Samuel

B.Samuel is a web developer and UI/UX designer as well as a social media expert. He recently graduated from the New England Institute of Art with two bachelor’s degrees in Web Development and Audio Engineering. B.Samuel has been working with Anime Boston, and is now taking an advisory role on their executive board. He has been volunteering for Virtual Activism for many years and has participated as co-trainer in its workshops in Morocco.

Kevin Hatchoua

Kevin is an avid dog lover with a degree in Web Design & Digital Multimedia. He specializes in front-end development with a concentration in UX design and research as well as data analysis. He currently works for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a UX Designer for and other state agencies. His fascinations with technology stem from what we can create, when design and research come together. Kevin moved from his home country of Cameroon in Africa when he was 12 years old. From a young age he always dreamed of one day gaining the means to return home and helping others in dire need. He has worked with and continue to contribute to several volunteer groups; namely AfriHope Inc, VirtualActivism and Boston Young Professional Volunteers. Beyond his professional career, Kevin aspires to bridge the literacy gap in Africa. One child at the time.

Advisory Board

Fateh Azzam
Outgoing Ford Foundation Human Rights Program Officer

Fateh Azzam received LLM in International Human Rights Law from Essex University, Colchester, U.K. in 1992. He is currently Program Officer for Human Rights, The Ford Foundation office for the Middle East and North Africa, Cairo. From September 2003-2006, he was Lecturer in Political Science and Director of the Forced Migration and Refugee Studies Program, American University in Cairo. Azzam is currently Regional Representative for OHCHR in Beirut.

Fateh has contributed to the boards of several Palestinian, Arab and international human rights organizations and participated in human rights missions and projects by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch in Syria, Algeria, Morocco and elsewhere. Past work included directing al-Haq in Palestine, education and outreach at Oxfam America, Boston, and many years as a theater performer, choreographer and teacher. His writings on human rights and theater include Political Rights and the Practice of Democracy (Ramallah: Muwatin – Palestinian Institute for the Study of Democracy, 1995), and articles in Human Rights Quarterly, Nordic Journal of International Law, ICJ Review, Arab Journal for Human Rights, and elsewhere.

Shalini Nataraj
Global Fund for Women

Shalini Nataraj has been working on social justice and human rights issues for over 16 years, in India and the United States. She was Associate Director of the Reebok Human Rights Program and is a founder and the coordinator of the Boston Coalition Against Trafficking and Slavery, that is focused on developing a comprehensive response to aid victims of trafficking in the Boston area, educate about issues related to human trafficking, and mobilize action aimed at advocacy on this issue. Nataraj is currently the Program Director at the Global Fund for Women.

Denis Sullivan, Ph.D. 
Northeastern University

Denis Sullivan

Denis J. Sullivan (Ph.D., University of Michigan) is Professor of Political Science and Chair, International Affairs Program at Northeastern University (Boston). He also is Director of the Middle East Center for Peace, Culture and Development and the Director of International Initiatives at Northeastern. Prof. Sullivan is an Affiliate in Research at Harvard University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies. He served as the Director of PARC, the Palestinian American Research Center (2005-06).

Sullivan is the author of numerous articles and books, most recently: “Will the Muslim Brotherhood ‘Run’ in 2010?”Arab Reform Bulletin, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, May 2009; Global Security Watch: Egypt, with Kimberly Jones (Praeger, 2008); Islam in Contemporary Egypt: Civil Society vs. the State, with Sana Abed-Kotob (L. Rienner, 1999); & “NGOs and Development in Egypt” (Middle East Insight, July 2001).
Sullivan has served as a consultant to the U.S. State Department on Islam and the Middle East as well as to the World Bank on its Palestinian NGO Project. Sullivan also is involved in local politics and community activism, especially as an elected member of the School Committee in Arlington, Massachusetts (1997-2003) and the Arlington Democratic Town Committee.

Barbara Ibrahim, Ph.D.
Executive Director,
American University in Cairo

Barbara Lethem Ibrahim was the Population Council’s Regional Director for West Asia and North Africa, based in Cairo, Egypt. In that position she has developed programs for strengthening international links in the social science research community and encouraging comparative and multi-disciplinary studies in the Arab countries, Pakistan, Turkey and Iran. She was formerly a program officer for urban and gender programs in the Middle East office of the Ford Foundation and prior to that, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the American University in Cairo. Her publications include an analysis of public policy performance in Egypt and assessments of indigenous philanthropy in the Arab World. She has an MA from the American University of Beirut and A Ph.D. from Indiana University. Currently she is serving on the board of the Ibn Khaldoun Center for Development Studies, Egypt and The Research Ethics Review Board of the American University in Cairo.