We are excited to announce three new members of our board of directors: Ali Ravi, Brenda Burrell and Nathaniel Heller. You can read more about the background and experience of each of these new board members in their bios below (and they now live on our about page with info about our organizational advisor, Allen Gunn from Aspiration). Our board of directors provides guidance, strategic support, and oversight for the engine room. We are excited to have them joining the team and look forward to the engine room benefiting from their deep and diverse experience and expertise!
Brenda Burrell is a Zimbabwean information activist and co-founder of The Kubatana Trust of Zimbabwe. For the last 6 years she has led the Freedom Fone project, an open source software development initiative focusing on two-way communication with mobile phone users via IVR, SMS and voice mail. Brenda is motivated to bridge the gaps that separate people from the information they need to stay informed, engaged, productive and healthy. To this end her work often integrates technology to amplify issues, encourage feedback and crowd source information. She is currently exploring remittances (the transfer of money by a foreign worker to his/her home country) to see how they may be used for social development.
Nathaniel Heller is Managing Director at the Results for Development Institute (R4D) and leads its Governance Program. At R4D, Nathaniel works to harness citizen-centric transparency and accountability efforts as drivers of development outcomes. Before that, he co-founded and led Global Integrity, a non-profit organization that promotes government transparency and accountability worldwide through high-quality research, cutting-edge technology, and innovative policy insights. Nathaniel conceptualized and established the OpenGov Hub, the world’s first open government-themed co-working community with locations in Washington, DC and Kathmandu, Nepal. He also created an emerging markets research company servicing consulting firms and hedge funds, now Foglamp Research. He currently serves as a civil society steering committee member of the Open Government Partnership.
Ali G Ravi is currently leading Confabium with a mission to help projects, organizations and foundations integrate digital innovation into their success strategies. Most recently, Ali has been consulting various projects and organizations on digital security matters including theory, capacity-building, strategy, and sustainability. He served as the Director of the Privacy and Expression Program at Tactical Tech from 2010-2014, designing, implementing and overseeing awareness-raising and capacity-building initiatives such as security-in-a-box and myshadow.org. He has also worked as strategy consultant and technology director in the torture rehabilitation sector internationally. Prior to entering the non-profit world, he worked in the telecommunications sector as software designer/developer, as well as in the corporate-consulting sector as senior analyst and project manager.