Meet the team

We’re a diverse, passionate group of nomads. As a team we have expertise in everything from information activism to responsible data to inclusive facilitation.

Alix Dunn
Executive Director and Co-Founder
[PGP key]

Alix is a recovering researcher with a passion for applying creative solutions to difficult problems. She is a hunter and gatherer, identifying data and technology strategies that can empower social change initiatives around the world to maximise their impact and make the most of their resources. She co-founded The Engine Room and leads it to be a nimble organisation that provides direct support where, when, and how initiatives need it. She sits on the Advisory Council of Open Technology Fund, and the Technology Advisory Council of Amnesty International. She plays a mean game of chess.

Alix leads organizational development, strategy, and fundraising.


Nicole Anand
Director of Strategy and Learning
[PGP key]

Nicole is a political economist and avid strategic thinker who loves all types of cultural exchange. Prior to The Engine Room, she pursued her passion for public sector innovation and international development at organisations including Reboot, Global Integrity, and OneWorld Foundation India. She brings her love for designing new ways of solving problems to the The Engine Room.

Nicole focuses on growing organizational impact through leading the development of strategic learning systems.

New York

Anneke Victorica
People Lead
[PGP key]

Anneke is a lawyer-turned-human resources aficionado who loves women’s rights and tango. Prior to moving to Barcelona where she is based, she worked at international civil society organizations on issues of human rights, transparency and accountability, and judicial corruption. She is now developing and improving systems and policies around hiring, development,  compensation and benefits, and the team’s overall well-being.

Anneke acts as People Lead, managing relationships within The Engine Room to ensure the organisation is a happy, healthy and effective place to work.


Maya Richman
Techno Queen
[PGP key]

Maya is an interdisciplinary technologist, researcher and improvisational electronic musician based in Berlin. In 2012, she worked with Development Seed, building websites and interactive maps. Later, she worked as a research assistant for Gabriella Coleman investigating the politics of hackers, and as a radio show host for a feminist, artist-run centre. She is now working with organizations of all sizes to influence their security culture, in addition to managing and developing new internal tech processes for a distributed organization.

Maya acts as The Engine Room’s Techno Queen supporting communication, research, and technology process and intersections between them.


Julia Keseru
Global Matchbox Lead
[PGP key]

Prior to joining The Engine Room, Julia led the international work of the Sunlight Foundation. Coming from the Hungarian transparency community, she has been an advocate for open government and open data issues with a special focus on political finance and corruption. Julia has spoken internationally on technology and transparency and regularly writes about the challenges and the potential of the global open government movement.

Julia leads the Matchbox Program, supporting partners to bring about positive change, and building a network of experts and social change instigators.


Anca Matioc
Latin American Regional Lead
[PGP key]

Anca has worked in the open government and civic tech space as a community organizer with civil society groups around the world. She has spent the last four years at Chilean NGO Ciudadano Inteligente where she directed the regional open data initiative Desarrollando America Latina and co-founded AbreLatAm, the Latin American open data un-conference. Anca is interested in community organizing, in strengthening the technical – and political – capacity of civil society groups, and donor trends in the space.

Anca is the regional coordinator in Latin America for The Engine Room’s Matchbox project.

New York

Nonso Jideofor
Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Lead
[PGP key]

Nonso enjoys listening to conversations with a good dose of history and philosophy, but also strategic thinking. Before joining The Engine Room, he worked with Caerus Associates, Herock Nigeria and recently Reboot on ICT4D, open government, open data, public health, media development and public sector governance initiatives. He is passionate about rigorous design and evaluation of social change initiatives, and brings that passion to The Engine Room. Prior to working in international development he worked as a geologist and started several small businesses in technology and education.

Nonso manages The Engine Room’s Matchbox projects in the Sub-Saharan Africa region.


Elissa Williams
Operations Manager
[PGP key]

Elissa is an eager organizer, problem solver, and process implementation expert. She has a keen eye for finding the most efficient and human way to tackle any challenge. Before joining the Engine Room, she taught everything from college-level political science in Ecuador to math for kindergarteners. You can often find Elissa playing Risk with her family, rink-side watching her son play hockey, or at the horse stables with her daughter.

Elissa manages day-to-day operations of project contracts, logistics and contractors, and oversees financial upkeep and billing.


Lesedi Bewlay
Light Touch Support Coordinator
[PGP key]

Lesedi has a background in computer science and non-governmental organizations and has a strong interest in social change. He is also interested in data science, platform development and working with passionate people. Previously, Lesedi co-founded Positive Innovations for the Next Generation, an N.G.O. which focuses on youth, health and technology and more recently he founded Tau Technology with the aim to create innovative, scalable and sustainable technology solutions in resource limited settings. At the Engine Room Lesedi continues his exploration of ways in which tech can help kickstart or improve projects and processes and ultimately change people’s lives.

Lesedi coordinates the Light Touch Support Program. This program provides pro-bono expertise, advice and recommendations to organizations who need help with various aspects of their projects or internal processes.


Paola Mosso
Transparency & Accountability Program Deputy
[PGP key]

Paola is a feminist Chilean journalist who promotes transparency and accountability through engagement with tech and data. Through the past years, she worked at Poderomedia Foundation, leading the organization’s training program for Latin American journalists, designers and developers and coordinated the community behind the Influence Mapping project, an international group who supported activists to map power networks. She now works engaging with organizations that fight for social change to support them on their tech and data initiatives.

Paola acts as Program Deputy for The Engine Room’s Transparency & Accountability Program, supporting all areas that cut across regions.


Zara Rahman
Research, Engagement and Communities Team Lead
[PGP key]

Zara is a researcher, writer and linguist who is interested in the intersection of power, culture and technology. She has worked in over twenty countries in the field of information accessibility and data use among civil society. She was the first employee at OpenOil, looking into open data in the extractive industries, then worked for Open Knowledge, working with School of Data on data literacy for journalists and civil society. She now works with communities and organisations to help understand how new uses of data can responsibly strengthen their work.

Zara leads the Research, Engagement and Communities team, ensuring our research outputs inform and build upon our direct support through engagement and community-focused development.


Tom Walker
Research Manager
[PGP key]

Tom started out writing and editing for newspapers, consultancies and think tanks on topics including politics and corruption in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, then moved into designing and managing election-related projects in countries including Myanmar, Bangladesh, Rwanda and Bolivia. After getting interested in what data and technology could add in those areas and elsewhere, he made a beeline for The Engine Room. Tom is trying to read all of the Internet, but mostly spends his time picking out useful resources and trends for organisations using technology in their work.

Tom leads research, documentation, and aggregation projects that address the needs of partners and strategic priorities.


Alan Zard
Techno Gardener
[PGP key]

Alan has been building websites and web-based software for quite some time, working with non-profits of varying sizes across the world. Full-stack-born, he likes to be involved in the whole scope of projects, from server setups to final UX tweaks and bug-hunting. He enjoys hardcore music, dungeons&dragons, barbecuing and spending time with his family. He is currently trying to make all of it happen at the same time.

Alan helps maintain and optimise the tech infrastructure, keeping the Techno Jungle nice and tidy.


Paola Verhaert
Research Assistant
[PGP key]

Paola is a Belgian-Peruvian historian, writer and creative coder. Her broad range of interests motivated her to pursue studies in the history of solidarity, logic, and digital humanities. Prior to joining The Engine Room, she worked as journalist, as a research assistant at the University College of London, and as a UX designer at Amnesty International. She’s always up for a chat about archives, creative coding, and NBA trivia.

Paola supports the Engine Room’s research team on a variety of projects with research, documentation and storytelling.


Matt Foster
Executive Assistant
[PGP key]

Matt is an avid traveler with diverse interests that have taken him from working on post-ebola recovery in Liberia, to teaching English in Sudan, to receiving his Masters degree in Terrorism and Security at King’s College London. While on the road, he is honing his photography skill and continually in search for the world’s best pizza. Matt brings his on-the-fly problem solving to The Engine Room, managing schedules and contributing to organisation-wide operations.

Matt provides day-to-day assistance to the Executive Director and overall operations and logistic support to The Engine Room team.