Staff

Hillary Carey

Executive Director, Rwanda Girls Initiative

Hillary Carey joined RGI in November of 2016. As Executive Director, Hillary leads fundraising, strategy development, partnership development and stewardship, communications, finance, as well as supporting other aspects of operations for the organization.

Prior to joining RGI, Hillary was the CEO of Camp Korey, a non-profit dedicated to providing support to children and families with serious medical conditions. As the first employee of Camp Korey, Hillary helped establish the nonprofit, building out is programming, operations, partnerships, and fundraising. During her time with the organization, Camp Korey served over 19,000 children.

Hillary lives in Seattle with her two children, Henry and Gus, and husband Brian.

Theophile Habiyambere

Deputy Head of School, Gashora Girls Academy

Before joining GGAST, Theophile was a Director of Academics at Kagarama Secondary School in Kigali City. He previously served as a Mathematics teacher since 2008 in different schools. From 2010 to 2015, Theophile worked with SMASSE-RWANDA project where his responsibilities included strengthening mathematics and science in secondary education; a project that was sponsored by Japan International Cooperation Agency in collaboration with Rwanda Ministry of Education. Theophile's priorities are to improving the teaching and learning of mathematics and science using technology and project-based Learning. His experience in hiring and mentoring new teachers has also helped the school to register tremendous success.

Theophile has a bachelor’s degree in Science with Education from Kigali Institute of Education. He also holds a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Rwanda-College of Education where He specialized in Trends and Methods of teaching mathematics. He lives in Kigali with his wife and two kids.

Amy Karuletwa

Alumnae Manager

Amy Karuletwa joined RGI in 2018 as the Alumnae Manager and is leading the Alumnae program to equip the Gashora Girls student body alumni with the necessary tools and resources for the next chapters of their academic journeys.

Amy lived in Rwanda over a span of 10 years working in the coffee sector. Amy brings a wealth of background, knowledge and first-hand insight into the foundational principles of Rwanda’s development strategy on initiatives that prioritize women in leadership within the nation’s sustainable future. Her background in running a coffee business in Rwanda with her husband led her to see and understand the value of community development, women leadership, cultural diversity and integration.

With a Bachelors in Communications, Amy is excited work closely with the Alumni as they navigate through a multitude of diverse global cultures, languages, and intercultural immersions. Amy lives in Seattle with her husband Arthur, their two children and Australian Labradoodle. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and photography.

Emma Misner

U.S. Program Manager, Rwanda Girls Initiative

Emma Misner joined RGI in March of 2016. As US Operations Manager Emma is responsible for planning, development, marketing and donor relations for RGI, serving as a point of contact in the US for volunteers, partners and donors and supporting the Executive Director and Board of Trustees.

Emma’s passion is in serving others and believes that empowering and educating girls is the catalyst for change in the world. Emma previously was an Associate Director for a small Seattle nonprofit and worked at Seattle Children’s in Corporate Annual Giving. Additionally, she ran her own successful event and wedding planning business where she served as an event manager, wedding planner and consultant to nonprofits on a variety of fundraising events. She shares a very loud and busy house iin Mill Creek with three boys and her husband Pete.

John Nejman

Dean of University Counselling and Placement, Gashora Girls Academy

John graduated from Duke University in 2006 with a B.S. in Biological Anthropology and Anatomy and received a North Carolina teaching license in 7-12 Science.He began his teaching career at Northern High School in Durham, NC and then accepted a position at Konawaena Middle School in Kealakekua, Hawaii. He then taught Chemistry at the Pennington School in New Jersey and Chemistry and AP Physics at the American School of Brasilia in Brazil before arriving in Rwanda in January 2011, as one of the founding faculty members of Gashora Girls Academy of Science and Technology (GGAST).

He brought with him extensive coaching, advising and teaching experience at public, boarding and international schools. John was the first Physics teacher and also served as Head Basketball Coach at GGAST from 2011-2015, leading the team to five straight Bugesera District titles. In January 2014, he became the Director of University of Counseling. Under John’s leadership, the university preparation and placement program at GGAST has become one of the most successful in all of Africa. In each year since John took over, the number of students enrolling in universities outside of Rwanda has increased significantly. John believes that university preparation begins when students arrive in Senior 4. He advises all 270 girls so that they can prepare for standardized tests like the ACT and SAT, become involved in leadership positions, community service and extracurricular activities, and achieve academic excellence in the classroom all while supporting and working together with their sisters in Gashora. John now teaches English, ACT and SAT prep classes, focusing on problem solving, critical reading and writing skills.He also coordinates university visits to Rwanda and has developed close relationships with universities around the world. John believes that each girl at GGAST will find the best possible post-secondary educational opportunity and the right match for herself. He works closely with each student and their families throughout the application process, and once admitted, he continues to support their preparation for their education and life after GGAST. He loves teaching and working with Gashora Girls; he is the only member of the founding faculty that is still working at GGAST.

He lives with his wife, Bekah Mwebaze, who operates a farm in Bugesera District, and their daughter, Tiana Keza, in Gashora Village and plans to work as an educator in Rwanda for the remainder of his career, helping students access higher educational opportunities so that they can gain the knowledge and skills needed to impact the development of Rwanda.

Atete Rugege

Head of School

Passionate about women and girls, Atete has over 15 years’ experience working in civil society and the private sector in different capacities including managing a Micro Finance Institution that worked to advance access to finance for micro, small and medium sized businesses. She has also been part of a program team and consulted for projects of the International Finance Corporation (IFC)/World Bank, fostering financial sector development in Rwanda and other Sub Saharan African countries.

It was during her years at the Micro Finance Institution that Atete first came face to face with the difficulties women were facing to access affordable finance to meet the personal and business financing needs. It was in her most recent role as Country Manager of New Faces New Voices (NFNV) Rwanda, an organization that focuses on the economic empowerment of women that she got a chance to build on her desire to contribute to gender equality by successfully developing projects, raising funds and implementing projects that have impacted over a 1,000 women and girls. She brings her experience and commitment to empowering girls and women to Gashora Girls Academy of Science and Technology.

Alaine Uwambaye

Dean of Operations and External Affairs, Gashora Girls Academy

Alaine joins RGI with a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Rwanda and a diploma in accounting.She was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and moved to Rwanda after the genocide. From her experience living in these war-torn countries, Alaine understands first-hand how vulnerable women and young girls are. As part of a new generation fortunate enough to go to school and earn a degree, Alaine is a passionate advocate for education, and is devoted to the empowerment of women and girls. Being with RGI is not only a job but an opportunity to fulfill a moral duty. Alaine lives in Kigali with her husband and three children.