Taking over as program director in April of 2018, Jess brings with her knowledge and experience of Tanzanian culture and community work. She graduated from the University of St Andrews in Scotland with an MA in Geography having focused her final dissertation on the physical and social implications of life with a physical disability in Mwanza, Tanzania.
Jess’s passion for development and love of Tanzania grew from a year spent volunteering in the Usambara Mountains of the Tanga region from 2012 to 2013. She followed on from this during her degree with three months of independent field research in Mwanza. Immediately after her graduation from university, Jess worked for a year as program manager for Nafasi ya Pili, a start up in Arusha City working to rehabilitate former convicts. Completing her contract she then moved to Karatu town to take over a fellowship position with Women’s Microfinance Initiative.
Living in Karatu Jess neighbored Kim, former program director for Maasai Partners. Getting to know and love the organization more, she agreed to take over from Kim after her contract came to an end. With a confident level of Swahili and knowledge of the local area, community and organizations, she has transitioned into the position very comfortably.