Akilah Foundation

The Akilah Foundation is a US 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created to provide philanthropic support and assistance to our education-based products.

Our organization's revenue stream is largely philanthropic giving, which means we are reliant on the generosity of our supporters. The Akilah Foundation supports global education and its related campuses, infrastructure, curricula, and programs.

Our first product, the Akilah Institute, is the only women’s college in Rwanda. Our vision is to build Africa’s largest education company that empowers young people with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to pursue meaningful careers.


Annette Tryde Akman
Board Member
Annette Tryde Akman is a photographer and filmmaker focusing on communications and marketing for non-profits, most notably the Akilah Institute for Women in Kigali, Rwanda. Annette has worked with the Akilah Institute since it's inception in 2005, creating two coffee-table books that feature interviews and photographs of the Akilah students. In early 2016, Annette hosted a photography exhibition and book launch of her book “Educate a Woman, Uplift a Nation: Stories from the Akilah Institute.”
Carolyn Kim Allwin
Board Member
Carolyn is a Managing Director at Elysian Advisers, a boutique impact investing consultancy providing strategic and financial advice. Elysian's mission is to propose practical, tailored and measurable solutions to help its clients maximize their financial and social returns. Carolyn is also a social impact investor and advisor to early stage companies. Prior to Elysian, Carolyn worked at GoldenTree Asset Management and at Ernst & Young. Carolyn received her B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and MBA in finance from the Wharton School of Business. Carolyn also has a MA, J.D. and L.L.M in Tax. She currently serves on the Hedge Funds Care Grants Review Committee, the Choate Rosemary Hall Alumni Executive Committee and the Board for the Akilah Institute for Women and the Impact Capital Forum.

Amanda Arch
Board Member
Amanda is the co-founder and Global COO of Kasha: a mobile e-commerce platform that sells and delivers women's health products using any type of mobile phone, no Internet or smart phone required. Kasha is a for-profit social business focused on promoting women's empowerment for health and self-care while providing confidential delivery of genuine quality products. Kasha is currently operating in Kigali, Rwanda with expansion plans across East Africa in 2018. Amanda started her career at Microsoft where she held several positions across finance, strategy, and product marketing. Most recently she worked at Seattle start up Porch.com. She is a supporter of several organizations focused on women's health, education and empowerment such as Rise Up, SHE CAN and Room to Read. Amanda resides in San Francisco, CA and in her spare time she enjoys traveling, biking and rock climbing.
Anne DiGiovanni
Board Member
Anne DiGiovanni is an educator and writer. After fifteen years lecturing at the university level, she developed a mindfulness curriculum, which she teaches in seminars, wellness programs, and as part of private leadership development. She began her career working in job development for the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and the United Way. Anne is a recipient of the Catholic Journalism Award, and has written in every genre, specializing in creative non-fiction. She holds degrees in British Literature, Irish Literature and Creative Writing.

Anne resides outside Boston with her husband and three children.

Theresa Havell
Board Member
Theresa Havell is the President of Havell Capital Management, LLC, an SEC registered Investment Advisory firm founded in 1996 that specializes in fixed income management for individual and institutional investors. Prior to founding Havell Capital, Ms. Havell founded the Fixed Income department at NeubergerBerman in 1984 and prior to that was a vice president and founder of the Liquid Assets Management Group at Lehman Management Company. Ms. Havell began her career at Citibank, where she held the position of VP and Regional Treasurer for the Andean and Caribbean branches of Citibank, headquartered in Caracas, Venezuela.

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Ms. Havell is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is a Trustee, Executive Committee Member, and the Investment Committee Head of Horace Mann School. She also serves as a Trustee and as Treasurer of the Sanctuary for Families and as a Director and member of the Audit Committee of Volt Information Sciences, a NYSE-listed company.

Ms. Havell is a frequent public speaker, has been profiled three times in Barron’s, appeared on Wall Street Week, and is quoted frequently on fixed income markets. She received a BA degree from Manhattanville College and an MA degree from New York University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, from The Slavic Languages and Literature Department.

In addition to English, Ms. Havell is fluent in French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian. She is the mother of six children and resides with her husband in New York City and North Salem, NY.

Elizabeth Hughes
Board Member
Elizabeth is the CEO & co-founder of the Akilah Institute, Rwanda's first all-female college. Elizabeth moved to Rwanda a few days after graduating from Vanderbilt University in 2006. After volunteering with grassroots projects, she co-founded the nonprofit Amani Africa to provide scholarships to street children, support an orphanage in Kigali, and organize reconciliation and conflict resolution conferences for genocide survivors.

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In 2008, Elizabeth and her husband, Dave Hughes, began working with business and civil society leaders to analyze the training needs of the Rwandan private sector. They founded Akilah to provide market-relevant education and career development to promising young female leaders. Newsweek and The Daily Beast recognized Elizabeth as one of the 125 Women of Impact. She was recognized as one of the World’s Most Influential Female Social Entrepreneurs by Forbes Magazine. Acumen founder Jacqueline Novogratz named Elizabeth one of The 5 Most Powerful Women Changing The World With Social Entrepreneurship. Elizabeth received the Woman of Peace award from the Women’s Peace Power Foundation in October 2009. Akilah has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, GOOD Magazine, ABC News, the Council on Foreign Relations, HuffPost Women, Hope Magazine, the Tampa Bay Times, and more.

Elizabeth and Dave live in Kigali with their children Lorraine, Tamsyn, and Elliott.

Dave Hughes
Board Member
A Hong Kong native, Dave moved to Rwanda in 2008 and volunteered with a grassroots organization that operates sports teams for street children. Dave runs the Jade Water Group, a property company and investment fund, with offices in Hong Kong and Kigali. Dave is a professional member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and is a graduate of Reading University, Berkshire UK.

Dave lives with his wife and Akilah co-founder, Elizabeth Dearborn-Hughes, and their children Lorraine, Tamsyn, and Elliott.

Lisa Lamprecht Martilotta
Board Member
Lisa first joined Akilah in January 2011 as the first Kigali intern, and soon after became the organization’s first Executive Director. Through 2012, Lisa built the Kigali team, ran the campus and related programs, and brought Akilah into the local mainstream, securing official accreditation from the Ministry of Education. In late 2012, she assumed a new portfolio working globally to fortify Akilah’s sustainability strategy and partners, and development team. Originally from New York, Lisa spent ten years (2001-2010) in Washington D.C. serving the U.S. government as the executive assistant to U.S. Trade Representative and then Deputy Secretary of State, and later managing international economic policy portfolios with Latin America and the Caribbean at the U.S. Departments of State and Commerce. She ended her time in DC working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security helping build the capacity of emergency response departments across the nation. She served as Akilah's Regional Director in Africa overseeing the Rwanda and Burundi campuses until transitioning to the Board of Directors at the end of 2016.

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Prior to joining Akilah, Lisa spent nearly ten years (2001-2010) in Washington, D.C. serving the U.S. Government. As executive assistant to the U.S. Trade Representative and later Deputy Secretary of State, she managed his schedule, communications, and traveled globally to assist leadership in foreign affairs. Following this, Lisa managed international economic policy portfolios with Latin America and the Caribbean at the U.S. Departments of State and Commerce. She successfully advocated for new development assistance to especially Central America via the Millennium Challenge Corporation. She ended her time in D.C. working with the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security, helping to build the capacity of emergency response departments across the nation.

Originally from New York, Lisa holds a Master’s Degree in International Economic Policy from American University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish/International Affairs from Gettysburg College. She serves as the President of Board of Directors of Hope Made Real, the non-profit org that manages the Urukundo Children’s Home/Foundation in Rwanda. She plays tennis, likes jogging, her daughter, results and to laugh.

Jean Mulroy
Board Member
Jean Mulroy is an independent research and evaluation consultant to nonprofit organizations. Previously she served as a project manager and researcher in Education Development Center’s Global Learning Group. She has participated in capacity-building programs, assessments, and evaluations for a variety of NGOs, as well as the Inter-American Foundation, USAID and World Bank.

Ms. Mulroy holds a B.A. in anthropology from Yale University and an M.A. in international public administration from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. She is the co-author of Togetherness: How Governments, Corporations and NGOs Partner to Support Sustainable Development in Latin America.

Ms. Mulroy resides in Belmont, MA with her husband and two children. She enjoys volunteer work with local educational and ESL organizations.

Carmen Nibigira
Board Member
A Burundian native, Carmen has spent much of her adult life in the UK engaged in academic studies and gained 10 years of work experience in the hotel and tourism industry. She is one of the leading personalities in the development and re-launch of the tourism industry in post-conflict Burundi. She has played an active role in marketing Burundi as a tourism destination at international travel and tourism fairs in London and Berlin. She has published widely on the development of the tourism sector in Burundi, and has run tour operations in Burundi, Rwanda, and Kenya.

Carmen holds a BA in Travel Management from the University of Brighton and an MA in Tourism Destination Management from the University College of Birmingham, both in the United Kingdom. She is pursuing a PhD in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at Clemson University in the United States with a long term vision of reinforcing human resource development in Burundian tourism. She is currently the Regional Coordinator for East Africa Tourism Platform.

Hank Pariseau
Board Member
Hank Pariseau is a financial advisor in Bernstein Private Wealth Management’s Tampa office. He advises families and nonprofit organizations on investment management, portfolio allocation strategies, and long-term financial planning. He works with nonprofit boards and trustees to help them to identify their sustainable spending rates and fund-raising needs, given their return goals, risk tolerance, and fiduciary responsibilities. He also works with donors to help them understand their capacity to give and select tax-efficient giving strategies.

Prior to joining Bernstein’s Washington, DC, office in 2011, Hank worked for IXI Corporation where he provided a suite of consumer financial insight services to marketers of finance and insurance companies. Prior to that, he worked in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as an analyst in the Natural Resources division of Accenture.

Hank earned a BA with a double major in economics and Spanish from Wake Forest University.