2017 Election Ballot
Please note that this ballot is for the 2017 Board.
Individual votes are tabulated by Friends of Lesotho, Inc. and are not disclosed to anyone else. Your name is required for validation purposes; your email is required so the Secretary can get back to you if there is any problem with your vote.
Biographies can be found below the voting form.
Please Enter Your Vote: There may be more vacancies than candidates, so you may vote yes for more than one candidate.
Board Candidate Biographies
1. Riley Fore, Greenwood, IN
PCV 2014-2016. Teacher, primary school, Sehlaba-Tebe.
I recently served in Sehlaba-Thebe, Qachas Nek where I was a Primary School Teacher. My site was very rural and small, so I feel that I have a strong and unique bond with the Basotho people, their culture and land. I enjoyed being with my friends and colleagues and the supportive relationships we built. We continue to connect every month, just to check in and see what progress has occurred. I am looking to still stay connected to Lesotho and the work being done. I want to continue to be involved in the progress that is happening.
I desire to stay connected with FOL’s work in Lesotho. My community’s project was largely funded by the contributions of FOL. The project would not have been completed without the support of FOL. I would like to serve FOL, because FOL served my community.
This would be the first time as a Board member. I studied Philanthropy, which has a major concentration in fundraising and nonprofit management. I know the basic structure and objective of a Board, but I am limited on any real experience serving on a board. I am interested in this opportunity, flexible, and eager to learn.
I have been working in the non-profit sector, domestic and abroad, for about a decade. Most of my work dealt with youth development and education programs in the Indianapolis community. I have been able to work on a couple different grassroots programs in Cape Town; as well as, work with The South African Institute for Advancement’s fundraising department. As I mentioned, my degree is in Philanthropic Studies, and I would like to stay connected to the operations of fundraising and nonprofit sector.
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2. Courtney McDermott, Medford, MA
- PCV 2006-07. Education volunteer, Maluba-lube, Mokhotlong.I am an RPCV of Lesotho. My debut collection of short stories, How They Spend Their Sundays (Whitepoint Press 2013) is about Lesotho. My collection was nominated for The Story Prize and a PEN/Hemingway Award. My Master’s thesis was a memoir about my experiences as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I have held readings of my book and given a couple of talks about volunteering in Lesotho.
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3. Benjamin Todd, Alexandria, VA
- PCV 2002-04. Distance Education Specialist, Thaba-Tseka.I currently manage the Export-Import Bank’s Africa portfolio and actively keep in touch with Basotho in Lesotho. I travel extensively in Africa, including South Africa and Lesotho professionally, and have professional contacts at the Lesotho Embassy in the United States. My Banking/Finance background and experience as a business development professional are skills and strengths that I believe would help the FOL Board carry out its work.
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Current Board Members seeking re-election
1. Kevin Coughlin, Sandy Spring, MD
- PCV 1972-74. Teacher, Thabana Morena Secondary School, Mafeteng.
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2. Marissa Ernst, Switzerland
- HELVETAS Volunteer, 1985-90. Village Water Supply, HlotseMy active involvement with FOL started with volunteering for the printing and mailing of the FOL newsletter. This small engagement encouraged me to apply for a position on the FOL Board, to which I was elected in 2015 and where I serve on the Fundraising Committee. I enjoy my board and committee responsibilities because they give me a chance to stay engaged with and for Lesotho, where I had worked in Village Water Supply through the Swiss NGO HELVETAS.My day job is in Higher Education administration. I currently work as International Office coordinator at a small university in Luzern, Switzerland, to where I relocated temporarily due to family reasons.
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3. John Hollister, Kensington, MD
- PCV 1986-88. Village Water Supply, Thaba Tseka
- John Hollister has held the position of Treasurer since 2003. John served from 1986-1988,, working with a village water supply project in Thaba Tseka. John is employed as a civil engineer with the Montgomery County office of stormwater management. In the absence of other qualified candidates for the position of Treasurer, his re-election is vital to maintain the integrity and continuity of FOL’s financial records.
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4. Zachary Rosen, Washington DC
- PCV 2010-11. Lesotho Communications and Social Assessment Office, Maseru.Zachary Rosen is a Co-Director of Ba re e ne re, a literary arts organization in Lesotho. He supports Ba re e ne re with project management and programming, having organized three editions of the Ba re e ne re Literature Festival and co-edited Ba re e ne re’s book of short stories from Lesotho called “Likheleke tsa puo”. Zachary is also currently working as a Country Desk Officer for Peace Corps in the Africa Region and serves on the editorial board of the media critique website Africa is a Country. Mr. Rosen lived in Maseru, Lesotho from 2010-2011 as a 3rd year Peace Corps Volunteer, working to support various economic development initiatives. He has returned to Lesotho each year since then for creative projects.
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- 5. Andrew Steele, Chicago, IL.
Founded Bloom Africa (bloomafrica.org) after a short, memorable study abroad experience.
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*According to Article III, Section 4 of the By-Laws of Friends of Lesotho, “The Nominating Committee shall prepare and mail, email, fax, or otherwise transmit to all Members at least 21 days prior to the FOL Annual Meeting a list of nominees to be Board Directors.” Note: Since the date of the 2017 Annual Meeting is March 12, the list of nominees for this year’s election must be transmitted to FOL members no later than Friday February 17 (Feb. 19 is 21 days, but, it’s a Sunday. Friday the 17th is the preceding business day.)The By-Laws further provide that, “Additional nominations shall be permitted prior to the election, providing prior permission has been received from the nominee to submit his/her name. Ballots shall provide for write-in candidates and voting for candidates on an individual basis. Elections will be held by mail, FAX, and /or electronic ballot. All votes must be received prior to the Annual Meeting.”