Staff

US Office

Concepcion Gaxiola,  Executive Director

As AGE Africa’s Executive Director, Concepcion is responsible for leading AGE Africa’s vision, mission, strategy, and fundraising efforts. Most recently, she served as Director of Development at Women Thrive Worldwide, now Women Thrive Alliance, and as Director of Organizational Advancement at United to End Genocide. Prior to her work in nonprofits Concepcion worked for 10 years at Troxler and Associates Inc., now TVP Asset, a private real estate financial firm in Southern California.

In her spare time, Concepcion enjoys reading, yoga, cooking and discovering her creativity.

Alison Anderson, Financial & IT Consultant

Alison manages AGE Africa’s finance and technology needs. Alison is a principle at Lovellette Consulting, specializing in nonprofit’s finance, administrative, and data management needs. Previously, Alison has acted as the General/Operations Manager for several multimillion dollar nonprofits, including Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and New Repertory Theatre. Alison holds a Bachelor’s of Arts from Davidson College in Theatre and a concentration in International Studies, Magna Cum Laude. She earned her Master of Arts Management with Highest Distinction from Carnegie Mellon University’s John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management.

Ryan Highfill, Operations Manager

Ryan manages AGE Africa’s daily operations by acting as a liason between the US and Malawi Office. Previously, Ryan designed and facilitated entrepreneurship training for youth in rural areas surrounding Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe. Ryan has also acted as a program and operations manager in Iraq where he worked with several organizations in agricultural and small enterprise development. Ryan holds a BA and MS in Economics from the University of Illinois.

Malawi Office

Ulanda Mtamba, Country Director

Ulanda is AGE’s Country Director and is a passionate advocate for health, gender and education for girls and women.

Ulanda brings with her 15 years of experience in national and international non-profit focused programming and implementation with an emphasis in organizational development and governance. She views AGE Africa’s mission to promote girls education in Malawi and beyond as a natural continuation of her previous work as an AVAC Fellow where she advocated for greater investment in new HIV prevention options for adolescent girls and young women in Malawi.

Before joining AGE Africa, Ulanda served as Head of Programmes for Blantyre Synod Health and Development Commission. Her work focused on developing and implementing sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender and HIV programs.  Prior to that, Ulanda was a Policy Manager for Goal Malawi, where she worked in collaboration with the human resource department to support the organization in policy development and implementation on gender and HIV mainstreaming and integration.

Ulanda also served at United Nations as a HELP Coordinator, managing HIV workplace program for 10 UN agencies in Malawi.  She also held several positions at National Association for people Living with HIV and AIDS in Malawi, including as the Regional Coordinator, where she oversaw programs implementation in central region of Malawi.

Ulanda started her career in private sector as an Administration Officer. She holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration with ESAMI. She is also a Chartered Marketer with Chartered Institute of Marketing and holds an International Diploma in Project Management with Cambridge University.

Matsiriziro Dannayo, Admin and Finance Officer

Matsiriziro serves as AGE Africa’s Administration and Finance Officer in Malawi.  Matsi is passionate about education and has even served as the headmaster of a private school in Malawi.

Prior to joining AGE Africa, he worked for over four years with Dignitas International as an Accountant where he was responsible for managing budgeting processes, general financial management and reporting, audit, and administration.

He has considerable experience working with international disbursements, including a background in managing USAID grants, and supporting organizations’ compliance with financial audits.

Matsiriziro holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration at the Columbia Commonwealth University in Malawi, and a Diploma in Accountancy.

Mphatso Zidana, District Officer Zomba

Mphatso Zidana is the Zomba District Officer for AGE Africa. Mphatso is passionate about youth development and empowering women. He finds solace in seeing young people, particularly women, being empowered to participate in economic activities to enhance their livelihoods. This is what has kept him pursuing and championing girls’ education for over 8 years.

He joined AGE Africa in 2012 and has facilitated the implementation of AGE Africa peer-led life skills program popularly known as (CHATS). He has also assisted in program and curriculum design of AGE Africa’s entrepreneurship program. Mphatso holds a bachelor’s degree in Media for development from University of Malawi. Currently he is pursuing his Master’s degree at Chancellor College.

Bertha Bonongwe, District Officer Mangochi

Bertha is passionate to work with girls as she herself had been bursary beneficiary during her secondary and tertiary education. Her story inspires many girls and Bertha continues to identify deeply with what it means for a girl to have a dream without the resources to achieve it.

Bertha feels that working with AGE Africa will help girls that have dreams to become successful women in fulfilling their vision.

Before joining AGE Africa, Bertha worked with Concern Universal (now United Purpose) for a period of 5 years on different portfolios.

Bertha has also worked under Malaria Project as a Field officer, and also as a Field Facilitator for Enhancing Quality and Inclusive Public Services (EQUIPS). Between 2013 and mid 2016 Bertha worked as a Water and Sanitation Officer in the same organization. She has substantial experience in community mobilization and engagement.

Bertha has a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health from the Share World Open University and also a Diploma in Food Nutrition and Livelihood Security from the Natural Resource College of Malawi.

Irina Manjomo Pasiya, District Officer Mulanje

Irina graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Needs Education with Honors from the Catholic University of Malawi in 2011. In 2012, Irina joined the Malawi Council for the Handicapped as a Community Rehabilitation Officer. She later served in the Women and Children’s Section as an Officer and a Coordinator.

Over the years, Irina has gained facilitation, project management, and community-based rehabilitation skills. Irina enjoys working with young girls from poor socioeconomic backgrounds as she comes from a similar background. She also enjoys traveling and collecting art in her spare time.

Mustapher Chirwa, Office Administrator

Mustapher works as an Office Assistant to AGE’s Malawi office and provides administrative support to all AGE Africa staff on all personnel matters, assist Country Director with the day to day program work as requested and assists Finance & Administration Officer on execution of daily financial transactions.

Prior to joining AGE Africa Mustapher worked at Inter Aide Hydro 9 Project in Phalombe for three years as Stores Clerk and Administrative Assistant.

Mustapher is a holder of Certificate in Financial Accounting from Institute of Chartered Accountant in Malawi (ICAM) obtained at Accountancy Tuition College in 2017 and currently studying Diploma in Financial Accounting.