OPPF Headquarters, New York
Founder and Executive President
Osoronko Nana-Yabani, a national of Ghana, is a self-made scholar. While a student in England, Osoronko was deeply inspired by the ideas and policies of the Swedish statesman, Olof Palme. In the spirit of his mentor, Osoronko has dedicated himself to promoting human rights, peace and international development. Osoronko has worked throughout the continent of Africa, serving as an emissary of the United Nations in assessing the conditions in prisons in Western Africa.
Osoronko is a life-long poet and he has used his poetry as a mean for peace, breaking down barriers of hatred, racism, and ignorance. He wrote a poem to honor former Prime Minister of Sweden, Olof Palme. Osoronko also delivered a poem on the theme of peace at the opening ceremony of the United Nations.
Executive Vice-President and Alternate Representative to the UN
Renee McCormick, a national of United States, receieved her Master’s and Doctorate in Psychology from Fordham University. Renee has advanced credentials in substance abuse, couple and family therapy, and trauma treatment. She is currently completing a certificate program in global affairs at New York University – School for Continuing Professional Studies.
Renee has produced and directed award-winning films on psychological aspects of parenting, and has served as chair of the Film Committee of the American Psychological Association. Renee has also served on committees in other organizations, including the New York Psychological Association and the NYC Chapter of the National Organization for Women.
Executive Coordinator and Main United Nations Representative
Terry is a national of Kenya. She has a Bachelor Degree in Economics and Sociology , MBA in strategic management and a Diploma in Management from the University of Nairobi. She has worked in various countries in Sub-Saharan Africa on issues of poverty alleviation and development. Her areas of expertise include change facilitation, capacity development, organizational development and local development while focusing on issues of participation and voice of citizens. Before joining OPPF Terry worked for SNV Netherlands Development Organization and United Nations Development Program based in New York. She led a successful global program on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Localization and Local Development for 17 countries in Africa, Asia and Balkans. She was also a policy specialist on how to enhance civil society participation on global issues.
Terry has demonstrable experience as a lead transformational facilitator and organizational development advisor in both the private and development sectors, including sector wide institutional approaches in Water, Tourism, HIV, Micro Finance, Local Government, Agriculture as well as private sector development.
Terry’s passion is to engage with issues and processes at policy and local level that lead to change that alleviates the plight of most marginalized in society and reduces inequality.
Director of Arts
Melanie Baker- Futorian has an eclectic background in the arts. She has worked for the United Nations, CNN, MTV and SNY as a camera woman and audio engineer. She has danced professionally, taught and choreographed for various dance studios and companies in New York including Harlem Children’s Theatre Company, Hebrew Arts School, New American Youth Ballet, New Dance Group Studio and many others. She has just choreographed for a new feature film, Creeporia, to be released October 2011.
Melanie studied art and literature at Boston University and the majority of her dance training has been at Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Joffrey Ballet, New York Conservatory, Broadway Dance Center, Ballet Arts and Ballet Theatre of Boston. Her acting includes feature films, video games, commercials, TV shows such as Sex and The City and a soap opera currently seen in The Caribbean. Her feature articles have been published in Dance Teacher Magazine as well as others and she’s been a member of The United Nations Writers Group. Melanie has sung and performed in festivals gospel jubilees, a performance featuring Danny Glover and backing up vocalist Deborah Harry with The Middle Church in NY. She also sings with The Park Avenue Christian Church and has had a single released on Belly House Records.
Juliet K Munyao joins OPPF as the Financial Controller with over five years experience in management, long term strategic planning and handling financial aspects.
Prior to joining OPPF, Juliet was a Finance/Assistant Manager of a Major enterprise in Kenya where she provided support to all financial schedules, coordinated daily operations and prepared monthly reports to assist in forecasting, measuring market share, market trends ,demands and advertising effectiveness.
Juliet holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa and a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A) from Kenyatta University, Kenya.
Mariam Ahmed is a Kenyan National and a graduate from the York University in Toronto, Canada. She has a BA honors in International Development Studies, with specializations in the areas of Gender and Development, Diaspora and Migration and Politics, Governance and Policy. She has substantial experiences working with private sector and Non Governmental Organizations in Canada and Kenya. She has worked with Red Cross Movements in disaster management monitoring, humanitarian issue promotion programs and issues regarding of abused women and women’s rights. Mariam’s areas of expertise include community outreach, moderator, workshops facilitation and Research.
Additionally Mariam has had over six years of experience in Youth Mentorship through planning and delegating events, Knowledge on Gender Inequality and women violence and Knowledge and Information facilitation for the youth and women. One of her strong assets is the set of interpersonal and communication skills as a Youth and Women advocate for her community and groups at large. She has extensive experience in dealing with Gender and Youth – led Projects, and a deep passion in understanding gender dynamics and in promoting youth and grass root movement to create future leaders and reduce inequality. Mariam is preparing to start her graduate studies in Disaster and Emergency Management, with specialization in Risk Reduction – Gender and Development.