GIS Mapping Specialist 05d5314

Lauren Allognon was born and raised in Reno, Nevada. Upon graduating with her BA in Cultural Geography, she joined the Peace Corps and served in Benin, West Africa as a Community Natural Resource Advisor. Her time in Benin helped her to realize a passion for international development and environmental sustainability.

Upon returning to the US, Lauren pursued a Master’s Degree in International Development with a focus on environmental policy and sustainable development from the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies. While studying development, Lauren became interested in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and how this technology could be used to benefit NGO’s, especially in visualizing where these organizations work and to visualize their data. 

Lauren had the opportunity to intern with the Freshwater Team at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Washington, DC as a Water, Sanitation (WASH), and GIS intern. While at WWF, she used GIS to highlights regions of the world that are underserved in terms of access to improved sources of water and sanitation facilities. This internship furthered her passion for using GIS to visually represent development issues. Lauren has now completed a Graduate Certificate in GIS at the University of Denver as well as her MA in International Development. This intersection of international development and GIS is what brings Lauren to emBOLDen Alliances as our GIS Specialist.  

Grants & Reporting Specialist IMG_0001

Maya Casagrande has worked in International Development and Global Health for more than a decade. Her years of experience include being a Co-Founder and Managing Director of a nonprofit based in South Africa, an independent consultant, and a integral member of a Development Team for a large WASH nonprofit organization. After wearing various hats at international NGOs large and small, Maya is delighted to have settled into her specialty of all things grant-related. 

She brings to the team intimate knowledge of the grants process from prospecting and research through reporting. She has a profound ability to transform seemingly dry financial and programmatic data into compelling narratives. Maya’s talents span both breadth and depth, from writing award-winning grants and impactful and meaningful programmatic reports to textbook chapters and heartfelt stories conveying humanity and compassion. Maya also incorporates Program Management and Financial Accountability skills and tools into her work with both eA as well as with our partners.

Maya holds a Master’s Degree in International Development from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, and is currently based in Dublin, Ireland. 

Outside of International Development, Maya is driven by a passion for photography, being outdoors (despite the Irish rain), and her insatiable love of music.

Executive Director, Co-FounderBio-Neena-photo-Earthquake-Relief-Indonesia

For over 20 years, Neena Jain MD MSTPH DTM&H has thrived in international Humanitarian Assistance and Global Health as Program Manager, Country Medical Director, Health Sector Lead, and Technical Advisor with many international non-governmental organizations throughout Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. These agencies have included Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders, International Medical Corps, Australian Aid International, and Save The Children, among others.

Dr. Jain currently holds appointments as Adjunct Faculty, Global Health Affairs Program at the University of Denver Korbel School of International Studies and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Colorado Denver School of Public Health.

Dr. Jain was Board-certified in Emergency Medicine in 2001 and practiced as an Attending Physician at Swedish Medical Center and Denver Health Medical Center Emergency Departments. She developed programmatic structure and taught core content using innovative techniques as Director and Deputy Director for the Program in Humanitarian Assistance and Adjunct Faculty for the Global Health Affairs Program at the University of Denver Korbel School of International Studies. Dr. Jain co-directed the Tropical Medicine Course and mentored students as Senior Clinical Instructor at the University of Colorado Denver Health Sciences Center. In addition, she completed epidemiologic studies and public health projects as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Jain completed her studies for a BA in Human Biology at Stanford University, MS in Tropical Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health, MD at SUNY Brooklyn Health Sciences Center, and Diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She was clinically trained as a General Surgery resident at Oregon Health Sciences University and Emergency Medicine resident at Denver Health Medical Center, including serving as a Chief Resident for the program.

She has been awarded: “Woman Leading Change Pathfinder Award” for International Women’s Day 2017, eTown “eChievement” Award 2016,  “Everyday Hero” by Mile High Chapter of American Red Cross, “Vince Markovchick Director Award for Excellence in Service” by Denver Health Medical Center Residency in Emergency Medicine, Membership into the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Medical Honor Society, and tuition scholarship by Harvard School of Public Health.

10479920_10100870124745076_591118553146489768_o-2Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist

Emily Lawrence brings over six years of experience working in international development, public health, and evaluation throughout Latin America, South Asia and the United States. As a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras and Health Educator with Clinica Family Health Services in Denver, she brings an intimate understanding of the challenges small non-profits face during program implementation and evaluation. Recently, she worked with the Veterans Health Administration where she managed the evaluation of a national program to improve Veteran care coordination developing monitoring and evaluation tools, leading data collection, conducting analysis, and coordinating with key program staff to ensure that evaluation findings inform program improvements and maximize impact. She also led qualitative data collection and analysis for several large multi-site studies.

Paired with her public health research experience and training in monitoring, evaluation, and research, Emily is committed to helping organizations reach their full potential through research, evaluation, and strategic learning. Emily completed her BA in International Relations from the University of San Diego and her Masters in Public Health from Boston University.

When not working, Emily can be found enjoying the great outdoors, biking, hiking, skiing, and camping.


Bill Rohs brings an extensive background in Humanitarian Assistance and international development to emBOLDen Alliances. This experience is complemented by 20 years of business ownership, including developing businesses/restaurants from the ground up. Bill’s diverse skills in Humanitarian Assistance include:

  • Program Coordinator, Manager, Logistician.
  • Organizational infrastructure assessments, including budget and inventory analysis and operational evaluations.
  • Designing and implementing logistic, HR, and accounting procedures for field sites.
  • Managing and leading teams of 75 national and international staff.
  • Field diplomacy and collaboration with international organizations, donors, and various humanitarian aid sectors.
  • Building staff capacity, including Train-the-Trainer courses in the field and in classroom education.
  • Managing international programs ranging from volunteer coordination, construction, WASH, or education projects to girls empowerment and livelihoods programs.

His Jack-of-Many-Trades’ background outside of Humanitarian Assistance includes:

  • Being a successful artist, including winning numerous awards and being featured in visual and print media. Bill created all images representing emBOLDen Alliances and has been displaying his work throughout the US.
  • Renovating houses
  • Teaching art in middle school and high school
  • Owning and managing two successful restaurants in Colorado, Bill was the General Manager responsible for 30-person staff in each and received high awards for each restaurant, locally and nationally.

Alison Smith PhotoMonitoring & Evaluation Specialist

Alison Smith holds a BS in Neuroscience and Psychology from Baldwin-Wallace College where she developed her initial interest in research ethics and methodology. In the following year, Alison spent time volunteering on organic farms in Greece through World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF), and traveled solo through Germany and the Czech Republic.

Upon returning to the United States, Alison began the MPH program at the Boston University School of Public Health. Her chosen courses in Global Health and Epidemiology allowed her to develop a well-rounded skillset for Monitoring and Evaluation. During her time in Boston, Alison held a Research Assistant position in Integrative Medicine at Boston Medical Center, and a volunteer position at AIDS Action Committee.

In 2014, Alison received funding through the Santander Universities Scholar Program to complete her MPH practicum with Many Hopes, an orphans and vulnerable children organization located in Mtwapa, Kenya. As a practicum student, Alison traveled to Kenya to design and implement a monitoring and evaluation program for the organization. She has remained involved with Many Hopes as a Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant and recently returned from a second trip to Mtwapa.

Alison loves to be challenged in her Global Health work, and gets excited about making quality data accessible and useful to small organizations. Outside of work she enjoys yoga, hiking, snowboarding, fishing, and traveling near and far.