Our team

Daniel Adobaw
Program Manager, NSW

Dan has over 16 years’ experience working with youth in high schools and on community projects. He worked for five years as an English teacher in his home country, Ghana, where he was Head Teacher for the Department of English. He initiated a high school drama club to build students’ self-belief and teamwork skills as well as a discussion group on sexual health. He organized workshops for female victims of abuse and initiated ‘music for the soul’ to bring fun and music to children in orphanages and hospitals. He also volunteered for the West African AIDS Foundation as a facilitator of drama games and music for children affected by HIV/AIDS. Dan’s passion for educating and empowering young people brought him to High Resolves. After over five years of working with High Resolves, Dan continues to be excited about using curriculum to engage communities, schools and organizations to shape and improve culture. He holds a teaching certificate from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana and a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in theatre directing from the University of Ghana.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
of its commitment leading positive change through empowering people. It’s not about merely believing in change happening but in recognizing the need to believe in and strive to empower people to create the change!

Mehrdad Baghai
Co-Founder, Chairman, and Global CEO

As Global CEO of High Resolves, Mehrdad has focused on rapid growth of the program in Australia and expansion into the U.S., Canada, China, Brazil and Africa. Mehrdad is Chairman of Alchemy Growth, a boutique strategy advisory firm. Previously, he was a partner at McKinsey & Company and co-leader of the Firm’s worldwide Growth Practice, and an Executive Director at the CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency. Mehrdad has degrees from Harvard Law School, Harvard Kennedy School and Princeton University. He is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I have seen and felt the impact of social division and hatred first hand. We need to think of prejudice, racism and hatred as public health issues and engage in immunization programs in order to eradicate these diseases.

Roya Baghai
Co-Founder and Executive Director of Videos for Change

Roya has a degree in architecture but has worked in many different design fields, from graphic and object design to typography. Throughout all her work, she has been passionate about creating transformative experiences through design. Her commitment to creating positive social change and empowering young people to do the same was the inspiration and driving force behind the co-creation of High Resolves in 2005 and her deep involvement since. Over the last three years, she has also been leading Videos for Change: a powerful platform that is amplifying the voice of young people who have creatively engaged with social issues and are catalyzing positive change in the world.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I am passionate about contributing in some small way to the creation of a world with unity in diversity, and where justice and equality of opportunity is upheld and experienced by all. I am joyous and privileged to work towards this vision with the impressive and multi-talented team at High Resolves.

Sarah Berg
Director, Special Projects

Sarah is an education executive, entrepreneur and innovator with 15+ years of experience focused on improving outcomes for underserved populations through development of the social and emotional habits, skills and mindsets that enable people to thrive justly. She has launched and grown an educational technology company, developed award-winning, proven effective learning software, and consulted with leading non-profit organizations across early learning, K-12 and post-secondary.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
A thriving, just and sustainable world depends on we humans building a new mind and skill set focused on collective impact, and long-term thinking. The skills High Resolves teaches are essential to this urgent and necessary transformation.

Cassandra Cook
National Program Manager, Videos for Change

Cassie is an experienced secondary English and Drama teacher and has also worked within the early childhood and primary school sectors across Australia and internationally. She has specialized in the design and implementation of Creative Arts and Language programs to promote community cohesion and effective integration strategies for newly arrived immigrants and disengaged and disadvantaged youth. Her time traveling and living abroad sparked her passion for providing real world, high-impact learning opportunities for young people, which build a deep understanding of global citizenship and a commitment to leading positive social change. Cassie holds a Bachelor of Contemporary Arts and a Bachelor of Teaching from the University of Tasmania.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I love being a part of a dynamic and diverse team, who have a shared vision and dedication to empowering a generation of young people with the skills and motivation to transform our world for the better.

Tim Costigan
Board Member, Canada Board

Tim is the owner of Tim Costigan Travel Design, a company specializing in creating culturally immersive travel experiences for companies and cultural institutions looking for extraordinary retreats and explorations for their leadership teams and donors. Tim has always been deeply involved in his community, sharing his legal and organizational skills with a range of charitable and not for profit organizations through service on boards and in other volunteer positions. His most important anf favourite role is Dad to three wonderful children, aged 16, 13 and 11 and husband to a highly successful wife.

Elizabeth Goodyear
Founding Family, New Orleans

Elizabeth is our founder and champion in New Orleans and it is thanks to her that NOLA has become our biggest hub in North America.

David Gordon
Board member

David Gordon is the founder of Lexicon Partners Pty Limited, a boutique advisory and investment firm. He is also a director and significant shareholder in RCG Corporation Limited and is a former chairman of Network TEN. Prior to founding Lexicon, David was an M&A Partner of Freehills law firm.

Lisa Gorman
Chairwoman of U.S. Board

Lisa is the Chairwoman of High Resolves’ U.S. Board. Lisa was formerly of counsel with the Detroit-based law firm Abbott Nicholson and was a former partner at Timmis Inman. Her clients included non-profit organizations and private foundations. Lisa holds a BA from Tufts University and a J.D. from Boston College. She serves on the President’s Advisory Council of Tufts University.

Tom Gorman
Board member

Tom Gorman was formerly the CEO of Brambles Limited, an ASX-listed supply chain solutions company operating in over 60 countries. Prior to joining Brambles, Tom spent 21 years working with Ford Motor Company in a number of senior positions in the US, Europe and Australia where he was President of Ford Australia from 2004 to 2008.

Hannah Grant
Program Manager, NSW

As a young person, Hannah became involved in youth-led social action programs. As she progressed from program participant to youth leader, her passion for social justice and youth empowerment was ignited. Hannah has an MA in Applied Theatre (Drama in Education and Community settings) from the Royal School of Speech and Drama, London, and has focused her career on working with young people to use creativity and informal learning for social impact. Hannah has worked predominantly with disengaged and at-risk young people with a career that spans the UK, Asia, Mexico and Australia. She was the Director of Socially-Engaged Programs at Shopfront Arts Co-op, Sydney, for 5 years, and is the founder of youth arts and global citizenship program Theatre:Connect.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I believe strongly in the power of young people to make a difference in the world, and it’s incredible to be spending every day working with them to affirm them as young leaders to create social change.

Alex Harvey
Board member

Alex is the Global Chief Financial Officer of Macquarie Group globally. He has more than 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry across Australia, Asia, Europe and the United States. In August 2015, Alex was appointed Chairman of the Police Citizens Youth Clubs NSW Board.

Greg Hayes
Board member

Greg was formerly the CFO of Brambles, an ASX listed provider of supply chain solutions and information management through its two businesses CHEP and Recall. Previously, Greg was Group Managing Director and CEO of the Tenix Group, the CFO and interim CEO of AGL.

Rachel Hinds
National Program Director, Australia

Rachel has worked in the education sector in both Australia and overseas since 2007. She has a strong commitment to empowering students to be the leaders of tomorrow and a belief that all young people can make a difference to their own lives. During her time as a classroom teacher, Rachel worked predominately with disengaged and at-risk students and was instrumental in designing and implementing an alternative education program for disengaged students in the UK. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Education from Griffith University.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I have seen first-hand the impact we have on young people. It is an awesome thing to experience when you see a young person feel empowered to step up and create the change they want to see in the world!

Nike Irvin
Board member

Nike served as Vice President, Programs with the California Community Foundation (CCF) where she was responsible for $25 million in annual grants in Los Angeles. She has two decades of experience with non-profit organizations and foundations. Nike holds a BA in Economics & Political Science from Yale University and was named among the “100 Most Inspirational Alumni” by the UCLA Anderson School of Management, where she earned an MBA.

Paul Kelsey
Global Chief Operating Officer

Paul Kelsey was the inaugural CEO for High Resolves for ten years in Australia and is now the Global Chief Operating Officer. Prior to High Resolves, Paul was in various senior management positions in financial services for over 20 years.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I am passionate about High Resolves more than ever now because I have three teenage children, and I see first-hand how difficult it is for young teenagers to develop a genuine sense of empathy for global issues and to feel empowered to make a difference.

Chantelle Kohn
National Program Director Canada, Head of Curriculum North America

Chantelle’s career as an educator and facilitator dedicated to unleashing humanity’s ability to create a better world has taken place in Australia, the U.K, India, Cambodia, America and Canada, where she is currently based. Chantelle has held various roles within High Resolves, beginning first as a Program Manager in Brisbane and now heading up the organization in Toronto and overseeing the curriculum for the expansion into North America. She has a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education (Secondary) from the University of Queensland and is currently completing a Masters’ in International and Community Development from Deakin University.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
It is through education that we can transform the way we see ourselves, the world and our role within it. High Resolves provides the opportunity to develop the knowledge, attitudes, values and skills we need to move towards a more inclusive and equitable society.

Kevin Lewis
Program Manager, New Orleans

Kevin has a desire to help young people better understand their own identities and how they can see themselves as social change agents inside and outside of their communities. While in college, Kevin developed a passion for building spaces of community and learning across difference through cultural and social justice education. His dedication to facilitating and teaching social justice and global competency concepts led him to serve in various roles where he was responsible for creating and facilitating workshops and programs. Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Development & Family Studies from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Science in Higher Education & Student Affairs from Indiana University Bloomington.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
Growing up in Detroit, MI opened my eyes to the issues that plague many urban cities in the United States. It was not until I was older that I realized I truly missed out on being able to have conversations about leadership and social change at an early age. This informs why I believe beginning conversations about collective identity and global citizenship earlier in childhood is so critical. I’m passionate about educating youth about different social issues because I believe that they are the ones that can truly take ownership over the progress of our society. High Resolves builds capacity within youth to understand how they can contribute to a more just and equitable world for everyone to live in.

Ingrid Lobo
Founding Family, Canada

Ingrid is a Travel Advisor affiliated with TTI Canada. Her previous experience includes being a Clinical Instructor at Toronto General Hospital and has held numerous volunteer positions in community organizations.

Vernon Lobo
Board member

Vernon is a Managing Director of Mosaic Capital Partners, a Canadian-based private investment firm. Through 22 years in the investment industry, Vernon helped build several companies from start-up to acquisition or public listing, seven of which achieved valuations in excess of $100 million. Vernon sits on the boards of several public and private companies.

Anthony Mackay AM
Board member

Anthony is CEO of the Centre for Strategic Education. He is Chair of the Australian Council for Educational Research, Chair of the International Advisory Board for the National Institute for School Leadership in the USA, and advisor to Asia Society’s Global Cities Education Network. He was Inaugural Chair of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership.

Jack Markell
Board member

Jack served as the Governor of Delaware from 2009-2017. Previously, he served ten years as Delaware’s State Treasurer. Prior to public service, Jack helped lead the wireless technology revolution at Nextel, where he served as Senior Vice President for Corporate Development. Other private sector employers included Comcast Corporation and McKinsey & Company.

Jack serves on the National Board of Directors of Jobs for America’s Graduates and as a trustee of the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Tom Marks
Program Manager, Victoria

Having worked in developing rural communities in South America and South Africa, Tom has developed a passion for global and social issues. He has worked with children of all ages from kindergarten through to grade 12, both in Victoria and abroad. He also implemented physical education and social programs in the Cayman Islands where he taught at a private special education needs school. Tom is an enthusiastic educator and passionate about motivating and inspiring youth to be positive and morally responsible global citizens. Tom holds a Bachelor of Psychological Science and a Diploma in Education from La Trobe University.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I am so inspired by the passion and resolve of young people to make positive social change, and love being a part of them growing and sharing their ideas!

Lee Martin
Global Manager Quality Assurance and Training; Head of Curriculum, Australia

Lee has worked at High Resolves since 2010, working in a variety of roles including face-to-face delivery of content to young people and teachers, developing curriculum, and quality assurance and training. He holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of Sheffield and a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in History and Politics from the University of Warwick. Lee worked as a high school history teacher in socially diverse areas of the U.K. and took on the roles of form tutor, Head of Year and Head of Department. In May 2009, government inspectors reported that the history department and its management were “outstanding”.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I have always believed that education is the most effective way of overcoming some of the problems that the world faces today. High Resolves offers me that opportunity by working with young people to develop the confidence, motivation and skills to make our world a better place.

Steve Moore
National Program Director, Australia

While working in some of India’s poorest communities, Steve was struck by the power of education to create social change. Upon returning to Australia he resolved to help equip young people with the skills to positively change the world around them. Working as a science teacher in Sydney’s high schools, Steve saw the need for new educational experiences that developed students as active participants in society, leading to him organizing and running leadership programs in low socio-economic status schools. Joining the High Resolves team enabled Steve to unite his management experience in the for-profit sector with his passion for social change through education. Steve holds a Master of Science from the University of Bristol, and a Graduate Diploma in Education from Macquarie University and Master of Business Administration from Kaplan University.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I have the opportunity to work with a group of individuals who are incredibly determined to make the world a better place.

Marlina Moussa
Program Director, NSW

During her time as an English teacher, Marlina’s passion to empower and inspire young people to be positive leaders in the community and globally saw her develop and implement new educational programs and initiatives that increased student involvement and engagement in understanding social issues. She participated in the Make Poverty History Campaign in NSW, which involved meeting with ministers at Parliament House on the issue of foreign aid. Her experiences in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East further fueled her desire to see students become global leaders and citizens who are motivated to make a positive difference, which led her to High Resolves. She completed a Bachelor of Secondary Teaching (Double English major) at the University of Technology Sydney and a Bachelor of Arts (English Literature and History) at the University of Wollongong where she also undertook a 3-year leadership program, delivering a number of projects for social action, development and change in the University and community.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
What we do is for the greater good. Seeing that achieved by empowering young people to be global citizens is inspiring and exciting.

Justin O’Hare
Chief Financial Officer

Justin is a father of two daughters in their twenties and has been an accountant for over 20 years working in senior roles for multinational organizations in Contract Services, Hospitality, Jewellery, Computer Equipment and Dental Equipment industries. These companies have included Delaware North, Compass Group and Dentsply Sirona. Justin has a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) Degree in Hospitality Management from Angela University, majoring in Finance and Marketing with his dissertation on the treatment of people with minority diets by the hospitality industry, a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from the University of Technology Sydney and a Global Executive Master of Business Administration (GEMBA) from University of Technology Sydney.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
High Resolves helps to engage young people and teaches them how to speak up about issues that they care about and become active citizens with empowering skills and opportunity. These young people now have a voice and can be heard loud and clear through programs like Videos for Change.

Matthew Owens
Curriculum Developer, North America

Matt is a High Resolves curriculum developer based out of the Boston area. Matt got his start in education working as an English teacher in China before moving to Spain on a Fulbright scholarship. While there, he served as an English and Social Sciences teacher, where he worked with the regional government to organize and teach the Global Classrooms project, a global citizenship initiative designed to empower students to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. A graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education with a master’s in international education policy, Matt has worked on a wide variety of projects around the world with a focus on providing empowering educational experiences for all children.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
of the importance of social emotional skills and knowledge of social issues to the individual growth of every student.

Lisa Paul AO PSM
Board member

Lisa was a Chief Executive in the Australian Public Service for over ten years including as Secretary of the Australian Government Department of Education and Training, being made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2011 for distinguished service to public sector leadership. Since 1999 Lisa has served as a non-Executive Director for a number of community organizations.

Roxy Pirnia
National Program Director, USA

Roxy is extremely passionate about education reform and equity, particularly in the United States. Upon graduation from university, Roxy joined High Resolves as an intern, analyzing student work and reporting on program outcomes. After her internship, Roxy returned to the United States to continue pursuing her passion of working with youth. She worked as both a Corps Member and Team Leader with City Year in Boston, and subsequently as a Program Manager with Boston Scholar Athletes. Through her various roles, Roxy has continuously seen the importance of providing the space, resources, and skills for young people to build the social emotional capacities that are often not explicitly taught in school settings. Roxy is excited to again join the High Resolves team, and to build the bridge to the United States. She holds a Bachelors’ Degree in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego, and a Masters’ Degree in Education Policy and Management from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
My passion for this work stems from my own experiences in education. Prior to college, my education was mostly academic, lacking much application to life beyond the classroom. It was not until my time at the University of California, San Diego that I began to think critically about the world around me – about my own identity, about how I fit into the world, and what type of world I wanted to see. I am passionate about the work we are doing at High Resolves because it provides young people with the opportunity that I did not have, the opportunity to begin this journey earlier on and to better understand my role as a global citizen.

Ursula Ramirez
Operations Support

Ursula is a policy analyst, interdisciplinary researcher and operations manager. She has over six years’ experience working in youth leadership and international educational organizations both in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors. Ursula’s work has taken her to Mexico, Turkey, Slovenia and most recently Australia. She recently completed her Master of International Law, Governance and Public Policy, which ignited an interest in the intersectionality between law, social justice and governance.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
It is a powerful means of developing the leadership potential and cross-cultural outlook of today’s youth. In my role as Operations Support, I’m able to evaluate our business processes, manage multiple projects, and continuously look for ways to make our programs even better!

Dr. Bror Saxberg
Board member

Bror leads the learning science efforts for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Previously he was Chief Learning Officer at Kaplan. A Rhodes Scholar, Bror received an M.A. in Mathematics from Oxford University, a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from M.I.T. and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School.

Carrie Silver
Program Manager, Queensland

Growing up in one of Canada’s largest and most diverse cities, Carrie developed a great curiosity about the cultures that surrounded her, which led her to study world religions, modern history and population geography and make the brave leap to move to Australia in her late teens. She has taught history, geography and social and community studies in Queensland classrooms, and holds a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Teaching from the University of New England.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
At High Resolves I have the privilege of connecting with young people and finding out what they are passionate about. Every day brings a new story from amazing young people who inspire me, and I’m excited to see what this generation will do to make the world a better place!

Elizabeth Stokes
Director, Special Projects

Based in Sydney, Australia, Liz is a Strategic Projects Manager at High Resolves. Prior to High Resolves, Liz worked for the Boston Consulting Group, where she consulted major Australian companies and governments in strategy, transformation, and organizational design. She has also worked for investor and philanthropist Jonathan Soros, supporting delivery of his various social action and philanthropic projects. Liz graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I believe in what we are trying to achieve and how we are going about doing it. So many of the challenges we see in the world today are born from people not acting with the hearts and minds of citizens. High Resolves is a smart, innovative and dynamic organization that is devoted to changing that.

Lauren Swift
Program Manager, NSW

Lauren’s passion for social justice was nurtured and fueled through her Bachelor of International and Global Studies from the University of Sydney. With several years of teaching experience in both high school and university classrooms, Lauren combines her love of teaching and facilitation with hands-on experience from the non-profit sector to bring enthusiasm and passion to her job every day.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I am fueled by my passion for creating a fairer, more peaceful world, and my deeply held belief that the best way to do this is to raise a generation of young people who believe that this world is possible. I’m passionate about emboldening young people to reach their fullest potential in all aspects of life.

Elizabeth Thorne
Program Director, Victoria

Elizabeth has extensive leadership experience in the education sector in Australia and Canada. Previous roles include Publisher at Macmillan Education Australia in Melbourne and Manager of Professional Education at a not-for-profit organization in Toronto. After publishing ground breaking resources to support respectful relationships education in Australia, Elizabeth came to High Resolves seeking a role more explicitly in line with her passion for social action. Elizabeth is an activist and media spokesperson for various feminist collectives, including International Women’s Day Melbourne. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Arts (Joint Honors) in History and English from the Memorial University of Newfoundland in St John’s and a Master of Arts in History from York University in Toronto. She specialized in race, gender, and sexuality in a modern American context.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
As a feminist activist, I’m passionate about empowering young people to take action on social issues they care about.

Dr. Sue-Anne Wallace
Board member

Sue-Anne is a non-executive director whose experience over the past twelve years has been directed towards governance in the not-for-profit sector. She currently sits on a number of boards, particularly those focused on self-regulatory codes of conduct and social impact.

Danitra Wansley
Program Director, New Orleans

As a Black woman from rural Georgia in the United States and a first-generation university student, Danitra was driven to use her strengths to serve the communities that needed her most. After directing a non-profit academic summer camp in Boston, Danitra joined Teach for America in greater New Orleans. She taught 7th grade English Language Arts at KIPP McDonogh 15 Middle School for the Creative Arts while serving as a part of Teach for America’s cohort for culturally responsive pedagogy, Teach4Liberation. As an Impact Manager with City Year New Orleans, she managed and coached three teams of school-based AmeriCorps members on leadership development and K-12 instruction. Danitra earned a Bachelor of Arts with honors in History and Literature from Harvard University. She is also a recipient of Harvard College’s Jonathan M. Levin Prize for Teaching and Social Justice, awarded annually to the most promising undergraduate who intends to become a public school teacher.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
of the way that High Resolves responds to the needs of schools and organizations in the development of our youth’s social skills. In New Orleans, there is a tremendous opportunity to innovate and leverage our community’s resources, and my role allows me to do that and empower youth to do the same.

Eduardo Wurzmann
Board member

Eduardo is the co-founder of Grupo Ibmec Educacional S.A, one of the most prestigious post-secondary education institutions in Brazil, with annual revenues of $70 million. Ibmec was sold to DeVry in 2015. Eduardo was Ibmec’s CEO for 11 years. Prior to that he was Managing Director of Unext.com in Sao Paulo, one of the largest and leading e-learning companies.

Lina Wurzmann
Founding Family, Brazil

New Appointment
Program Director, Bay Area