Our Team

Mark Fritzler head shotMark Fritzler, Director


Mark has led The TOPS Program since its inception in 2010. He joined Save the Children in July 2003 as Country Director in Iraq. Subsequently, he served as Save the Children's Country Director in Mozambique and Indonesia. In 2007-08 Mark was Chief of Party for the global Save the Children tsunami response in Aceh, Indonesia. During his career in international development and emergency response, Mark has worked in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. He also worked with JHPIEGO, CARE International, and on several projects with international development consulting firms. Mark has a BA in Political Science from the University of Oregon. He is based at Save the Children.

Dasha Kosmynina, Management & Operations Associate Director

Dasha provides sound administrative and financial management of The TOPS Program. Prior to TOPS, Dasha was the Deputy Director of Save the Children’s YouthSave Project, responsible for project administration at headquarters and in four implementation countries. She joined Save the Children as the Associate Director for Portfolio Management and Support of the Livelihoods Department. Before Save the Children, Dasha worked for The Urban Institute in several capacities including Project Coordinator, Research Associate, and Resident Advisor positions in Washington, DC and Tbilisi, Georgia. Dasha has a BA in Political Science from Emory University and an MA in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School at Tufts University. She is based at Save the Children.

Technical Staff

Birendra Kumar "BK" De, Commodity Management Senior Specialist


BK is responsible for Commodity Management capacity building and for developing tools that benefit the entire ommunity of Commodity Management practitioners. During a career spanning three decades and three continents, he has gained extensive experience at all levels of operation of emergency and development programs in both field and headquarters contexts. His expertise includes commodity management, logistics, warehousing, and distribution. He has worked in India, Ethiopia, Russia, Tanzania, Iraq, Albania, and Kosovo and led projects in India, Malawi, and Sudan. In Darfur, Sudan, BK managed a commodity logistics project focused on meeting the needs of 1.2 million internally displaced people. At CARE USA, BK played a key role in setting up the Supply Chain Management Unit to improve the organization’s global supply chain capability. BK has an MSc in International Logistics from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is based at Save the Children.

Virginia Vaughn
Commodity Management Senior Training Specialist


Virginia uses her expertise in the design, production and delivery of a comprehensive variety of training methodologies and materials to meet the needs of Commodity Management practitioners. As a Peace Corps volunteer three decades ago, she recognized first-hand the need for ‘results-oriented’ training to successfully implement any program. Her subsequent postings with CARE in Africa sharpened her NGO project design and management skills and enhanced her passion for guiding adults through a learning process. After four years as a senior manager for humanitarian response with CARE International, Virginia completed a graduate degree in Adult and Distance Learning at Open University, England. In doing so, she turned her passion for training in complex situations into a full-time endeavor. For the past 15 years, she has worked as an Instructional Design Consultant with a broad range of international organizations. Virginia is based at Save the Children. 

Laurie Starr
Strategic Learning Advisor

Since 2013, Laurie has been a leader in theory of change capacity strengthening efforts, assisting NGO practitioners to bring a systems-thinking perspective to both problem analysis and program design, implementation, and monitoring. She also has extensive experience in food security, resilience, gender issues, and monitoring and evaluation. During her 10 years at TANGO International, Laurie took part in numerous mixed-methods evaluations in collaboration with NGOs, government organizations, donors, and multi-lateral agencies. The geographic range of her experience encompasses more than 20 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Laurie has an MA in International Development Practice from Prescott College for the Environment and Social Justice and a BA in Latin American Studies from the University of Arizona. She is based at Save the Children. 

Joan JenningsNutrition and Food Technology Senior Specialist


Joan has been leading the Nutrition and Food Technology activities within The TOPS Program since its inception in 2010. She has extensive experience working with nutrition protection and behavior change strategies for improved infant and young child feeding practices. Her skill set also includes quantitative and qualitative evaluation, formative investigation, proposal development and strategic planning. Joan has worked in over 20 countries throughout all development programming regions. In between periods of consulting, she was the team leader for children’s health with CARE USA. She initiated her work in development as a Health and Nutrition Manager for Save the Children in Nicaragua. She possesses an MPH from Tulane University and received an internship with the United Nations ACC/Sub-Committee on Nutrition, where she edited a review of the elements of success among large-scale nutrition programs in 10 countries. Joan is based at Save the Children.

Shelia Jackson, Knowledge Management Senior Specialist


In her role as Knowledge Management Senior Specialist, Shelia develops and organizes learning events that maximize engagement, learning, and knowledge transfer through participatory learning techniques. She fosters knowledge sharing and collaboration in the food security community by chairing the FSN Network’s Knowledge Management Task Force. Previously, Shelia was the Knowledge Management Team Lead for the KSC Project at USAID. She has experience in envisioning and cultivating knowledge sharing programs that focus on the role knowledge management plays in helping people to efficiently accomplish daily tasks while adding to the institutional knowledge of their organization, proposing ideas for customized knowledge management solutions to address information sharing gaps and implementing training programs for social media tools. She earned an MS in Library and Information Science from Florida State University. Shelia is based at CORE Group.

Yemisi Songo-Williams, Knowledge Management Specialist


Yemisi designs and executes knowledge management activities and processes to strengthen and expand the TOPS FSN Network. She works to improve food security and nutrition practice by providing support to the TOPS technical leads in leveraging new technologies and practices for engaging online communities in knowledge exchange and capacity strengthening. She has experience in developing strategies and forums to facilitate knowledge sharing through meetings, conferences, field exchange visits, social media and other online collaboration forums. In her previous role as a Knowledge Management and Learning Officer with CRS, Yemisi led the creation and management of a web-based platform for knowledge collection and dissemination. She also developed synergistic relationships with partner organizations to improve learning and collaboration, and capture critical knowledge, innovations and best practices. Yemisi holds an MSc in Social Research Methods from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is based at CORE Group.

Programmatic Staff

Julia Crowley head shot
Julia Crowley, Program Manager


Julia is a Program Specialist, providing award management, financial, and technical support across various sectors of The TOPS Program. She has previously worked on both international and domestic health issues, including providing programmatic and backstopping support to Family Health International projects in Africa and the Middle East. Julia has lived and worked in South Africa, where she helped the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s South Africa’s Monitoring and Evaluation team with their PEPFAR reporting. Julia has a Masters degree in Global Health and Population from Harvard School of Public Health. She is based at Save the Children.

Maja Persson, Communications and Documentation Specialist


Maja supports The TOPS Program's communications efforts by producing and disseminating promotional and informational materials for internal and external audiences about TOPS program activities and initiatives. Maja has a wealth of experience managing and directing communications for a variety of organizations, including Save the Children International, the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights, and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. She has worked and lived in Stockholm, Managua, and Panama and speaks fluent Spanish. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Economics from the University of Stockholm, Sweden. Maja is based at Save the Children.

Laura ZillmerSenior Coordinator

Laura is responsible for ensuring timely and accurate coordination of Commodity Management activities. Prior to working for The TOPS Program, Laura served as an English instructor at a vocational training institute in northern Tanzania and worked as a Business Development Fellow for Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) in South Africa where she supported bid and program development in Southern and East Africa. Laura has a BA in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame. She is based at Save the Children.

Adrienne Todela, Knowledge Management Officer


Adrienne T is responsible for supporting both the CORE Group and TOPS teams with online content creation and management, events planning, and overall community engagement through the FSN Network and Community Health Networks. She has gained experience in content creation, media outreach, and events management from her work with varied non-profit, non-governmental organizations such as Accion International, The African Foundation for Development, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Adrienne received her BA in International Relations and BS in Journalism from Boston University in 2015. Passionate for advocacy work, she holds knowledge sharing and public information essential to effective capacity building in the international development arena. She enjoys traveling domestically and internationally, trying different types of cuisines, reading poetry and prose, exercising at Gold’s Gym, and spending quality time with family and friends. Adrienne T is based at CORE Group.

Adrienne Ramos-Grant, Program Associate


Adrienne R is responsible for providing administrative, operational, and communications support to the TOPS Bridge team. Following graduation from Florida State University last year, Adrienne worked at the Institute for Public-Private Partnerships (IP3, a Tetra Tech Company), where she focused on international development training. While completing her degree, Adrienne served newly arrived refugees at an International Rescue Committee resettlement office. She also spent time in rural Ecuador supporting local institutions with their youth English programs. She speaks English and Spanish. Adrienne R is based at Save the Children.