Our Team

Mark Fritzler head shotMark Fritzler, Director

mfritzler@savechildren.org

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, Associate Director, Management & Operations


Dasha provides sound financial and administrative 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

bkumarde@savechildren.org

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 VaughnTraining Senior Specialist, Commodity Management

vvaughn@savechildren.org

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. 

Shelia Jackson, Knowledge Management Senior Specialist

sjackson@coregroupdc.org

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

ysongowilliams@coregroupdc.org

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

jcrowley@savechildren.org

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

mpersson@savechildren.org

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.

Laura ZillmerSenior Coordinator


Laura is responsible for ensuring timely and accurate coordination of the Small Grants Program 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

atodela@coregroupdc.org

Adrienne 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 is based at CORE Group.