Board of Advisors

Board of Advisors

Kofi Frempong, ADVISOR Emeritus (deceased)

Kofi Frempong passed suddenly on April 5, 2023. He will be deeply missed by family, friends, and colleagues.

We honor his memory with the “Kofi Frempong Leadership Award." LTI graduate, Mr. Koge Koge received the inaugural award In May 2023. We plan to offer the award yearly at the LTI ceremony each May. 

Mr. Frempong was the Director of the Leadership Training Institute (LTI), the signature program at John F. Kennedy High School in Silver Spring, MD. His role included disseminating program information to stakeholders, organizing service opportunities, planning academic course load and community outreach projects for high school students, as well as establishing and maintaining partnerships with local organizations and businesses.

Kofi earned his B.A. in English Education from the University of Maryland, his M.A. from Trinity University, and Administrator I certification from Hood College. He is survived by his lovely wife/fellow- educator and two children in Maryland.


Kelly Bies joins SGAP Leaders after leading a consulting project for SGAP’s student programming while she was a MBA student at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. She is a current Manager at Deloitte Consulting with experience in purpose and inclusion strategy, workforce planning and development, and change management for enterprise-wide culture and technology transformations.

Kelly’s passion for education and equity stems from her teaching tenure in Chicago with Teach for America as well as her undergraduate degree in public policy from Duke University. Her current teammates often say the teaching spirit never left her. Kelly resides in her hometown of Washington, DC with her sweet pup Zoey.

Andre Samuels, PhD

Dr. Andre Samuels has led professional learning sessions with Washington, DC Public Schools, Baltimore County Public Schools, For The Love Of Children (FLOC), The Aspen Institute, Urban Teachers, National Summit for Principal Supervisors, and American University. 

His executive leadership coaching relationships include AprilMay Company, Inc., Anagen Staffing & Solutions, 100 Black Men of Greater Washington, DC, Alfred Street Baptist Church, Dallas 2026, clients leading charities, not-for-profit/for-profit corporations, partnerships, and educational institutions.

Andre received the David Rubinstein Award for High Effective Leadership from Washington, DC Public Schools in 2013.  In November 2019, he earned his international certification in Executive Leadership Coaching from Georgetown University’s Center for Transformational Leadership. His facilitation training at the NYC Leadership Academy helps him tailor coaching strategies to meet any organization or team’s needs.

Andre holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Communication Studies and two Master’s degrees in Educational Administration and Policy and Special Education from Howard University.  In 2014 he earned a Master’s in Business Administration in Leadership from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. Andre completed coursework in Diversity and Inclusion at Cornell University and is a certified executive leadership coach with the International Coaching Federation. Andre holds a Doctorate in Educational and Organizational Leadership from The University of Pennsylvania. He lives in Maryland with his lovely family.


Jose Soto is experienced in domestic and international higher education, program coordination, and non-profit operational support, strategic planning, and project development. He holds a BA in International Relations & Affairs from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania. Jose is fluent in Spanish and conversant in Mandarine Chinese. He resides in Maryland with his lovely wife.

Annalie Buscarino, BA

Annalie comes to SGAP Leaders with a passion for elevating the voices of her peers through education. She graduated from Washington College with a BA in English and Sociology. Throughout her undergraduate years, Annalie served as a writing and presentation tutor in her school’s Writing Center, studied abroad in Italy, interned for a nonprofit in Tanzania, and took classes in Baylor Women’s Correctional Institute alongside incarcerated women. 

Annalie currently works as an Editorial Assistant for Triada U.S. Literary Agency, an organization that represents diverse voices in literature throughout the publication process. She is extremely grateful to be a part the SGAP Leaders’ family and looks forward to supporting student voices through education. She resides with her family in New York.

Rishi Moharkar, MBA

Rishi Moharkar is a Mergers & Acquisition Senior Associate at Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC). He works with the PwC’s Delivering Deal Value (DDV) team which adds value to clients by delivering process and subject-matter expertise to achieve tactical due diligence, integration, separation, and other deal consulting services across the full spectrum of buy-side and sell-side transactions.

Rishi graduated with his MBA from Georgetown University where he specialized his studies in strategy and analytics and earned a major in Management Science. Before Georgetown, Rishi worked for seven years with Tata Technologies in India and UK where he excelled at advising clients working on cutting-edge technologies like IoT, connected cars, autonomous, hybrid, and fully electric vehicles. He resides in Washington, DC with his fiancee.

Timur Pakay, MA

Timur Pakay is the Associate Director of Executive Education at Columbia University, New York. Formally, Timur was the Assistant Director of the Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Fairleigh Dickinson University where he was responsible for all outreach and recognition programs such as Veterans Launching Ventures, the CEO Innovation Lecture and other innovation programs, and the Female Entrepreneur Lecture series.

Mr. Pakay attained his graduate degree from the Institute from the Paris-based International School of Management. Pakay received his BA in French from Boston College and his MA in Government and Politics from St. John’s University. Timur resides in New York with his wife and children.

Sreeja Reddy, BA

Sreeja is experienced in Cyber Security and Strategy Management. Sreeja volunteered with Compass as a project leader focusing on Board Development and Digital Strategy Transformation. Sreeja specializes on privacy implementation efforts to assess product development needs and drive business solutions. 

By leveraging her consulting and industry background, Sreeja aims to bridge the gap between business, legal and technical solutions from a regulatory risk and privacy perspective. In her downtime, she is an avid tennis player and photography enthusiast. She resides in the Chicago area.

Elsie Joseph, PhD

Dr. Joseph taught English and English literature to college and high school students for over 50 years. She began her teaching career at Bishops School for Girls in her native land of Trinidad, West Indies. After acquiring her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees (cum laude) from Howard University in Washington DC, she continued to teach as a college professor at Howard University’s English Department for an additional ten years.

Finally, Joseph transitioned from teaching college students to teaching college-bound high school students at the highly ranked public high schools in Montgomery County, Maryland. There, she taught at Richard Montgomery, Northwood and Sherwood high schools. During that time, Dr. Joseph also crafted curriculum for the English Literature high school modules. She received her Ph.D. at the Catholic University of America and resides in Maryland. She believes in “igniting the spark of the love of live-long learning" in every student.

Liana Abbott, MBA & M.Ed

Liana Abbott is a Senior Finance Manager at Microsoft. Prior to her role at Microsoft, she was a Business Intelligence Analyst and Project Manager specializing in data management and data engineering. She holds an MBA from the Darden School of Business and a Masters of Education from the School of Education and Human Development both at the University of Virginia.

While at UVA, she continued to strengthen on her project management skills and design thinking skills, while building a deeper understanding of financial planning and analysis, curriculum building, and educational innovation. Liana splits her time between Seattle, Washington and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Austin Joseph, BA

Austin Joseph is a product marketing manager at APPLE. formally he was the marketing manager at MICROSOFT for the and Minecraft divisions, respectively. He is an SGAP Leaders’ alumni and was selected to represent SGAP Leaders at the Global Solutions Lab* upon graduation from high school. He then interned with SGAP Leaders the summer after his high school graduation. He is a graduate from Morehouse College (summa cum laude), and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

*Participating teams in the Global Solutions Lab develop comprehensive strategies for solving some of the world’s most critical problems, and then present their solutions to experts located at the United Nations.

Cynthia Brain, LLM

Cynthia Brain earned a LLM in Human Rights from the University of Edinburgh. Prior to completing her LLM, Cynthia had five years’ experience with the United Nations system, peace and conflict resolution, and human rights advocacy work through positions at various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the United States, Scotland, France, and most recently in Ethiopia, where Cynthia has been based since 2018.

Cynthia interned with Global Partnerships for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), and she worked on various research projects and assignments related to conflict prevention, peace building, and sustaining peace on projects in Eastern and Southern Africa. Cynthia hopes to develop her project development and management skills further and receive first-hand experience working in international peace and conflict program errors pertaining to non-dominant groups. We are delighted that she is one of our advisors and look forward to working with her internationally.

Joe Tucker, CPA

Joseph B. Tucker retired as the Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Adventist Healthcare. Prior to his current position, Mr. Tucker was the Vice President and CFO of Nexus Healthcare, Controller for the Baltimore Health System and Director of Budget & Reimbursement at Sinai Hospital. He earned his BSc. in accounting from Virginia State University. He resides in Greater Baltimore County, Maryland with his wife and daughter.

Jordan Culpepper, M.A.

Jordan Culpepper is an executive at the Brunswick Group in Washington. DC. Jordan earned his graduate degree in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School in Boston, MA. Prior to Fletcher, he worked as a Social Media Manager in the Multicultural Beauty Division at L’Oréal where he focused on digital strategy and brand development . As a graduate of Howard University, Jordan prides himself on speaking up about equity within corporate America. 

He is an active advocate for the intersectionality of business and social impact, believing that the two aren’t mutually exclusive. When he isn’t working (or studying), he’s journaling, running, traveling, or creating content. Jordan resides in Washington, DC.

SOUNDING BOARD - Susan Marquardt, MBA

Susan is the Enterprise Change Manager at Navy Federal Credit Union. Prior to that, she was the Director of Organizational Change Management and Communications at Marriott International.

Susan Marquardt understands the importance of balancing the priorities and needs of internal and external stakeholders to manage the business changes, impacts and outcomes. Her approach is to ensure new program benefits are obtained by establishing the right metrics to measure behavior change, and defining monitoring processes for key performance indicators. 

Her experience includes designing, assessing and measuring the customer experience end-to-end to understand the interrelationships of the customer experience at every touch point. Susan resides in Maryland with her husband.

Sydney Bullock, B.A.

Sydney Bullock is a Licensing Partner at Newsflare, the world’s largest collection of licenseable user-generated video (UGV).

Sydney is one of our first graduates from our Leadership Series program. She started with SGAP Leaders at the age 12, and has been an intern, board member and advisor over the years. She is a graduate from the University of Maryland, College Park where she majored in journalism with a specialization in multimedia journalism.  She resides in Montville, New Jersey.

Eric Hawkins, JD. - Hawkins Law Office

After earning his bachelor’s degree in Government & Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park, Eric taught and tutored upper-level high school math and sciences. He later expanded his teaching horizons by moving to Kassel, Germany where he taught English at Kassel University and at an international business headquartered in Kassel. Upon his return to the United States, Eric earned his law degree from George Mason University School of Law and provides services for small businesses and investors at ERIC HAWKINS LAW FIRM.  He resides in Maryland.

Christopher Painter, MBA

Chris Painter is a consultant with Rios Partners which provides management consulting services to commercial, non-profit, and government clients in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

Chris joined the Board of Advisors with varied skills in sales and education. He was first introduced to SGAP Leaders as a Board Fellow with Georgetown University McDonough School of Business. Previously, he developed his effective teaching methods, and materials and presentation skills while he managed 6th, 7th, and 10th grade classrooms independently at a private school in Istanbul, Turkey. Chris resides in Washington, DC.