Batonga Team

Batonga Team

Our people

Stephanie Cate Lord

Executive Director

Stephanie has been working for the Foundation since early 2008 and is in direct contact with Batonga’s program partners working in Benin, Mali, Cameroon, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone. For the past seven years, she has been working with Batonga’s Board to research and implement the most effective programs and policies geared toward expanding economic and educational opportunities for women and girls in Sub-Saharan Africa and breaking down the barriers girls face while pursuing an education.

Stephanie has been recognized by the National Society for Collegiate Scholars and American University for her leadership at Batonga and has been selected for fellowships with the Atlantic Council, the U.S. Department of State, the Gabr Foundation, and the National Council for Research on Women.

In coordination with her work at Batonga, she has served as an American delegate for the Atlantic Council and U.S. Department of State’s Young Turkey/Young America program, working to strengthen bilateral ties with Turkey and as an American delegate for the Gabr Foundation’s East-West: The art of Dialogue fellowship to foster dialogue and cooperation among emerging leaders in Egypt and the United States. She has also been appointed the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI U) Women and Girls Commitment Mentor since 2014.

Stephanie is a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill and earned her Master’s Degree from American University’s School of International Service, where she focused on international development, public health, education and gender studies.

Jescinta Izevbigie

Program and Outreach Officer

Program and Outreach Officer

Born and raised in Nigeria, Jescinta Izevbigie’s passion for pursuing the intersection of gender equality/women’s empowerment and international development is intrinsically rooted in her African heritage and female identity. She has constantly strived to think globally, critically and analytically, synthesizing her interests in global advocacy for women’s rights and Africa through fieldwork experiences in Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and South Africa. She most recently worked in South Africa as a Gender Specialist and Program Manager for a social innovation agency based in Cape Town. In this capacity, she conducted an investigative deep-dive into the nature, frequency and forms of gender-based violence in Cape Town, assessing and evaluating the impact of programmatic interventions in the GBV space and designing a pilot GBV technical intervention called, “The Gender Security Network, a program rooted in fostering pro-social community activism against GBV in townships. This innovative spirit, rooted in a proactive, self-starter mindset has allowed Jescinta Izevbigie to expand and develop her researcher and practitioner skill sets within the gender space in Africa. Previously at Chemonics International, she worked as a Gender and Social Inclusion Trainer for a USAID-funded project in Tanzania, educating Tanzanian government officials and civil society leaders on how to incorporate greater gender equality in their organizational structure and communicate greater social inclusion in their program designs.

This experience, alongside her background driving global women’s issues, from creating a policy report for the UN Office of the High Commission for Human Rights on the responsiveness of national policies to women’s rights issues to working as a Gender Researcher for the Rwandan Women Parliamentary Forum in Kigali, have given her an understanding of the importance of supporting sustainable and efficient global solutions. This background is further supported by a strong academic foundation in international development and gender studies, having completed a Bachelor’s of Science in Foreign Service (Culture and Politics: Women in Africa) at Georgetown University and a Master’s of Science in Gender, Development and Globalization at The London School of Economics and Political Science. She is looking forward to continuing her engagement in gender and international development and supporting global initiatives that reposition African women and girls as the agent of their own life and author of their own story!

Caitlin Hone

Program and Outreach Officer

Caitlin Hone is a recent graduate of the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Her degree in Global Policy Studies specifically focused on international development and nonprofit management. During her time at the LBJ school, she had the opportunity to work for 6-months at the Wilson Center’s Women in Public Service Project. Her position at the Wilson Center allowed her to work closely with the African girls’ mentoring nonprofit The Global Give Back Circle, as well as President Joyce Banda of Malawi, whose research and writing focused on the education and empowerment of African girls. 

Prior to graduate school, Caitlin served for over two years with the Peace Corps in Guinea, West Africa, where she developed her French language skills as well as her passion for girls’ and women’s empowerment and education. Before her Peace Corps service, she graduated from the Ohio State University, where she obtained bachelor’s degrees in International Political Science and Anthropology. Having been born overseas to American military parents during the First Gulf War, Caitlin has lived and worked in several different countries and states throughout her life and has a passion for travel and broadening her understanding of the world.

 

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