The purpose for the Advisory Board is three-fold, namely, to (i) support Upward Bound to remain true to its vision and mission (ii) contribute to strategic guidance and (iii) provide a reflective sounding board for the organization.

The Advisory Board does not have fiduciary responsibility over the organization although it may request to review the budget and financial statements. The Advisory Board does not have responsibility for implementation of programmes and strategic plans. The management and staff of the organization have that responsibility and are committed to consider the opinion, and operationalize the recommendations, of the Advisory Board.

The Advisory Board has six external members while Munaweza Muleji, Team Leader- Operations at Upward Bound, sits in as the seventh member. The six are Alissa Orlando (USA), Chrighton Chimombo (Malawi), Deogratius Rutatwa (Tanzania), Jeremiah Mbewe (Zambia), Ronald Kirabira (Uganda) and Maria Trujillo Ph.D. (USA) who is also the Chair of the Advisory Board.


Dr. Maria Trujillo’s is the Chair of the Advisory Board. Her intellectual interests are at the intersection of technology, management and development. She most recently served as Deputy Director of Capacity Development for a USAID supported global project – Grant Management Solutions (GMS)- aimed at providing technical support to the countries receiving grants from the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. In this capacity she led project design and implementation activities in capacity building for 12 regional partners around the globe, as well as the training of 400+ consultants.

She has over 25 years of experience as an international development consultant, business owner, and lecturer. She has always been part of the innovation and growth of the entities she has been affiliated with.

Dr. Maria Trujillo is the Faculty Director and Associate Professor of the Practice in the Systems Engineering and Technology Management Programs, School of Continuing Studies, Georgetown University, United States of America.

She holds a Ph.D. in International Development and Technology Transfer from the Payson Center in Tulane University; Masters in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Edinburgh; and B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering degree from Universidad del Valle in Colombia.


Alissa has years of experience managing consumer technology companies across sub-Saharan Africa. She has direct work experience in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Nigeria and has worked on projects in several other markets including South Africa, Ethiopia, and Ghana.

She most recently led operations across East Africa for Uber. Prior to that, she worked as Managing Director of Jumia Food Rwanda, part of the Jumia Group, Africa’s first unicorn with investors including Rocket Internet, MTN, and Millicom. Under her leadership, Uber grew six-fold, and Jumia Food tripled in less than one year.

Alissa served as a consultant with McKinsey & Company, the world’s premier management consulting firm, where she worked with Fortune 100 companies and private foundations on health, financial inclusion, and agricultural investments across the continent.

She is the founder and Managing Director of Dynamo Advisors, a consultancy company based in Nairobi.

She graduated summa cum laude from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service with a degree in African Studies and International Business Diplomacy and holds a certificate with honors from Harvard Business School.


Chrighton has considerable business development experience. He has strong, hands-on experience with working successfully with community-based organizations, national level non-governmental organizations and is very familiar with the operations of international NGOs. With over 19 years of experience  in the private and public sectors providing overall leadership and coordination of the financial, administrative, business planning and information technology functions, Chrighton is well versed in providing organization development in support of growth, expansion and reforms of both public and private institutions. He is very well versed with poverty and development dynamics in Malawi.

He is currently Financial Specialist (Director), Office of President and Cabinet, Government of Malawi.

He is a Fellow of Chartered Institute of Management Accountant (FCMA) 2001 – UK; he holds Bachelor of Commerce (Accountancy) 1994- University of Malawi degree; and a Diploma in Business Studies 1992- University of Malawi.

He is a member of the Society of Accountants in Malawi and of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (UK).


Deogratius is well exposed to implementation and management of HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and reproductive health programmes. He is well versed in Health Systems Strengthening, policy analysis and advocacy and in research, monitoring and evaluations. He has well developed strategic leadership skills and programs management skills; has acquired excellent skills managing high-level portfolios; developing and managing organization strategic and operational plans; organizational development, capacity building and assessment; and support to PLHIV networks and organizations. He has experience with Global Fund (GF) programming. He has consultancy experience.

He is currently the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Council of People Living with AIV and AIDS (NACOPHA) in Tanzania.
He holds Master of Public Health (MPH) 2001 University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania degree; and B.A. Sociology (Hons) 1995 University of Dar- es- Salaam, Tanzania degree.


Jeremiah is a professionally qualified strategic planning expert with strong exposure to team building and people management and resource mobilisation. He also has experience on project development and management, agriculture and natural resource management, climate change management, social research, monitoring, evaluation and shared learning.

He is currently a consultant in Zambia.

He is undertaking Masters of Arts in Development studies, University of South Africa; and holds Bachelor of Arts Degree in Development Studies, University of South Africa, 2012; Bachelor of Arts in Human and Social Studies (Community Development) Studies, University of South Africa, 2007; Diploma in Forestry, Zambia Forestry College, 1994; and Certificate in Extension Coordination Decentralized, Nordic Agriculture Academy-Denmark, 2000


Ronald has solid practical experience in financial management, budgeting, management and financial reporting and donor project management in the international non-governmental organization (INGO) sector. He has proven ability to provide high-level financial management, outstanding analytical and decision support at a strategic level. He has extensive exposure to cross-functional teamwork in international, multicultural environments.

Ronald is recognized by peers and senior leadership for his tenacity and ability to lead and support the dynamics of a rapidly changing environment and to work as a collaborative business partner with the ability to present financial reports to target audiences including senior management, the Board and other stakeholders in easily understood formats.

He is currently the International Head of Finance for ActionAid International.

He is a Chartered Certified Accountant, Accounting and Finance (ACCA). He holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) Accounting and Business Management 2008 Oxford Brookes University degree; and a Bachelor of Commerce, Accounting Honours 1995, Makerere University degree.