Meet the Board: An Introduction

May 04, 2017

Diyalo Foundation

Education  Agriculture  Energy



Surya Karki: Chairman of the Board
Co-founder of the Diyalo Foundation, Surya has an intimate knowledge of Diyalo, the landscape in Nepal, and sustainable development. His strong belief in quality education led him to co-found Maya Universe Academy in Nepal, a network of rural schools functioning on a farm-school model to provide free education to students. This gave him experience establishing schools in remote areas and identifying the obstacles that arise in this setting. Surya previously worked as Country Manager for United World Schools in Nepal and became Country Director for the organization in June 2016. He also previously worked as a Dayitwas National Fellow to the former Nepali Prime Minister, Hon. Madhav Kumar Nepal, and has worked on several research and poverty alleviation projects while with Action Aid International. He was awarded the Young Sustainable Living Entrepreneurs Award in 2013 by Prince Charles, was recognized as one of eleven most influential college students in the same year, and was honored as a Global Laureate Fellow by the International Youth Foundation in 2014. In 2015 he was awarded the resolution fellowship at the Clinton Global Initiative and is a senior Humanity in Action Fellow. Surya received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Development Economics and International Development from the College of the Atlantic and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Business and Economics from Tsinghua University. He also holds an Associates degree from the Simon Bolivar United World College of Agriculture in Farm Administration and Management and a professional certificate from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey in Design, Partnering, Management, and Innovation (DPMI), Development and Economics, and International Development. 

Cori Keene, Board Member
An expert in agroecology and sustainable development, Cori Keene brings a unique and international perspective to Diyalo. In addition to serving on the board for Diyalo, Cori is a co-founder and consultant of the International Agroecology Action Network and a principal consultant at Keene Consulting. She also teaches a course at Colorado State University, ‘Agroecology for Sustainable Communities’. Cori has traveled extensively, developing her knowledge in agroecology and sustainability along the way. She spent time in Nepal as a teacher and sustainable development intern, conducted field research in agroecology in Guatemala, and interned at Global Soil Partnership of FAO-UN in Rome, Italy. Her many areas of expertise include: sustainability and agri-environmental analysis, socioeconomic development and sustainable livelihoods, farm system analysis and development, and ecological design, restoration, and conservation. Cori holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Agroecology from Prescott College, a Master of Science degree in Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture from the Institut Supérieur d’Agriculture et d’Agro- Alimentaire Rhône-Alpes (ISARA-Lyon), a Master of Science degree in Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, and a Master’s degree in Human Geography and Geopolitics from the University of Amsterdam. 

Jay Friedlander, Board Member
Jay Friedlander is a Senior Fellow in Social Innovation at Babson College. Impact entrepreneur, academic and strategy consultant to Fortune 100 companies, Jay Friedlander is making sustainability strategic. From his experiences as a natural and organic food entrepreneur and teaching sustainable enterprise, Jay created the Abundance Cycle™ to merge sustainability and business strategy. The model is actionable, providing businesses with new perspectives as well as a clear pathway forward. The Abundance Cycle™ builds on competitive strengths and weaves in the latest tactics enterprises are using across the globe to maximize abundance for shareholders, the planet and society. Jay is the Sharpe-McNally Chair of Green and Socially Responsible Business at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine and founder of a vanguard sustainable business program. The College has been repeatedly cited as a leader in sustainability and Jay's work has been covered in Fast Company, Princeton Review, CNN, Chronicle of Higher Education, Entrepreneur, Triple Pundit, Fortune, Money and other media. Jay is a frequent speaker on merging sustainable innovation and enterprise. He has given talks to business and academic groups in the United States, as well as Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and the European Union. Jay holds a BA from Colgate University and an MBA from Babson College, where he graduated as Valedictorian.

Andrew Adams Schoen, Board Member
Andrew Schoen joined one of Silicon Valley's larger VC firms, NEA, in 2014. He's led diligence for 22 companies including Pocket, which was acquired by Mozilla in February 2017. Schoen worked closely with Pentaho leading up to its 2015 acquisition and is a board member at CCP Games, IonQ and Qadium. Andrew is a Schwarzman Scholar. He composed and co-produced his own hip hop album. He holds a Bachelor’s from Cornell University, where he graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors in both Economics in the College of Arts and Sciences and Science of Earth Systems in the College of Engineering, and a Master of Science from Tsinghua University. Forbes recognized Andrew, 28, as one of the “30 under 30” in 2018 for his outstanding achievements in venture capital in the USA. Surya lives in New York, NY.

Felix Tettey, Board Member
Felix grew up in Ghana. When he studied at Pearson College, United World College in Canada, he was exposed to 200 students from 100 countries. He now lives in the US. This broad experience has led him to develop a social and professional perspective that allows him to collaborate across a variety of cultures and perspectives. His fluency in English, Ga, Twi, French, and English-based creoles has prepared him to serve as a broker between the western world and West Africa. He is driven to contribute to the advancement of public policy and the growth of international trade and development. For example, he was instrumental in raising seed capital for a Ghanaian IT and software start-up committed to developing ‘African solutions to African problems.’ His studies in Big Data at Carnegie Mellon will prove useful in developing evidence-based public policy challenges. Felix holds a Bachelor of Arts in Development Studies (honors) and Economics from Brown University. He also holds a Masters Degree in Public Policy and Management, Highest Distinction from Carnegie Mellon University.