Our Team

Dr. Kevin Wheeler

Dr. Kevin Wheeler brings a diverse private sector, science, and international development background to his role as Kaizen’s Managing Director. He has led Kaizen’s work in governance, energy, environment, education, and economic growth in the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. He is experienced in organizational development, business process engineering, financial innovation, and building communities of practice.

Prior to joining the Kaizen Company, Kevin worked for the Boston Consulting Group where he focused on risk analysis and business process efficiency in the energy and telecom sectors.

Kevin holds a BS in geology from Brown University, a PhD in petrology from Columbia University, and has studied Arabic at the University of Damascus in Syria. Kevin is a Certified Performance Technologist (CPT) through the International Society for Performance Improvement.

Andrew Kaiser

Andrew Kaiser is a public and private sector management reform and community of practice specialist with 20 years of experience supporting strategic management, organizational transformation, and peer-to-peer reform networks. Andrew founded the Kaizen Company in 2004 with the vision of leveraging new media and market forces to create unprecedented opportunities for people to improve their lives, organizations, and societies. Andrew currently serves as President of the Kaizen Company while acting as Chief of Party for the Ethiopia Local Capacity Development Project.

Before founding Kaizen, Andrew worked for a prominent international development consulting firm and played a role in numerous international development assistance programs. Prior to development, he worked in international marketing and consulting in the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia.

Andrew has an MBA with a focus on international business and a BA in government and international relations, both from the University of South Carolina. He is a Certified Performance Technologist (CPT) through the International Society for Performance Improvement, and speaks English, German, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Amy Watve

Amy Watve has 16 years of experience in strategic planning and analysis, financial processes, service and process improvement, and other related management and organizational development issues for private, non-profit and public sector clients. As the Strategic Initiatives Director, Ms. Watve coordinates and facilitates the implementation of corporate strategy and new product development at the Kaizen Company.

Prior to joining Kaizen, Amy was a consultant with McKinsey & Company. Amy possesses broad experience in the Middle East, having lived and worked in Iraq, Egypt, the Gulf, Jordan and the West Bank.

Amy received her MA in international relations and strategic studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and her BA in Middle Eastern studies from Emory University. Amy is a Certified Performance Technologist (CPT) through the International Society for Performance Improvement. She speaks English, Arabic, Spanish and French.

Lisa Letke 

Lisa has 18 years of experience managing development assistance projects. At the Kaizen Company Lisa leads various business development initiatives and oversees corporate operations.

Prior to joining Kaizen, Lisa worked for AECOM International Development managing projects, IQCs and numerous business development efforts. Lisa has professional experience in Latin America, Africa, Asia, Europe and the US starting up, implementing and managing projects of different sizes, funded by various donors, including USAID, the World Bank, the IDB and the US Department of State.

Lisa holds an MA in Latin American studies from Georgetown University and a BA in English and Spanish from Wake Forest University. Lisa speaks English and Spanish.

Roseline Tekeu

Roseline Tekeu is an international development practitioner with over ten years of experience in program design and management, monitoring and evaluation and business development. As Program & Contract Manager for the Kaizen Company, Roseline serves as lead home office project manager for various Kaizen initiatives and supports contractual compliance for Kaizen’s other donor-funded programs. Her current portfolio includes the USAID-funded Human and Institutional Capacity Development (HICD) Assessment of the Morocco Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training (Morocco HICD project) and the USAID-funded Early Grade Reading and Math Project in Jordan. In addition, she supports new business development efforts and contributes to strategic initiatives.

Prior to joining Kaizen, Roseline spent over six years at Creative Associates International, where as a member of the Education for Development division, she provided technical and management support to multiple donor-funded education projects in Morocco, Algeria, Uganda, Zambia, and successfully contributed to the identification of business development opportunities and to the development of specific project proposals. Previously, Roseline worked on African affairs at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC.

Roseline holds her Masters of Education in International Education Policy from Harvard University, and a Bachelor’s in Political Science from Science Po Paris in France. She speaks English and French.

 

Julia Hedlund

Julia is an experienced program manager with expertise in democracy and governance program design, business development, financial management and compliance, capacity building, and over ten years of experience in supervisory and leadership roles. Julia has a proven ability to work with and lead highly skilled, multi-cultural teams and implement projects in difficult operational environments.

Julia currently manages several USG-funded contracts for the Kaizen Company, including the Securing Water for Food Technical Assistance Facility and USAID’s Global Development Lab Ebola Support Contract.

Prior to joining Kaizen, Julia worked at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, managing elections integrity programs in Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone and other West African countries. She was also temporarily posted to Ukraine where she managed programs supporting the 2014 Presidential Elections. Julia holds a Master’s degree in International Development from George Washington University’s Elliott School and a BA in International Relations and Latin American Studies from American University.

Ben Robbins

Ben Robbins is an international development professional with experience in youth development, capacity building, project management, and business development. As Associate Program Manager for the Kaizen Company, Ben manages the USAID-funded Ethiopia Local Capacity Development project and multiple subcontracts. He also provides technical expertise in M&E and ICT for both corporate and project operations.

Prior to joining Kaizen, Ben worked for Oxfam America’s Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine. As a project coordinator for EFI, he supported the development of organizational systems to prepare for the spinoff of EFI as an independent non-profit. Through his work as a youth development volunteer in southeastern Ukraine, he implemented various projects promoting leadership, citizenship, journalism, and healthy lifestyles, among other topics.

Ben holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), concentrating in International Economics and Russian and Eurasian Studies, and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Georgia. He speaks English and Russian.

Meghan Ohmart

Meghan Ohmart is an international development professional with a background in environment and public relations. As a Senior Program Management Coordinator for the Kaizen Company, Meghan supports proposal coordination and development, provides backstopping assistance on a number of USAID-funded projects, and supports corporate operations and strategic initiatives.

Prior to joining Kaizen, Meghan worked as a Communication and Outreach Specialist for a USAID-funded Water Reuse and Environmental Conservation project in Jordan, where she contributed to the development of a professional network and a community of practice, enhancing stakeholder engagement.

Meghan holds dual Bachelor’s Degrees in Political Science and Romance Languages from the University of Oregon. She speaks Arabic, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

Liz Heller

Liz Heller is an international development professional with experience in youth development, experiential education and cross-cultural exchange program management. As a Senior Program Management Coordinator, she provides backstopping assistance on a number of USAID-funded projects, contributes to the company’s strategic initiatives and supports proposal development and coordination.

Prior to joining Kaizen, Liz worked in Beijing, China as a Program Manager with the JUMP Foundation, a small non-profit social enterprise. At JUMP she managed youth programs focused on leadership, team-building and personal development including a six-week summer program for under-served American high school students who received full scholarships through the US State Department to study in China. As a graduate student Liz worked with USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) on governance and political transition programming in Asia and the Middle East.

Liz holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), concentrating in International Development and Economics, and a Bachelor’s degree in Chinese Language & Literature from the George Washington University. She speaks English and Mandarin Chinese.

Trevor Baim

Trevor Baim is an international development professional with experience in partnership development, project start-up operations and knowledge management.  As a Senior Program Management Coordinator, he provides administrative and logistical support for Kaizen’s projects, contributes to the company’s strategic initiatives and supports proposal development and recruitment.

Prior to joining Kaizen, Trevor worked for The QED Group, where he coordinated operations for the Knowledge Driven Microenterprise Development Contract.  He also has extensive experience in India, where he helped launch an educational institution and set up a medical device distribution partnership.

Trevor has an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver with a focus in development and political economy.  He speaks English and Spanish.

Nikki deBaroncelli

Nikki deBaroncelli is an international development professional with experience in program development, research and assessment, and cross-cultural project coordination. As a Senior Program Management Coordinator at the Kaizen Company, she supports the implementation of USAID funded projects and assists with the organization’s proposal development.

Prior to joining Kaizen, Nikki worked for Walk With Sally, a youth development nonprofit, where she created and implemented successful program-wide policies and procedures, and organized all program events, trainings, and presentations. She also served as a Volunteer Coordinator for African Impact, a development organization in Livingstone, Zambia. While there, she managed and trained volunteers from all over the world, provided on-going logistical support, and served as a liaison between the organization and high-level community stakeholders

Nikki holds a Master’s degree in International Development from the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies, concentrating in Humanitarian Assistance.  She also has Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Arizona.

Breana Timlin

Breana Timlin is an international development professional with a background in youth development, program design and implementation, and supporting inclusive environments.

As a Program Management Coordinator at the Kaizen Company, she provides backstopping assistance on a number of USAID-funded projects and contributes to the company’s corporate operations and strategic initiatives.

Prior to joining Kaizen, Breana managed an enrichment-based after-school program, SONYC, for middle-school aged students in the Bronx, New York, with Bronx House. She served as an advocate against gender-based violence throughout New York City with the SAVI program. She also served as a volunteer teacher in rural Tanzania where she took on the role of community organizer and provided pathways for students to become agents of change through student-led community projects.

Breana holds a Master’s degree in Gender and Development from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex in Brighton, England. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Inquiry: Sociology and Political Science with a minor in Women Studies from Eugene Lang College at The New School University in New York City.

Melanie Mahlstedt

Melanie Mahlstedt is a Recruitment & Program Management Coordinator at the Kaizen Company, where she provides backstopping assistance on a number of USAID-funded projects, contributes to the company’s corporate operations and strategic initiatives, and supports proposal development and coordination.

Her past experience includes HR & Finance coordination at Kaizen, HR management with analytics startup TrackMaven, and children’s advocacy for abuse victims at Children’s Hospital of New Orleans. She holds a B.S. in Psychology from Loyola University New Orleans and an M.A. in Organizational Sciences from The George Washington University. Melanie speaks English and Spanish.

Nathan Kelly

Nathan’s background is in international finance. He has advised on a variety of transactions including cross-border mergers and acquisitions and debt capital raises. He has also worked in northeastern Brazil on real estate development transactions. Nathan has considerable experience identifying and analyzing key growth opportunities and risk factors for businesses ranging from internal company dynamics to broader market trends. He has worked with a variety of service and industrial companies to create financial models to forecast future performance. Nathan identifies new corporate opportunities, organizes capture operations and supports Kaizen Ventures.

Nathan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Global Politics and Economics from Washington & Lee University. Prior to joining Kaizen, Nathan worked at Lincoln International, a global middle-market investment bank specializing in cross-border transactions. Nathan speaks English and Portuguese.

Justin Bigelow

Justin Bigelow is a Program Management Coordinator at The Kaizen Company. In this role, he provides programmatic and home office assistance to various donor-funded projects implemented by Kaizen. He is actively involved in its new business activity, leading recruitment and proposal coordination. Additionally, he supports Kaizen’s strategic initiatives and corporate operations.

Justin’s career is varied but has almost always focused on service to others including four and a half years in the United States Army as a petroleum logistician and serving domestically as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the National Human Services Assembly, providing policy research and outreach on poverty reduction strategies. He most recently worked at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, implementing innovative HR strategies to improve engagement and performance across the agency.

Justin holds a Masters of Public Administration focused on International Development Administration from the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at the George Washington University. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Northern Arizona University, majoring in History with a minor in International Relations.

Angelique Williams

Angelique Williams is an International Development professional with a background in public health. As an Associate Human Resource and Finance Coordinator for the Kaizen Company, Angelique manages accounting files, acts as a liaison between employee and benefits providers and assists with the oversight of the company’s financials and human resource system.

Prior to joining Kaizen, Angelique worked as a Community Health Peace Corps Volunteer in Rwanda, where she used participatory approaches to implement a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene curriculum and a Let Girls Learn project.

Angelique holds dual Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Black Studies from DePauw University.