DevSmart Group | About DevSmart Group
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About DevSmart Group

Christy Dow is co-owner and Director of Fundraising. Christy started her professional career in Africa — serving the UNICEF country programs for South Sudan, Sudan and Somalia — and has since supported non-governmental organizations and UN agencies across Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. She has over 20 years of experience fundraising, reporting, and training staff on writing skills, fundraising, donor interaction, and in developing true partnerships with the individuals and groups that fund their work. Christy also sits on the Board of Directors for Girls Sport International which promotes the welfare of young women and their communities through sport and play-related programming. She is currently based in the Washington DC area.

Jessica Koehs is co-owner and Director of Programming. She brings over 15 years of experience in programming, donor relationship management, and results-based writing and fundraising. She has written strategies for United Nations Country Teams and UN Agencies in more than 20 countries and has worked in depth on child protection and HIV and AIDS programming in Latin America and Africa. Jessica has lived and worked in Argentina, P. R. China, Tanzania, the United Kingdom and the United States and currently resides in New York City. Jessica speaks English, Spanish and Mandarin and has published several articles on the topic of excluded populations’ participation in public policy making.

Elizabeth Merola joined the DevSmart team in 2015 as the Director of Private Sector Engagement after nearly 11 years at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF where she had most recently served as the Managing Director of the Global Programs & Field Engagement Department. Prior to that, Elizabeth served as a Deputy Director in the Program Office and Special Assistant to the President of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF where she supported strategic global partnerships and alliances, including GAVI.  She joined the U.S. Fund for UNICEF in August 2004 from UNICEF Headquarters in New York where her responsibilities included supporting the work of the Latin America and Caribbean Desk. Elizabeth served in the United States Peace Corps and is based in New York City.

Stephanie Kleschnitzki joins DevSmart after 15 years of work with the United Nations supporting situation and disaster risk analysis, strategic “risk-informed” planning, monitoring, reporting and resource mobilisation in both complex emergencies and development contexts. Having been based in two UN Headquarters, three Regional Offices, four Country Offices and one Resident Coordinator Office in five regions across the globe, she brings a wealth of practical experience in results-based planning and management. Stephanie is a Master Trainer in Results Based Management and speaks English and French.

Brian J. Bouton joined the DevSmart group in 2016 while pursuing a doctorate in history at City University of New York Graduate Center and teaching courses at Brooklyn College. Prior to pursuing a career in academia, he taught history and writing for over a decade at the secondary school level and volunteered for five years assisting youth moving through the juvenile court system. His specialities with the DevSmart Group are concept note writing, editing and donor research, especially in the area of education. Brian has received an M.A. in World History from New York University and an M.A. in American History/Philosophy from the CUNY Graduate Center.

Jih Hong joined the DevSmart Group in 2014 after practicing corporate law as in-house council for seven years. Her experience in government and the non-profit sector include as a staff member for the Speaker of the National Assembly of Korea, Director of Communication for Manhattan/NYC Korean School and as a volunteer for UNICEF Public-sector Partnerships Division. Her specialties with DevSmart Group are donor research and mapping, private sector fundraising, and working on UNICEF’s private sector donor toolkits and results matrices. She received an M.A. in International Economic Law from Yonsei University and J.D. from New York Law School.

Matthew Gibbs has worked for the UN and NGOs since 2003 – in 10 countries in Africa, the Pacific and Central Asia – primarily as a writer of reports, donor and project proposals, strategy documents, policy papers and human interest stories. His work has also included a focus on girls’ education programming, human rights research and training, M&E and planning and emergency preparedness and response planning and assessments. Matt studied politics at the University of Sydney in his native Australia and earned a Masters degree in international development and management from Lund University in Sweden. A prize-winning writer of fiction, Matt is currently writing a collection of short stories, based in Africa and the Pacific in addition to writing his first play. He has been working with DevSmart Group since 2009, primarily on results based management issues, fundraising materials and strategy.

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Our clients deserve the most relevant, innovative and useful products and services available. We provide that in part through the specialized expertise that we employ. We maintain a roster of globally based experts with skills that range from donor development, donor liaison, and reporting to results based management, programming and monitoring and evaluation. Our team of consultants have decades of combined experience and deep industry knowledge gained while serving in some of the world’s most complex development and emergency settings.