Staff

Baraka Kasali, Country Manager

Baraka Kasali was born in Beni, DRC, but grew up in Nairobi and Chicago. As Country Manager, Baraka leads ECI's work from Congo, managing ECI's team in Goma and overseeing the implementation and coordination of all ECI-supported projects. Before being promoted to Country Manager in 2016, Baraka worked as a Program Officer for ECI, gaining an extensive knowledge of the Congolese cocoa and coffee sectors. Previous to working at ECI, Baraka worked in marketing in Chicago for four years before returning to Congo where he spent three years teaching English at a university in North Kivu. Baraka studied at Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL, and speaks English, French, and Swahili.

Whitney Showler, Partnerships

Whitney Showler is a thought partner for non-profit, humanitarian aid, and disaster relief leaders including influencers and artists. Inspired by a vision that philanthropists can make a greater impact through collaboration, Whitney utilizes her expertise to maximize impact and create lasting change. Previously, Whitney was the Chief Operating Officer of the non-profit organization founded by two-time Grammy winning/multiplatinum rock band Linkin Park. Since 2007 she spearheaded many innovative initiatives including Download to Donate for Haiti, Relief LIVE as well as Concerts for Japan Tsunami Relief and Typhoon Relief in the Philippines raising $11M since inception for immediate aid and long-term recovery for global emergencies.The grassroots disaster relief and environmental organization also created Power the World in partnership with the United Nations Foundation to bring sustainable energy solutions to communities without access to electricity. 

Whitney began her career in marketing at Warner Bros. Records, then became the Marketing Director at Warner Bros. imprint label, Machine Shop Recordings.  Whitney holds an M.A. in Psychology and a B.A. in World Arts & Cultures from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Aline Mihigo, Coffee Field Officer

An experienced agronomist based in Bukavu, Aline works to support the development of ECI’s coffee program in South Kivu, Kawa Bora ya Kivu. Aline studied agronomy at the Universite Evangelique en Afrique (UEA) in Bukavu, and speaks fluent French, Swahili, and Lingala. She joined ECI in April 2013.

Alphonsine Mbela, Deputy Country Manager - Operations

Alphonsine joined ECI in January 2013 and oversees the financial operations. Alphonsine has a wealth of experience in accounting and has previously worked for World Vision DRC, World Vision Zimbabwe, and UNHCR. She has one degree in Economics and one in Human Resources Management from the Universite Ouverte du Nord Kivu. Alphonsine was born and grew up in Goma. She speaks English, French, Swahili, and Lingala. 

Caro Brown, MSA, CMA, CFE, Director of Finance and Administration

Caro is a Certified Managerial Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner with more than a decade of experience in for-profit, not-for-profit, and public accounting. As a member of ECI's senior leadership team, Caro manages the financial and administrative needs of ECI's growing international team. Prior to joining ECI in October 2015, Caro worked for the French group Bollore Africa Logistics as an Assistant Controller, and the Maryland Based Audit firm AUDIREX LLC as a senior consultant. She was born in Douala, Cameroon, speaks English and French, holds a BA in Business and Administration and a Master's Degree in Forensic Accounting.

Freddy Bingane, Finance and Administration Coordinator

Freddy Bingane brings years of experience in finance and accounting to ECI’s finance department. Before joining ECI in December 2014, Freddy worked as a finance officer for Save the Children International in the Oriental province. Freddy holds a degree in Management and Accounting from the University of CEPROMAD in Bunia, DRC.

Gerry Kahashy, Multimedia Specialist

Gerry was born and raised in Goma, DRC. Prior to joining ECI in October 2015, Gerry worked as a radio technician and producer at the Mutaani Project in Goma, as well as a cameraman and video editor at Big Ideas Entertainment in Kenya. Gerry speaks English, French, and Swahili.

Luc Ndyanabo, Capacity-Building and Grantee Coordinator

Luc joined ECI in November 2010. He is responsible for arranging all field visits, security and procurement out of ECI’s Goma office. Luc studied Economics and Management at the University of CEPROMAD. Luc was born and raised in Goma, and speaks English, French, and Swahili.

Maryline Mwenge, Finance Assistant

Maryline has over a decade’s experience in financial administration of local and international non-governmental organizations in eastern Congo, including current ECI partner HEAL Africa. She joined ECI in 2012 and supports our Finance Manager in overseeing the financial administration of ECI’s programs. Maryline grew up in Goma and studied Business Management & Administration at Universite Libre des Pays des Grands Lacs. Maryline speaks French and Swahili.