Dario Merlo serves as ECI’s Country Director, bringing nearly a decade of leadership experience in international development to the organization. Born in eastern Congo, he previously worked for the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) as Country Director and managed community-centered conservation programs across DRC. Dario also previously worked for the North Kivu Farmer’s Association, overseeing a series of rural development initiatives, and owns a dairy farm in the province. He founded Promo Jeune Basket (PJB) in 2006, a grassroots organization that harnesses the dynamic impact that sports and basketball can have on children to build responsible Congolese citizens and future leaders, and continues to serve as President of PJB’s Board of Directors. Dario studied social sciences and geography at the University of Belgium in Brussels and went on to become a high school history teacher before moving back to DRC in 2005.