dZi Foundation Leadership

Ang Chokpa Sherpa
Ang Chokpa Sherpa
Nepal Country Director

Ang Chokpa is from the village of Chaurikharka Solukhumbu, near the main gateway to Mt. Everest. In her role with dZi, she serves as the logistical manager for both the field and office staff in Nepal. Her organization and communication skills are an asset of incalculable value not only for the dZi Foundation staff, but for the thousands of villagers whose lives have prospered under her leadership. Chokpa has advanced degrees in both Sociology and Rural Development, and is interested in yoga, trekking, Buddhism, and women’s rights.

Wende Valentine's headshot
Wende Valentine
Executive Director

A powerful advocate for social and economic equity, Wende brings 20 years of rich field experience with a variety of international nonprofit organizations to her role as the Executive Director. Wende leads dZi’s program planning and implementation, fundraising, team development, public relations, and financial management – all while fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration. She holds an M.A. in International Development and her work, study, and travels have taken her to 55 countries around the globe.

Jim Nowak
President and Co-Founder

Since 1998, Jim’s leadership has taken the dZi Foundation from a grassroots organization initially formed to fund a safehouse for girls in Kathmandu to a thriving nonprofit that serves over 44,000 individuals in Nepal. Jim works closely with Ang Chokpa and Wende to ensure that dZi’s strategic planning results in the achievement of the dZi mission. The growth of the dZi Foundation is a direct result of his knowledge, passion, and compassion for the communities that dZi serves.

Meet Our Nepal Team

Tulasa Rai
Tulasa Rai
Agriculture Technician
Tilak Khand Thakuri
Tilak Khand Thakuri
Civil Engineer
Subindra Rai
Subindra Rai
Technical Assistant
Saroj Kulung
Saroj Kulung
Field Supervisor
Sangita Gurung
Sangita Gurung
Field Assistant
Rewati Rai
Rewati Rai
Agriculture Program Coordinator
Patrus Rai
Community Market Facilitator
Nirmala Rai Headshot
Nirmala Rai
Office Assistant
Kanchan Rai
Kanchan Rai
Agriculture Technician
Jibnath Timilsila
Jibnath Timsina
Field Supervisor
Jitna Janam Rai
Jitna Janam Rai
District Program Coordinator
Jhanak Karki
Jhanak Karki
Operation Officer
Jas Bahadur Rai
Jas Bahadur Rai
Agriculture Technician
Iswor Basnet
Iswor Basnet
Agriculture Technician
Gyan Bahadur Bhattarai
Gyan Bahadur Bhattarai
District Program Coordinator
Gautam Silwal Headshot
Gautam Silwal
Chief Finance Officer
Dipesh Gurung
Dipesh Gurung
Quality Education Program Coordinator
Chatra Rai
Chatra Rai
Technical Assistant
Bhalakaji Rai
Bhalakaji Rai
M & E Coordinator
Ambika Rai
Ambika Rai
Agriculture Technician
Dillu Khatri
Dillu Khatri
Agriculture Technician
Satananda Upadhya Headshot
Satananda Upadhyaye
Agriculture Program Officer
Sita Ram Thapa (Samip) Headshot
Samip Thapa
Logistic Assistant
Prashant BK
Prashant BK
Field Assistant
Raj Kumar Rai
Rajkumar Rai
Field Assistant
Mansu Rai
Mansu Rai
Agriculture Technician
Thamsari Rai
Thamsari Rai
Agriculture Technician

Meet Our US & UK Team

Sarah Banister
Sarah Banister
dZi UK Administrative Director
Michelle Montague
Michelle Montague
Finance Officer
Julia Van Raalte, Institutional Grant Specialist
Julia Van Raalte
Development Director
Kianna Ziemann, Engagement Specialist
Kianna Ziemann
Engagement Specialist
Our Board
US Voting Board
Brent Bishop
Chair
Matt Glerum
Vice Chair
Yvonne Marsh
Secretary
Matthew Weatherley-White
Treasurer
James Duckworth
Member
Cheryl Jensen
Member
Ted Kerasote
Member
Emily Martin
Member
Karsang Sherpa
Member
Abhaya Shrestha
Member
Erik Weihenmayer
Member
US Advisory Board
Buck Elliott
Caroline Fisher, PhD
Robin Houston, MD MP
Bill Keller
Bill Liske
Thomas Newmeyer
Lois Ziemann
US Council
Darvin Ayre
Robert Balmaseda
Tom Fritz
Peter Hackett, MD
Ace Kvale
Hilaree Nelson
Scott Penzerella
Mark Udall
Former US Senator
UK Trustees
Paul Mulholland
Chair
Ed Douglas
Trustee
Bill Liske
Trustee
Rupak Maharjan
Trustee
Corporate Partners