Esu is a co-founder of The BARKA Foundation and has served as the President of the Board since 2006. He had a successful career as a television producer for CNN, CNBC and FOX in New York City, and as a media technology consultant in the Seattle area where he parlayed his television expertise to streaming media on the web at RealNetworks and Microsoft. In 2005 he was deeply affected by a visit to Burkina Faso under the tutelage of renowned wisdomkeeper, Dr. Malidoma Somé. This led him down a path of passion and purpose that resulted in the creation of The BARKA Foundation with his wife, Ina.
Esu has a B.A. in Theatre and English from Williams College and attended Trinity Rep Theatre Conservatory where he studied acting and directing.
Ina is a co-founder of BARKA Foundation and has served in various capacities as a member of its Board of Directors since 2006. She is the Directrice Generale of Fondation BARKA, the local affiliate organization in Burkina Faso. Ina has traveled to Burkina annually since 2000. She has earned the respect of national government leaders, traditional authorities and most importantly, local villagers and women throughout Burkina. Ina is devoted to the issue of women’s empowerment, particularly the cross-cutting issues of how women are affected by lack of access to safe drinking water.
Cathie joined the Board of Directors in 2013 and has served as its Secretary since 2015.
In her own words:
I first came to know BARKA from meeting Ina and Esu at a church gathering where they spoke about the preciousness of water and about a little country in West Africa called Burkina Faso. Being close to retiring from being a nurse for 40 years , I welcomed the opportunity to help with this work. I was privileged to visit BARKA’s headquarters in Fada N’Gourma, Burkina Faso for about a week in 2014. What was most enriching was how Ina and Esu and all the BARKA employees were loved and respected by the villages in which BARKA serves.
Tracy J. Heilman
As a BARKA board member, Tracy draws upon her considerable experience building and growing small organizations and startups in the health technology industry. She has a history of designing and launching successful products with compelling user experiences, as well as unique expertise in creating effective consumer-facing, information-rich, interactive applications. Tracy’s experience also includes strategic planning and marketing consulting for health systems and providers. She currently serves as an independent consultant and advisor in the areas of vision and mission, strategic planning, and product strategy and development. She holds an MBA in Finance, Marketing, and Health Services Management from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, and a BA in Economics and Psychology from Williams College.
A longtime volunteer for Williams College in a variety of capacities, Tracy recently completed a 5-year term as a vice chair for the Alumni Fund, the last two years of which she served as Co-Chair of the fund. She is also a member of the board of the Northwestern University Settlement Association in Chicago, as well as one of its auxiliary boards.
Adam Ruderman has been a lifelong entrepreneur, creating companies and organizations to help people, many with a social mission, some within the field of organic food and sustainable agriculture, and more recently within real estate and finance. Adam grew up in New York City where his award-winning restaurant and catering company, Herban Kitchen (1994-2004), was a pioneer in providing healthy and tasty organic meals, as well as educating the public about organic food and forging ties between local family farmers and restaurant patrons.
Adam is a creative thinker and problem solver who believes in the power of private and public enterprises to produce both financial and social returns, and to improve the world as part of their organizational mission. Adam believes that all organizations need to be responsible for their actions and create and promote sustainable practices. Adam also believes that non-profit organizations must provide real value and create self-funding mechanisms that provide streams of revenue which insure their long-term survival.
Adam received his BA in Political Economy from Williams College in 1988, and resides in Northeastern Pennsylvania with his wife, Katie, and children Jake (12), Phineas (9), and Gigi (6).
Circey is a seasoned Global Health professional with extensive field experience in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America. Circey has worked for several international organizations including Africare, Child Fund (formerly Christian Children Fund) and served as a Technical Expert in global health. She has implemented interventions to advance community development in health, food security, nutrition, etc. in many rural areas worldwide, including the eastern region on Burkina Faso where BARKA is based, and brings to the board a wide set of skills in program design, monitoring and evaluation and fundraising. She joined BARKA to apply her technical knowledge and skill set to a small organization focused on holistic rural community-led development with powerful impact. Her niche is thinking out of the box, and making things happen!
Circey graduated from Williams College in 1988, the same class as Tracy Heilman, Adam Ruderman and Esu Anahata.
Dr. Boukerrou’s main interests are international development, program management, institutional and human capacity building, and partnership development. Over the years, Dr. Boukerrou served on over 30 boards of civic and professional organizations including Advisory Boards for academic institutions and non-profit organizations. He brings a unique perspective and experience to the Barka Foundation Board of Directors.
He used his extensive experience in training to develop numerous training programs funded by organizations such as UNEP, IFAD, USAID, and USDA for participants from Asia, Central and South America, Africa, and Eastern Europe representing some 30 countries. . He also developed programs to enhance the capacity of academic institutions in North and West Africa and worked with universities leadership teams and faculty in Algeria, Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Niger.
Having worked in several countries, Dr. Boukerrou has a wide-ranging multi-cultural experience and an excellent understanding of other cultural environments. The significant impact and the sustainability strategy implemented by Dr. Boukerrou resulted in an official recognition by the President of Burkina Faso for the success and the results reached by the $29M USAID WA-WASH program.
Dr. Boukerrou is currently a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Society for International Development. Dr. Boukerrou is a faculty member at Florida International University as such he holds appointments as Director of International Programs and Global Initiatives and Research Professor in the College of Engineering and Computing and Affiliate Faculty in the African and African Diaspora Studies at the Steven J. Green School of International Policy and Affairs. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.
Glen is a graduate of Rutgers University (B.A., 1973) and from Fordham Law School (1976). He is a former member of NJ and Maine Bars and a member of CA bar for 44 years. He is a former NJ Assistant Count Prosecutor and Chief Counsel to the San Diego Superior Court (Criminal), and currently has a private practice representing death row inmates in California on post conviction relief. Glen is an exceptionally compassionate man. He has been married for 44 years, has 5 children and 1 grandchild. He has been involved with BARKA since 2011. A summary of some of his inspirational charitable contributions to BARKA Foundation can be found here.
“To work alongside Esu and Ina is to feel their relentless passion, energy and drive to make the BARKA Foundation into a significant force for positive change. They do this 24 hours a day, 7 days a week because they are driven by a greater force which compels them to act. They work at this feverish pitch not for their own gain, but because they see the urgency of the situation and know that time is of the essence for the future of the children in this world.”
““Having met Ina and Esu in 2012, I was very impressed by the hard work that they were doing in Burkina Faso and by their passionate commitment and relentless efforts to help people in need in the Eastern region of the country. There is no doubt in my mind that the BARKA Foundation’s efforts under their leadership are making a difference in the lives of many.”