Meet our Team
Co-founder and Executive Director
Kate is the Executive Director for Saha Global. Since 2005, Kate has worked extensively on water improvement projects around the globe including Nicaragua, Cameroon and Ghana. She earned a Master’s of Science in Technology and Policy from MIT in 2009 where her research was focused on the sustained use of water treatment technologies in Northern Region Ghana. She holds Bachelor’s in Science from the University of Virginia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. Prior to founding Saha, Kate was an associate engineer at Aerojet, an aerospace firm located in Virginia. Kate is passionate about finding simple yet effective solutions to complex problems. She loves running marathons, traveling, and the island of Nantucket. She currently splits her time between Ghana and her hometown of Boston, MA.
Director of Operations
Sam first joined the Saha team when she participated in the Global Leadership Program in the Winter of 2011 and implemented a water business in Chanaayili. During her experience as a Field Rep, Sam had found her passions collide! The first being the simple, community-centered design to provide a life essential; the second being the “learning-by-doing” opportunity Saha provides students and young professional looking to become practitioners in the field. It was this experience that fueled Sam’s desire to join the team full-time as Saha’s Director of Operations. Sam has a undergraduate degree in Health Science from Clemson University, and is currently continuing her education at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the Department of International Health. Her passions lie in sustainable development as well as women’s and youth empowerment. Sam loves to journal, jam out to some tunes, explore new food and is always up for a dare.
Ghana program coordinator
Kathryn served as a Field Rep to Kpalbusi in the Winter 2011 Global Leadership Program. She’s drawn to smart people, thoughtful technologies, and she just can’t stop coming back to Saha Global! She worked as the head of Saha’s Ghana-based staff for two years, where she grew her passion for human-centered design, mostly-accurate maps and motos. After a stint with San Francisco-based Scoot Networks, she re-joins the team to recruit and train new Field Reps as the Ghana Program Coordinator. Kathryn graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service (BSFS in Science, Technology and International Affairs, Certificate in International Development) in 2011.
Salaga Regional Director
Peter is Saha Global’s Salaga Regional Director and was our first full-time Ghanian team member. He has worked with Saha Global since 2008, when we implemented our second water business in the village of Nymaliga. Peter was born and raised in Tamale, Ghana. He loves leading groups of Saha Global Field Reps, reggae and the Lion King.
District Manager and Solar Project Manager
Shakun (better known as “Shak”) is a District Manager and the Solar Project Manager for Saha Global. Shak joined our staff in 2009 and is THE man to know around Tamale, making him an invaluable asset to our team! Prior to working at Saha Global, Shak was a salesman at Pure Home Water, a social enterprise that distributes ceramic water filters in Northern Region Ghana. In his spare time, Shak is a busy entrepreneur – he runs a local car washing business, raises poultry, and farms.
Wahab is a District Manager for Saha Global. He first joined the team in 2010 after successfully leading a team of Field Reps. He was born in Northern Region, Ghana, and studied in Kumasi before returning back to Tamale. He can fix anything and is an expert back-country moto rider. Wahab loves chatting with former fellows on Facebook, listening to hip-life and singing along with his favorite Rihanna tune.
Amin is a District Manager for Saha Global. He officially joined the team in 2011 although, he has been involved with our organization since our very first water business in the village of Kasaligu in 2008! During the last week of our pilot implementation, we needed a new translator at the last minute and Amin came to our rescue! He then worked for a local water filter business, Pure Home Water, for a couple of years before re-joining our team, first in 2010 as a translator for the Global Leadership Program and then as a full-time district manager. Amin is a trained chef and often cooks up delicious meals for his lucky teams of Field Reps. When he’s not out in the field or in the kitchen, he loves rapping and playing with his pet monkey.
Eric is the newest District Manager on the Saha Global Team. Born and raised in Tamale, Eric graduated from the Dambai College of Education in the Volta Region of Ghana with a diploma certificate in Basic Education. Eric began his career with Saha during the Winter 2013 Global Leadership Program when he oversaw the successful implementation of the water treatment center in Nekpegu; Eric did so great that he was invited to join the full time team that same year. Prior to joining our team, Eric was volunteering as a teacher in Kpalbusi, a Saha Global partner-community in the Northern Region of Ghana. Eric enjoys reading, watching and playing all sports, especially soccer, and music. He also loves meeting new people, which is one of his favorite aspects of working with Field Reps!
Board of Directors
Our inter-disciplinary Board of Directors brings a range of specialized skills and experience to the Saha Global. The team is led by former management consulting professionals, holding graduate degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology specializing in Household Water Treatment and Safe Water Storage (HWTS) in the developing world, as well as engineering and business degrees from MIT, Dartmouth, Harvard, and the University of Virginia. Over half of the team has previous field experience implementing water health projects in other Sub-Saharan countries of Africa as well as Latin America. In addition to the Directors listed below, Executive Director, Kate Clopeck, also serves as a member of the Board.
CEO of FINsix
Vanessa co-founded Saha Global following her MIT graduate work on household water treatment in northern Ghana. Her thesis work convinced her that the key to universal clean water access was sustainable. This belief was shared across the Saha founding team and the organization was born. Today, Vanessa is co-founder and CEO of FINsix, an advanced power electronics company that enables smaller, lighter power solutions for consumer devices. Prior to her work with FINsix, Vanessa was a manager at TECOM Investments in Dubai, UAE and a consultant with the Monitor Group in New York, NY. In 2014 FINsix was selected as an Inc 35 Under 35 company. Previously, Vanessa won MIT’s Patrick E. McGovern Entrepreneurship Award, and was selected as a Boston Business Journal Innovation All-Stars Rising Star and Forbes 30-under-30 in Energy. Vanessa holds a M.Eng. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from MIT, a MBA from MIT Sloan and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Dartmouth College.
Executive Director of PRIME
Sarah was elected to Saha Global’s Board of Directors in August 2012. Her passion for Saha’s mission is deeply rooted in her own belief that self-starters can exceed expectations when they have the appropriate resources to do so. Sarah pursues this passion full-time as the founder and Executive Director of PRIME Coalition, a nonprofit organization that connects philanthropists to high-risk, high-reward ventures to address climate change. Prior to her work with PRIME, Sarah served as Executive Director and Trustee of the Chesonis Family Foundation, a grantmaking organization that supports transformational energy innovation. Based on her work, Sarah was inducted into the Raven Society at the University of Virginia, and was awarded the 2012 MIT Ronald Heller Entrepreneurship Award, 2014 Caltech Resonate Award, 2014 Technology Review Innovators Under 35, and the 2014 Echoing Green Fellowship. Sarah holds a B.S. in Commerce from the University of Virginia and an M.S. in Technology and Policy from MIT’s Engineering Systems Division.
Founder & Principle of ScienceDriven and Build From Scratch to Last
After Ryn joined the board of Saha Global in 2012, she was honored to judge the mentored pitches of past Field Reps that gave rise to new solar program. She is the founder and principal of ScienceDriven and a founding member of Build from Scratch to Last, a business cooperative. Ryn’s independent curiosity was fueled by a Thomas J. Watson fellowship on Ischia and American Cancer Society fellowships for postdoctoral research at Caltech. She has grown expert innovation as Reviews/Senior Editor at Cell journal, as Director for Research and Administration when Harvard Medical School asked Marc Kirschner to build the Dept. of Cell Biology, and as Program Director at Millennium Pharmaceuticals. Ryn holds a BSc with honors from Caltech in biology and a PhD in biochemistry and cell biology from the University of California San Francisco Medical Center.
Through our work on the ground in Ghana and the United States, we have built relationships with partners that have helped us engage with communities, bridge the language gap, establish a local network and expand our impact. Such partners are essential to project sustainability in the developing world and represent an equally valuable component of our Saha Global team.
In 2013, we began a partnership with Next Step Living, a groundbreaking company based in Boston, Ma that is on a mission to make it easy, affordable and rewarding for homeowners to implement energy-saving solutions. Their philanthropic program, Next Step Giving, has provided Saha Global with the financial support needed to not only expand our impact from water to now include our work in solar power but also to grow our Global Leadership Program. We are very grateful for this meaningful and impactful partnership!
In Ghana, we have received guidance and support from several organizations who share our motivation to solve some of the biggest challenges that rural communities of the developing world face. We think of these people and these organizations as an extension of our team: Public Service Center at MIT, Pure Home Water, UNICEF, the Carter Center, PATH, Burro, International Aid, the Center for Disease Control, The Central Gonja, East Gonja, Sevelagu, and Tolon District Assemblies.