Jifunze is overseen by a small, diverse and talented group of individuals who are committed to supporting our work and helping us achieve our goals. Our advisory board works to publicize the CERC model, develop broad-based international support, and provide continuing support to our staff.

J. Carrie Oelberger
Chariperson of the Board and Co-Founder
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Carrie was first introduced to Kiteto District when she arrived to teach math at the local secondary school in 1997. She was instantly drawn to the area and in 1999, along with Christina Gabriel, her Tanzanian house-mate, she started Jifunze. With a background in education, specifically working with handicapped and special needs students, Carrie's has been passionate about education from an early age. She holds a Bachelor's degree in History from Haverford College and a postgraduate diploma in Indigenous Education from Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. In 1999 she was awarded the Samuel Huntington Public Service Award and in 2003 she was awarded the Hewlett Packard Leadership Award for her outstanding contributions to public service. Currently, Carrie is pursuing her doctoral studies in International and Comparative Education at Stanford University in California. Her research interests focus on cross-cultural partnerships, specifically in the field of education.

Carrie Photo
Mary Gloria Kibopile Mgaya
Educator and Development Officer, Tanzania

Ms. Mgaya began her career in the Tanzanian education system as a Secondary School teacher in 1974, teaching O-Level Biology and Mathematics. After receiving her Bachelor's Degree in Education from the University of Dar es Salaam in 1980, she then proceeded to work as a Teacher Education Programme Officer, recruiting pre-service teacher trainees and enabling these teachers with learning/teaching materials. Ms. Mgaya continued working on teacher training and capacity building through the Tanzanian Ministry of Education, eventually becoming the Director of the Department of Teacher Education. Throughout her career in education, Ms. Mgaya has focused on empowering Tanzanian teachers with the creativity and skills needed to develop their own low-cost teaching materials. She has maintained a specific focus on gender issues throughout her career.

Ms. Mgaya holds a Master's Degree in Family Planning Program Management from the University of Exeter (UK) and a Master's Degree in Education Administration and Management from the University of Sierra Leone. She now works as the Coordinator for the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) through Canada's International Development Agency based in Dar es Salaam. It was here that Ms. Mgaya learned of Jifunze and readily agreed to assist our work by joining our Advisory Board in 2003.

Mary Mgaya Photo
John Whitehead
Former Deputy Secretary of State and Retired CEO of Goldman Sachs

John C. Whitehead graduated from Haverford College in 1943 and began his professional career in 1947 at Goldman, Sachs & Co. Mr. Whitehead spent the next 38 years working with Goldman, Sachs & Co. until his retirement in 1984. Additionally, he has served as a Director of the New York Stock Exchange and Chairman of the Securities Industry Association and in 1985, President Ronald Reagan appointed Whitehead deputy secretary of state under George Schultz. During his four-year tenure, he was instrumental in major diplomatic initiatives, including NATO expansion into Central and Eastern Europe. In recognition of his service, upon leaving office, Reagan presented Mr. Whitehead with the Presidential Citizen's Medal.

Mr. Whitehead became interested in Jifunze in 1999 after reading an article in the Haverford College newsletter about Carrie's plans to build the CERC. Since that time, Mr. Whitehead has been one of our most consistent supporters, offering both advice and financial assistance to our organization for over ten years.

Whitehead Photo