Board of Directors

Sarah Davis, Co-Chair
Sarah Davis is an instructional designer at Kaiser Permanente. Sarah oversees the Global Lives Education Committee, which guides the direction of the organization’s educational programs. She holds a MA in International Educational Administration and Policy Analysis from Stanford University School of Education and a BA in Global Studies and Mandarin Chinese Language from the University of Iowa. Her professional experience includes instructional design, program management, market research, consulting, and development. In her spare time, she cooks, climbs and dabbles in other creative endeavors.

Lawrence Wilkinson, Co-Chair
Lawrence Wilkinson is Chairman of Heminge & Condell (H&C), an investment and strategic advisory firm, and Co-Founder of Global Business Network (GBN), the firm that introduced scenario planning to the world. Through H&C, Lawrence has been and is involved in venture formation work, and as a director and counselor to a number of companies that he helped create, among them: GBN, Wired, Oxygen Media, Ealing Studios, Design Within Reach, Colossal Pictures, Public Bikes, and Character. At the same time, Lawrence continues to offer strategic counsel to a number of corporate clients, NGOs, and governments around the world, with whom he has been involved for years, among them The Walt Disney Company, UPS, CPB, BBC, Landesa, Oxford University, Harvard University, the World Economic Forum, and the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Singapore. Named a “Jedi Knight of Innovation” by Fast Company, Lawrence is a widely consulted and cited authority on strategic issues; he is a frequent speaker in public, industry, and organizational settings, and is active in a number of not-for-profit organizations and universities.

Learie Hercules, Treasurer
Learie HerculesLearie is the founder and CEO of Octavia Technologies, LLC based in San Francisco, CA. Learie has over 20 years of experience consulting for most of the Tier 1 wireless carriers. As a pioneer and expert at the forefront of technology, one of his most noted achievements was managing the design and integration of the first 4G Network in the U.S. on behalf of Sprint Nextel. His career later evolved to specialize in communications systems for trains and light rail. He was responsible for the first functional design of the federally mandated Positive Train Control (PTC) in the U.S. for intercity passenger trains throughout the east coast. In addition to his engineering role, he was promoted to Vice President and managed a program portfolio of over $300 million. With his expertise in mastering cutting edge technologies, Learie serves Global Lives on its Web & Education Committees. He holds a MS Computer Science & BS Computer Science and Management as well as being a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP), through Project Management Institute (PMI). In his spare time, Learie loves to hike, play soccer and travel.

Jessamine Chin
Jessamine currently works as Corporate Citizenship Manager for the VMware Foundation. In this role, Jessamine oversees VMware people engagement and community impact programs. Prior to VMware, Jessamine was the Philanthropy Program Manager for Adobe Systems, Inc. in the Corporate Social Responsibility department. Jessamine brings nine years of experience working with the nonprofit sector, with an emphasis on poverty-related issues.  Previously, she served as Executive Co-Chair of the Advisory Board for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network. Jessamine has a BA from Georgetown University in Psychology and Photography, and is currently pursuing an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business.

Sara Crouse
Sara Crouse
Sara is Director of Strategic Partnerships for Creative Commons. In this role, she is responsible for generating revenue and engaging a network of partners across sectors, with oversight of CC’s fundraising, communications, and grants management. From 2008-11, Sara was Head of Partnerships & Foundation Relations for the Wikimedia Foundation. Previously, she worked in various roles in development and fundraising at Cambridge In America for five years, and at several non- and for-profit ventures based in New York City. She has a joint Masters in Journalism and French Studies from New York University, and a B.A. in French Language and English Literature from Georgetown University. (For kicks, Sara likes reading, writing, hiking, cooking, wining, dining, and dogs.) Through her work with technology-based non-profits, Sara is engaged in the free culture and open knowledge movements that are aligned with the Global Lives mission. Sara joined the board in October 2011, after being inspired by the immersive experience of a Global Lives exhibit, and its capacity to provoke empathy and understanding of diverse individuals and cultures. Currently, Sara chairs of the Global Lives Development Committee.

Dan Jones
Dan works with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University as a Digital Media Producer. He co-hosts and produces the weekly Berkman Center podcast, Radio Berkman, and generally produces/directs/writes/shoots/animates other digital content. He completed his MFA in Film and Digital Media at American University in Washington, DC. Dan produced the first Global Lives shoot in San Francisco with David Harris, collecting fond memories of hanging off of trolley cars and convertibles, and walking through the ocean with several pounds of cameras and sound equipment. He obtained his BA in Environmental Studies at Hunter College in New York City, after which he produced a narrative feature, a documentary, and several shorts and commercial pieces with his company, Blanket Statement Productions. He also was an assistant instructor in film and video at Education for the Arts in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In his previous life Dan made a hobby of jobs and internships, working at various times for a library, a Republican Senator, a Democratic New York City Councilwoman, for PBS, the United Nations, WBAI-FM, for a consumer advocacy group, and for a professional walker (no kidding). Dan enjoys talking about film, digital media, collaborative filtering, public radio, and podcasting, and in his free time likes to travel, cook, and eat.

Vijay Karunamurthy
vjkaruna_napa_headshotVijay is a cofounder of AVOS Systems, where he leads development efforts around content discovery and collaboration, alongside Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. Previously he lead engineering teams at Youtube and Google, where he also worked on campaigns related to human rights, elections, and public health. In past lives he worked in finance and biology, and in his spare time can be found at hackathons and bay area community projects. He holds an MBA from UC Berkeley, a master’s degree in computer science from Stanford, and bachelor’s degrees in biochemistry and mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Susie Richardson

img_5194-copySusie has a passion for education. She is on the Board of Directors of Facing History and Ourselves and serves on the Advisory Boards of Adolescent Counseling Services and The Foundation for a College Education. She spent 8 years on the Palo Alto Board of Education.



Rosa Wu

portraitrosaRosa is a Product Manager at Google, where she loves working on products that better the everyday lives of the people around her. She brings experience in both technology and finance to Global Lives Project. She has had a long-held interest in international development, and recently spent a summer in Bangalore working on early prototypes of the Embrace infant warmer, a spinout of the Stanford Extreme Affordability class. She holds an MBA from Stanford and BA from Harvard College. In her spare time, she enjoys indie trailer marathons, searching for amazing price-to-quality ratios, and generally taking on new adventures.


Melissa Martin


Melissa Martin is an interdisciplinary designer working across the fields of interaction design, UX strategy and visual design. Her 10+ years career has led her to design products and services spanning a variety of industries including healthcare, e-commerce, energy management, mobile, non-profit, arts and education. Recent collaborations have included Kaiser Permanente, Microsoft, Google, Open English, SFMOMA, Hyundai, Pacific Gas & Electric, La Cocina, BMC and the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California. She currently serves as Interaction Design Lead at Method and periodically teaches interdisciplinary courses at California College of the Arts where she earned her MFA in Design. In 2012, she led the rebranding and website design for Global Lives and has since continued providing design and strategy consultation for the organization.

David Evan Harris, Secretary
David Evan Harris is Founder and Executive Director of the Global Lives Project and Research Director at the Institute for the Future. David is a cross-disciplinary mediamaker, working at the intersection of art, activism and academic inquiry on the politically charged questions surrounding globalization and social justice.

A cross-disciplinary mediamaker, David wrote and directed newscasts for CurrentTV; and penned articles and shot photos for the BBC, the Guardian, Adbusters, Focus on the Global South, AlterNet, and Grist. He has spoken publicly about his work to audiences at the Smithsonian, UC Berkeley, Harvard, Stanford, United Nations University, Apple, Google, Adobe, and numerous other venues around the world. He speaks English, Portuguese, Spanish, and French. David founded the Global Lives Project in 2004 and holds a BA in the political economy of development and environment, with a minor in forest science, from UC Berkeley and an MS in sociology from the University of São Paulo.


Naomi Ture (2008 – 2014)
 Naomi is a filmmaker and creative director, leading documentary and video productions from concept through completion.  She founded Ture Productions in 2011 to specialize in expertly crafted videos that inspire, promote & educate.  Previously Naomi worked as Senior Producer for KMVT Channel 15.  During her 5 years at KMVT, she was a key figure in expanding and leading the development of its professional TV & video production arm, as well as producing live studio shows.  Her videos have won numerous national awards since 2005.  Naomi holds a degree in Education Studies from Brown University and a Masters in Electronic Art from RPI.  On a personal note, she spent the first few years of her life in Japan, loves to travel and enjoys exploring the great outdoors.  Naomi is interested in the utilization of video and new media as a means to increase thoughtful dialogue, and spark social change.

Heather McGough  (2011 – 2014)
Heather McGough
Heather is the Founder of Urbanity Events in San Francisco, CA.  Prior to delving into the world of entrepreneurship, she spent many years in the non-profit sector through her work with AmeriCorps in Florida, managing an adult literacy program, and leading a San Francisco startup creating multiple programs to serve inner city youth.  Heather helps support Global Lives Project with her experience in event consulting, fundraising, non-profit operations and her network in San Francisco’s philanthropic community.  She graduated from Indiana University with a double major in Psychology and Criminal Justice. In her spare time Heather loves to travel and enjoys the outdoors.


Andrew Mahlstedt (2010-2013)
portraitandrewAndrew completed his PhD in English at University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2012, focusing on the ethics of representing the marginalized poor in the recent era of globalization.  Before Madison, he taught English and directed the co-curricular program at the Mahindra United World College of India for four years, and he currently serves on the U.S. Selection Committee for the United World Colleges. He holds a B.A. and an M.A. (English) from Middlebury College, and an M.A. (International Comparative Education) from Stanford University.  In addition to the UWC in India and UW-Madison, he has taught at Middlebury College.  He brings nine years of experience in education to the board, and is focusing on developing the educational potential of Global Lives. He is (mostly) fluent in Spanish and proficient in Mandarin Chinese and Portuguese. He is currently a writer and a teacher, and living in San Francisco.

Laura Welcher (2010-2016)

Portrait-Laura1-150px-web-CHOICELaura Welcher is a linguist with interests in the documentation, description, and revitalization of endangered languages and in helping promote global linguistic diversity. She holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley and works with speakers of critically endangered languages indigenous to North America as well as on projects that are helping to bring these languages back to modern, vital use. She is involved with several projects that are working to develop standards for digital language resources and tools to support the use of minority languages on the Web. Laura is currently at The Long Now Foundation, where she directs The Rosetta Project, a public digital archive of all human languages.