As an African-based grassroots organization headquartered in Dakar, Senegal with more than 700 staff members, Tostan International mobilizes the talents and skills of locally hired people for the majority of its workforce.
Dedicated teams of local facilitators and supervisors who work directly with our partner communities are supported by locally-led coordination offices in Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, and The Gambia.
Tostan’s core leadership team consists of a diverse international group of people based in Dakar and also includes a small support office in the US.
Chief Executive Officer
With more than 20 years of professional experience in Africa, specializing in the field-based management of development programs, specifically focusing on community health and economic empowerment, Elena was appointed as CEO in 2017.
Having led the Strategic Engagement Plan for 2023-2030, Elena is committed to sharing Tostan’s model through strategic partnership in order to scale well-being. She is a co-founder of Catalyst2030, a collaborative movement of joint action for systems change.
Chief Finance and Operations Officer
Working in organizational development, finance, and accounting in the U.S. and Africa for the past twenty years, Kadji is all about driving positive change across organizations. She has demonstrated her expertise in strengthening internal controls and her ability to provide direction and leadership in multi-country environments.
She played a major role in the establishment of Amref-West Africa in Senegal during 2011-2013. She was the Chief Operating Officer at Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) from 2016-2019.
Chief Partnerships Officer
Carina is an organizational development and project management expert with fifteen years of proven track record in donor regulation, contracts, compliance and risk management, and procedure development/implementation for development programs worldwide.
She spent ten years managing and improving program management issues and systems at Family Health International, including a recent four-year assignment as the head of an education project operations department in Equatorial Guinea and as a Strategic and Legal Advisor to SMEs in Dakar, Senegal.
Founder, and Creative Director
Recipient of the Ordre national du Lion du Senegal, the highest distinction awarded by the Government of Senegal for her work in community development, Molly has been living and working in Senegal since 1974. She founded and was CEO of Tostan for 26 years. Molly developed the groundbreaking program that became the Community Empowerment Program and has since trained many other non-profits on its approach.
Molly accepted the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize awarded to Tostan in 2007. In 2010, Tostan and Molly Melching received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship for their work tackling complex social issues with sustainable, scalable solutions. Tostan continues to win awards for its work.
Our National Coordinators
National Coordinator for Guinea
Moctar is the founder and member of several Guinean civil society organizations, including the Guinean Center for Training and Education for Development, which is his NGO, and the Guinean Literacy Network, which he led as Executive Secretary, adopting a participatory and inclusive approach. His activism within CSOs dates back to 1993 after his graduation from Ecole Normale d’Instituteurs as the First of the Republic. Mouctar then had the opportunity to work at Aide et Action, a French international organization for community literacy, especially for women, for their empowerment and monitoring of schooling. He has been applying his pedagogical expertise to his work with Tostan since 2009, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to human dignity for all.
National Coordinator for Senegal
Rose has been involved in community development for over 20 years and is now a model of female leadership for Tostan and civil society in Senegal and the sub-region. She has spent her entire professional career with Tostan and has held many positions since she joined the organization in 1997. In January 2018 she attended management courses at the Institut Supérieur de Management in Mbour, Senegal.
National Coordinator for The Gambia
Edrisa has been the National Coordinator of Tostan Gambia since 2016. Before that, he was Assitant to the National Coordinator from 2006-2011. He is originally from Sukuta, in The Gambia. With a background in entrepreneurship and development, Edrisa has represented Tostan in a series of fora both in The Gambia and abroad with different governments and other partners.
National Coordinator for Mali
Moussa began working with Tostan in 2010 as a Development Support Supervisor. He then held the position of Assistant to the National Coordinator before being appointed Project Manager. Moussa is a lawyer and has extensive experience in the community-driven development approach, gained through many years of accompanying communities in Mali with Tostan. His dream is to see a world in which human rights are the compass for sustainable development.
National Coordinator for Guinea-Bissau
Yussuf leads Tostan’s national strategy through community empowerment partnerships. He is a WISE Emerging Leaders Fellow and an FAF Friendship Ambassador. Yussuf facilitates strategic partnerships with regional government authorities and civil society organizations, promoting learning and exchange opportunities with NGOs. Yussuf previously worked with the Tostan Training Center in Senegal from 2016 to 2018, leading training sessions with youth and religious leaders, NGOs, UN agencies, and USAID.