Buy now! - Learn more about Abaarso's extraordinary story in Abaarso Founder, Jonathan Starr's, new book "It Takes A School"
Abaarso’s success would not be possible without the support of a diverse and talented group of faculty and board members, both in Somaliland and the U.S., who are all incredibly dedicated to the success of the school and the future opportunities of its students.
Mr. Ahmed Jambir Suldan, Board Chair
Former Interior Minister, Somaliland Ministry of the Interior
Mr. Saeed Ahmed Mohamoud, Board Vice Chair
Mr. James Linville, Board Secretary
Headmaster, Abaarso School of Science and Technology
Mr. Ahmed Ibrahim Awale
Chairman, Candlelight for Environment, Education, and Health
Mr. Abdi Hassan Duale
Executive Officer, National Professions Commission
Mr. Abdulkader Hashi Elmi
CEO, Maansoor Hotel
Mr. Omer Jama Farah
Manager, Taakulo Somaliland Community
Ms. Amal Ahmed Misan
Presidential Advisor on Women’s Affairs, Somaliland Presidential Office
Sh Mohamed Mohamoud, Religious Scholar
Dr. Jinaw Mohamed Qaalib
Medical Doctor and Lecturer, Global Polyclinic, University of Hargeisa, and Frantz Fanon University
Founder and Headmaster Emeritus
Senior Vice President, Hartford Investment Management Company
Managing Partner, Long Arc Capital
Independent Education/Marketing Professional
Chief Investment Officer, Ehrenkranz Partners LP
Portfolio Manager, Greenlight Masters
Mustafa A. Jama
Managing Director, Morgan Stanley Investment Management
Co-founder, ASK Charitable Foundation
Managing Partner, Perry Creek Capital
Clinical Assistant Professor of Business & Society, NYU Stern School of Business
Portfolio Manager, Pharo Management LLC
Over the last two decades Rob has been a co-founder, director, and senior representative for humanitarian and education institutions. He
Nora graduated with high honors from New York University (NYU) and is a MSc candidate in Global Management at the London School of Economics (LSE), focusing in foreign direct investment and non-profit finance. She first came to work for Abaarso in 2016, leaving briefly in 2017 to complete a post-graduate fellowship with Princeton University working in non-profit school development in Bolivia. She returned to Somaliland in 2018 to manage operations and finance as a founding team member at Barwaaqo University, Abaarso’s subsidiary sister school. In 2020, Nora joined the Abaarso Network staff as CFO, managing finances for the three school systems in the organization, overseeing risk management, partner investments and financial reporting.
Originally from upstate New York State, Trudy has spent her professional career as an administrator in the world of independent education, moving around the regions of the US as she did so. As head of two boarding schools , (Emma Willard School and Miss Hall’s School), and a senior administrator at four others, (Culver Academies, Hutchison School, Stoneleigh-Burnham, Forest Ridge), she has focused her professional energy on programs that foster leadership and develop student voice and personal passions. Former Head of School at Emma Willard School for 17 years, Trudy also served 14 years on the board of the National Coalition of Girls Schools, and as President for 4 of those years, during which she had the opportunity to travel extensively internationally, always on the lookout for excellent schools. Firmly committed to the use of design thinking practices, Trudy also served as the President of the Board for Leadership and Design, a non-profit that designs leadership experience for those creating the future of education. Formally educated at St. Lawrence University, Harvard Graduate School of Education and Duke University, Trudy, is a ferociously curious peripatetic who, for the moment, when not in Somaliland, hails from Seattle, Washington.
Originally from a small town in Upstate New York, James graduated from Hamilton College in 2010 with a BA in Theatre. Wishing to see the world, James spent the following years teaching English in South Korea and in the Republic of Georgia. From 2013-2014 James spent two years teaching English in Malaysia under the Fulbright Program. There he led drama activities, including adaptations of Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Dr. Seuss stories, as well as over 20 day-long English camps and a student art exhibition. James also did outreach work with his Orang Asli (native) students and their community, resulting in a meeting between the students and U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry. An avid reader, James enjoys hiking, folk dances, and playing his trumpet and sapeh.
Jin has lived in East Africa for the majority of his life, living in Ethiopia, Rwanda and Kenya. Jin graduated from Cornell University with a BS in International Agriculture and Rural Development. As a student he was involved in rugby and volunteered in the orientation program. He is an avid traveller and coffee enthusiast.
Saeed graduated in 2015 from Abaarso School of Science and Technology. He then attended EARTH University in Costa Rica where he earned bachelors degree in Agricultural Science. As he completed his education, he came back to Somaliland and now he is the operations Manager at Abaarso School.
Born and raised in Southern California, Jennifer graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2012 with a BA in Philosophy. After graduation she volunteered in the Republic of Georgia for a year, teaching English in a rural mountain village. Jennifer then returned to California and worked in public libraries, developing children’s’ literacy initiatives and after-school family programs. After a couple years in the US Jennifer joined the Peace Corps, where she served in China from 2016-2018 as an English teacher in a university. In her free time she enjoys standup comedy, weight lifting, and hiking.
Originally from a small town in New Hampshire, Hannah graduated from Tufts University where she received a BA in Community Health and Environmental Studies. During her time at Tufts, she developed an interest in education and spent two years working with Jumpstart in a preschool in Boston’s Chinatown while working on her degree. She also became interested in global health and literacy and worked in the post-conflict region of northern Uganda at a vocational school for young mothers. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors gardening, hiking, and playing with her dogs.
Molli is originally from Connecticut and graduated from Harvard University, where she studied History and Arabic and wrote a senior thesis about the process of state-building in Oman. While at Harvard, she worked as a case manager and program director at the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter and as an English teacher in immigrant communities around Boston. She has also worked as an English teacher and office manager for an NGO in Athens, Greece that provides services to refugees living in Athens and has studied Arabic in Muscat, Oman and Amman, Jordan. She is very excited to be working with the students and staff at the Abaarso School.
Andrew is from Austin, Texas and graduated from Texas A&M University in 2019 with a Bachelor’s degree in Russian and minors in Math and Physics. During his time in college, he was actively involved in the model United Nations program. He also lived in Russia during his senior year of high school and studied Russian at Moscow State University during college. Andrew is a lifelong learner and is looking forward to teaching at Abaarso. In his free time, Andrew enjoys studying languages, reading, traveling, and cooking.
Jacob is from the Charlotte area and graduated with a BS in Environmental Biology from Georgetown University in 2019. During his time at Georgetown, he was a member of the D1 Men’s Swimming and Diving Team. After graduation, he joined the Peace Corps and served in Malawi, Africa as an Environmental and Food Security Educator. Jacob enjoys the environment, sports, and the arts. He is excited about becoming a teacher at Abaarso and can’t wait to meet the students.
Farhan is an Abaarso alumnus. After graduating from Abaarso, he went to Jacobs University Bremen, Germany, where he pursued a Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering & management with a minor in international business administration. He graduated from Jacobs in this year. Farhan enjoys teaching and supporting students; hence, he became intercultural trainer in his second year at university where he taught incoming students intercultural competence to help them succeed in a diverse university. During his time at Jacobs he was also a peer supporter where he provided counseling assistance to undergraduate students as part of J-Peers Program of Jacobs University
Nyle Pierre graduated in 2017 from CUNY Queens College with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. He then went on to teach ESL at a Manhattan language school for 2 years after receiving his TEFL Certification. He is excited to join Abaarso for the first time and learn about the lives of the students and faculty, adding to his global perspective. He has a passion for people and culture, and in his free time enjoys any activity relating to football (soccer) and engaging in stimulating discussions.
Ismael was born and raised in Erigabo, Somaliland. He is an alumni of Abaarso, attending the school from 2011-2015. After high school, he started learning Islamic Studies. He attended four years at an Islamic Institute before high school and was connected to them after graduating. He enjoys basketball during his free time and is happy to be back at Abaarso.
Arkadiusz graduated from Poznan University of Technology in 2013 with a Master of Science in Computer Science. During his studies he spent a semester at Universidade Nova de Lisboa in Portugal and completed the IAESTE internship in Istanbul, Turkey. Shortly after graduation he fulfilled his dream of traveling between Beijing, China and Bali, Indonesia without taking a plane. The following year he returned to China to work as a middle school teacher. When not traveling, Arek works as a freelance programmer developing web applications.
Adebola grew up in Delta state, Nigeria. She got her BSc and MSc degrees from Covenant University where she majored in Microbiology. She’s passionate about social development and science research. She participated in the National Model United Nations in 2018 and got an outstanding delegation award. She’s passionate about learning and enjoys reading, travelling and playing outdoor games. She’s excited to work here at Abaarso because it takes her close to fulfilling her dream in making an impact on the young generation through education.
Oyinda is a graduate of Covenant University located in Ota, Nigeria with a Bachelors degree in Microbiology. She gained teaching experience while serving her country in the National Youth Corp. This act of service ignited her passion in teaching and pushed her to give back to society in a meaningful way. In her free time she loves to read and listen to music.
Mohamed is an Abaarso alumnus, graduating with the class of 2017. After graduation, he spent the academic year of 2017-18 at St. Christopher’s School in Richmond, Virginia through the ASSIST program. Mohamed came back last year to help the school with finance and other managing roles. This year, he is teaching 7th, 8th and 9th grade Somali Language. Mohamed enjoys eating, writing, and playing basketball and volleyball with the students.
Mandlenkosi (Mandla) is from Zimbabwe. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Ethics, Politics and Economics from Yale University. At Abaarso, Mandla looks forward to working with students and staff to set students on a path to achieving their educational dreams. In the near future, he intends to pursue a PhD in Public Policy with a specific focus on public policy in sub-Saharan African countries. A classic nerd, Mandla spends his spare time reading science fiction and watching Japanese Anime.
Thomas grew up in California, and studied International Relations and German at San Francisco State University. He was fortunate to study abroad twice during university, and after graduating departed from the US again to live in Latin America and Australia. His curiosity led him towards a fascination with education, learning, and language. Since graduating, he has acquired diverse teaching experience working with children, adolescents, and adults. Thomas is passionate about self-improvement, inquiry, and people.
Kevin is from a small town near Philadelphia and studied History at Providence College. He is also passionate about science and worked for five years as an environmental educator at a nature center near his hometown in Pennsylvania in between stints working at local, organic vegetable farms. Most recently, Kevin taught at a secondary school in Kedah, Malaysia on a Fulbright grant. He loves hiking and camping, reading, and meeting new people.
Pete joined the team at Abaarso in the fall of 2020, eager to support capacity-building and student-centered culture at the school. He brings ten years of diverse experience in education and community programming for youth in challenging situations. In addition to earning a Masters in International Development from the University of Denver, Pete has worked to help start an academy in South Korea, support English and health programs with the Peace Corps in Ukraine, advocate for children in Costa Rica, and contribute to STEM programs in the US. An avid traveler, the opportunity to participate in sustainable development in East Africa proved irresistible, and he’s excited to help empower Abaarso students through quality, character-building education!
Raha Maalin is a Massachusetts native with a passion for educational access. Raha graduated from the College of the Holy Cross, a liberal arts college in Worcester, MA, where she was a History major. During her undergraduate career, she served as a student leader. Upon graduation, she worked for a New York City-based leadership and development non-profit managing their internship program, so students could obtain meaningful and professional opportunities. At Abaarso, Raha hopes to support students’ academic, personal, and professional interests.
Vidas grew up in the tiny island state of Singapore. He graduated with a degree in Finance from Murdoch University in 2017. Coming from a country just over 700 square kilometres, Vidas has had a great impetus to travel out of home to see more. From backpacking across the mountains of Japan and New Zealand, training in the valleys of Germany and teaching English in a small town in China, he appreciates the opportunities to experience the differences between his culture and others. He accepts tea or coffee in exchange for friendship. Sugar is not needed as he is sweet enough.
Joshua grew up on a farm in the blue ridge mountains of Virginia. After graduated from Guilford College with a degree in English, he caught the teaching bug while working with an NGO in San Andrés Semetabaj, a village in the rural highlands of Guatemala. After Guatemala, Josh took a position as a preschool and kindergarten homeroom teacher in Kyiv, Ukraine, where he stayed for three-and-a-half years. In his free time, Josh enjoys playing his guitar, taking archaic film photos, exploring new exciting places, playing football (soccer), and reading and writing poetry.
Sean is from New York and graduated from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Finance and a minor in Legal Studies. He joined the Peace Corps and served in Northern Province, Zambia, working in the sector of rural education development. While in Zambia, Sean was a valued faculty member at Kafula Primary School, with an emphasis on literacy and student empowerment. Sean is a lifetime Eagle Scout who enjoys reading, traveling and golf.
Chad was born and grew up in rural Minnesota. He attended North Dakota State University where he studied Anthropology. He has worked as a park ranger in Utah and as a shelter advocate at a homeless shelter. For two years he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia where he taught English. In his free time, he likes to read books, study languages, and go hiking.
Mohamed graduated from United States International University in December 2018 with BSc in accounting and concentrating in finance. He spent the second year of his university studies in the Asian Studies Program at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan. Right after graduation, he returned to Hargeisa and started his first job working for Coca-Cola Somaliland Beverages Industries in the marketing department. A few months before the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic, Mohamed was amongst the 150 men selected out of 1,000 educated young men from the Maroodi Jeex region area to attend a military service program that was held at Dararwayne military training camp. Mohamed was amongst the first batch that graduated from Abaarso School back in 2013 and he is excited to come back to teach Physics and take the Boys’ House Parent role.
Abdikarim hails from Hargeisa, and he graduated from Swarthmore College in 2020. He holds a major in Economics and a minor in Philosophy. Before departing for the US, Abdikarim attended Abaarso School for three years. Abdikarim currently teaches math courses in both Upper School and Prep. In his free time, he enjoys reading, running, and binge-watching crime shows.