Originally from Akri, Pakistan, and home-schooled for most of her life, Umaimah also spent her childhood years in Saudi Arabia. She was the first woman in her family to pursue education out of her hometown and country. Umaimah graduated from Cornell University with a major in Human Development and Policy Analysis Management, where she undertook research on early childhood development and social psychology. Umaimah has over 7 years of experience in various strategic and business management roles, including managing P&L for a consumer business at Microsoft Corporation, developing strategy to launch a philanthropic foundation for a McKinsey Dubai client, serving as an adviser to an Endeavor mobile technology startup in South Africa, and leading strategic development efforts in the education and microfinance space in Pakistan. Umaimah graduated from Harvard Business School as a Baker Scholar while co-leading dreamfly, an organization she started after visiting her home-village in 2007. Umaimah says that "When I visited my home-village this year, I found children, only the little ones, somehow out of nowhere, talking to me about their crazy, imaginative dreams... I want to take each child of Akri and dare her to make her dream a reality." Umaimah currently resides in Seattle with her husband.
Communications and Community Manager
Born and brought up in Karachi, Pakistan, Fiza spent three years in San Francisco studying International Relations. She then returned to Pakistan and worked for the Not-For-Profit, The Citizens Foundation (TCF) for two years. She loves to write, and apart from leading dreamfly's communication efforts, is a regular contributor to various citizen journalism sites, online magazines and maintains several blogs. In her own words, "It is my dream to see the world bridge together that brought me close to dreamfly!" Fiza currently lives with her husband in UK and is doing her Master's at SOAS.
An Afghan-American, Amena moved to the US with her family more than two decades ago. Amena returned to Afghanistan for the first time in 2007 for an internship project for a public health awareness campaign in Kabul. She found the trip inspiring and memorable as she discovered there to be a genuine, collective effort among the Afghans to create a sustainable society for themselves. "I decided to join efforts to help the Afghans gain access to better educational opportunities." Amena became a dreamfly volunteer in September. Amena's favorite past times are snowboarding, horseback riding, jet skiing, and hiking. She is a graduate from the University of Washington with a Bachelor's in Public Health and lives in Seattle, a city she adores.
Jay became a volunteer in Nov. 2009, when he discovered dreamfly while researching NGOs working in Afghanistan. He has since helped dreamfly with their social networking efforts, set up a profile article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and explored teacher training options for the Afghanistan project. He claims that "dreamfly inspires me to the possibility of having an outsized, transformative impact at doing good". Jay has been working as a management consultant for Deloitte Consulting since 2008, after graduating from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor's in Finance. He lives in the Washington, D.C. area.
Scott, a consultant and entrepreneur by background, has been actively involved in philanthropy throughout his life including a stint as the Fundraising Chair for Education First. A Cornell University and Harvard Business School alum, he is extremely passionate about the dreamfly mission and in his words, "I get goosebumps thinking about the positive impact that lies ahead of us." Scott currently resides in Santa Monica, California, and is launching a business unit for Prime Sport. He keeps active by cycling, golfing, and traveling to remote parts of the world.
Ritu is our resident children's rights expert and brings with her years of experience working with disadvantaged children in India. She began with the Center for Women and Children (CWC), in the tsunami affected regions in India, where she taught Indian Classical dance as a form of psychosocial counseling in CWC-run orphanages. Later, Ritu worked on issues of child labor and the right to education with the support of the International Labor Organization, as well as with the UN Population Fund on child Marriage. She shares that "at dreamfly I have been given the opportunity to work through some difficult issues which has been both challenging and a joy!" Ritu is a Business and Government Fellow and second year student at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government
Although he was born in India, Varun has spent the majority of his life in the U.S. On his many visits to India, Varun has seen first-hand the impact of technology and the power it can have to improve people’s lives. Varun says "I am passionate about using technology to educate, mentor, and connect people across the world." He currently resides in Seattle and works at Microsoft as a Program Manager on the Windows team. In his spare time he enjoys photography, running, and spending time with friends.
Head of Dreamfly Connect
Mike was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. He went to college two years early by getting a G.E.D. and then landed a job doing software engineering for video games, working at Seattle-area companies Zombie, Monolith, and Valve. He says "What excites me about Dreamfly is to see how capable we are of radically improving people's lives. I can't wait to meet these children in 10 years." In his spare time, Mike travels as far and wide as he can, writes, and works to discover how many miles his feet can take him in a single day.