The current FOA Board of Directors is composed of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who have served in Albania. There are currently two current Peace Corps Albania Volunteers in-country who act as the liaisons for communication between FOA and Albania.
Current Board Members
Kyle Roberts - President
Kyle served as a Community Economic Development volunteer at the Bashkia Fier, USAID Planning & Local Governance Project, and Albanian-American Development Foundation from 2012 to 2015. He is currently managing the planning department of a small city in Montana. Kyle lives just over an hour’s drive from Glacier National Park in a beautiful northwestern part of the state. Some of Kyle’s hobbies include long-distance cycling, traveling, arboretums, and birding. Kyle is part of the Friends of Albania board because he wants to continue serving Albania. He also wants to contribute to the development of Albania, and keep the Peace Corps spirit alive.
Jacqueline Labrador - Vice President
Jacqueline served in the Community Economic Development sector from 2015 to 2017 at the Regional Directorate of Social Services, the Civil Society Development Center (CSDC) in Durres, and managed Albanian Model United Nations. During her service she developed Durres first digital community media platform for youth, mentored girls in developing android applications, coordinated field visits and trainings for youth in digital media and literacy, and assisted with multiple NGO's with media visibility. She just started working as an international consultant for UNICEF in Lao PDR. During her free time she enjoys spending time with her boyfriend and cat Qofte-Frikadel'ka, exploring and experiencing the culture of her temporary home in Lao PDR. Jacqueline is part of Friends of Albania because she wants to continue to contribute to the development of Albania and stay connected to a place that shaped who she is today.
Brett Mons - Treasurer
Brett Mons served as a Community and Organizational Development Volunteer from 2009 to 2011. During his service, Brett worked with the municipality of Rubik on several projects including the establishment of a public information office, a foreign language learning lab, and a comprehensive waste management plan. Brett was also active with Outdoor Ambassadors and assisted the organization in teaching students how to map and mark trails. While serving in Albania, Brett met fellow PCV and FOA’s 2nd President Alexandra Moskaluk. They are now married and live in Brooklyn, NY with their two cats Shefi and Ilir. Specializing in solid waste management and urban planning, Brett is a Senior Manager at the non-profit 100 Resilient Cities.
Jill Conway - Grants Coordinator
Jill served at the Kavaje Directory of Public Health as a Health Extension Agent from 2013 to 2015. Jill held positions on several committees as the Outdoor Ambassadors Camp Coordinator, Anti-trafficking in Persons Grants Coordinator, and the Volunteer Advisory Committee Whip. She also started the Kavaje Young Adults Center, wrote a popular blog that ended up going viral in Albania, and completed a cervical cancer training of trainers project. Now Jill currently work as a recruiter based out of Chicago. She enjoys bike riding, hanging out with her cat Shpirti, and kayaking. Jill is part of the Friends of Albania board because she is passionate about supporting current Peace Corps volunteers implement sustainable projects in their communities. She also enjoys remaining in contact with Albania, a place she considers her second home.
Brenna Mickey - Website and Social Media Chair
Brenna lived in Bajram Curri, the northernmost town in Albania, with two other volunteers during her service. She worked with the municipality to create an online presence, started a youth basketball league. She also was awarded two grants by Friends of Albania that funded equipment for their basketball league, as well as a mobile library that traveled to remote villages in the Tropoja region. Brenna currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina where she works as a user experience designer and a part-time adjunct instructor. She enjoys hiking with her dog, reading on my porch, freelance web design, road trips, and IPAs. Brenna will always have a strong connection with Albania and serving on the board of Friends of Albania is a great opportunity to nourish this connection. She's been back to Albania twice since finishing her service.
Joyce Wolf - Newsletter Coordinator
Joyce served as a English Education volunteer with G15 from 2012 - 2014. She focused on youth development within and outside of Delvine. Throughout the course of her two years, she headed up Model United Nations, Outdoor Ambassadors and volunteering at the local convent. She took part in a handful of national events where she helped to coordinate engaging activities for students. She was particularly fond of organizing Write On! Albania and quadrupled the number of submissions from 300 - 1300. Her other favorite project was being a camp counselor for Kampi Pa Emer for 3 consecutive summers. Joyce currently lives in Taipei, Taiwan and teaches English at a kindergarten. She loves attending weekly board game meet-ups, dance/acro/yoga classes and has taken up hiking and exploring Taiwan’s beautiful nature. She was inspired to join Friends of Albania because she wants to give back to Shqiperia and she’s looking forward to continuing her service as a RPVC.
Will Burchell - Fundraising and Membership Coordinator
Will Burchell was a Community Economic Development volunteer in Bashkia Roskovec from 2015 to 2017. While there he worked with municipality staff as an advisor and professional skills trainer. Much of his time was spent with the community youth. Being around so many bright and talented young people in his town fostered his optimism for the future of the country and the work that PCVs are doing. Will is currently a Masters student at Johns Hopkins SAIS, studying international economics and development finance. He is excited to keep his connection to Albania strong as a board member for Friends of Albania, and enjoys the role it plays in funding the efforts of current volunteers.
Katie McBride - PCV Liaison
Katie is a currently serving Community Development Volunteer in the Kruja Bashkia. Her current work in the municipality is focused on Tourism Development and the new EU desk, as well as coordinating projects with NGO’s and the Regional Development Agency of the Tirane-Diber-Durres region. Originally from Colorado, Katie’s hobbies include swimming and kayaking and she hopes to learn a thing or two about photography during her free time in Albania. She decided to apply to be a Friends of Albania Liaison because she wants to actively participate in her PC Albania community, as well as her local Albanian one and enjoys the idea of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and current Peace Corps Volunteers connecting to continue positive projects in the country they all love.
Ari Cooper - PCV Liaison
Ari is a currently serving Community Organizational Development Volunteer working in the Gramsh Bashkia. His current work in the municipality is focused on EU Projects and Tourism Development. Outside of the municipality, he works with afterschool youth clubs including the Gramsh Youth Council and the Junior Achievement class. Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Ari enjoys traveling around Albania and hiking its diverse terrains and playing soccer with the locals. He applied to be a Friends of Albania Liaison because he wants to help build the capacity of volunteers to create strong and sustainable community-driven projects.
Founding & Previous Board Members
Friends of Albania was created in 2009 by Group 10 Peace Corps Volunteers as they left Albania with a collective feeling to continue the Peace Corps experience. This interest to create FOA was sparked by a desire to remember experiences, speak Albanian and connect with others who are interested in this special part of the world.
Founding Members: Paul Mastin, Katie Mastin, Dan McGinley, Marisa Bowersox, Kenji Yamada, Chuck Schroeder, Bill Trunk
Previous Board Members: Juliet Kosarzychi, Adam Kirk, Kendra Bruce, Alex Moskaluk, Karen Price, Will Bevins, Laura Hammett, Rebecca Mueller, Larry Koziarz, Emily Franchett, Daniel Shibley, Casey Loving