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CHRISTINE MWANGI, founder & president

Christine is a British-trained pharmacist living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her greatest passion is global health. Born in Kenya, Christine and her family migrated to the United States in 1997.

Christine earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Towson University and her Master of Pharmacy degree from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. She completed her Pharmacist Pre-Registration training in London at the height of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Upon her registration as a General Pharmaceutical Council Pharmacist in December 2014, Christine launched Be a Rose to address hygiene and global health issues.

She plans to use her clinical skills and aptitude for leadership to build capacity and achieve positive health outcomes in underserved communities in Grand Rapids and Kenya.


CHARLES KUNGU, treasurer

Charles Kungu has a Master of Business Administration degree in Information Systems from the University of Baltimore and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Williams Baptist College. Throughout his educational pursuits, Charles has received numerous academic honors, as well as recognition for his athletic performance in soccer.

In 2003, Charles joined MuniCap, Inc., a real estate finance and consulting firm based in Columbia, Maryland. MuniCap has helped its clients successfully close over 135 public funding programs and generated $2.8 billion of investment in over 30 states.

Charles’s expertise spans areas of public finance, administration, and information systems technology. He is currently the Vice President IT Manager of MuniCap. Charles is an active member of the Baptist Church both in Maryland and in his native Kenya.


HILDA MWANGI, secretary

Hilda Mwangi is the Director of the World Trade Center, San Diego, where she leads the international trade and investment efforts of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation and the greater San Diego region. Hilda received her Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration degrees, focused on International Business Law and Global Emerging Markets, from American University in Washington, DC, and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Towson University, in Towson, Maryland.

Previously, Hilda worked in the Maryland General Assembly as a Legislative Aide and interned at the Political Department of the U.S. Embassy in London. She was most recently a Trade and Investment (T&I) Officer for the UK Department for International Trade (Los Angeles and San Diego offices) where she oversaw the life sciences T&I activities in the Southwestern US states (AZ, UT, NV, HI, and Southern California) and helped facilitate more than $12 million exchange between life sciences companies in the United States and United Kingdom. Hilda is a licensed attorney in the State of Maryland.



Rachel Bonaparte is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Montgomery College. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Temple University in Broadcasting Telecommunications and Mass Media, a Master of Arts in Mass Communication from Miami University, and a Master’s degree in Education from Widener University.

Rachel recently earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Delaware State University, where she researched self-leadership strategies and student self-efficacy. She is also a producer and camera operator at First Baptist Church of Glenardern, a church of 9,000+ members.

Prior to joining Montgomery College as a full-time instructor, Rachel taught at Prince George’s Community College, Miami University, and Howard Community College, where she developed courses on the increasing cognizance of media messages. Rachel is originally from Baltimore, Maryland.



James Theuri joined the University of Illinois in 2005 to teach agriculture courses to commercial and home food growers. He is a leading voice on fresh produce food safety. James previously worked as a plant pathologist and molecular biologist at Missouri University.

Before coming to the United States, James worked for fifteen years in his home country Kenya, with the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI). He trained at the University of Nairobi (BS, Biology), at the University of Reading, UK (MS, Crop Protection) and at the University of Missouri, (PhD, Plant Pathology).

James was a founding member of Kenya Development Network Consortium, a forum for diasporan Kenyans to discuss and implement development projects.