Executive Board Members and Leadership

Higiro Issa, Executive Director & President

Issa is a Rwandan citizen. He grew up in exile in Uganda and returned to Rwanda immediately after the 1994 genocide. He holds certificates in Entrepreneurship, Peace building, and Conflict Transformation. He is the executive director of Good Change Rwanda (GCR) he also worked as the Advisor on culture and politics to the CEO of Inyenyeri, a Rwandan social benefit company between 2015/18, worked as a homestay coordinator and program assistant for the School for International Training Study Abroad Program in Rwanda, a post genocide restoration and peace- building program under the auspices of World Learning. Higiro is the founder of Memos: Learning from History, a non-profit organization that deals with memory and reconciliation after the genocide. Recently, he served as the assistant coordinator for the Rescuers Research Project financed by the Hamburg Institute of Social Research. Since 2012, he has been the Rwandan coordinator for Wharton’s Global Modular Course, taught annually in Rwanda, 2016 Wharton Lauders Institute cultural quest seminar as well as 2017 African leaders seminar held in Kigali with the focus on world future leaders.

Butare John, Deputy Executive Director & Vice President

John Doubles as the deputy-executive director and the vice president of GCR. John holds an MBA Majored in project Management; he also holds BBA (Accounting option) John is a team planner, a team organiser, a team coordinator, an expert trainer, a team controller, a team player and also a Resource Investigator, Monitor Evaluator, a Shaper, an Implementer, a Completer Finisher and above all is a Team Worker. John will base upon his over twenty-two years of experience in corporate management in both public and private institutions. He is passionate to the effects of climate change and it’s in this regard that he is very determined to play a role in climate mitigation by focusing on afforestation, reforestation and land terracing. He will build on his skills of project management and design to make this project realised and fully implemented. John is today a private Consultant in business turn around, institutional structuring and restructuring, project development, implementation, management and monitoring.

Robert Werner MBARAGA, Secretary

Robert is the secretary of Good Change Rwanda, He is articulate, Creative and results-oriented young legal  consultant driven to succeed. Action-oriented with strong ability to communicate effectively with executive and  business audiences and he is very knowledgeable is IT and technology apps  Robert holds a Masters Degree in International Economics and Business Law (LL.M) from Kigali Independent  University (ULK) and also He also holds a Bachelor’s degree of Laws (LLB) from the National University of Rwanda. He is pursuing postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice at the Institute of Legal Practice and Development -ILPD.  He is a member of the Rwanda Bar Association and the East African Law Society He is a legal Expert with vast experience of more than 7 years in business law, especially in corporate governance,  contract drafting, negotiation and management, intellectual property and litigation. Currently he is a lecturer at different Universities in Rwanda a private consultant.

KAYUMBA KABANYANA Betty, Advisor

Betty is GCR’s Advisor. Betty holds LLB – Law from the National University of Rwanda.  She is very committed and talented lady, hard working person with good capacity to work in team through execution of assigned tasks, she is able to work with little or no supervision at all, a very good communicator person, strong and focused person, self-initiator and driven by result, she manages pressure at work and has the ability to work under pressure and perform well. She critically and analytically observes, assesses and evaluates issues and matters at hand independently to give the most appropriate advice or guidance and always on time. Her 5 years experience as a contracts legal officers in banks and currently as a legal and contract Manager at KTR Network equipped her with all it needs to be a confidant and trustworthy advisor. And she is currently pursuing postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice at the Institute of Legal Practice and Development -ILPD.

SALMA AMIR UMURERWA, Software Developer

Salma holds Bachelor degree in Computer Science (Information system) from the National University of Rwanda,  she is experienced IT engineer. She is honest, a team worker, an IT skills imparter and trainer. She will help GCR to develop a software that be used in monitoring of the seedlings and plants well being and growth. She will use her experience of 6 years in IT similar tasks and perform better at GCR.

Honorary Board Members

Professor Katherine J. Klein, Ph.D.

Katherine is the Vice Dean for the Wharton Social Impact Initiative (WSII). In this position, Klein shapes WSII’s vision and strategy for social impact partnerships, initiatives, research, and faculty engagement at Wharton. Klein is an organizational psychologist and the Edward H. Bowman Professor of Management at Wharton. She teaches on leadership, organizational change, social impact, and research methods. Her current research focuses on the effects of leadership succession on employee engagement and organizational effectiveness. Her prior research on diversity, team effectiveness, social networks, levels of analysis, technology implementation, and employee ownership has appeared in numerous top journals including Administrative Science Quarterly, Journal of Applied Psychology, the Academy of Management Journal, and the Academy of Management Review. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Management, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the American Psychological Association, and the Association for Psychological Science. She is a member of the board of directors of United Therapeutics. Professor Klein received her B.A. in Psychology from Yale University and her Ph.D. in Community Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.

Sean Tenner

Sean is a native of Naperville, IL and a graduate of Georgetown University in Washington, DC, Sean Tenner has  nearly 20 years of political campaign management, issue advocacy and non-profit/foundation consulting experience. He has worked for some of the most prominent elected officials and organizations in Illinois and Washington, DC – including President Barack Obama (US Senate Primary and General Elections, 2004 and Presidential Campaign, 2008), Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, the Illinois House of Representatives Democratic Majority, Washington, DC City Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, Evanston (IL) Mayor Steve Hagerty and Aurora (IL) Mayor Tom Weisner.  He has helped elect numerous members of the Illinois judiciary, the Illinois legislature, the Chicago City  Council and the Washington, DC City Council. News outlets have touted Tenner’s “enviable record of success in the judicial campaigns he’s quarterbacked.” and in the 2018 Democratic Primary alone Tenner and the KNI team led six judicial candidates – Judge Robert Harris, Judge Kent Delgado, Judge Jeanne Wrenn, Judge-elect Lindsay Huge, Judge-elect Kevin Cunningham and Judge-elect Jamie Shapiro to strong victory margins in competitive races. He served as lead consultant on the successful 2018 campaign of Cam Davis, President Obama’s Great Lakes protection lead, who won the largest number of write-in votes in modern Illinois history – beating a state record previously held by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Alison Pure-Slovin.

Alison is a native Chicagoan, is the Midwest Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international human rights NGO, and was the first female President of the Standard Club, a 150 year-old widely respected Jewishlycultured social club. Alison is passionate about her work of defending the human rights of all people. Formally, she was a non-news producer at NBC-TV, channel 5 in Chicago and later formed her own video production company while raising 4 children. Alison retired from the entertainment industry, to become the Midwest Regional Director for Shaare Zedek Medical Center, one of the largest and oldest hospitals in Jerusalem, a position she held for close to 10 years. She left Shaare Zedek to open an office for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a global Jewish human rights organization that confronts anti-Semitism, hate and terrorism, promotes human rights and dignity, stands with Israel, defends the safety of Jews worldwide, and teaches the lessons of the Holocaust for future generations. The mission and work of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre is important to Alison as she personally experienced anti-Semitism, which has profoundly affected her. Currently she lives in Skokie with her husband Ron of 39 years.


Icho Ourtane

Half French and half Moroccan, Ourtane is a native of Mohammedia, Morocco, and a graduate of ILERI School of International Relations in Paris. She is in charge of Risks Prevention at the Office of the Chairman of OCP, a Moroccan global market leader of phosphate and its derivatives (fertilizers). She has a realexperience in the associative world both in France and in Morocco. Indeed, she has been particularly active in associations struggling against cancer, supporting older persons, or helping needy children. She is today member of JOOD Association in Casablanca, with an objective to reintegrate homeless people into society. Ourtane is also passionate with combat sports and has been WKN World Champion of K-1 (Kickboxing), in 2014, Prague, Czech Republic. She encourages women to practice combat sports to know how to protect themselves and also to challenge their mental capabilities to cope with difficult situations of everyday’s life.