We are diverse group of highly experienced teachers, facilitators, managers, and leaders who know how to work collaboratively to design meaningful experiences in online and in-person contexts.
Britt Yamamoto, Ph.D., M.Sc.
For the past two decades, Dr. Yamamoto has been designing and facilitating online, distance, and digital learning experiences. He’s developed processes that provide students and professionals with a more meaningful experience, in academic and non-academic settings.
Transforming in-person experiences into successful digital programs is nothing new for Dr. Yamamoto. He has successfully transformed in-person academic and professional training curricula into distance and hybrid offerings since 2006.
A Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Global Health, Dr. Yamamoto teaches one of the University of Washington’s largest fee-based courses, with around 12,000 students enrolled per year.
Based in Seattle, he is the co-founder and CEO of Perennial, a leadership training program for community leaders in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East. He is also the founder of iLEAP, an international non-profit that provides transformational learning experiences for global youth.
He holds a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Washington and an M.S. in Community Development from the University of California at Davis.
Russ Watts, M.L.
Russ has over 30 years of experience working with leaders and teams. He helps them better align their purpose with practice. His approach is centered on principles of mindfulness, compassion, and play.
As an executive coach he has served diverse organizations and institutions around the world, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), World Bank, McCormick Spice, Marriott, the Environmental Protection Agency, Oracle, European Parliament, and the Global Good Fund.
Based in Garda Lake, Italy, Russ is a Professor at Bocconi University in the MaGER (Master in Green Management, Energy and Corporate Social Responsibility) program.
In addition to his academic teaching, Russ is the founder and CEO of The Watts Group and a managing partner and Chief Learning Officer (CLO) at iLEAP where he led the organization’s digital transformation and creation of the Global Leadership Academy.
Russ holds an Executive Masters Degree in Leadership (M.L.) from the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business. He is a graduate of the Executive Leadership Coach training from Georgetown University and holds an ACC level of certification from the International Coach Federation.
Mya Fisher, Ph.D., M.A., M.Sc.
Dr. Fisher brings over 20 years of passion, expertise, and leadership in international education. As a woman of color, her career has focused on creating and managing international programs for traditionally under-represented groups.
She is the founder and Chief Executive and Transformation Officer (CETO) for Global Equity Forward, a strategic consultant and advisory practice focused on international equity, inclusion, and racial awareness.
Throughout her career, she has successfully developed and launched international programs for a variety of education, non-profit, and government entities. During her 10 years as a consultant at Youth for Understanding, she designed in-person and digital orientation sessions for students preparing for programs in the U.S. or Japan.
Dr. Fisher believes we can design any program to be educational and transformational. She is enthusiastically committed to teaching, mentoring and the real-world application of knowledge and critical thinking in everyday life.
Based in the Washington DC metro area, she is a proud alumna of Williams College (B.A. Psychology and Sociology), New York University (M.A., International Education) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (M.S. and PhD, Sociology).
Jennifer Lentfer, M.A.
Jennifer is a farm girl turned international aid worker turned coach, communications strategist, and writer/poet. For SOIL, she brings a gift of speaking the language of connection and transformation and helps our clients to (re) imagine and (re) articulate the purpose and possibility of their work.
As the creator of the blog, how-matters.org, she was named as one of Foreign Policy Magazine’s “100 women to follow on Twitter” at @intldogooder. A book which she co-edited, Smart Risks: How small grants are helping to solve some of the world’s biggest problems, features the growing community of philanthropists that find and fund visionary, yet under-the-radar leaders around the world.
In her career in the international aid and philanthropy sector, Jennifer has served with various organizations in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Namibia, and the US, including Oxfam, the Red Cross, UNICEF, Catholic Relief Services, Thousand Currents, and Firelight Foundation, and has consulted with many more.
Home is Bruning, Nebraska, USA, but currently based in the Washington DC metro area, Jennifer holds an M.A. in International Development from the University of Pittsburgh and has taught on the faculty of the University of Vermont Masters in Leadership for Sustainability Program since 2016.
Topher Wilkins, M.Ed.
Spanning the entire breadth of his professional career of nearly two decades, Topher has dedicated himself to building vibrant peer-learning communities through convenings that prioritize relationship over task and connection before transaction.
He currently leads the Opportunity Collaboration (OC), a global network of several thousand nonprofit leaders, for-profit social entrepreneurs, grant-makers, impact investors, corporates and academics building sustainable solutions to poverty.
He is excited to bring his unique expertise in human systems design to the SOIL team and help others to create online and digital engagements that result in more meaningful experiences and stronger connections between people. He believes in the power of human connection to achieve a more just, equitable and regenerative world for all and that, if designed properly, the digital world can bring us closer to these outcomes.
Based in Santa Cruz, California, Topher is also Founder and Chair of the Board of Conveners.org, a collaborative group of fellow network-builders and accelerators in the impact space and holds an M.A. in Education from the University of Colorado.
Katumba J. Ssekikubo
Katumba brings 18 years of experience designing and delivering education experiences in both formal and non-formal education spaces. Based in Kampala,Uganda and Nashville, USA, Katumba is the co-founder and Team Leader of Kusoma Online, a digital teaching and learning platform for educators and learners in East Africa. Katumba also co-founded Wezesha Impact a not-for-profit organization that prepares Ugandan youth to engage in productive employment.
Katumba is passionate about youth education and preparing youth for productive employment. This dedication to education is inspired by the possibilities that open for young people if they participate in relevant practical and reflective education experiences.
Katumba has BA Education from Makerere University and is a 2021 Fulbright/Hubert Humphrey Fellow studying Education Administration, Planning and Policy at Vanderbilt University. He is also a licensed Master Trainer by the UN’s International Labour Organisation.