Carter Draper is a Liberian and has worked in ICT for more than eight years. He is currently a BSc. Candidate of Information Technology at the Amity University Pan-African E-Network Project. He received his Professional Information Technology Certifications from Koenig Solutions Pvt. in India, and is a Cisco certified network technician as well as a Microsoft certified information technology professional (MCITP). Carter has long been a supporter of open source technologies and ICT4D in Liberia. As a member of the International Crisis Mappers Net, he is excited that his dreams of providing free and accessible ICT tools training and open-space for Liberians are becoming a reality. In his spare time, he likes to watch movies and football, and enjoys sightseeing.
Before joining the iLab Liberia team, Luther Jeke worked for several IT and business firms in Liberia, such as the Starz Institute of Technology, Genesis Technology and Management Group, and the International Bank of Liberia. He has a background in general Information and Communications Technologies, Basic Programming, and Crisis Mapping Technology. He is currently a senior student at the African Methodist Episcopal University, where he is obtaining a B.A. in Sociology with an emphasis on Economics. He is passionate about learning IT tools and sharing what he has learned with other tech enthusiasts. In November 2011, Luther represented iLab Liberia at the International Conference of Crisis Mappers in Geneva. When not working, Luther loves spending time with his family and doesn’t miss a football match if Manchester United is playing.
Teemu Ropponen is the new Country Director of iLab Liberia and came to the country at the start of March, 2013. Before coming to Liberia, Teemu was working for the Ministry of Justice in Finland in the domains of e-democracy and open government. Teemu has nearly 15 years of years of experience in ICT ranging from mobile technology startups, IT corporations, to academic research and government – working particularly in the domains of mobile technologies, internet services and ICT innovations. Teemu has a Master’s of Science (Technology) in Computer Science and Engineering from the Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland and is interested in the potential of ICTs to create more inclusive societies and to unleash the innovation potential in people and organizations. In Liberia, Teemu is astounded by new things and surprises every day and enjoys the sounds of the Atlantic Ocean to calm him down.
Anthony was born in Liberia and fled to Guinea during Liberia’s civil war. Anthony completed high school in Mali and Guinea, and worked as a field officer for Guinea’s Plan International for three years. Upon returning to Liberia in 2006, Anthony relearned his home country by motorbike, then taxi and soon became one of the most popular drivers in Monrovia. Anthony served as iLab Liberia’s dedicated driver for 8 months before becoming the Office Manager in 2011, and most recently, Director of Logistics. In his spare time, Anthony likes to go to the beach with his family and to spend time with his friends.
Kate Cummings is the co-founder and previously the Country Director of iLab Liberia. Kate worked with Ushahidi in Liberia from 2010 to 2012, training more than 30 NGOs, civil society coalitions and government institutions how to map incidents of conflict and peacebuilding activities, including incidents related to the 2011 presidential election. Before Liberia, Kate worked for Vital Voices in Kenya where she also served as a Peace Fellow for the Advocacy Project. Prior to working in international development, Kate split her time between Southeast Asia as a freelance photographer and Massachusetts teaching photography to at-risk girls. In Liberia, Kate enjoyed boxing at Baby Joe’s House of Pain and a daily dose of kola nut. After returning to the US, she remains on the Board of Directors as Treasurer of iLab Liberia.
John Etherton is the co-founder lead technical consultant for iLab Liberia. Etherton lived in Liberia for three years starting in 2008. During that time he worked with Georgia Tech, the Clinton Foundation, Crisis Management International, and USAID. John is now based in Denver, USA and is the Managing Partner of Etherton Technologies, a consulting firm focused on software engineering for developing contexts. In Liberia, John enjoys Jollof rice, surfing, motorcycling, mudding and discussing the finer points of traffic law with local authorities.
Allan Martell interned at iLab Liberia, where he was responsible for teaching courses on programming and designing Digital Media projects. Prior to his time at iLab, Martell produced several video documentaries on water sustainability and sustainable agriculture, worked as a radio producer for Radio Balsamo and also as producer assistant for Radio YSUCA. He holds an M.S. in Digital Media at the Georgia Institute of Technology (USA) and a B.A. in Social Communications from the Central American University (El Salvador). Martell dreams of using ICTs to promote development in impoverished and underprivileged communities around the world.
Shira Kaminsky (Fall 2012)
Shira Kaminsky worked at iLab to develop a course about branding and design for small businesses in the Monrovia area. Shira is pursuing a BS in mathematics at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She is the editor-in-chief of her university’s student newspaper, The Mass Media, and has experience in journalism and graphic design. This is Shira’s first visit to Liberia, and she loves it. She hopes to come back after graduating.