Cheryl is acting director of IREX's Leadership Practice and project director for the Strengthening Independent Media in Syria (SIMS) program.
As acting director of the Leadership Practice, Cheryl leads IREX’s overall strategy and learning agenda for leadership development globally. She manages a portfolio of fellowship and leadership development programs that support leaders in more than 100 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Eurasia, and the Americas with a team of more than 90 staff. Cheryl is also the project director for the Strengthening Independent Media in Syria (SIMS) program and leads a dedicated team based in the Middle East who support independent voices and the media ecosystem to provide Syrians with news and current affairs programming. Previously at IREX, she has served as deputy director for IREX’s Leadership Practice since 2018 and had overall responsibility for the Impact Fellowships Summit, a learning and networking event IREX convenes to bring leadership development and fellowship practitioners together. Cheryl was also the chief of party providing overall strategic guidance and oversight for a USAID-funded Mandela Washington Fellowship follow-on program which supported young African leaders to increase their leadership and technical skills. Early in her career at IREX, Cheryl managed aspects of several media development projects implemented in the Balkans from 1998 to 2000.
Cheryl is a seasoned development practitioner and unabashed peace idealist with over 20 years of experience managing complex international programs focused on leadership development, professional capacity development, conflict resolution, youth, gender, community development, democracy building, media development, and public health. Prior to returning to IREX in 2015, she worked for the US Department of State managing grants to community-based organizations in South Africa, and as chief of party for a USAID-funded women and youth leadership program in the Balkans, based in Skopje, North Macedonia. As a consultant to international organizations, Cheryl has conducted participatory program evaluations, research and analysis, program needs assessments, proposal development, and professional editing. She is also a skilled facilitator in an experiential learning environment and curriculum developer.
Cheryl completed a BA in international affairs at the University of Mary Washington and an MA in peace, development, and conflict resolution from Universitat Jaume I.