We Empower Women After War
The African Women Rising staff, board, advisors, and directors are made up of individuals who are passionate about global women’s empowerment. Our board members and advisors are experts in various fields. Our staff in Uganda are from the communities where they work and their experience is critical to our success.
Executive Director and Founder | Linda Eckerbom Cole
Linda, a Swedish national with Berber roots, has spent most of her adult life living between Uganda and the US. She began her development career managing complex emergency operations in conflict and post-conflict areas of Angola, Mozambique, Guinea- Bissau and Uganda. She has extensive fieldwork experience in community needs assessments, preventive health interventions, and small-scale farming. She has published expertise on the re-integration of women back home after war, most notably in the book, “Women and Wars – Women, Girls, Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration.” Linda has a Master’s degree in Humanitarian Assistance from the Friedman school of Nutrition, Tufts University and is the recipient of the 2014 Leah Horowitz Humanitarian Award.
African Women Rising was established in 2006 with a vision to build social, economic and political equality for women and girls in Africa. These underlying values are realized through programs that enable and empower women in the conflict-affected region of Northern Uganda to rebuild their lives through increased food production, natural resource management, financial security, and education. AWR’s approach is based on a belief, as well as firsthand experience, that when women are actively involved in decision-making, be it post-war reconstruction or small-scale civic responsibility, their voices ensure that vital societal priorities are incorporated.
Beginning with 5 groups of women (150 people) who were directly affected by the conflict in Northern Uganda 15 years ago, AWR has since grown to directly serve more than 20,000 women and their households. This expansion has been based on conversations with participants and the larger community, which led AWR to initiate adult literacy and girls’ education programs alongside its post-conflict recovery agricultural and microfinance efforts to help sustain and strengthen the peace
Board of Directors
Director, Programs ELMA Philanthropies, East Africa
Co-founder, Consultant in Agriculture and Livelihood
Joy Margolis, Esq.
Founder and owner of Joy for Creators, Strategic Business Advisor
Founder and owner of Harvest Santa Barbara
Founder, Greater Good Insights
Walter Okidi Ladwar
Human Rights and Land Rights Lawyer
Member of Parliament
Senior Advisor/Director, Nutrition and Food Security Division at FHI 360
Co-Director, Gender Analysis and Women’s Leadership Program at The Fletcher School at Tufts University
Deputy Director, Global Health, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
John O. Niles
Senior Manager, Natural Climate Solutions at Salesforce
Equity Designer at Equity Meets Design
PhD Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, UN