Board of Directors
Thok Makuol Ajak
Thok Makuol founded corporate transportation company Bespoke Logistics and Refugee to Save a Nation (RSN). He is a Copy Editor at Bespoke Approach, An Australian political and corporate advisory firm.
He is a graduate of Kabarak University, with a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science. Thok is a certified pension manager with numerous certificates of participation and leadership skills.
A former refugee and a community youth activist. Thok was dispossessed of the comfort of a typical life. Born at Kakuma Refugee camp, Kenya, a South Sudanese national. A trailblazer who endures lots of suffering while he was growing.
Not only was he living in a bad environment, but his basic needs were hard to come by. He was exposed to poor health, insecurity, and sickness brought by overcrowding in the refugee camps.
He is a feminist that believes that gender equality is the goal to help abolish poverty that will create more equal economies, fairer societies, and happier men, women and children.
Ian Smith co-founded political and corporate advisory firm Bespoke Approach in July 2008, working with leading businesses on complex projects in Australia and internationally.
A former journalist and government advisor, Ian has a vast political, business and media network. He was previously CEO of Gavin Anderson & Company and part of the company’s worldwide executive committee.
Ian is a member of The Friendly Nation Initiative, placing Syrian refugees in Australia in roles with leading Australian companies, and attends UN refugee conferences talking about the role of business and civil society.
He is the Honorary British Consul in South Australia, a Director of the East Arnhem Regional Economic Development Corporation and of the Baker Heart and Diabetes Research Institute and a member of the NAB PrivateWealth Advisory Council.
He is an Ambassador for ENUF (a campaign to reduce stigma and support people living with HIV/AIDS) and an Ambassador for The Orang-Utan Project.
Ian is married to Natasha Stott Despoja, Australia’s former Ambassador for Women and Girls and they have two children.
Dr. Aweng Garang
Director, Policy Planning
Aweng is a fellow at the Union Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and an Assistant Professor from the University of Juba, South Sudan, He also maintains research affiliations to the University of Kent, Ebony Centre for Strategic Studies, and MAP Advisory and an author and a co-author of several peer-reviewed research articles published in the web of science journals.
He is a graduate of Erciyes University, Turkey with a doctorate in Economics focusing on the empirics of growth convergence in Africa and the proposed monetary union in East Africa. He holds an MSc. degree in Econometrics from the University of Kent, United Kingdom; and Accounting and Finance from Ndejje University where he also holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics.
Aweng is a specialist in empirical macroeconomics (general equilibrium, time series, and dynamic panel models); micro econometrics (Difference in Difference methods, discrete choice models & instrumental variables); climate change (gender & resource and environment aware-CGE models); and monetary policy (inflation-targeting policy regimes).
He is a recipient of the Chevening scholarship (funded by Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the British Government), Turkey Burslari scholarship (funded by the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities of the Turkish Government), and Julius-Maximilians scholarship (funded by the University of Würzburg, Germany).
Aweng also participated in funded international workshops and conferences in Dubai (UAE), Cappadocia (Turkey), and Sussex (Brighton, United Kingdom). He maintains subscribed professional memberships in African Economic Research Consortium, African Economic and Finance Association, and American Economic Association.
Dr. Elizabeth J. Shadar
Elizabeth Shadar is the director of programmes for gender, child, and social welfare in the office of the Vice president, South Sudan.
A former head of civic education unit in the gender department; Project manager at the National centre for peace and development (NCPD) and administrative officer for South Sudan referendum commission (SSRC).
She is a graduate of Ahfad University, with a doctorate in philosophy in counseling and health Psychology, and holds MSc. Degree of Master of Science in gender and development and a bachelor’s degree in Early and childhood education with distinction.
Shadar participated in Transparency enhancement and Anti-Corruption, Khartoum (Sudan), Data Collection and other research of the NUCCOP mental Capacity Building Project, Oslo University, (Norway), Integrating women empowerment in poverty reduction strategy and completed the training workshop for service providers for the returners in partnership with UNDP.
She is one of the strongest and the most courageous women that have to identify themselves, know who they are, what they believe in, and where they want to go.
Co-Founder & Ambassador
Awuoi Mach was born in 1999 in South Sudan. She grew up in the focal point of the Sudanese civil war. When she was six years old, her family crossed the border to Kenya to seek refuge in the Kakuma refugee camp.
Astute, she enrolled in tertiary education and later graduated, in Kakuma refugee camp. She is currently an international model signed by modeling agencies (New Icon New York, Metropolitan / M Management / Makers, Brave Model Management, PRM Agency and Uno Models ) based in New York, Paris, Milan, London & Barcelona respectively.
She was chosen by United States singer Rihanna to model the latest collection from her history-making label, Fenty.
Victor Kirui is a website developer at FibrConnect, a Kenyan Internet provider company. He is a graduate of Kabarak University, with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. He is a certified front-end developer with numerous certificates from Udacity and Udemy. He is interested in tech, nature and helping people achieve their goals.
He is well known for his assertiveness and his go-getter spirit he has in life. Through his online study on social dynamics, he has a better understanding of empathy and connection with people.