Bio

Mara Kronenfeld is an international development specialist with over 15 years of experience designing, implementing, and leading youth development programming in the Middle East and North Africa, a region where she has lived and worked in for many years. Mara has extensive leadership experience in youth workforce development, with a strong focus on program design and development, organizational capacity strengthening, and multi-sectoral partnership cultivation and collaboration. Mara currently serves as Regional Director of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) programs at the International Youth Foundation (IYF) where she has worked for close to a decade. As Regional Director, Mara oversees a diverse portfolio of youth education, employability, and empowerment programs in collaboration with partners such as the World Bank, USAID, OCP Foundation (Morocco), Hilton, Samsung, JP Morgan, Saudi Aramco, the King Khalid Foundation, and hundreds of local NGOs and community based organization across the Middle East and North Africa. Before joining IYF, Mara served in the Business Development department at AMIDEAST where she managed corporate, foundation, and individual fund-raising efforts and also as manager of the Fulbright scholarship program for students from the MENA region. Mara was a U.S. Fulbright grantee to Syria herself between 2001 and 2003 and while in Syria, also managed a U.S. State Department funded teacher training project and UNRWA’s English Language Club for Palestinian vocational students. She has also worked for the American University in Cairo. Mara brings Arabic language skills and a deep knowledge of the MENA region to IYF. Mara holds a Masters Degree in Near Eastern Studies from New York University and a Bachelors Degree in Anthropology from Stanford University.

 

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