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Plan International USA Welcomes Education & Protection Staff

WASHINGTON – Plan International USA today announced the appointment of Mark Sweikhart, Craig Geddes, and Sarah Havekost to the Education and Protection team, part of the International Programs portfolio.

Mark Sweikhart, Senior Director

Mark Sweikhart has more than 30 years’ experience providing leadership and technical expertise in education projects in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. He specializes in program design, development, and implementation, and possesses technical expertise in a wide range of areas -- community and parental engagement, school improvement planning, organizational capacity development, teacher professional development, early grade reading approaches, and education system improvement and reform. He has worked alongside public and non-profit sector entities and community-based organizations to build effective change-oriented partnerships both in the U.S. and abroad.

Mark provides senior technical leadership and programmatic oversight for a portfolio that includes nine projects totaling $43M funded by USAID, Department of State, and various corporate donors. Mark earned a Master’s in Public Administration with a focus on Strategic Leadership and Education Reform from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Master’s of Science in Teaching with a focus on environmental studies from Antioch University.

Craig Geddes, Senior Program Manager

Craig Geddes has worked in both non-governmental development programming as well as in government relations and advocacy in Washington D.C, spending the majority of his career overseas, most recently in Sub-Saharan Africa. Craig has managed multi-layered, complex education and child protection grant funded programs in excess of $25 million, staff structures of over 120, and consortiums of both international and local organizations. Craig has a successful history of working with the United States, British, and European governments as well as private foundational and corporate donors in grant development and procurement, leading to over $80 million worth of funding for girl’s education, agriculture, and health programs.

Craig’s personal and professional dedication is focused on improving the lives of the most vulnerable within the countries where he has served, specifically focusing on education, child protection, and gender empowerment and inclusivity. Craig is a member of the Global Reading Network, the Comparative International Education Society (CIES), and has presented papers to the Scottish Parliament, CIES, and the Commission on the Status of Women. Craig has a degree in International Relations and Government and graduated from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Craig also attended the Spanish American Institute in Seville, Spain where he focused on sociology, government, and Spanish language.

Sarah Havekost, Senior Program Manager

Sarah Havekost is a practiced development professional with over 15 years’ experience designing and managing education programs in West Africa and the Middle East and North Africa Region, including eight years living in Benin, Burkina Faso, and Algeria. Sarah is dedicated to the promotion of equitable and quality learning environments that tap into the potential of all people, regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, or disability status. Her expertise includes teacher training, policy reform, program design, and organizational capacity development.

In her present role as Senior Program Manager, Sarah oversees education programming in West Africa, as well as contributes to the design and development of new education and protection programs worldwide. She holds a Masters’ degree in French Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BA in French and International Relations from Furman University.

About Plan International USA

Plan International USA, part of the Plan International Federation, is a child-centered development organization that believes in the promise and potential of children. For more than 75 years in over 50 developing countries, Plan has been breaking the cycle of child poverty. Everything Plan does – from strengthening health care systems to improving the quality of education, to advocating for increased protection and beyond – is built with, and owned by, the community. The result is a development approach designed to improve the lives of the youngest members of the community for the longest period of time. For more information, please visit PlanUSA.org.

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