MEET THE BOARD
Bruce Adams, Bethesda. Bruce Adams, a lifelong resident of Montgomery County, lives in Bethesda with his wife, Peggy Engel, a journalist and playwright. From 2007 to 2018, Bruce served as the director of Montgomery County’s Office of Community Partnerships working to carry out County Executive Ike Leggett’s goal of making Montgomery County, Maryland one of the world’s most welcoming communities. He established Montgomery County’s Sister Cities program, created an annual World of Montgomery Festival, promoted volunteer community service, reinvigorated the Charles W. Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center, and created advisory groups for ethnic and faith communities. In 2017, he received the Peacemaker of the Year Award from the Conflict Resolution Council of Montgomery County. Bruce served as an elected member of the Montgomery County Council from 1986 to 1994, including a term as Council President (1991-92). He was named a 1998 Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian magazine.
Nicholas Arrindell PHD, Takoma Park. Dr. Nicholas Arrindell holds a doctorate from the University of Maryland in the area of comparative and international education. He has been in the field of international education for over 25 years and has gained a thorough understanding of the major issues and trends facing our world today. As the former Special Assistant to the Provost, at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Arrindell has been in the forefront of international education and has sat on panels and review boards for many years. His most recent review experience has been as a review panelist for the Fulbright Scholar program. He has also been the recipient of two Fulbright awards, one to Germany and, a second to India. The Fulbright award and experience has played an extremely important and memorable role in his life. Dr. ArrindelI has been an active member of AIEA, EAIE and NAFSA, the three leading International professional organizations, whose missions are designed to encourage global learning through scholarship and experience, explore global boundaries and exposure while gaining a greater grasp of a world we all share.
Mumin Barre, Gaithersburg. Mumin Barre, who has been a resident of Montgomery County for more than 30 years and a former Insurance Claims professional, is devoted to volunteerism and civic involvement. Currently, the community organizations/groups he serves on include but not limited to the Montgomery County Executive's Reimagining Public Safety Task Force, Faith Community Working Group Education Committee, Montgomery County Muslim Council, and Immigrant Community Services. Previously, he served on the Maryland Governor’s Commission on African Affairs (2009-2013), was the first Co-Chair of the Montgomery County Executive's African Affairs Advisory Group (2008-2009), a Board Member of the Montgomery County Muslim Foundation (2008-2010), Board member & Vice-Chair of the Montgomery County Muslim Council (2010 to 2012), the Treasurer of the Montgomery County Muslim Council (2006-2008), a member Montgomery County Committee for Ethnic Affairs (2005-2008), and a member of the Somali-American Community Association (2004-2011).
Tracey-Alexis Dixon, MPH, Chair, Baltimore City. Tracey-Alexis Dixon is a consultant for the Federal Government. She holds a Master of Public Health degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School and a Bachelor's degree in Family and Child Sciences from Florida State University. She started her career as a special education teacher for 5 years and later transitioned into the public health field implementing and auditing Medicaid policies at the local government and federal levels. Tracey is most proud of her philanthropic efforts. She is an active volunteer in the Montgomery County African Affairs Advisory Group (AAAG) and has played a key role in planning and leading mission trips to: Haiti in 2013-2014, Costa Rica in 2017, St. Lucia in 2019, and Ethiopia alongside Montgomery County officials in 2019. As the founder of a non-profit called The Oath of Giving, she continues to meet the needs of communities locally and internationally. Tracey received the Recognition and Appreciation award in 2015 from the former County Executive Ike Leggett for her commitment and dedication to volunteering in Montgomery County.
Lorna Forde, Germantown. Lorna Forde is a financial and contract management professional with more than 20 years senior-level private and public sector experience. As a small business owner, she currently consults for local organizations and government agencies. Lorna holds an MBA in finance from the University of Pittsburgh and a certification in contracts management from Florida Institute of Technology. Through her various affiliations, she has a long history of community service. In addition to membership on the Montgomery County Sister Cities Board, she currently serves several organizations: Montgomery County Commission for Women, commissioner; Menare Foundation Inc., executive board (chair of community partnerships); The People’s Community Baptist Church Foundation, executive board (treasurer); Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Montgomery County Alumnae Chapter, executive board (immediate past president); Montgomery County African American Advisory Group, member; Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, volunteer coordinator; Jewish Council for the Aging, Interages Bridges, mentor. Lorna is a member of the 2011 class of Leadership Montgomery. She previously served as vice-chair of The People’s Community Baptist Church Trustee Board and co-chair of Measurements for the Deputy Superintendent’s Minority Achievement Advisory Council. Lorna was recognized by Aunt Hattie’s Place and the Montgomery County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta for her volunteer spirit. During her tenure as president, she accepted the 2013 Montgomery Serves Community Group Award for the organization’s outstanding service in the county. Lorna lives in Germantown and has adult twin daughters, Aleisha and Mariah.
Alicia Lynn Hannon, Rockville. Alicia Hannon, a Financial Analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, is a philanthropist dedicated to cross-cultural relationships enrichment, community organizing and youth mentoring. She has an MBA in Global Emerging Markets from American University, a BBA in International Business from Howard University, and a Master’s Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University. Alicia studied international business within the European Union at WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management in Germany and studied corporate and governmental international relations within the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Germany and Brazil. Alicia joined the Montgomery County delegation, led by Montgomery County Councilmember Craig Rice, in Gondar, Ethiopia in 2019. She serves as a Commissioner on the Cultural Arts Commission for City of Rockville and as a Board Member for Make Smart Cool (a non-profit organization in Capitol Heights, Maryland), whose mission is to revolutionize how young people think about education, in addition to showing them ways to avoid dangerous pitfalls caused by a lack of education. Alicia was formally recognized by the Town of Capitol Heights for teaching essential financial management skills to middle-school and high-school children. She is an Organizing for Action Fellow and serves as Treasurer for Business and Professional Women (BPW) in Montgomery County, and as Audit Chair for BPW Maryland. Alicia’s philanthropic achievements were inspired by an Alternative Spring Break volunteer experience where she performed construction work and community outreach during the aftermath of a natural disaster, Hurricane Katrina.
Sabrina Hsu, Fairfax. Sabrina Hsu, a librarian of the Library of Congress since 2004. Outside of her professional job, she has volunteered in the Chinese American communities in the Washington Metropolitan area. She is a native Chinese speaker and her bi-cultural background and commitment to community collaboration has led her to a number of volunteer opportunities and community leadership roles. Sabrina is a former president of the Northwestern Chinese American Association of Greater Washington (NCAAGW). The Association is a non-profit organization and formed to provide a platform for people who share the same interest in the culture and heritage of Northwest of China and live in the Greater Washington Metropolitan area to connect, socialize, and enhance their relationship, and to promote the cultural and educational exchanges among Chinese American communities and other communities. Sabrina is currently served as a volunteer of the General Dean of Studies for the Hope Chinese School Board of Directors. The Hope Chinese School is also a non-profit, independent school, provides an educational setting for the people of the Washington metropolitan area to learn the modern Chinese language using Pin-Yin (phonetic writing system) and simplified characters. It is the largest Chinese school in the area, has eight campuses with over 4000 students enrolled in MD and VA. Sabrina is also served as a volunteer of the Deputy Director for the Chinese American Community Health Services, a non-profit origination, works closely with local health administrations and services agencies to increase health awareness and accessibility of services to the Washington DC metropolitan area Asian and Chinese communities.
Ashwani Jain, Potomac. Ashwani Jain (he/him) is a first-generation, college-educated, diverse-millennial; a lifelong resident of Maryland a product of its public schools; and a 17-year survivor of childhood cancer who has spent nearly two decades working in the public, private and non-profit sectors - with a focus on making government more representative, transparent and accountable. He currently serves as Program Director for the National Kidney Foundation, Ambassador to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Youth Mentor for the YMCA, and Co-Chair of the “Do The Most Good” Elections Team. He previously served as a presidential appointee in the Obama/Biden Administration, where he ran efforts to diversify the government (in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel); preserve affordable housing (as Deputy White House Liaison to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development); ensure quality healthcare (as Associate Director of External Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services); and created the first 50-state outreach strategy to accelerate the progress in cancer research (as Director of Outreach for Vice President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative).
Mathew Lee, Rockville. After graduating from Virginia Tech (BS) and Johns Hopkins University (MS), Matthew began his career designing optical data links for ground-based radar at the Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, MD. As an Electronics Engineer, Matthew managed custom hybrid products in the Patriot Missile System used during Operation Desert Storm. Intent on utilizing his federal experience, Matthew founded FASTech Inc. in 1990 and is acting President and Chief Executive Officer. FASTech, based in Rockville, MD, offers a wide range of services including: custom application and database design, network engineering and desktop support, web technologies, digital audiovisual technologies, project management, facilities management, and cyber security. When not running FASTech, devotes his time to two sectors: business development and cybersecurity. For the past six years, Matthew has served as President of KoBE Government Contracting Alliance a non-profit organization that supports more than two hundred minority owned and operated businesses. Matthew was recently appointed to the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors, he was also re-appointed by Governor to the TEDCO Board of Directors, an independent organization that offers business assistance and seed funding. Currently, Matthew is President of the U.S. International Development Center (USIDC) for international incubator program. Matthew is an acting board member and former chair of the Baltimore Changwon (South Korea) Sister City Committee (BCSCC). Matthew continues to advance local cybersecurity infrastructure and community ties to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) by serving on the Maryland Cybersecurity Council. Matthew’s vision and collaborative business style has enabled him to stand out among his peers and business associates. In 2015, Matthew was selected for the Small Business Administration - Emerging Leaders Program. Matthew was also awarded with the Korean Prime Minister’s citation at the annual Commerce and Industry Day in the same year.
Nan Qiao, Derwood. Nan Qiao, a senior software engineer, has served the Montgomery County community for several years, mainly through his work with the Northwestern Chinese American Association of Greater Washington (NCAAGW), a Maryland-based nonprofit organization for Chinese Americans and immigrants with roots in the northwestern provinces of China. It is the largest hometown-based Chinese American association in the Greater Washington area. As vice president and chief financial officer of NCAAGW and chairman of its Sister City committee, Nan, along with other NCAAGW leaders, has worked in numerous capacities to coordinate government and local communities. In 2012, he was one of five key members of a Montgomery County delegation to China for the first official meeting in Xi’an aimed at establishing a Sister City relationship and advancing an exchange of jobs and investments between the county and Xi’an, a city of eight million people and home to the famous Terracotta Army. In 2013 Nan went to China with Montgomery County officials for the signing of a letter of intent to become a Sister City with Xi’an. He also accompanied County Executive Ike Leggett to several Chinese cities to meet with government officials. Nan received an associate degree in finance from Tianjin Normal University in China in 2000, a Bachelor of Science from Southeastern University (SEU) in Washington, D.C. in 2002, and a master’s degree in computer science from SEU in 2005. In December 2014, the NCAAGW board recognized Nan with the Excellent Performance Reward of the year.
Roman Santillan, Treasurer, Hyattsville. Roman Santillan writes about film, theater, music, opera, and visual arts for Hola Cultura, a nonprofit Latino arts organization. He studied archaeology at the University of Yucatán, Mexico, before receiving a master’s degree in Spanish from the University of Ohio. He also earned a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) at Rutgers University and did doctoral studies at City University of New York. His career as a librarian in public and academic libraries has taken him to New York City, Washington, D.C. and Maryland. Over the years, he has taught college-level Spanish and Latin American literature in Ohio, New York City, and Washington D.C. His published works in English and Spanish include essays, short stories, and diverse articles that focus on academic librarianship and the history and literature of Latin America.
Clemmie Solomon PHD, Takoma Park. Clemmie is a recently retired (2020) Collegewide Dean for Student Engagement and Student Affairs at Montgomery College. He has a Ph.D. in Education Policy and Social Foundations with a supporting field in Comparative and International Education from the University of Maryland, College Park; a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Dayton and a Bachelor’s Degree in History Education from Central State University (Ohio). His work history includes executive positions at the University of the District of Columbia (Vice President) and Bowie State University (Dean). He is a former President Emeritus of the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development and Board Chair of the American Counseling Association Foundation. Past leadership involvements also include serving as a member of the Prince George’s County Personnel Board, the University of Maryland Alumni Board, Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area Board (Chair), Leadership Philadelphia, Leadership Greater Washington, and Leadership Montgomery. Clemmie was a Fulbright Scholar to Togo and Sierra Leone and developed several study abroad programs to Senegal, Gambia, and Ethiopia. He currently serves on the University of Maryland College of Education’s Board of Visitors and on the Montgomery County Sister Cities Board.
Joy C. West, Silver Spring. Joy is a licensed attorney admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and State of Michigan. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from Howard University School of Law and Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Irvine. Her artistic works is reflective of her perspective as a world citizen and her delight in the full flavor of people, food, custom, religion, belief and traditions of life. She has traveled to seven (7) continents and extensively throughout the United States. As a member of the Sister Cities delegation to India, China and South Korea her photography and video captured the essence of those travels. Her photography was the background for the India Tent at the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 World of Montgomery Festival in Rockville, Maryland. She served as the official photographer for the World of Montgomery Festival 2018. She visited Cuba and filmed a historic goodwill mission trip by the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League in 2016. She worked with the Montgomery County, Office of Community Partnerships on cultural diversity filming projects that highlighted the anniversary of the Gilchrist Center. She has worked with artist, Alonzo Davis, to bring his still projects Targeted USA’15, Chone’s Glow and From There to Here to life through film.
Yasin Yimam, Silver Spring. Yasin Yimam was born in Ethiopia and moved to Maryland at the age of 14. Entering high school as a 9th grader, Yasin graduated in in two years. He went on to earn an associate degree with a concentration in general study from Montgomery College in 2012. Yasin plans to pursue a degree in International Business and minor Political Science at the University of Maryland at Shady Grove. Currently Yasin is the president for Montgomery-Gondar Ethiopia Sister City committee and serves as vice president for the Montgomery County African Affairs Advisory Group. Yasin also pursues his passion for developing business, education, and cultural networks for the Ethiopian community in Montgomery County. Yasin is a resident of Silver Spring and owner of Yasin Limo Service which provides transportation throughout the DMV area.
Dr. Michael Mills PHD, Vice Chair, Rockville. Dr. Mills is the Vice President of E-Learning, Innovation and Teaching Excellence at Montgomery College. In that capacity he oversees distance education, staff and faculty professional development and various international activities. He holds a doctorate and master’s in educational leadership from the University of Delaware and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland. Dr. Mills has served on different statewide and national boards representing Montgomery College. He is currently on the executive council for the national Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources and serves as Chair of MarylandOnline, a statewide consortium focusing on distance education. He recently served six years on the board of Quality Matters, an international organization dedication to improving the quality of online learning. Dr. Mills has participated in recent Sister City trips to Daejeon, South Korea and Gondar, Ethiopia.
Jeannette Noltenius PHD, Washington, DC. Dr. Jeannette Noltenius holds a Doctorate in Social Sciences from the University of Paris, 1, Sorbonne, France, a Master's in Economics from the same university and a Masters in Counseling Psychology from Antioch College, in Keene, New Hampshire. She is the Founder and President of the Casa de la Cultura El Salvador (CASA), a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC whose mission is to educate, promote and celebrate Salvadoran and Salvadoran American arts, culture and the humanities. CASA works in the DMV as well as in El Salvador. Dr. Noltenius is recognized nationally as a leader in the field of Latino and minority health, and an expert in tobacco and alcohol policy issues. She is also known internationally for her work with the Pan American Health Organization. She provides organizational development and strategic planning services. She has founded and served in many boards of directors among them: Out of Many, One, a multicultural coalition to achieve health equity, the Phoenix Equity Group, North American Quitline Consortium, Consumer Health Foundation, La Clinica del Pueblo, EVS Communications, National MultiCultural Institute, Nueva Vida, and many others.