Steven D. Pierce – Chief Executive Officer
Steven D. Pierce is the former Director of Policy for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) where he led a team of experienced professionals to develop, operationalize and assess policies and strategies on a broad range of critical humanitarian and development priorities. Prior to assuming that position, he was on assignment to the National Defense University’s Eisenhower School, where he served as Associate Professor for National Security and Resource Strategy and USAID Chair. At NDU he taught courses in National Security Policy and Strategy and Industry Studies for senior military and civilian government leaders. Prior positions with USAID include Director of Program Staff; Special Coordinator for Development Effectiveness; U.S. delegate to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, representing the USG on all matters related to development cooperation at the OECD; Director of the Office of Donor Engagement; USAID Executive Secretary, and Senior Policy Advisor to three USAID Administrators. He has extensive field experience in Latin America and the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia and has served in a leadership capacity on several international boards and networks, including as Co-Chair of the Effective Institutions Platform (EIP). Prior to joining USAID, Dr. Pierce held leadership positions at the Inter-American Foundation and the Synergos Institute. He began his career in development as the Country Director for Bolivia with the Andean Children’s Foundation (ACF), now CHOICE Humanitarian.
He holds a PhD in International Relations and a Masters of Public Administration.
Leah Barker – Capital Campaign Manager
Ms. Barker has served in the non-profit sector for over 15 years, fulfilling her passion to improve her community and other communities worldwide. Ms. Barker’s expertise in administration and fundraising has improved CHOICE Humanitarian’s efforts and programs designed to eradicate extreme poverty. She works closely with her Board of Directors and staff in developing the CHOICE Leadership Model of Development that focuses on self-reliance and sustainability. Ms. Barker grew up in Puerto Rico which has contributed to her deep passion to serve low-income families and an understanding of programs that offer lasting solutions.
In addition to her work with CHOICE, Ms. Barker taught an Ethnic Minority Diversity course at the University of Utah. Prior to joining CHOICE Humanitarian, Ms. Barker managed Children First Utah, a non-profit organization focused on meeting the educational needs of low-income children statewide. Ms. Barker holds a B.S. in Human Development and an Executive Masters of Public Administration from the University of Utah.
Andee G. DeVore – Grant Writer
Andee graduated from Brigham Young University in 2013 with a BS in Public Health and a minor in International Development. She then went on to graduate from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University in 2017. Throughout her education, Andee cultivated a robust international development resume, including doing research and program development for NGOs in Haiti and Cambodia.
As an attorney, Andee is passionate about using her training to advocate on behalf of CHOICE’s impactful projects around the world. Her experience facilitating development efforts between public and private organizations has solidified her confidence in the CHOICE Model of Leadership as the premier system for sustainable development.
When she’s not writing, Andee can be found in the outdoors with her family, eating sushi, or digging into a good book.
Keith Ellis – Field Communications Director
Keith started with CHOICE as a volunteer in January of 2003. After a brief hiatus in 2004, Keith re-joined the organization as a full-time staff employee in March of 2005. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University and majored in Business Management. Keith was born in New Jersey and raised in Southern California. He has been on multiple expeditions to Guatemala, Mexico, Kenya, Nepal, Peru, and Bolivia; both as a CHOICE expedition leader and/or as a representative of CHOICE on various field assignments. Keith has served CHOICE in a number of different capacities. He is currently the Director of Field Communications at CHOICE and helps to oversee the everyday managing of 7 dynamic field staffs in 7 countries!
Keith enjoys the outdoors, traveling, camping, and riding his motorcycle! He’s the proud father of four children… and grandfather to six grandchildren! He currently resides in Salt Lake City.
Susan Flake – Data Manager
Susan has a Bachelors of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Utah. She has utilized her education well by spending the last 24 years raising her own small village. She has loved getting back into the work force with CHOICE and contributing to a great cause.
Susan is an avid reader and has spent many years getting a free education through the library system. She loves photography and particularly enjoys photographing her kids participating in sports and other events. She also loves to ski and take road trips with her husband. Together they have 7 children and two granddaughters.
Riley Greenwood – Social Innovations Director
Riley joined the CHOICE Humanitarian team in August 2017. He graduated from the University of Utah with an Honors BS in Economics and a BA in International Studies with a Spanish minor, and is currently pursuing his Master of Statistics at the U as well. Prior to his time at CHOICE, Riley worked at World Trade Center Utah where he focused on helping companies throughout urban and rural Utah expand and diversify their business through international trade. Riley is well-traveled and has spent significant time living throughout Latin America.
His time spent abroad opened his eyes and fueled his desire to do more to improve the lives of people around the world. He is a passionate believer in the CHOICE model for international development and has dedicated his life to making as many sustainable impacts as possible around the world. Riley is proud and grateful to be in a position to help create strong global citizens by expanding awareness of the realities of extreme poverty around the world.
Riley is an avid NBA fan and spends his spare time with his wife Erin playing video games, watching movies or shows, and playing or listening to music.
Sierra Hughes- Development Director
Sierra began her professional career in fundraising in 2015 as an intern for a small grassroots non-profit and has since served in a number of development and marketing capacities at outstanding organizations throughout Utah. She strives to support the alleviation of suffering and is inspired daily by the generous, impact-driven donors and community partners she has the opportunity to work with.
Sierra has her Associate’s Degree from Iowa Western, Bachelor’s Degree from Dixie State University, and in 2018, graduated with her Master’s of Science from Arkansas State University.
Sierra is an Iowa-native who loves her dog (fur child), hiking, biking, and any excuse to pet an animal.
She lives by two personal beliefs: always be kind, and when you have more than you need, build a longer table, not a higher fence.
Kelly Martin – Event Coordinator
Kelly is an accomplished Event Coordinator, who has built a name for herself and her company Right-Hand Gal in the Utah event industry. She has over fifteen years experience and has worked in all aspects of the industry.
After taking a break from her career to raise her two young boys, Kelly’s passion for events, people, and social good led her to CHOICE Humanitarian where she has been on the team since 2014.
She is a detail-oriented professional with strengths in event creation, planning, and execution. When Kelly isn’t organizing the next CHOICE fundraiser, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her two active boys.
Sam joined CHOICE Humanitarian in December of 2017 to write a mobile app for the in-country teams to be able to gather measurement and evaluation data from rural villages on smartphones and tablets. He continues to assist the Measurement and Evaluation team with gathering, interpreting, and organizing data. He works part-time during the Fall and Spring semesters at the University of Utah, where he is a student pursuing a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, and he works full-time during the summer.
When Sam isn’t programming for school or CHOICE, he is writing, hiking, biking, playing music, or spending time on projects with his friends. He loves all things creative and spends most of his free time working on passion projects.
Brit Meyer – Measurement & Evaluation Director
Brit and his family’s expedition to Nepal in 2014 set him on a path to join CHOICE Humanitarian. In his prior life, he worked for over 25 years for Hewlett-Packard and Agilent Technologies in a variety of sales, support, and business development management roles. Most recently he was head of sale for a small data analytics startup. Academically, he has degrees from the University of North Carolina - BS Physics; Johns Hopkins University – MSEE; University of Denver – MBA.
Brit’s initial role with CHOICE is to help expand CHOICE’s footprint – donors and corporate partners – in Colorado and points eastward.
Brit and Kerri Meyer have 3 sons and enjoy travel. Brit also enjoys biking, road and mountain, tolerates running, and would like to believe he is a budding photographer.
Emily Ponder – Director of Communications and Outreach
Emily is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. During her time at Texas A&M, Emily worked in a marketing role for a large student organization. Her love for international development led her to frequently serve internationally on humanitarian trips and eventually live in Lima, Peru where she worked with young adults and learned Spanish. Emily's background in literature and international development make her passionate about telling the stories of people worldwide.
As a Texas native, she enjoys Utah's mountainous landscape and spends as much time as possible in the mountains, whether it be skiing, hiking or climbing.
Angela Roundy - Accountant
Angela has over 20 years of experience in accounting and business management. After graduating from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in Accounting, she started her career working in the private sector and a few years later decided to begin her own accounting business focusing in the non-profit industry. Over the past 20 years, she has worked with many non-profit organizations doing everything from accounting and payroll to tax returns and oversight. In addition to her accounting work, she spent a few years as a business counselor advising startups in both the private and public sector.
Lonny Ward – Field Project Director
Lonny is the Field Director for CHOICE Humanitarian where he directs the in-country teams in the CHOICE model of development. He has a strong educational background in animal science, including a Bachelor’s degree in molecular biology and a Master’s degree in reproductive physiology. In addition to his work and education in agriculture, Lonny earned an MBA from the BYU Marriott School of Business.
Lonny spent the early part of his career on the AgReserves, Inc. management team, where he helped manage two dairies and the quality control team for one of the nut farms. During this time, Lonny gained extensive experience with all aspects of dairy management and learned advanced technical skills such as bovine embryo transfer.
In 2009, Lonny found his true passion in life as he began working with non-profit organizations striving to solve international problems of hunger and poverty through small-scale agriculture and community development. Lonny has traveled extensively in this endeavor, working in the African countries of Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, and Mali, Central, and South America in the countries of Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala, Bolivia and Mexico and in Nepal. He loves to work with the rural farmers throughout the world and finds great joy in helping them see how to improve their lives.
Lonny is the father of 7 children and lives with his wife and family in Genola, Utah, where he is currently the Mayor. He writes about his international travels on his Facebook page and his blog at www.ethiopiancowboy.blogspot.com.
Emily Wright – Expeditions Program Specialist
Emily recently graduated with a BS in Sociology and a minor in International Development from Brigham Young University. As an undergraduate, she lived in Ecuador for 18 months and spent 3 months in Peru working in program evaluation. She has also worked with various international nonprofits focusing on projects in nutrition, entrepreneurial education, and youth civic engagement.