Chief of Party
Danilo Cruz-DePaula is a sixth time Chief of Party, implementing USAID projects world-wide. Prior to development consulting, he was an investment banker in London, Budapest, Russia and the US, raising capital for early stage companies and leading mergers and acquisitions. Previously, Mr. Cruz-DePaula served as a senior US trade negotiator for the Office of the US Trade Representative, in charge of all commodity negotiations worldwide. He began his career as a Foreign Service Officer with USAID, serving in Peru, Honduras, and Afghanistan and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Costa Rica. He holds an MBA in finance and strategic management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters in International Economics and Development from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He holds a BA in Economics and Political Science from Trinity University. He is married to Rosa Jimenez and has two daughters, Michelle and Marisa, and a son, David.
Deputy Chief of Party
Sarah Meyer is the deputy chief of party of the Tunisia JOBS project. Ms. Meyer supports the chief of party and oversees JOBS’ work in workforce development; policy; and monitoring, evaluation, and learning. Since 1995, she has worked on USAID projects around the world, in countries and development challenges as diverse as WTO accession in Afghanistan, legal reform in Vietnam, job creation in Tunisia, and many others. She got her masters degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Ms. Meyer is originally from Saint Louis, Missouri in the U.S.
Dr. Walid Alouini joined the Tunisia JOBS project as the Enterprise Engagement Team Leader in October 2018. He has been deeply involved with USAID program implementation since 2016, when he joined the Business Reform and Competitiveness Project (BRCP) as the Enterprise Engagement Team Leader in charge of managing the SME competitiveness initiative in Tunisia. During this time, he also worked with Chemonics to design and implement a competitiveness program for Libyan SMEs. Dr. Alouini led the USAID Middle East Economic Growth Best Practices Project (MEG) project in Yemen and Libya and has established organizations dedicated to SME competitiveness in both countries. Dr. Alouini began his international career in Paris in 1997, where he held several sales and management positions. In 2007, he created his own consulting company and served as a master distributor for several multinational companies across the EMEA region. Prior to his career in the development industry, Dr. Alouini practiced medicine in Tunisia, Algeria and France for more than 10 years. He holds an MBA degree from HEC school of management in Paris. He’s married to Hala Amri, a sociologist and has a son, Sadry and a daughter, Lilia. He holds a second dan koshikan karate from the German Federation of Karate.
Access to Finance Team
Ms. Allouche is a Tunisian Finance Specialist with over 15 years of experience helping companies expand their activities and strengthen their business practices. She is also an expert in the development and implementation of investment and finance strategies for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Ms. Allouche currently supports the USAID Jobs, Opportunities and Business Success (JOBS) project as the Access to Finance Team Leader, where she works with the financial sector to increase access to capital (debt and equity) for SMEs in Tunisia. Prior to joining the JOBS project, she worked on several USAID projects as the Access to Finance Team Leader, including the USAID Middle East Economic Growth Best Practices Project (MEG) and the USAID Business Reform and Competitiveness Project (BRCP). Ms. Allouche is also a Finance Lecturer at the Tunisian Exchange Training Institute (IFBT). She holds a PhD in Management Sciences and is fluent in Arabic, French, and English.
Noah Viavant leads Strategic Initiatives for USAID's Tunisia JOBS program, focusing on Technology & Innovation, Agricultural Exports, and Tourism. Noah has previously worked on two other USAID projects in Tunisia, where he has been based since early 2016. Noah holds an undergraduate degree from Haverford College and a MBA from INSEAD.
Wided Hasnaoui joined the JOBS project in 2018 and started as a Job placement and Career Center specialist until 2019. Prior to Tunisia JOBS, she was a university teacher for 14 years, master trainer in career development, soft skills and entrepreneurship with international programs and NGOs in Tunisia and Algeria since 2012, and business advisor and consultant in marketing and communication with many Tunisian companies since 2005. She started the first University career center in Tunisia in 2013 at ISET Zaghouan created in partnership with the Ministry of Higher Education, with the support of USAID. She began her career in 1998 in the private sector, and for more than six years, she held different positions including marketing manager in advertising, publishing, and ICT. She directed several B2B exhibitions, as well as publishing and media projects. She holds masters degree in marketing from University of Tunis El Manar. She is a self-taught painter, active in civil society since 2011 and the mother of three daughters, Nour, Yasmine, et Camelia. She believes in human potential, in the power of diversity and that everyone has equal value and must have an equal chance for high quality education. Her goal is to break down the barriers that prevent so many people, especially women and girls, from reaching their full potential.
Environment Team Leader
Ikhlas Haddar is the Business Enabling Environment Team Leader at JOBS. She is a Civil Servant Councilor. Prior to joining JOBS, she was a director in the Ministry of Trade working mainly on the legal framework and international agreements in Trade, Free Trade Agreements, Small and Medium-Size Enterprise Development, and Institutional Capacity Building in Trade. She has a Masters of Civil Servant Councilor from the Ecole Nationale d’Administration in Tunis and a Degree in Law from the University of Political and Legal Sciences in Tunis.
and Outreach Team Leader
Hajer Torjman is the Strategic Communications and Youth Outreach Team Leader. Her expertise includes strategic communications, youth and marginalization, violence prevention, social inclusion. She has worked in development and in social care for over 15 years with international organizations such as Handicap International, Catholic Charities, Anglicare Central Queensland, and Creative Associates International. She holds an MSc degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Human Sciences in Tunis, and an MSc in intellectual Disabilities from the University of Portsmouth.
and Learning Team Leader
James Whawhen is a sixth time monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) team leader, developing and implementing monitoring, evaluation, and learning systems, and providing project management support to USAID funded projects in Liberia, Niger, Somalia, Iraq and Tunisia. Prior to providing direct MEL support to USAID projects, he served as project development officer, regional manager and technical advisor on a five-year USAID funded community infrastructure, social and economic development project in Liberia. Mr, Whawhen is a former Chief of Party on a USAID project and also possesses over 20 years of teaching and training experience. He is a member and co-founder of the Liberia Evaluation Association (LEA) and member of the Africa Evaluation Association (AfrEA). Mr. Whawhen holds a Master of Science degree in Regional Science and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering both from the University of Liberia. Mr. Whawhen has also attended numerous professional monitoring, evaluation, and learning trainings in Liberia, Ghana, Kenya, Cameroon, Senegal, Nigeria, and the USA. He is married to Kumba Whawhen and has two daughters, Jaralyn and Jamnie, and a son, James.
Technical Support Team
Noelle Veltzé leads the Technical Support Team implementing grants, technical assistance contracting, and other procurements to achieve JOBS results and impact. Ms. Veltzé is a project leader and development specialist with over 18 years of experience in the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean, including 15 years implementing USAID economic growth, environment, and governance projects. Other senior leadership roles include serving as chief of party for the USAID BIJAK and ProRep projects in Indonesia, and as deputy chief of party for the USAID Nepal Transition Initiative. Ms. Veltzé holds an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a MSc. in Management from the University Pompeu Fabra.
Operations Team Leader
Kristen Hamaoui leads all financial, human resources, and operational procedures on the JOBS program. Prior to joining JOBS in Tunisia, Ms. Hamaoui worked in the Risk Management and Middle East and North Africa divisions at the Chemonics International office in Washington, DC. She has worked in development since graduating university, primarily in the Middle East and with consultancies throughout Africa and in Asia. She has a B.A. in International Studies from American University in Washington, DC.