The FemEd Team
Working together to bring education, opportunity and equality
to women and girls in developing nations
We believe prosperity and peace depend upon supporting women and girls with equal access to study and business opportunities. By empowering women, we seek to help build a better world for all.
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
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Alexander Kleinman is CEO and co-founder of FemEd. He has a passion for nonprofits including the ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, NAACP, and Camfed. He believes deeply that every person, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, creed, religion, gender, or race, deserves equal opportunities in civil rights, safety, freedom of travel, education, health, and democracy.
Alex originally hails from Brooklyn, New York, and currently attends the University of California, Berkeley, as a history student. He worked on Wall Street as a FINRA Series 7 licensed stockbroker, selling securities internationally, before breaking into entertainment as an entrepreneur. He established himself as a highly-regarded promoter, talent buyer, and event producer, booking numerous A-list celebrities and expediting event-related permits on a state and municipal level, successfully navigating the complexities of local politics. He has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to artists, produced numerous events with up to 10,000 paid attendees, and consulted on corporate marketing campaigns for global brands such as Red Bull and Uber.
Chief Operations Officer
Danielle Beben is responsible for the day-to-day operations and management of FemEd. She found her passion for human rights and environmental protection while traveling to some of the world’s most underserved nations. After experiencing environmental, social and economic issues firsthand, she has made it her mission to fight corruption and facilitate access to information, education, health care and clean drinking water. In light of the Flint, MI water scandal she started the Puri-Fi movement to provide independent water quality testing and raise awareness about conservation best-practices.
She is currently CEO of Emrana Engineering LLC, an engineering consulting firm that develops clean, sustainable, efficient engineering solutions to help achieve global balance between human activities and the environment. She has worked for the Department of Defense as a System Engineer III at the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., and served as director of engineering within the entertainment industry for clients such as Disney and Universal Studios. She has also served as an engineering consultant for Google’s interactive pop-up events.
Danielle is a multi-talented engineer who holds an MSc in aerospace engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA; an MSc in electrical and computer engineering from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD; and a Master’s Certificate in IS/IT project management from Villanova University, Villanova, PA, in addition to her BSc in computer engineering from Ohio Northern University, Ada, OH.
Alexander Hess, DPhil
Chief Research Officer
As FemEd’s Chief Research Officer, Dr. Hess directs and mentors FemEd’s team of highly motivated and talented research volunteers drawn from the student populations of several top-ranked research universities. Research is focused on three general areas: how best to serve the people we help (including where best to locate schools), understanding the geographical regions we serve as an organization; and statistics to support and guide development and implementation for FemEd initiatives and programs, as well as how to measure the performance of these initiatives over time. He brings to his role an international breadth of experience and perspective with global joint development teams, and familiarity with highly multicultural innovation environments.
Dr. Hess completed a DPhil (PhD) in chemistry from Oxford University, UK, where he was a European Research Council-funded Graduate Research Fellow from 2012–2016. He has over eight years’ R&D experience in organic synthesis, nanofabrication, and polymer nanomaterials. Dr. Hess has led research projects with IBM Research as a polymer scientist, and is the author of multiple peer-reviewed scientific papers in his field. He is also a keen amateur endurance road/mountain cyclist and rower as well as a talented flamenco guitar soloist.
Head of Analytics
As head of the FemEd Analytics team, Matt Cummins’ role is to make the best possible use of the data gathered by FemEd’s research team, generating economic, statistical and financial analysis to support recommendations and programs. He is also responsible for identifying and analyzing the key performance indicators used to measure FemEd’s social impact, as well as for driving organizational improvements and policy development.
Matt holds a BA in philosophy (Hons, Double First Class) and an MPhil from Cambridge University, UK. He is currently a doctoral candidate in the Organizational Behavior department at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He’s also an accomplished drummer and saxophonist, and is diligently perfecting unstoppable fighting techniques as an MMA and Jiu-Jitsu fighter.
Senior Board Member and
Director of Communications
As FemEd's Communications Director, Margaret Malone oversees and manages the organization's external commuications and press relations. Her work as a journalist, copywriter and technical writer has quietly mirrored the evolution of the digital economy and the multimedia revolution. She got her start as an editorial apprentice at Bunch Books, a publishing house owned by Maxim founder Felix Dennis. She served for two years as Assistant Editor of a nationally circulated UK computer hobbyist magazine, Personal Computer World. She later freelanced in London as researcher/scriptwriter for an agency specializing in employee training and point-of-sale kiosks.
After emigrating to the USA, Margaret worked as a technical and marketing writer for multiple tech industry giants including Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Texas Instruments, and Fujitsu. Margaret’s numerous hobbies and interests include beekeeping, gardening, kayaking and traveling. She is a committed and lifelong volunteer, involved with several causes and nonprofits including two years as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). She is currently an in-shelter volunteer and kitten foster parent at a Dallas-area homeless animal charity, and serves as communications consultant to several small local nonprofits.
Co-Founder and Board Member
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Houman Irani is co-founder and board member of FemEd and an international humanitarian. As a political refugee of Iran, Hooman is dedicated on a personal level to global stewardship of human rights. He is bilingual, fluent in multiple programming languages, and the co-founder of two academic clubs. Houman is currently a computer science major and is interested in technology patents and nanotechnology. He dreams of bettering the world, using the power of global connectivity with technology.
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Omid Ostvar is a political refugee from Iran who has a deep interest in human rights. He is a humanitarian biological science researcher specializing in pathogens. As the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has proven, developing treatments for infectious diseases intrinsically lowers the spiraling birth rate, in a virtuous cycle. Omid is bilingual and holds a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine, from the University of Tehran. He is a member of the Iranian Veterinary Association, and the International Veterinary Students Association. He has worked as a teaching assistant and a lab instructor. Omid has also volunteered at the National Brucellosis Vaccination Program, and at the Par Equality Center as a GRE Math volunteer. He has interests in volunteering for refugee non-profits, artificial intelligence, bioengineering, and biostatistic data analysis. Outside of the lab, he enjoys cycling, hiking, networking, and reading medical journals.
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Anastasiya Osher is a Russian-born first-generation American citizen. She is studying physics at the University of California, Davis, and is deeply interested in nanotechnology. Anastasiya also works as office manager for a Silicon Valley music school. She enjoys gardening, long adventures in the wilderness, yoga, playing piano, and singing.
Senior Board Member
Todd Mulder grew up in rural Michigan and studied Russian literature and cognitive psychology as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor, then launched a career in tech consulting.
His passion for firsthand experience and for education, history, and world cultures has led him to travel widely and go beyond typical tourism, in whatever form that may take – marathon driving trips across the US, discovering the dying art of hawking in Kyrgyzstan, boating the Nile amid war-torn South Sudan, sharing time with Yemeni soldiers. In his quest to visit every nation in the world, Todd came to recognize how fortunate those living in the US are – and how that obligates Americans to try to help others create their own opportunities for lives well lived.
Todd seeks ways to give back to areas and peoples of the world who have few options and limited educational opportunities; people who are disenfranchised or otherwise unable to change their circumstances. Todd firmly believes that everyone deserves the education and security necessary to have a chance to succeed and, through their own efforts, to achieve their dreams.
Co-Founder and Board Member
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Sugeet Singh Chahal is one of the co-founders of FemEd. He is a first-generation American citizen, born in Punjab and now resident in West Orange, New Jersey and Silicon Valley, California. Sugeet is majoring in Biology for undergraduate studies and plans to continue his education into graduate school.