Meet the BFI Team
Melissa Flores – Executive Director
Melissa has a BA in Anthropology from the University of California San Diego, and a MA at the University of San Diego in Nonprofit Leadership & Management. As a member of the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC), Melissa’s passion lies in helping and educating others and believes that by helping people reach their goal, one will in turn reach his/her own goal. In her free time, Melissa enjoys traveling, reading, and volunteering at other local nonprofits.
Meet the BFI Board
Thierry Yungenge – Chair of Board
Thierry has had a passion for community service since his years in college. Thierry has supported various organizations and causes. He has donated and volunteered with local and international organizations such as the Clinton Global Initiative, ING Foundation, Habitat for Humanity and Junior Achievement. Mostly recently, Thierry spent three years as a volunteer for an Investment Challenge program sponsored by ING Foundation and Girls Inc., where he taught financial literacy and mentored inner city high school students in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Barbara Kelly – Secretary/Treasurer
Barbara is a founding member of BFI and an educator with an undergraduate degree in English from Santa Clara University and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California State University, Hayward. She has taught at the West Contra Costa School District and the Rancho Santa Fe School District. After retiring from a career she loved teaching elementary school, Barbara feels fortunate to have found the friendships, challenges, and rewards of involvement with Burundi Friends International.
Patricia Kidwingira – Board Member
An African woman, citizen of Burundi, Patricia has studied and worked extensively in different countries and cultures, where she sought to contribute to the communities in which she worked and lived. Patricia has held various leadership roles in ToastMasters District 46 in New York and has a special interest in capacity building projects in Africa. She has contributed her time and expertise to launch the Institute of Internal Auditing in Burundi, and lectured Econometrics and Local Planning at the University of Burundi and Rwanda, helped in establishing a scholarship mechanism for AIDS orphans pursuing university education in Burundi and helped launch the first toastmasters club in Burundi.
Ashleigh Subramanian-Montgomery – Board Member
Ashleigh joined PartnersGlobal in 2019 as the Senior Program Associate for the Anglophone Sub-Saharan Africa portfolio, where she works on U.S. Department of State-funded projects focused on peacebuilding, access to justice, and rule of law in Nigeria, and on women, peace, and security more broadly.
Prior to Partners, Ashleigh worked on: sustainable development and resource advocacy with the indigenous San community in Botswana; program design for gender equality, education, and youth empowerment in both Burundi and Timor-Leste; assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of UN peacekeeping missions in Israel, Palestine, and Syria; and advocacy and policy recommendations to the UN Security Council for Iraq’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security. In the U.S., Ashleigh has worked in social service roles supporting homeless women and abused children.
She holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University, specializing in women, peace, and security, and human rights and humanitarian policy. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with a Minor in Theater, from the University of California, San Diego.
She dreams of glass ceilings the world over finally breaking.