Celeste Mergens, Founder & CEO
Celeste Mergens is the founder and CEO of Days for Girls. She has led the organization since its beginning in 2008, bringing twenty years of nonprofit and business management experience to the organization. She holds a Master's Degree in Creative Writing and Literature and audited a second in Global Sustainable Development. Her “can do” team-building approach has inspired thousands of volunteers and social enterprises around the world. Days for Girls is a two-time Girl Effect Champion, won the SEED award for gender equity and entrepreneurship, and was named by the Huffington Post as a ‘Next Ten’ Organization poised to change the world in the next decade. She is a sought-after speaker (you can download her Speakers One-sheet here) and has been featured in Oprah’s O Magazine, Forbes, and was recently named an AARP Purpose Prize Award winner, a Conscious Company Global Impact Entrepreneur of the year, and Women Economic Forum's Woman of the Decade. She loves being with her family when not traveling the globe. She is married to her best friend Don. Their family includes 11 phenomenal children (5 by marriage) whom all support Days for Girls, as well as 15 grandchildren, 4 foster children, and 4 foreign exchange students, and many beloved friends who have become family around the world.
Sandra "Sandy" Clark, Chief Development & Communications Officer
With over three decades working for local and international non-profit organizations, Sandy’s vast experience and network are helping expand Days for Girls’ reach and support. Beginning in the early eighties, Sandy found her calling while watching a group of girls living in homeless shelters attend a summer day camp that she organized. This led her on a path that spanned teaching low-income women trade skills while moonlighting as a firefighter, serving as a policy advisor to the Governor of Washington on issues facing women and families, raising funds and building awareness for an international NGO, Landesa, which advances land rights for women and girls, and serving as a trustee for a girls school in rural Nepal. She holds an MPA from Seattle University in nonprofit management and a BA in education.
Libby Daghlian, Global Program Operations Director
Libby joined Days for Girls Uganda in July 2014 as the Uganda Country Director. She came with a vision to build on the amazing work the team had already accomplished and take it to the next level. Libby has led Days for Girls’ efforts to launch DfG sewing Enterprises both in and outside Uganda. Libby brings to the team extensive experience in monitoring and evaluation along with program planning and implementation. She holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of Vermont and an MPH from the University of New England. She is passionate about promoting access to health education and gender empowerment, along with building strong teams and leadership skills among her colleagues. Libby helps other DfG teams adapt and replicate the Days for Girls Uganda model.
Gina Grimm, Chief Financial Officer
Gina graduated from Gannon University with a BS in science and math with an emphasis in computer science. She is a programmer who has focused on finance in her professional career. After raising three children with her husband Greg, she returned to work as an accountant. She has long been passionate about health, and has previously managed a First Aid/CPR training facility. In addition to working with Days for Girls, Gina manages the finances for a local dance studio, where she also exercises her talents as a dance teacher.
Tiffany Larson, Chief Operating Officer
Tiffany has always been passionate about international humanitarian work and is thrilled to be working with Days for Girls! She graduated with a BA in International Development & TESOL from Brigham Young University in 2002. In 2003, she was awarded Volunteer of the Year for the state of Utah in the area of Adult Education for her work with ESL and adult literacy programs. She has done humanitarian work and traveled extensively in 30 countries on six continents. She lives in sunny Phoenix, AZ, where she leads the Days For Girls Phoenix AZ Team, is active in her church and community, and enjoys life with her husband, her three amazing kids, and their goldendoodle puppy. When she and her family aren't traveling, she loves spending time outside being active in the sunshine. In her spare time, she is a yoga teacher and loves to run and hike.
Diana Nelson, Global Advocacy Director
Diana began her journey with Days for Girls while living in Bangkok, Thailand, and now gets to see DfG changing the lives of women and girls in Southern Africa. She has a broad range of experience as an educator, teaching in a university, high school, and elementary settings in the US, China, Thailand, and South Africa. She also has significant experience in organizing large-scale events for hundreds of participants including young women camps, community races, and school health and athletic programs. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. She loves spending time with her husband and three daughters, and enjoys being active in the outdoors.
Paul Rebman, Director of Impact and Learning
Paul joined Days for Girls in 2017 as a Global Health Corps Fellow. Paul works with DfG Offices, Enterprises, Chapters, Teams, and partners to evaluate the impact of different Days for Girls programs around the world. He holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Macalester College and has experience in both qualitative and quantitative evaluation on a variety of topics, including maternal health and youth development. Paul is passionate about applying his skills in M&E to support organizations focusing on social justice. Paul believes deeply in the mission of Days for Girls and is happy to be able to use evaluation to help support Days for Girls' gender empowerment work. Outside of work, Paul enjoys cooking, playing tennis, and watching reruns of The Office.
Leyla Isin, International Chapters Director
Leyla comes to Days for Girls with a BA in International Relations with a focus on International Development from the Australian National University and a graduate certificate in TESOL. Leyla lives in the beautiful Luang Prabang, Laos. She is passionate about gender equality, women’s health and access to education. She brings experience in project planning, management and implementation, and sustainable development best practice within the fields of community development, education, and women’s empowerment. Leyla is responsible for overseeing and coordinating all activities relating to DfG global volunteer programs and it's alignment DfG strategy, programming, and growth.