Finn Church Aid (FCA) Americas is led by a Board of Directors which is comprised of a group of innovative leaders who are looking for solutions to make a meaningful change in people’s life. As the primary governing body of the the organization, they are responsible for evaluating, hiring, and general oversight of the director; long-range strategic planning; financial oversight and evaluation of the organization; fundraising; public relations and outreach; and advocacy on behalf of the organization and its mission. Members include the following:
Ritka Heino, Secretary
Ritka Heino is the Director of Funding and Communications at Finn Church Aid (FCA) in Helsinki and leads a staff of 55 employees. Her main priorities include strategic planning of the organization’s global and domestic funding, leading the organization’s communications and volunteer work, and planning innovative collaborative strategies with institutions and corporations. Her previous professional experience includes working for Amnesty International as well as in the ICT and banking sectors.
Marja Jörgensen, Treasurer
Marja Jörgensen is the Director of International Programs (IPRO) at Finn Church Aid (FCA); prior to October 2016, she served as FCA's Director of Program and Organizational Development and was responsible for strategy processes, program quality and effectiveness, annual planning & reporting, risk management, and assists FCA in acquiring membership status at Core Humanitarian Standard. She has extensive experience in NGOs, having engaged with organizations such as Greenpeace, the Finnish Children and Youth Foundation and the 4H Organization in Tanzania. Before working for FCA, Marja was Regional Program Director in Eastern and Southern Africa for Plan International, and was responsible for quality assurance of 12 programs in Africa. Marja has worked in Eastern Africa for ten years, in addition to serving as Program Director for Plan Finland for seven years.
Kevin Wensing, Chair
Kevin Wensing is a leader in the military and veterans community advising organizations and companies following 30-years of service to America in the US Navy and the Pentagon. He planned/executed Vietnam War Commemoration opening ceremonies with President Barak Obama and other leaders on Memorial Day 2012 with an audience of thousands of Veterans and a national television audience. He works with various enterprises ranging from business development and fundraising to special events and media relations. Assignments at sea and ashore include Special Assistant to Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England at the Pentagon and leadership positions with the Secretary of the Navy, Pacific Fleet, Seventh Fleet, Naval Forces Central Command and service aboard USS BLUE RIDGE, USS ARTHUR W. RADFORD and USS TRIPOLI. He is a graduate of Quincy University (IL) and Naval War College.
Dr. Jeni Gamble, Director
Jeni Gamble is an experienced nonprofit leader and consultant focusing on global and girls’ education programs, policy and research. A Director/Partner of ARC XXI LLC., her consulting group specializes in strategic planning, growth initiatives, monitoring and evaluation, and cybersecurity and network infrastructure, and serves international and US-based NGOs and companies. Gamble served as the Associate Director of the Center for Universal Education (CUE) at the Brookings Institution from 2013 to 2016, where she developed and accelerated the policy priorities of one of Brookings’ largest and fastest growing research centers. While at Brookings, Gamble managed CUE’s growing operations and the prestigious Echidna Global Scholars fellowship program, grew CUE’s girls’ education portfolio, and was a founding member and managing co-chair of the Collaborative Harnessing Ambition and Resources for Girls’ Education (Girls CHARGE), the global initiative with more than 60 organizations and aligned investments of more than $850m to reach more than 15m girls by 2019, launched in partnership with the Clinton Foundation.
Since 1997, Gamble has worked to improve services, policies, and systems throughout the US and globally, especially those reaching the most marginalized and vulnerable. Her work has focused on equity in education, gender equality and women’s empowerment, criminal justice technologies and safe housing. She has contributed to various public sector education plans, including the 2016 United States Global Strategy To Empower Adolescent Girls and the UK Department for International Development’s Girls’ Education Challenge, and advised the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and numerous global south countries on their education policies, strategies, and plans. She has advised and consulted with senior-level public, private and civil society actors in Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Denmark, India, Jordan, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Nepal, Norway, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Uganda, the UK, the US, Zimbabwe, and with UN agencies, including UNESCO, UNICEF and UNGEI. She also presents and speaks at universities and conferences globally.
Gamble earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Kentucky, and Masters of Science and Doctorate degrees in Social Work from the Kent School of Social Work at the University of Louisville, with concentrations in non-profit leadership, macro practice and program evaluation. A strategist and practitioner researcher, areas of interests include accelerating non-profit impact, local leadership development, and technology and innovations in global education, gender equality and women’s empowerment.
FCA Americas is managed by a director who leads the organization’s fundraising and external relations efforts in the United States as well as the day-to-day operations. Staff include the following:
Matthew Costello, Director (ex-officio member of the Board of Directors)
Additionally, the FCA Americas office is home to the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers, which brings together actors to provide global support for grassroots to international peace and peacebuilding efforts. The Network is represented in Washington, DC by:
Mohamed Elsaanousi, Director, the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers