North America

Abby Chroman

Abby works with Ashoka’s global team helping to lead and grow an online space for Ashoka’s network. Before coming to Ashoka, Abby hailed from rural California, studied across Eastern Europe researching and developing policy for rural development in Hungary and graduated in International Relations from UC Davis, where she chaired the California Student Sustainability Coalition. In Washington DC Abby coordinated a coalition focused on children’s health in the foreclosure crisis and then began working with Ashoka in 2008. Abby is currently based in Seattle, Washington.

Cynthia McKinney Drayton

Cynthia McKinney Drayton

Cynthia works with Ashoka Changemakers’ Project Management team helping lead global partnerships in support of social entrepreneurs throughout the world. Before coming to Ashoka, Cynthia founded and built a children’s and ladies’ clothing business, with product manufactured primarily in the Philippines. She worked with women in rural villages, helping them transfer their indigenous craft and handwork skills to create globally marketable products. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a B.A in Political Science and French and received her M.A in Communications from New York University. A former competitive figure skater, she is a National Judge for US Figure Skating. Cynthia is currently based in Philadelphia. More >>

Chris Heald

After more than fifteen years of providing technical advice and support to a wide range of citizen sector organizations, Chris finds himself continually impressed by the people he meets and by how open they are to change, and how willing they are to adopt (and adapt!) new technologies to advance their goals. Having made a lifelong occupation of being the person who helps develop and deploy new technology in organizations, that is what he has come to do at Ashoka. And as a trend-setting organization with globe-spanning and wide-ranging impact, Chris look forward to the unique opportunities and challenges that lie ahead working for Ashoka Canada.

Armando Laborde, Director of Ashoka Mexico and Central America

Armando is the Director of Ashoka Mexico and Central America since 2006 and Co-Director for Ashoka Latin America since 2012. Before his collaboration in Ashoka, Armando was linked to the microfinance movement in Mexico, was the first Executive Director of Pro Mujer Mexico from 2002 to 2006 and a founding member of FinComun Community Financial Services, where he worked from 1994-1999. He was also involved with the fair trade movement and conservation by implementing a program coffee in the Biosphere Reserve El Triunfo in Chiapas. This program impact on environmental, social and economic development was developed with Conservation International and in partnership with business partners like Starbucks. Armando is a biochemical engineer and has an MBA from the American Institute of Business Management.

Spectra Myers

Spectra Myers is a manager with Ashoka based in the Twin Cities. She joined Ashoka’s Youth Venture in 2007 to develop curriculum for a workshop series to help young people launch social ventures.  She also coordinated Youth Venture’s first two national impact evaluations and managed a partnership with the Best Buy Children’s Foundation for three years.  Spectra now splits her time with Ashoka’s US team engaging social entrepreneurs, youth, companies, CSOs, colleges and universities, and the media to foster changemking in the Twin Cities.  She received a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Macalester College and previously worked in advertising as a brand planner.

Stephanie Schmidt

After working on the launch of the Full Economic Citizenship initiative from Arlington, Stephanie is now leading FEC in Mexico engaging social and business entrepreneurs to innovate to address needs from marginalized populations. Mexico focus so far is on small farmers through access to technology, input and financial services. Prior to Ashoka, Stephanie worked in Rwanda where she launched a program to produce essential oils with rural communities and oversaw HIV/ AIDS and Child Survival programs. Stephanie started her career as a management consultant with Deloitte Consulting in Paris, and in Boston. She holds a MBA from ESSEC in France.