Erna Maj, MA, US Fundraising and Outreach Coordinator, Board Member
Erna was born and raised in Denmark and immigrated to the US in 1978. She received her undergraduate degree from City University of New York in American Studies and her master’s degree from the University of Colorado in Linguistics and Teaching English to Students of Other Languages (TESOL). After raising three sons and working as a language teacher and translator for 20 years, Erna now devotes her time to philanthropy in general and Maji Safi Group in particular. Erna has volunteered for aid organizations in the US, Tanzania, Guatemala, and Argentina. She visits Shirati annually to provide educational instruction and help with the development of MSG teaching materials and methods.
Matt James, MBA, Chairman of the Board
Matt has oriented his career to generate value to the organizations and communities in which he works. His career has encompassed financing of affordable housing, community development, education, and renewable energy. As Matt’s career progresses, he hopes to contribute new ideas and solutions to the problems that affect our society nationally and globally by creating and supporting sustainable businesses. Matt has a master’s degree in International Business and a B.A. in International Studies with a focus on international development.
Paul Lander, PhD, ASLA, LEED A.P., Board Member
Paul has worked in the fields of water, energy, and land conservation for over 30 years. He spent 16 of these years directing the Water Conservation Office for the City of Boulder. His teaches courses in Western US Water, World Water, and Landscape Sustainability at the University of Colorado at Boulder and through professional webinars.
Max Perel-Slater, Board Member
Max grew up in Berkeley, California. He received his B.A. in Environmental Studies & Earth and Environmental Science from Wesleyan University. As part of his degree, Max completed a graduate-level field course in Hydrogeology at Clemson University. The course included well drilling and borehole geophysics. He also studied abroad in Tanzania with World Learning and completed an independent research project about the water situation in Shirati. He continued his research the following summer as part of his Senior Capstone Project at the Wesleyan College of the Environment. In 2009, he led the construction of a ferro-cement rainwater catchment system and has worked on similar projects ever since. In 2011, Max worked for the CBO Shining Hope for Communities in the Kibera slum, coordinating a water project and co-leading a summer program for American university students.
David Gordon, PhD
David is now retired. He has a PH.D. in Psycholinguistics and Masters degrees in English Literature and Linguistics. As an academic, David published papers in theoretical linguistics and developmental psychology and taught courses at UC Berkeley and San Francisco State. After his academic career he practiced as a clinical psychologist and wrote technical documentation for a number of computer companies. Since 2006, David has been interested in promoting development in rural Tanzania. In addition to MSG, David is on the Board of Directors of the nonprofit REACH Shirati, one of our partner organizations. REACH Shirati focuses on education and health in the Shirati area of Tanzania.