Edward Bergman

Co-founder and President

Eddie is President of Innovative Development Services (IDS) a full service consulting firm focusing on tourism marketing and development as well as real estate management services in New York City.

Eddie is also CEO of Proxima Hospitality Group, a restaurant management company which owns and manages Hill and Bay (Murray Hill, NYC).

Eddie co‐founded and serves as President of the Board of MCW (Miracle Corners of the World), an NGO devoted to empowering youth to make positive change in their communities, with a special focus on Africa.

Eddie was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the economic development program of the African Union in recognition of his service as Executive Director of the Africa Travel Association, a position he held for nearly a decade (2006-2015).

Eddie is also an adjunct instructor of social entrepreneurship at SUNY Stony Brook University. Eddie received his Masters from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a major in Social Entrepreneurship and his Bachelors in Hotel and Tourism Management from NYU’s Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management, where he was a Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholar.

Eddie serves on the boards and advisory boards of several international organizations in the non-profit, education and travel and trade sectors, including Shared Interest, the International Crisis Group, NYU Africa House and NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study and has served on the boards of the Museum for African Art, the Rubin Museum of Art and the Synergos Institute.

He has received several humanitarian awards for his work, including the 2009 Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

Dr. Marion Bergman

Director, Oral Health Care Projects (Volunteer)

Marion J. Bergman, MD, graduated in 1974 from the Witwatersrand Medical School in South Africa, specialized in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Diseases at SUNY Downstate (Brooklyn) and Stony Brook and practiced Pulmonary Medicine and Critical Care in Patchogue, NY since 1981. Marion served a term as medical staff President of Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center, and also as its Medical Director of Respiratory Care Services for many years. In addition to mentoring numerous medical students, Dr. Bergman and her family have hosted numerous international students in their home.

Since returning to graduate school at NYU’s Wagner School, (MPA ’06), Marion now practices medicine part time and devotes much of her time and energy to rural health and development projects in the developing world. Marion served as the Treasurer of the Board of Directors of MESAB (Medical Education for South African Blacks) which for 22 years provided scholarships to train more black healthcare professionals in South Africa.

She is MCW’s Director of Healthcare projects, and a Trustee for the Global Child Dental Fund, AJWS and Physicians for Human Rights.

Marion also serves as a Governor of the AJC, a co-founder of its Africa Institute, a member of its Jacob Blaustein Institute for Human Rights Administrative Council as well as a past president of its Long Island chapter. She is an Advisory Board Member of Tel Aviv University’s Harold Hartog School of Government and Public Policy, and a member of the Board of Visitors for Temple University’s Kornberg School of Dentistry.

Khalid Elachi

Interim Executive Director / Chief Operating Officer

Khalid has been a member of the MCW team since 2003, when he participated in his first Youth Leadership Retreat. He went on to coordinate and then lead seven retreats. Most recently, Khalid has overseen the expansion of MCW’s hallmark program — with 800+ graduates from 60 countries — into a year-long training initiative. He was also a driving force behind bringing the program to new locations, most recently Kosovo and Cairo.

Over the years, Khalid has been instrumental in getting MCW’s new initiatives off the ground, beginning with the creation of MCW’s Alumni Ventures Fund and the establishment of MCW’s community centre in Rwanda. Along the way, he has also managed MCW’s operations, finances and partnerships, and provided strategic and organizational support to MCW’s Community Development and Oral Health Care programs in Africa. He also has a knack for all things digital.

Khalid majored in Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies at the College of Arts and Sciences at New York University. 

Regina Leichner

Director, Africa Programs

Regina first joined the MCW team as an intern in February 2013, when she explored grant, Internet and IT opportunities. She then coordinated the Oral Health Care Program in Tanzania, and managed the Young Leaders Program. As the current Director of Africa Programs, Regina oversees MCW’s Africa programs (Community Development and Oral Health Care).

Prior to MCW, Regina interned with the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and was a researcher for a case submission to the African Union Courts on Human and Peoples Rights. She was a guest speaker at the 2011 UNICTR Capacity Building Program in Kigali, where she presented on US and universal Jurisdiction.

Regina has worked for different community development and social justice organizations in various capacities. She helped to launch Jijue, an HIV/AIDS Awareness Education Program in the greater Arusha area in 2011, she was the interim Community Outreach Director for Work For Progress in El Paso County, Colorado, and she interned with the Africa Program at Vital Voices Global Partnership in Washington, D.C.

Regina received her bachelor’s in international studies with a focus on globalization, development and human rights from Arcadia University. She is from the Philadelphia area, but has lived in France and Tanzania.

JC Soto

Director, Young Leaders Program

JC has devoted his career to youth development and community engagement initiatives with specialties in student leadership, college readiness, and STEM education. He has spent nearly a decade in the nonprofit sector by supporting the efforts to improve education equity and access among low income, first-generation college-bound, highly motivated young people.

JC most recently served as the Associate Director for Pre-Collegiate Programs at Barnard College, Columbia University, in New York, New York. He was responsible for executing the Science and Technology Entry Program; a pre-college program providing academic enrichment opportunities for 7th-12th grade students to prepare them to pursue post-secondary education in science, technology, or health-related fields, or as licensed health professionals.

Prior to his role at Barnard College, JC served as the College Directions Program Director at Kingsbridge Heights Community Center, as Program Manager at PowerMyLearning, as Training Specialist at MOUSE Inc., and as Rap Director at College Summit.

JC holds a master of public administration degree in non-profit and higher education administration from the Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College, City University of New York. He has a bachelor’s (summa cum laude) in sociology from Lehman College, City University of New York.

Lusato Magesa

Regional Finance and Administration Officer, Africa Programs

Lusato is a certified public accountant with extensive experience in finance, accounting, auditing and grants management. Prior to \MCW, he worked for EngenderHealth’s Tanzania Country Office as a Senior Contracts and Compliance Manager, where he was responsible for overseeing grants agreements, pre-award and post-award for all projects in Tanzania.

Prior to EngenderHealth, Lusato worked as a Senior Finance and Operations Manager for the CHAMPION project (five-year project with a USD 25.9 million budget). Here, he led and managed the finance and operations systems for budgeting, financial monitoring and reporting of the CHAMPION project.

Lusato holds a bachelor degree from the University of Dar es Salaam with a major in accounting. He is a member of National Board of Accountants and Auditors (Tanzania).

After work he enjoys reading, swimming and finishing as he comes from Ukerewe Island (an island in Lake Victoria) where fishing is their tradition.

Sharon Roling

Director, Communications and Resource Development

Sharon brings nearly ten-years of experience working with the non-profit organization on a range of special projects, from communications to oral healthcare, human rights to youth leadership, and providing capacity-building and gala support. This time, she’ll focus on all things communications and resource development.

Along the way, Sharon has led marketing, communications and research for the Africa Travel Association, and consulted on a range of civic governance, responsible investment, and advocacy initiatives for non-profits worldwide. She was also a media officer at a UN global conflict prevention initiative in NYC. Sharon began her career at a peace-making think tank in Tel Aviv, where she focused on Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian cross-border cooperation. In between, she has worked in academia, journalism and film with a focus on travel & tourism, conflict/genocide prevention, social entrepreneurship, and regional cooperation.

Sharon holds a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University and a bachelor’s in history from the University of British Columbia.