Edward Bergman

Co-founder and President

Eddie Bergman 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, Healthcare 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 Elachi has been a member of the MCW team since 2003, when he participated in his first Youth Leadership Retreat. Since then, he has coordinated, organized and led seven retreats. He also helped establish MCW’s Alumni Ventures Fund. In addition to managing MCW’s finances, Khalid provided strategic and organizational support to MCW’s Community Center and Oral Healthcare programs.

He has worked on a broad range of projects with MCW, including the Youth Leadership Retreat, the Alumni Ventures Fund and social marketing initiatives, and taken the lead in establishing the MCW community center in Rwanda. Khalid has traveled widely in Africa and the Middle East.

Khalid majored in Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies at the College of Arts and Sciences at New York University. He graduated in 2008.

Regina Leichner

Director, Africa Programs

Regina Leichner first joined the MCW team as an intern in February 2013, where she explored grant opportunities as well as internet and technology-based development strategies. She then managed the Oral Health Care Program in Tanzania, as well as oversaw the Young Leaders Program including the International Retreat, the Alumni Ventures Fund and alumni relations. In her current role as Director of Africa Programs, Regina supports and provides advice for Africa-related programming on the Community Development and Oral Health Care programs while working closely with MCX team members and stakeholders as well as Oral Health Care Fellows.

Prior to MCW, Regina interned with the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and worked as 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, Rwanda, where she presented on the United States 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, acted as Temporary Community Outreach Director for Work For Progress in El Paso County, Colorado, and interned with the Africa Program at Vital Voices Global Partnership in Washington, D.C. Regina received a B.A in International Studies with a Focus in Globalization, Development and Human Rights from Arcadia University in 2012. She is from the Philadelphia area, but has lived abroad in Paris, France and Arusha, 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 Nonprofit and Higher Education Administration from the Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College, City University of New York and a Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude in Sociology from Lehman College, City University of New York.

Lusato Magesa

Regional Finance and Administration Officer for Africa Programs

Lusato Magesa is a certified Public Accountant with extensive experience in finance, accounting, auditing and grants management. Prior to joining MCW, he worked for EngenderHealth 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. Before joining EngenderHealth Country office, he worked as a Senior Finance and Operations Manager for the CHAMPION project (a five-year project with a total budget of USD 25.9million). As a senior finance and operations manager, he was responsible for leading and managing 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 majoring in accounting and 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.