Tusekile Mwakalundwa is passionate about community service, education and health. Tusekile holds a master’s degree in Human Rights Law from Tumaini University Makumira. Before joining Rustic Pathways in 2018 as Tanzania Impact Community Manager, Tusekile was a law lecturer at Tumaini University Makumira, Arusha majoring in Human Rights Law. She was 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow, a flagship program by former US President Barrack Obama for connecting young African leaders. She also worked as a program leader for Rustic Pathways in different summers. She has successfully managed her own project “Brides with Skills” which was dedicated to empower young girls who do not make it in the mainstream education system with practical, cultural relevant entrepreneurial skills to avoid young marriages. As part of giving back to the community, Tusekile volunteers in various schools teaching self-esteem and career guidance. She also volunteers with the Tanzania Women Lawyers Association to offer free legal services to marginalized groups in the community. She is excited to be part of Rustic Pathways and is dedicated to share her passion and skills fand to learn and venture
Global Support Team
Growing up with a love for maps and geography, Chone developed his interest in global issues and travelling at a very young age. From cleaning horse stables in Turkey, picking berries in South Korea, chasing after sheep in Peru, and so much more, he considers his travel experience as the biggest contributor to personal growth. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Thammasat University in Thailand and went on to earn his Master’s in international development in France. Over the years, he has worked on a variety of projects that have developed his holistic understanding around development topics ranging from climate change adaptation, migration, community development, voluntourism, and more!
Brendan was born and raised in Virginia, where he graduated from the College of William & Mary with a degree in History. He spent three years in the Dominican Republic as a Peace Corps Volunteer working on childhood literacy and teacher training, and then completed an MA in Latin American & Caribbean Studies at New York University. After graduating, Brendan managed public health projects on the Dominican-Haitian border with the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children, before joining Rustic Pathways in March of 2018. Brendan has a passion for education, development and languages. He enjoys getting to know new people and places, reading about history, and a good cup of coffee.
Board of Directors
Jessemin is the senior director of programs for Sustainable Travel International and the founder of the Rustic Pathways Foundation. A sustainable tourism specialist with 12 years international experience in planning, developing, and managing sustainable travel programs, he is experienced in the management of community development projects that leverage tourism resources to achieve community and conservation goals. Jessemin has traveled and worked in over 50 countries, coordinating with private, public, and non-profit sector partners to develop unique, community driven travel experiences. He has expertise in community development, research, training, and risk management. Prior to joining Sustainable Travel International, Jessemin acted as director of global sustainability and director of Latin America for Rustic Pathways. He has also consulted for the Mozambican Ministry of Science and Technology on the Millennium Villages project and led field research for Columbia University’s Earth Institute on projects in the Brazilian Amazon and Southern Africa. Jessemin has an M.P.A in development practice with a focus on tourism from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in New York, NY, as well as a B.A. in government and a minor in environmental science from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
Since graduating from Harvard University in 2001, Chris Stakich spent the last 13 years working in the fields of education, travel, and community service. He believes that travel should be an essential part of every education, and that travel can be a model of sustainable development. After serving in almost every capacity within Rustic Pathways, Chris now leads the company with an eye for excellence and innovation as the CEO and Chairman of the Board. In addition to his roles at Rustic Pathways, Chris is also the Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board for Thinking Beyond Borders, and sits on the boards of University School (Ohio) and Compass Academies. Chris now lives in San Francisco with his wife and two young sons, and is committed to developing future leaders who embody compassion and global understanding.
Hillary Proctor is an experienced youth and agriculture, youth enterprise, and livelihoods specialist with over twelve years of international experience providing assessment, project design, and capacity building services for USAID, foundations, and other bilateral donors. She is adept at understanding youth perspectives, recognizing where opportunities lie in rural economies and specific value chains, and matching them through the design and implementation of appropriate livelihood development programs.
As Director of Technical Services, Hillary oversees Making Cents International’s work in youth capacity building, agriculture development, and rural livelihoods activities. Her passion for development work started during her first experiences overseas as a gap year student. Hillary’s spent three summers as a Rustic Pathways trip leader in the South Pacific. As a board member she is able to apply her professional experience and knowledge while giving back to where she started her adventure of life.
Robb Gibson is a Product Manager at Cisco Systems, a worldwide leader in information technology. As a product manager Robb is responsible for developing business strategies and product innovations. Previously, he worked in strategy consulting at Simon-Kucher & Partners and helped open the Sydney Australia office. As a consultant he helped companies ranging in size from venture backed startups to Fortune 500 companies grow their business. Robb’s experiences as a Rustic Pathways student and then as a trip leader solidified his passion for adventure travel and giving back to local communities. He earned his B.S. in Product Design and B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities from Stanford and his M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management. He lives in the Bay Area with his wife and daughter.