Shelina Gwaduri is the Program Officer for US Partnerships and the lead for Diaspora Engagement for Cuso International, which “harness[es] the power of volunteering to help reduce poverty and inequality” around the world. She leads Cuso’s Volunteer Engagement and Partnership efforts, maintaining relationships with the U.S. government, the White House, and various nonprofits and foundations in Washington, DC.
Gwaduri has been involved in international development for more than 10 years, with most of her experience in the American and African volunteer and fundraising sector. She has supported and managed innovative international development projects and programmes in more than seven countries. She previously worked with the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in East Africa and most recently in the U.S. on fundraising and volunteer programming. During her time with AKDN-US, Gwaduri lead an effort to increase donor funds and strengthened a nation-wide volunteer base organized among seven regional chapters.
Gwaduri started her international career as a VSO and Cuso volunteer in Mongolia and then served in Kenya, South Africa, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. She has a strong interest in supporting various forms of volunteering as a tool for tackling global poverty, fundraising and strengthening civil society. She has co-published two volunteer manuals, and has done several consulting projects for American and Canadian-based organizations. Gwaduri earned her MA in Comparative International Studies from Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California and a BA in Political Science from Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia.