Our Team

Our international Board of Directors along with our leadership in Guatemala and the United States work together to advance our mission and impact the lives of thousands of people across the world.

President: Susanna Place (Boston, Massachusetts)
Vice President: Tania de Zedan (Guatemala)
Secretary: Rebecca Martin Evarts (Falmouth, Maine)
Treasurer: Maureen Pennington de Riojas (Guatemala)
Ernesto Jose Viteri Arriola (Guatemala)
Xavier Andrade (Guatemala)
Jordan Denning (Yarmouth, Maine)
Sandra de Gonzalez (Guatemala)
Susan Egmont (Boston, Massachusetts)
Carolyn Johnson (Yarmouth, Maine)
Douglas McAdams (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
Guillermo Montano (Guatemala)
John Paterson (Freeport, Maine)
Ellen Meyer Shorb (Lincoln, Massachusetts)

Our Leadership and Staff

In Guatemala City, our Executive Director leads our staff and programs. In our New Gloucester, Maine office, our U.S. Director oversees administrative, development, and communications efforts.


Mary Jo Amani, Executive Director
Mary Jo comes with a long history with Safe Passage, having worked alongside Hanley for six years while the program was getting started. She arrived initially to read stories to children in the church; later she helped bring Montessori-centered practices to the preschool program and was involved in the design of the first educational reinforcement program as a full-time education consultant. Mary Jo started her own NGO, Libros para Niños, in Nicaragua, which will celebrate 25 years in 2018, and has brought her love for books and getting children hooked on reading to our own library and reading programs. She worked in a family literacy program in the Washington, D.C. prison system, coordinated the executive committee of the U.S. government’s HIV/AIDS prevention program in Mozambique, and most recently coordinated library programs for six schools in the Mazatenango area. Her family has been intimately involved with Safe Passage: all three of her children served as volunteers while her husband, Todd, was stationed in Guatemala with USAID (2001 – 2007). She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wartburg College, and Master’s degrees from George Washington University (Latin American Studies), Framingham State College (Education), and Pacific University (MFA in Writing/Poetry).

Marc Wuthrich, Finance and Human Resources Director
Marc, originally from Switzerland, met Hanley and began working with Safe Passage in 2006. He has held his current position as Finance and Human Resources Director since 2008.

United States

Anna Marie Klein Christie, U.S. Director
Anna Marie joined our team in 2017 after decades working in the nonprofit community in Maine. Her work has focused on youth and families by serving as the Executive Director of Rippleffect, an experiential education program for youth, and Development Director for Day One, a youth substance abuse recovery program. Her mix of program development experience and fundraising skills will be dedicated to Safe Passage/Camino Seguro at a time where we are building our educational programming to best serve the children of the Guatemala City garbage dump community.

Barbara Davis, Comptroller & U.S. Office Manager
Barbara started working for Safe Passage in 2003, and moved to her current role as Comptroller in 2009.  Barbara has a degree in Business Administration and extensive experience in accounting, finance, programming, and office management in both the public and private sector.

Nancy Thompson, Database Manager & Annual Fund Strategist
Nancy brings passion for fundraising and over 30 years of experience. She finds it especially rewarding to see the direct impact Safe Passage supporters have on the lives of so many children in Guatemala. Nancy joined the U.S. office in 2014.

Mariah Healy, Associate Director of Development
Mariah, a Maine native, brings extensive experience as an advocate for children living at social risk in Latin America.  Inspired by her experience volunteering with Safe Passage in 2007, she went on to work with children in the most at-risk neighborhoods of Santiago, Chile, where she lived for six years.  Mariah brings strong leadership and communication skills and a passion for Safe Passage’s mission. Mariah joined the U.S. office in 2015.

Deborah Williams, Annual Fund and Communications Manager
Deborah has been involved in providing education to vulnerable youth in the United States and immigrant families in Sweden. She brings several years of experience in development and communications in Maine, and looks forward to using her skills to support a mission she’s passionate about. She joined the U.S. office in 2018.

Kerry Palleschi, Donor Relations Manager
Kerry joined the Safe Passage Team in 2018. She has spent the last ten years working within the local non-profit sector. Kerry’s previous experience focused on recruitment, institutional, and customer relations; first within the higher education field and more recently in educational and cultural exchange programming with CIEE.