Board of Directors
Local business owner specializing in
Business owner specializing in
Adjunct Minister, Chair of the Social Justice Ministry Board and Editor of the Church Newsletter at Christian Fellowship Congregational Church UCC in Emerald Hills
Social Justice Editor of Indian Voices Newsletter
Immediate Past President of the San Diego Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Community Advisory Board of the San Diego Union-Tribune Newspaper
Outreach Coordinator for GRID Alternatives, an environmental justice non-profit that installs free solar systems on the homes of low to moderate income families
Marty Ferris was born, raised, and educated in San Diego, California. After graduating from San Diego State University began a 40-year career as an international flight attendant serving National, PanAm, and United Airlines. On December 30, 2014 retired from the airlines and have focused her life on trying to make this world a better place for others such as proudly serving on the Board for the Alliance for African Assistance.
Paul Devermann, a seasoned non-profit executive and technology consultant, supports start-ups and serves on the boards of Haines Solar Cookers, Alliance for African Assistance, and Voices Of Our City Choir. Paul's diverse background includes technology development, leadership in the San Diego Rotary Club, shipboard face recognition oversight for Carnival Cruise Lines, and roles at ImageWare Systems.
Roger Haines is a retired Assistant U.S. Attorney and long-time friend and supporter of the Alliance. He is the founder of Haines Solar Cookers LLC, and is a board member of Solar Household Energy, a Washington, D.C. non-profit that promotes solar cooking in developing countries. Roger is also co-author of the best-selling treatise on the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, and founder of San Diego Hornswoggle (French horn ensemble).
Stephen has practiced law in San Diego for over 40 years. He is a graduate of Yale University and Stanford Law School and a Vietnam veteran. In addition to his work with the Alliance, he is a member of the San Diego Downtown Rotary Club. He also serves as president and board member of the Rees-Stealy Research Foundation, a nonprofit that supports deserving PhD candidates in the biological sciences at San Diego State University; and as a volunteer docent at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park.
President and CEO
Walter Lam founded Alliance for African Assistance in 1989 to assist refugees. In 2007, he established Alliance Health Clinic. The organization expanded internationally with offices in Italy, Kenya, and Uganda. Walter Lam is passionate about serving and assisting refugees and the underserve communities, both in San Diego and globally.
Administrator of AAA
Simin joined Alliance for African Assistance as Accounting Manager in 2007. In 2008, she began working at Alliance Health Clinic, focusing on HIV+ case management at Christy’s Place. Before Alliance, she held roles at UCSD Health Plan and UNDP Iran. She holds a Business Administration degree from Tehran University and has studied Managerial Accounting at UC San Diego, Health Data and Information Management at San Diego State University, and Clinic Leadership at UCSF. Simin now serves as Contract Administrator and Administrator at Alliance for African Assistance and Alliance Health Clinic.
Director of Resettlement
Jimmy Dervishi finished Albania Tirana University, Department of Economics - Master in Business, Italy Milano - Bachelor in Computer Science, Executive Director Bank of Albania, Chairman of the Project of Issuing the New Albanian Banknotes, Chairman in the work group for the foundation of Tirana Stock Exchange, Albania Secretary of the Treasury
BIA accreditation since June 2009, also has Fingerprinting license from Department of Justice since April 2014 and the Custodian of Records for Alliance For African Assistance since August 2016.
Manager, Global Village Translation and Interpreter
Cristina Belpassi, Global Village Language and Cultural Solutions Program Manager since 2018, combines her love for languages with a commitment to serving the refugee and immigrant community. An ATA
member, she ran her own translation and interpreting service for many years before joining the Alliance, holding a Master's in Bilingual Translation from the University of Westminster. With a background as a language consultant, instructor, examiner, and financial news editor in the UK, she values communication across cultures for education, growth, and peace.
Henok Mulat, an affiliate of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), moved to the USA during 2015 from Ethiopia.
Back in Ethiopia, Henok had non-profit accounting experience for more than a decade.
In 2019, Henok Joined Alliance for African Assistance as staff accountant. After a few years of hard work, He was promoted to Accounting Manager of the organization.
Currently, He manages the accounting and financial matters of the organization including but not limited to producing periodic financial statements, payroll management, receivables, and payables.
CEO - AAA-Italy
Alice Lam, born in northern Uganda, moved to Italy early on, completed high school there, and holds an economics degree from the American University of Rome. With a nine-year tenure at UNHCR, she directed the Art for Refugees program, organizing charity auctions and giving educational talks. Currently directing Alliance for African Assistance in Italy for seven years, Lam focuses on programs in Italy aiding refugee resettlement and empowering women who survived violence. AAAI also supports scholarships for girls and malaria prevention programs in Uganda.
Coordinator Uganda Office
Okello Openy I worked as the Country Director of Alliance for African Assistance Uganda Office for 13 years before joining Teresa Ayiko International Hospital Atiak (A program of the Alliance) as the
Executive Director from from 2022 to date.
He completed a Master Degree (Masters of Business Administration) and Bachelor’s Degree (Information and Communication Technology) from Gulu University, Financial Management of US Government funding from Inside NGO and Project Planning & Management from Foundation for Resource Mobilization – JOHN CHIKATI.
Coordinator Kenya Office
Monica Kinyua earned her Social Ministry degree at Tangaza College in 2009 and later completed a Master's in Peace and Justice Studies as a Rotary Peace Scholar at the University of San Diego in 2012. With extensive experience in peace building, she previously worked with Mercy Beyond Borders and has been a board member at Alliance for African Assistance Kenya since 2018. In 2022, Monica assumed the role of Country Director, overseeing Alliance programs in Kenya.