2022 Leadership Journey Project: Advancing gender equity in eye care in low- and middle-income countries
Samara is currently the Senior Director of clinical training and community prevention eye care programs at SightLife. She is a mission driven leader with over 15 years of experience in global development, health, peace building and humanitarian assistance and has demonstrated success in managing multimillion-dollar programs, building multi-stakeholder partnerships, and developing strategies and translating them into operational growth plans to maximize equitable social impact. She is known for managing with heart and vision and being adaptable and innovative.
Prior to joining SightLife, Samara served most recently as Global Advisor for the United Nations, where she worked for over a decade, supporting country office programs and global policy at headquarters in New York and Geneva as well as leading health, rule of law, civic engagement and economic development programs for conflict-affected communities, refugees and women in Sudan, Libya, Afghanistan, and Nepal. She continues to be a consultant on policy issues in the areas of peace, security, gender, and mental health. She has also worked with non-profits in Zambia and in the United States in the areas of health system strengthening and microfinance.
Earlier in her career she was a trade analyst focused on US-Mexico-Canada commerce in bio-tech and information and communication technology.
Samara is also co-founder of Feet on the Ground, a non-profit dedicated to building resilience through the application of neuroscience and somatic research as an adjunct to trauma recovery. Through her non-profit she has worked with Beyond Conflict in the development of the Field Guide for Barefoot Psychology, an educational and self-care tool written for forcibly displaced adults and those working with them, and been a facilitator for their randomized control trial (RCT) with Syrian refugees in the Za’atri Refugee camp in Jordan, and additional trainings in Lebanon.
She holds a Masters in International Policy Studies from the Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey and a Bachelors in International Business. Outside of the office Samara enjoys hiking, paddleboarding, teaching and practicing yoga, bootcamp, meditation and cycling.