Merritt Frey, Executive Director

Merritt joined Mali Rising as our Executive Director in February 2015. Merritt coordinates fundraising and communications activities for Mali Rising, and oversees program operations.

Merritt brings nearly twenty years of experience in clean water issues and nonprofit management to Mali Rising. Her experience includes work at the Union of Concerned Scientists, Natural Resources Defense Council, Utah Rivers Council, and River Network.

Merritt lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her beloved dog Zoe and a very grumpy cat, Daisy.


Alou Doumbia, Field Director

Alou has served as our Mali-based Field Director for nearly four years. Alou works with local village leaders and school directors to identify new schools for construction and to improve education in existing schools.

Previous to his time at Mali Rising, Alou worked for 15 years for a similar organization – the Ouelessebougou Alliance – on issues of microfinance and women's empowerment in rural Mali villages in the Ouelessebougou region. During this time Alou taught the villagers how to create strategic plans in education, health, economic development and how to create and develop a microenterprise.

Alou has a degree in accounting. Alou speaks Bambara, French, and English. Alou lives in Bamako, Mali with his wife and five children.


Hindaty Traore, Girls Project Coordinator

Before being hired in August 2016, Hindaty was a volunteer intern with Mali Rising Foundation for nearly two years, demonstrating an amazing commitment to our students.

Hindaty’s background is perfect for working with students in our remote schools – although born in Bamako (the large capitol city), Hindaty spent part of her childhood in a small village just like our villages. She then returned to Bamako and received a bachelors’ degree before joining Mali Rising.

Hindaty coordinates our Girls Project, serving as the main face of the project with the girls and the villagers.