Meet the Board of Directors and Co-Founders
President and Co-founder
Sally is a native of Colorado and has a passion for mountain environments, women’s empowerment and the Himalayas. A mountaineer, Sally has climbed peaks including Island Peak, Denali, and Mount Rainier, and has done attempts on other big mountains including Cerro de Aconcagua. She holds a Certificate in Non-profit Management from Duke University and an M.Sc. with Distinction in Sustainable Mountain Development from the University of Highlands and Islands in Perth, Scotland, where she studied under Martin Price. Sally completed field research for her dissertation, ‘Identifying paths to girls’ successful Higher Education in the Solukhumbu district, Nepal’ in November 2016, which was published in Mountain Research and Development in 2020. She has traveled to Nepal four times for trekking, climbing, humanitarian work, academic research and NGO project implementation. Sally has been touched, inspired and humbled by the incredible people and communities she has had the honor of living among there.
Vice-president and Co-founder
Karma is a native of the village of Deku in the Solukhumbu region of Nepal. Karma’s life was transformed by the gift of education and support from an American trekker. After experiencing the revolutionary power of education in his own life, he decided to dedicate his life to providing the same opportunities for others. In 2006 he founded The Small World in Nepal to address the needs of girls and communities in his home district. Read a message from Karma here.
Matt is a retired pediatric dentist currently residing in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He spent his last 27 years working with the Indian Health Service providing dental services to underserved Native American children. Annually for the past 7 years, Matt has volunteered in Nepal with multiple nonprofit organizations. He met Karma and Sonam, the founders of The Small World, in 2013 and is proud to support and call them friends. He continues to be amazed with the projects, accomplishments and outcomes of The Small World and looks forward to helping the organization reach their future goals.
Maria is a Professor of Politics and Government at Western Colorado University in Gunnison, Colorado. Her research work examines issues of migration and human rights violations, and she has traveled and worked with refugees in Nepal on several occasions. Her book The Politics of Bodies at Risk, examines what happens at the intersection of state security and human insecurity, with specific focus on Tibetan refugees and survivors of trafficking in human beings in Bulgaria. A native born and raised Bulgarian, she is happy to call the United States her second home. In her spare time, she volunteers at the community gardens in Gunnison, is an avid runner and reader, loves to travel into the backcountry with her two boys, her husband and Oli, their dog baby. She is excited to be joining the Board of The Small World USA and help create meaningful connections inside the United States with potential donors, benefactors and community members dedicated to the goal of making the world a more equitable, just and welcoming place for all.