Sherri Kraham Talabany


Sherri Kraham Talabany is the President and Executive Director of the Kurdistan -based SEED Foundation and U.S.-based SEED for Change, charitable organizations that promotes economic development, as well as social, educational, and economic development in Kurdistan.

Sherri was a senior official in the United States government in Washington, D.C. for almost 15 years, from 1998–2012, working on foreign policy, foreign assistance programming, and international development.  She worked for the U.S. State Department from 1998–2003, starting her career working on Iraq and then in a variety of positions overseeing policies and programs worldwide. She then served as the Managing Director and later Deputy Vice President for Policy at the Millennium Challenge Corporation from 2004–2012, working with the poorest countries in the world to improve their policy environment to reduce poverty through economic growth.

Sherri is a lawyer who earned her degree in 1999 from George Mason University, in Virginia and currently resides in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan. She has been involved in volunteer activities throughout her life, serving on non-profit boards and advocating on behalf of the poor and underserved, including vulnerable minorities and displaced people. She was recognized by multiple awards from several Secretaries of State and was awarded as DevEx’s ‘Top 40 Under 40’ Leaders in International Development in 2010.

SEED Foundation of Kurdistan

Tanya Gilly Khailany

Vice-President  SEED Foundation of Kurdistan

Tanya Gilly Khailany is the Vice President and co-founder of the SEED Foundation. She is originally from the city of Kirkuk in Iraqi Kurdistan but having lived in many countries, she considers herself to be a world citizen.

From 2006-2010, Tanya served as a representative in the Iraqi Parliament, representing the people of Kirkuk, advocating for the interests of a multi-ethnic and religious society. She was a member of the Foreign Relations Committee and was known for speaking out against the injustices Iraqi Kurds faced in the past and still face today. She was one of the leading voices demanding representation for women in the political arena; her work with other leading women activists helped legislate a quota for women in the Iraqi Constitution.

Tanya also worked in the think tank community in Washington, DC. As Director of Democracy Programs at the Foundation for the Defence of Democracies, she did advocacy work and worked closely with policy makers in Washington to help give voice to the under-represented in the Middle East and North Africa region. She has served on the board of various non-governmental organizations in Iraq and Kurdistan, and is one of the founders of the Ashti (Peace) Women’s Movement, which played an instrumental role in bringing together the opposition and government.

Tanya studied Political Science at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada and currently resides in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan.

Sara Rashid

Board Member – SEED Foundation of Kurdistan

Sara Rashid is a Senior Officer for the non-profit organization Kurdistan Save the Children. She develops and manages programs for the protection and well-being of refugees and internally displaced people from Syria and Iraq, with a focus on children’s protection.

Sara started her career by focusing on the relationship between global health and conflict through her research work on ‘Global Health Security’ at the renowned British think tank organization, Chatham House. One of her key achievements during this time was her contribution to the journal paper ‘Conflict Medicine and Survival’, published in 2012.

Sara obtained her diploma in Biomedical Science from King’s College London in 2009 and holds a Masters Degree in Global Health and Development from University College London. She currently resides in Sulaimani, Iraqi Kurdistan.

Carol Khoury Youssef

Board Member – SEED Foundation of Kurdistan

Carol Khoury Youssef is currently the Director of Fingerprints Children Center, a high-quality daycare for kids between one and four years old based in Erbil.

Carol is a certified Speech Therapist. In Beirut, she worked for six years within an institute for children with hearing loss and for more than ten years in a private clinic where she worked with babies, children and adults who have various levels of speech, language and communication difficulties, learning disabilities, hearing loss/deafness, psychiatric disorders or dementia. She has worked on developing treatment programs based on individual assessments. From 2006-2008, Carol was a trainer at the Educational Center for Research and Development where she developed training programs for the teachers at the Lebanese Public Schools in order to create awareness and adapted intervention plans inside the classes for children with learning disabilities.

Carol holds a degree in Speech and Language Pathology from the Lebanese University of Beirut and resides in Erbil, Kurdistan Region.

Janne Botani

Board Member – SEED Foundation of Kurdistan

Janne Botani has been an active supporter of SEED’s work since its creation. Since Janne was forced to flee Kurdistan to the Netherlands during the First Gulf War, helping the displaced is an issue close to her heart.

She studied Law at Hanze University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands and she did her internship with the Dutch Minister of Security and Justice. She currently resides in Erbil, Kurdistan Region.

SEED for Change – USA

Vincent Frillici

Board Member – SEED for Change, USA

Vince Frillici has been involved in federal politics, policy and lobbying for over 20 years. He provides clients congressional and administration strategy and lobbying, as well as partnering with independent specialists in communications when client goals necessitate both lobbying and communications.

Vince’s passion and ability to translate the arcane languages of business and federal policy into real world language make him a unique advocate. He has trusted relations with senior Administration officials as well as Democratic Members of the Senate and House.

Vince is a graduate of Michigan State University, with a degree in Political Economy from MSU’s James Madison College and received his Master’s of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He currently resides in Washington, D.C.

Christopher M. Rivers

Board Member – SEED for Change, USA

Christopher M. Rivers is passionate about solving complex problems that impact people around the world. He is currently a Deloitte Consulting practitioner who specializes in organizational change management, technology implementation, and data analytics while help government clients navigate complex operational environments.  Prior to Deloitte, Christopher was a civil servant in the Department of State where he managed the science and technology relationship with all the countries in North and South America.  Preceding that, Christopher served in the United States’ Army as an Engineer officer trained in Combat Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Geospatial Engineering.  He served in deployments to Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

He studied at Georgetown University, where he received a Masters in Foreign Service and a Masters in Public Policy in 2018.  He also studied at the United States Military Academy, where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Physics in 2010.

David Tafuri

Board Member – SEED for Change, USA

David Tafuri is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of the international law firm, Dentons. He assists clients with international business, public international law, foreign investment, rule of law and dispute resolution matters. He is especially focused on post-conflict countries in the Middle East and North Africa. His current clients include the Kurdistan Regional Government and he is also the President of the US-Kurdistan Business Council.

From 2006-2007, David served as the U.S. State Department’s Rule of Law Coordinator for Iraq at the US Embassy in Baghdad. In that position, he worked directly with the Chief Justice of Iraq and Iraqi ministries to help rebuild the legal system. In addition to his position with the State Department, David draws on his previous experience as an aide to the Senate Judiciary Committee and a staff assistant to several presidential and congressional campaigns to augment his practice.

Before entering private practice, David worked for the United Nations in Turkey. He has also served on the board of directors of USA for UNHCR, which supports the UN Refugee Agency, and is a former member of the Jeté Society of The Washington Ballet.

Sherizaan Minwalla

Board Member – SEED For Change, USA

Sherizaan Minwalla is MSI’s Chief of Party for USAID’s Genocide Recovery & Persecution Response program in northern Iraq, responding to gender-based violence (GBV) in communities that were targeted by ISIS.

In the United States, Sherizaan was a Practitioner in Residence at the International Human Rights Law Clinic at the Washington College of Law. She also represented immigrant survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault to legalize their status with the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago and was the Legal Director at the Tahirih Justice Center in Washington, D.C. In Iraq she worked for nonprofit organizations, including Heartland Alliance International, Mercy Corps, and the International Rescue Committee. For more than a decade in Iraq, Sherizaan managed development and humanitarian programs addressing human rights, access to justice and rule of law, mental health and psychosocial support, and livelihoods. She has published academic articles on the need for ethical media reporting on conflict-related sexual violence, legal barriers for survivors of GBV in Iraq, and on asylum and immigration legal protections for survivors in the United States.

Sherizaan is a lawyer who earned her law degree in 2002 from the Chicago-Kent College of Law and her Masters in Applied Sociology from the Loyola University Chicago in 1999. She currently resides in Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq.

Fariba Jahanbani

Board Member – SEED for Change, USA

Fariba Jahanbani is the regional director of Cartier, an international luxury company based in Paris. Prior to her position at Cartier, Fariba was an instructor at George Mason University and Fairfax County Public Schools. An active board member of many international organizations and NGOs, Fariba has received recognition for her passion and leadership in the field of education, namely empowering women and children in challenged areas of the world.

She is a graduate of George Mason University and holds a Master’s Degree in International Studies and Literary Criticism. Fariba resides in Washington, D.C.

Eileen Mosher Webb

Board Member – SEED for Change, USA

Eileen Mosher Webb is the Chief Operating Officer of the Falls River Center, an organizational development consulting and training organization. In addition to her role as CEO, Eileen has been an adjunct faculty with the Federal Executive Institute for the past 14 years. She has facilitated and taught course curriculum to numerous learning teams in their four-week program, Leadership for a Democratic Society Program. In 2016 Ms. Mosher Webb was appointed an adjunct position with the University of New Hampshire at The Browne Center.

Eileen has held some challenging management positions within corporate America such as Manager of Human Resources for General Electric where she served as the European Liaison, was involved in labor and management mediation, designed and delivered their process improvement programs, Workout and the Leadership Profile.

She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Public Administration at the University of Nebraska, with a concentration in Organizational Development. Eileen is also a doctoral candidate at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology; she is working towards her Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership. She resides in Virginia.