Center Leadership and Staff
Project Director & Professor
Sayfe Kiaei is a professor in the School of Electrical, Energy, and Computer Engineering, the director of the Connection One Center (National Science Foundation (NSF) I/UCRC Center), and Motorola Chair in Analog and RF Integrated Circuits. Prior to leading the COE, he was the Director of the successful U.S.-Pakistan Centers for Advanced Studies in Energy (USPCAS-E) project funded by USAID. From 1993 to 2001, he was a senior member of technical staff with the Wireless Technology Center and Broadband Operations at Motorola. Prior to that, Kiaei was a professor at Oregon State University (1987-1993), where he taught courses and performed research in RF, Analog, VLSI, and Communication Systems. Kiaei has established two Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers: The Center for the Design of Analog/Digital ICs (CDADIC) where he was a co-director (1987-1993), and the Connection One Center at Arizona State University. He has published more than 200 journal and conference papers and holds several patents. His research interests are in RF, Analog and Digital IC, Transceiver design, and sensors.
Project Manager Research
Alana Burnham is a certified project manager specializing in global development projects and serves as the Project Manager Research for the Center of Excellence for Energy. Before joining the Center, she led key objectives for ASU-US’s Global Locust Initiative’s USAID-funded project in West Africa, Communities for Sustainable Agriculture (Bay Sa Waar). She excels in fast-paced environments that require cultural competency and quick adaptation, and she is passionate about supporting projects that bring research and innovative solutions to communities around the world. She has a background in community outreach and environmental and soil sciences. A former Peace Corps Volunteer, she served in the Agroforestry program in Senegal and is fluent in Wolof.
Carrie Whitten Simmons
Carrie Whitten Simmons
Director of Marketing and Communications
Carrie Whitten Simmons is a public and community relations professional with 25+ years experience leading marketing, communications, projects, community outreach, and public and governmental affairs efforts. Before joining the Center of Excellence for Energy as the Director of Marketing and Communications, she led the marketing, communications and community engagement teams for All of Us Research Program, a National Institutes of Health Initiative to increase diversity in health research. She is a three time fellow and has worked in non-profit development in organizations servicing victims of human trafficking, domestic and sexual abuse, homelessness, and underserved populations in education and health. She ran her own business for 20+ years and is adept at cultural immersion, diversity communications, and community outreach. Carrie serves on the Phoenix Women’s Commission in addition to several boards for organizations in education and health.
Sally Hafez is a monitoring, evaluation, and learning advisor with 8+ years of experience in monitoring and evaluation, statistical analysis, and research. She supports development programs and projects in implementing monitoring and evaluation activities through data management (data entry, collection, analysis, interpretation, and reporting). She excels in reviewing all program activities, recommending necessary improvements and policies to meet targets, and monitoring progress against the proposed process indicators. Before joining the Center of Excellence for Energy as the monitoring, evaluation, and learning advisor, she was the monitoring, evaluation, and compliance officer for another USAID-funded project in the higher education sector. She has significant experience working with the USAID monitoring and evaluation system. She is a Ph.D. candidate in social science computing. Sally earned a statistics bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in social science computing.
Heba Nabil Hassan
Heba Nabil Hassan
In-Country Director of Marketing and Communications
Heba Nabil is an advertising, marketing, and communications expert with 20+ years experience creating and accelerating project’s and company’s marketing strategy and brand awareness. She excels at building external, internal, executive and digital communications in addition to corporate social responsibility campaigns, web marketing, social media, media outreach and conferences across Egypt and the Gulf region. Heba focuses on driving the business vision and improving the overall development experience. She has significant experience working with FMCG’s, NGO’S , pharmaceutical and educational organizations along with her previous experience working with multinational, top local brands and several agencies.
Heba earned a bachelor’s in advertising and holds a certified marketing diploma.
Nabil Osman – New
In-Country Director of Finance
Nabil Osman has over 15 years of experience in development and the private sector. He is experienced in USAID operational, financial, and procurement oversight processes. He also is skilled in creating and managing strong relationships with stakeholders including Egyptian entities, private sector partners, and a diverse range of vendors and service providers.