Management

Fiza Shah, Chief Executive Officer

Fiza Shah, Chief Executive Officer
Fiza Shah was born in Quetta, Pakistan, moving to the United States in 1980. Educated in Pakistan, England and the United States, Ms. Shah initially worked in health care administration as manager of the Lakewood Medical Group. In 1997, Fiza founded Developments in Literacy (DIL) and under her leadership, the organization has successfully established hundreds of schools and educated tens of thousands of children throughout Pakistan’s four provinces, and is committed to providing education that equips students and teachers with academic competencies and life skills. office@dil.org

Hashmat Saeed, Chief Financial Officer

Hashmat Saeed, Chief Financial Officer
Hashmat Saeed has been involved with DIL from its inception. She is the Chief Financial Officer and served on the Executive Board. Hashmat oversees DIL’s finances and works with the Benefit Committees to manage the fundraising finances. Outside of DIL, she also volunteers with the Assistance League of Long Beach, a philanthropic organization dedicated to serving the underprivileged as well as victims of abuse in Long Beach. office@dil.org

Kendra Puryear, Executive Director

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Kendra began her career in non-profits at CASA of Orange County in 2005, after graduating with a B.A. in History and Political Science from Vanguard University. She continued her career in fundraising at The Raise Foundation and Orange County United Way. Her passion is connecting people to causes that matter to them and her personal life mission is to lend her voice to those whose voices go unheard. Kendra’s educational background and travels abroad have fostered an interest in international relations. She believes that living in a global society means that all of our fates are connected by a common thread. She often quotes Martin Luther King Jr., saying, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Kendra@dil.org

Brenda Erlinger, Program Development Director

Brenda Erlinger, Program Development Director
Brenda Erlinger joined Developments in Literacy in 2011 as Program Development Director. She holds a M.A. in International Development from The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. In her position at DIL, Brenda leads research and development of new and innovative initiatives that result in increased impact and capacity. Current projects in her portfolio include DIL’s USAID funded mobile learning for teachers, assessment based reading interventions for students, and programs aimed at expanding opportunities for DIL graduates. Brenda@dil.org

Annie Field, Curriculum Director

Annie Field, Curriculum Director
Annie serves as Director of Curriculum for Developments in Literacy. She holds a Master of Education degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, specializing in International Education Policy. In her position with DIL, Annie regularly travels to Pakistan to conduct teacher trainings, monitor educational progress, and implement new initiatives. Annie@dil.org

Linda Hitch, Finance and Operations Manager

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Linda comes to DIL with over 20 years of experience working in non-profits, most recently with the Girl Scouts of Orange County. Prior to that she worked for Vanguard University, Concordia University and St. Margaret’s Episcopal School, a prestigious college prep academy in San Juan Capistrano. Linda holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with an accounting emphasis from Brandman University, part of the Chapman University System. She graduated magna cum laude. Linda has always valued education, literacy in particular. She likes to say she has more books than one can possibly read in a natural lifetime. One of her favorite quotes comes from her children’s 1st grade teacher, “We must learn to read so we can read to learn.” Linda@dil.org

Christina Lopez, Marketing and Development Coordinator

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Christina has worked in the non-profit sector for over 10 years. After graduating with a degree in Sociology from California State Fullerton she began working for organizations such as the Friendly Center, YMCA, Boys and Girls Club and WHW-Women Helping Women.  She also currently serves on the board for the Nonprofit Professional Alumni Association at Cal State Fullerton. When asked why she chose to work in the nonprofit sector she refers back to Mahatma Gandhi’s quote, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” In her spare time Christina enjoys anything that gets the adrenaline rushing- skydiving, bungee jumping, parasailing, indoor rock climbing, etc. She also loves to hike, try new restaurants, shop and spend time with her nieces and nephews. Christina@dil.org

Cassidy Feder, Administrative Assistant

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With a corporate, entrepreneurship, and global work background and an education in Psychology & Communication, Cassidy joined the DIL team eager to work in the non-profit sector. She is committed to creating opportunity for others and supporting others in their strengths. Cassidy is a learner and has a great passion for culture and diversity and always has her passport on hand ready for the next adventure. She believes that everyone should have the opportunity to always keep on learning which is why education is something worth fighting for. B.B. King said it well when he said “The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” Cassidy@dil.org