William J. Kruvant

President – Creative Learning

Since 2005, Bill Kruvant has served as the President of Creative Learning (CL). After earning a Doctorate in Economics in International Development from American University, Bill worked in both the private and public sectors, collaborating on foundation-funded research projects in the areas of energy and civil rights.

Previously, he served as chief of economic studies for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in the areas of energy and natural resources and as a Senior Advisor for Creative Associates, consulting on corporate planning and development.

During his tenure at Creative Learning, Bill has worked with his team to establish the America’s Unofficial Ambassadors (AUA) and School-2-School programs. These programs send young people to serve in local NGOs in the Muslim World and match American and foreign schools so that youth in the U.S. and abroad can learn about each other first hand.

When Aid to Artisans joined Creative Learning in 2010, Bill became the president of the new combined institution. In collaboration with ATA staff and Creative Learning experts, he is dedicated to making artisans an integral part of international enterprise development, cultural preservation, income and job generation, and economic development.

More recently, Bill has worked with Professors Tahir Shad and Muqtedar Khan to establish the Global Educations Initiative at Creative Learning. GEI runs the Annual Conference on the Muslim World, trains local and provincial level public officials in modern governance practices under the banner of CL’s American Academy of Good Governance, and runs a volunteer program for young people with De La Salle University College of St. Benilde in the Philippines.

Bill is also president of Crea-Learning Mexico, a Mexican not-for-profit group which develops artisans in Mexico, Central, and South America.

When not occupied at Creative Learning, Bill is a farmer, growing lavender commercially at La Paz farm, and is a ceramic artist.

Carola Mandelbaum

Managing Director – Creative Learning

Carola Mandelbaum is the Managing Director for Creative Learning, and as such she oversees the overall management of the organization including programs, financial systems, operations and business development. Carola acts as a liaison with the CL Board of Directors and interacts with CL donors.

From 2010 to 2012, Carola was also the Program Director for the Department of State-funded Regional Forensic Assistance Network and the Peru Forensic Assistance Program. Before that, she was Project Manager for other Department of State-funded activities including forensic assistance and human rights programs in Guatemala and Peru. She also co-founded CL’s School-2-School© Program which now resides under CL’s American Unofficial Ambassadors Division.

With over 13 years of experience of managing international development and human rights activities, she has experience managing large and small management programs from a variety of donors, developing the capacity of NGOs, and working in complex environments. Carola is Argentinean and holds a Joint MA in Latin American Studies and Journalism from New York University and a BA in Political Science with a focus international relations from Universidad de San Andres in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Monika Steinberger

Director of Program Management and Development – ATA

Monika came to Aid to Artisans and Creative Learning with extensive experience as a top corporate sales and marketing executive in private industry. During her years in architectural and interior design fields, she headed prestigious branding campaigns in the textile and furniture industries and spearheaded sales and marketing efforts for new home décor products in the US, Europe and Latin America. She became committed to working with artisans during her involvement with custom furniture makers and painters in Argentina, producers of custom interiors of yachts in Brazil, stonemasons in China using 15th century handcrafting techniques, and French marquetry artists creating wall décor from sustainable woods. At Aid to Artisans, Monika has led many craft development projects, among them in Haiti and the greater Caribbean region, Mexico, Guatemala, Peru and Morocco. Born in Austria, her native language is German, and she enjoys opportunities to use her fluency in Spanish and French to communicate with artisans directly.

Maud Obe

Director of Programs - ATA

Maud has 10 years experience in program management. In her 10 years at ATA, Maud has developed and implemented projects around the world that have strengthened artisan businesses and linked artisans to markets. Since ATA joined Creative Learning, Maud has provided direction and management for ATA programs in the development, design, implementation and closing stages. She is expert in organizing artisan training and marketing events and currently charged with adapting ATA’s signature training program, the ATA Market Readiness Program (MRP), to special market requirements. She is also responsible for all trade shows related activities. Born in France, Maud holds a Masters Degree in International Development and Social Change and a Bachelor in Government and International Relations from Clark University, Worcester, MA. She is fluent in French and English and has travelled extensively in Europe, Africa, South Asia, and Latin America.