Who We Are
Board Chair and board member, Karen Hendrixson joined the Bikes for the World board in April 2012. She is an independent international development consultant specializing in Africa. She has lived in Ghana and Liberia, and has worked or travelled in another eleven African countries. She served six years on the board of The Langley School in McLean VA, where she chaired the Governance Committee and served four years as Vice-Chair/Treasurer. Karen holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, has studied international relations at the London School of Economics, and is a magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, graduate from Brandeis University. She lives in McLean VA with her husband and their three teenagers.
Executive Director and board member, Keith Oberg has led Bikes for the World since its founding. Prior to that, he served as Vice-President and Washington DC Area Coordinator of Pedals for Progress, following a career in international development culminating in 13 years with the Inter-American Foundation (IAF), an independent U.S. Government agency providing grant support to private grassroots development in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 1999, Keith took a leave of absence from the IAF to work with Pedals for Progress and ultimately Bikes for the World, to put into practice some of the insights he gained as a funder, to test the potential of used American bicycles to serve as a catalyst and resource for domestic community volunteer work and community-led development overseas. Keith’s interests in cycling range from the local to the global. A long-time bicycle commuter dating to his early years in Washington DC as a non-car-owning graduate student, he is a former board member of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association and co-founder and past secretary and executive board member of Phoenix Bikes, a youth bike program in Arlington VA. Between 1986 and 1998, Keith served as a member (and chairman, 1992-97) of the board of directors of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, an advocate for environmentally and economically sustainable transportation policies worldwide. Keith holds an M.A. in International Studies from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a B.A. in Political Science and History from Middlebury College. He currently lives in Arlington VA with his wife, Jessica Mott; they have two grown children, Kathryn and Alexander.
Board member, John Burg joined the Bikes for the World board in April 2012 and is an avid, life-long cyclist. Specializing in international development and public sector financial management in post-conflict and fragile states, he is currently a Policy, Planning, and Learning Fellow with USAID's Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs. Most recently Mr. Burg spent over five years in the Office of the Director of US Foreign Assistance in the State Department. Before that he spent over four years in the U.S Treasury's Office of Technical Assistance. Mr. Burg has worked in South Central Asia, the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. His background in the bicycle industry and cycling community is both local and international, non-profit and for-profit. Among other positions held, specific to bicycle-related work, he has been Program Officer for West Africa and Consultant for the Mobility Haiti Initiative with the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy; Program Manager of Handlebar Helpers, a youth earn-a-bike program in Scottsdale AZ; and bike mechanic with seven bicycle retailers across Arizona, Vermont, DC, and Maryland. Mr. Burg also served the Obama Administration as a volunteer member of the White House's Design Toolkit working group. He has attended the Rhode Island School of Design's Institute for Design and Public Policy, the LUMA Institute's program for Human Centered Design for Strategic Innovation, holds a BA in Islamic Civilization from Arizona State University and an MA in Sustainable Development from the School for International Training. He lives with his wife Heather, in Takoma Park Maryland, with their two whippets Jasper and Pablo.
Secretary and board member, Nicki Conners joined the Bikes for the World board in June 2015. She is program manager in the Office of Special Education Instruction in Fairfax County Public Schools. She is part of many initiatives within the school division, but mainly develops and directs professional development for administrators and teachers and supports licensure coursework needs of novice special education teachers. Nicki holds a Ph.D from George Mason University with a specialization in special education and educational policy, a Master's degree in educational administration and supervision from Virginia Tech, and a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University in Middle School Education (Grades 4-8) and Mild Disabilities, Special Education K-12. She serves as adjunct professor in special education with George Mason University, University of Virginia, and George Washington University. She lives in Fairfax City, VA with her family and is an avid cyclist.
Board member, Hellen Gelband develops global health policy alongside researchers and policy makers from low- and middle-income countries, including those in which Bikes for the World's partners work. She is also a DC-area bicycle commuter. Currently with the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy, Hellen has worked previously for Resources for the Future, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, and the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. She holds degrees from Pomona College and the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. Hellen has been on the Bikes for the World Advisory committee since 2005 and a board member since Bikes for the World's incorporation in 2011.
Board member, Thomas McCarthy has been a Financial Advisor for over 26 years, is an Executive Financial Advisor with Raymond James Financial Services. Previously he was Associate Director of National Youth Work Alliance which established and assisted programs for at-risk youth across the country. His long-term and extensive volunteer work includes Board membership on several non-profit organizations. He is a founding member of the Coordinating Committee of the Cyprus Friendship Program and served in a similar capacity for the Children’s Friendship Project for Northern Ireland for over 15 years. He has been a collection manager for Bikes for the World (and before that Pedals for Progress) every year since 1995.
Board member, Rich Robinson began volunteering for Bikes for the World in 2007, shortly after retirement. He helps load many containers for shipment overseas, supports numerous collections, and regularly collects bikes at local shops, apartment buildings and other locations. With his wife Sue, he led the organization's successful strategic planning effort. An avid cyclist, Rich commuted to work year-round for more than 30 years. He and Sue also have extensive experience in long-distance bicycle touring throughout the United States and Europe, including a 1200 mile six-week tandem ride in 2007. An attorney, Rich worked for the Department of Veterans' Affairs for his entire legal career, specializing in health law, and legislative affairs. As a Deputy Assistant General Counsel, he led the group of attorneys responsible for providing legal advice to the Department's extensive health care system. In retirement, Rich studied Spanish for several years, he ushers at three DC area theater companies, and he has undertaken an array of home construction projects, all in addition to his efforts for Bikes for the World. Rich and Sue have lived in Arlington, Virginia since 1977, have three adult daughters, and two grandchildren.
Treasurer and board member, George Tyler is a life-long biker and long-time supporter of Bikes for the World. An economist, George worked on Capitol Hill with Senators Hubert Humphrey and Lloyd Bentsen, and as Senior Economist on the Joint Economic Committee before being appointed by President Clinton as a Treasury deputy assistant secretary. George later served as Counselor at the World Bank where his international expertise supported export promotion. In 1999, George helped establish and later served as a member of the audit committee of the Geneva-based Drugs for Neglected Diseases, a non-governmental organization which develops medicines for diseases of the developing world. He has also been active in the private sector and is author of What Went Wrong (2013), examining the evolution of the American economy in the Reagan era.
Director of Development, Liz Daley joined Bikes for the World in 2013. As a Development professional with over 15 years of experience, Liz has worked for a variety of non-profits including AppleTree Public Charter School, the Nuclear Threat Initiative and Conservation International. Most recently, she served as Director of Development for New Futures. Liz also does pro bono fundraising work for several elementary schools in Washington, DC. Liz holds a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Cincinnati in Communication and did her doctoral studies at The Ohio State University. Liz and husband reside on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and are committed to raising their three young sons on the BMW plan: Bike, Metro, and Walk.
Outreach Coordinator, Yvette Hess joined Bikes for the World in March 2010 as part-time Office Manager. In 2012 she added Outreach Coordinator responsibilities and came aboard full-time. She previously worked as a Studio Technician for a local news organization and wrote bike related content for the web. A dedicated cyclist and cycling advocate, Yvette has served as Crew Chief (2008-2010) for All Wheels 4 Fibromyalgia, a four-person team participating in the Race Across America, the “World's Toughest Bicycle Race”. She holds a B.A. in Communications from Salisbury University. On Tuesday nights you might find her again behind a camera at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage where she's volunteered as a Kennedy Center Friend since 2016.
Operations Manager, Bob Leftwich joined Bikes for the World in August 2016. Bob is an avid cyclist and has a passion for mountain biking. He opened his first business at the age of 18 and has 30 plus years retail experience as an Independent Bicycle Retailer (IBD). He was the recipient of Best in Class awards for retail accomplishments and was the 2010 local chamber of commerce small business person of the year. He is a USA Certified cycling mechanic and has logged over 300 Ironman triathlons as the official bike tech, including the 2014 world Ironman championships in Kona, HI and the 2015 World Ironman 70.3 championships in Zell am See, Austria. He has 25 years experience as a local volunteer and provided tech support for many mid-Atlantic cycling state sponsored events, as well as non-profit groups and charity ride such as the Climate Ride, AIDS Ride, and Law Enforcement Unity Tour. Bob and his wife Rebecca have dual residency in Alexandria and Warrenton VA.