James Dirksen, Founder and Chairman of the Board, has over 20 years’ experience bringing products and services to the global market. He began his career as a consultant working at Northrup Grumman and PricewaterhouseCoopers. In 1997 he began working in the computer and network security industry and has started, grown, and sold companies and technology to companies including Microsoft, Symantec, Telefonica, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Citrix, and Cisco. James has founded two non-profit organizations that operate around the world. James has a degree in biology and chemistry from Point Loma University. He lives with his wife Dana near Portland, Oregon, and they are the parents of six children.
Dorothy has decades of experience engaged in US and international policy to advance human rights protection and advocate for the most vulnerable, as well as engage with issues related to trauma healing. She has worked in the United States Congress and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and in partnership with a variety of nonprofit organizations. Representing the US Government and Members of Congress, she has defended the human rights and dignity of men and women in virtually every continent around the globe. Dorothy in 2021 completed the Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery course from Harvard Medical School’s Program in Refugee Trauma, and in 2014, Missio Seminary’s Global Trauma Recovery Institute CE training. She and her husband James Taft live in Alexandria, Virginia.
Mark Hellweg is a Portland, Oregon-based entrepreneur. He founded Clive Coffee in 2008, offering an edited collection of high quality coffee equipment. Four years later, Mark founded a new line, Ratio, to design and build coffee makers of exceptional quality. In today’s competitive consumer goods market where “faster and cheaper” is the name of the game, Mark strives to create products that are beautiful and built to last. Mark resists getting absorbed in the “how” to the detriment of the “why” – his wife and children are the why!
Catherine Johnson advises The Market Project on project design, development, and management. A Senior Foreign Service Officer with the United States Agency for International Development (retired), Catherine served as Country Representative in Albania, led USAID’s democracy and governance offices in Pakistan, Romania, and Georgia, and championed women’s rights globally. Prior experience in African rural communities and low-income areas in Latin America reinforced her passion for working with those of limited means. Her commitment to assisting survivors of human trafficking recently led her to complete a credential in teaching trauma-informed yoga. Currently the founder of the women’s Centre for the Healing Arts in Hürtgenwald, Germany, Catherine teaches yoga, holistic healing, meditation, and contemplative prayer in international settings.
Eleanor Nagy advises The Market Project on strategy, project development, and policy issues. She served as a diplomat with the U.S. Department of State and at U.S. Embassies around the world, including as Deputy Chief of Mission in Burma (Myanmar) and in Macedonia. Other postings over those 25 years included serving as Director for the Office of Refugee Assistance for Europe, Central Asia and the Americas; and as Director for the Office of Global Hunger and Food Security. Most recently she served as the Senior Director of Strategy at World Vision International’s Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs. Her career and personal convictions have centered on creating opportunity for the vulnerable while building more personal security in their lives.
Justin Reimer and his wife, Tamara, founded The Elisha Foundation (TEF) in 2005 to serve families affected by disability around the world. Justin serves as the Executive Director. Previously, Justin spent over 16 years in the aviation industry and was a founding partner in a successful aviation company. He lives with Tamara and their 5 children in Chernigov, Ukraine to advance international program development for TEF and The Market Project.
Sharon Cohn Wu has partnered with governments and led international teams for the last 20 years to strengthen effective responses to end violence, measure them and promote human flourishing. She currently serves as Principal Advisor on Violence Against Women and Children for International Justice Mission (IJM), leading IJM’s center of excellence in addressing sexual violence against children and intimate partner violence and developing globally applicable best practices. Her passion lies at the intersection of government support and survivor strength. Prior to joining IJM, she clerked for Hon. Richard L. Williams and was a corporate litigator for Arnold & Porter. Sharon lives in Washington DC with her husband, John, and their three children.