Gannon Gillespie was first introduced to the issues of modern-day trafficking and slavery in 2004, when he joined Tostan, a grassroots education and empowerment organization working in rural Africa.
As a volunteer in West Africa, Gannon
volunteer program, grant writing, report writing, communications, and fundraising.
also studied the large scale abandonment of female genital cutting (FGC) and child marriage taking place through Tostan's
programs, while learning about the issues of slavery and trafficking unique to the region.
In 2005, Gannon returned to DC and became Tostan's first full-time US staff member, based in Washington, DC.
He has since helped to establish and grow Tostan's base of partners and supporters and currently, as Director of Strategic Development, he oversees Tostan's business development and strategic partnerships.
Upon arrival in DC in 2005, Gannon also began attending and serving as co-organizer for the meetup group that has become DC SMS.
Gannon has a BA in Creative Writing from Nebraska Wesleyan University and has been a writing consultant to UNICEF and a guest lecturer for several leading conferences and universities.
is passionate about community-led development, empowering nonformal education, and improved collaboration in the social sector.