Sheyda joined the Alliance in 2017 after working as a policy research and evaluation expert in Kisumu, Kenya, focusing on early childhood literacy initiatives in rural Kenya. Sheyda brings both policy expertise and strong alliance-building experience, having developed successful, diverse partnerships across local communities, academic institutions and nonprofit organizations ranging in scope from the local to international levels. At the Alliance for the Great Lakes, Sheyda supports the organization’s robust policy and advocacy agenda across the region. This includes leading comparative policy research and analysis, engaging water leaders around the Great Lakes region working across coalitions to advance a range of water protection objectives.      

Prior to joining the Alliance, Sheyda worked for Innovations for Poverty Action, managing the evaluation of a program designed to improve literacy and education outcomes in Kenya. Before that, she worked for Rainbow Research in Minneapolis, Minnesota where she managed two research projects focused on improving community health outcomes. Sheyda also has experience working with various government agencies through her work at the U.S. Government Accountability Office, where she supported the Natural Resources and Environment team. Sheyda received her B.A. from the University of Minnesota in Global Studies and Human Rights and has a M.A. in public policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Sheyda is passionate about human rights and social justice, and views the Great Lakes as a vital resource that should be accessible to all. Sheyda’s work at the Alliance is driven by the belief that the health of our region’s fresh water is intrinsically linked to the well-being of its surrounding communities.