Heather Leson is Ushahidi’s Director of Community Engagement, a role in which she exercises her passion for community-building, storytelling, and idea hacking.
Heather creates and manages programs for Ushahidi’s diverse community, and mentors members of its open-source developer ecosystem. Her earlier leadership in open source communities such as Random Hacks of Kindness and CrisisCommons saw her successfully organize numerous participant-driven “unconferences” and hackathons. Heather was recently selected as a Personal Democracy Forum Google Fellow (2012) and participant for the Annenberg-Oxford Media Policy Summer Institute (2012).
In addition to her community development work, Heather has 15 years of experience in technical incident management, software life-cycle development, customer care, and Internet communications.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Combined Political Science and History from Carleton University in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa, and a Library and Information Technician diploma from Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto.
Inspired to help people gain access to, understand and apply information, Heather is focused on giving “do-more” disrupters a voice.
Volunteering changed my life. It is an amazing journey to brain share with global volunteers who believe in a free, open Internet and open source technology.
John Ralston Saul is right: if everyone volunteered a few hours a week just think how their lives and the lives around them would change. Lend a hand and build dreams with smiles.
(Photo by Photojunkie, Podcamp 2011)