Global Faith Partners


Global Faith Partners is governed by a board of directors, currently including the following.

Michael J Vallez

Chairman of the Board

Mr. Vallez is the founder, Chairman, and Executive Director of Global Faith Partners (GFP).  He is also a highly respected international construction project management and claims consultant. Mr. Vallez has over 40 years of hands-on and leadership experience in project management, engineering / construction management, cost and schedule control, change management, claims, and dispute resolution.

Mr. Vallez earned a BS Degree in Civil Engineering from Michigan Technological University, and an MBA from the University of Utah.

Nancy Halden

Board Member

Nancy Halden is a molecular biologist and owner of Getting to Granted, a grant writing service that works with non-profit organizations to help fund their projects by seeking grant funds from charitable foundations. She has been successful in supporting the growth of several non-profit organizations by securing key strategic funding from foundations in multiple sectors.
Nancy earned dual BA degrees in English and Biology from Rice University in Houston Texas, and a MS degree in Molecular Biology/Genetics from the University of Utah.

Dunford G. Mpelumbe

Board Member

Dunford G. Mpelumbe is a leading human rights lawyer and advocate of the High Court in Tanzania currently working with the Parliament of Tanzania as clerk assistant, serving at the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Standing Committee of the Parliament. He is also a partner in charge of Business Development at MMK Advocates a leading law firm in Dodoma, the Capital of Tanzania.
He has vast experience in research, consultancy and training spanning over ten years and has worked with several institutions in and outside Tanzania including the International Criminal Court, United Nations Inter-regional Crime and Justice Research Institute, United Nations Development Program, Lawyers Environmental Action Team, Tanzania Parliamentary Women Group and Asylum Access Tanzania to mention but a few. He has a master’s degree in Human Rights Practice (2012, Sweden, UK and Norway) and a master’s in international Relations (2010, Sweden.)

Brian Singer

Board Member

Brian spent 2 years in Tanzania as a math teacher with the Peace Corps. Since that time, he has returned to East Africa more than twenty-five times while guiding charitable groups and starting Project Zawadi. He has a graduate degree in Social Change and Development and has spent more than 15 years assisting low-income entrepreneurs in the USA.
He has more than 20 years’ experience lending to small businesses while also running a non-profit organization and a small business. Skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Public Speaking, Fundraising, Economic Development, and Program Development. Strong finance professional with a Master of Arts in Social Change & Development from The Johns Hopkins University – Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Maria Burquest

Board Member

Maria Burquest is a Marketing and Communications professional with 30+ years of experience leading strategic communications for a range of corporate initiatives, consumer brands, health care, arts & entertainment, and non-profit organizations. Recently retired from one of the world’s leading consumer goods companies, Procter & Gamble, her assignments have been global, national and local in scope.

Since 2013 Maria has served on the board of Karama Connection, a small Tanzanian organization based in Arusha that cares for children affected by HIV. She earned a BA degree from University of Dayton in 1987 and resides in Cincinnati OH.

Barbara Gentry

Board Member

Barbara Gentry is a retired schoolteacher and administrator. She specialized in biological sciences with a strong interest in environmental studies. She currently is on the board of the Gun Violence Prevention Center and the Global Faith Partners. She is active in her local Presbyterian church and enjoys sports of many types.
Barbara earned B.S. Degree from Utah State University in 1976, and a M.A from Western Governors University in 2009. MEd from the University of Utah in 2011.

Marie Allen

Board Member

Although Marie Allen is a retired schoolteacher, she continues to each in various capacities in the community. Since visiting Tanzania in 2008, she has been an advocate for Global Faith Partners, helping to establish a partnership between her church in Wisconsin and one in Ifakara, Tanzania.

Marie earned a B.S. Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls and an M.S. In Guidance and Counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Stout