Meet the team


Accessible. Inclusive. Representative.



Founder/Executive Director

Ayona Riley is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin native. Born and raised on the northside of Milwaukee, she was always curious about the world beyond her zip code. She attended Marquette University and earned a B.A. in Political Science and graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude, and a member of Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit Honor Society. She has a Master’s in International Affairs from Pennsylvania State University’s School of International Affairs. She attended Penn State with a full-tuition scholarship, graduated Magna Cum Laude, and concentrated her studies on Latin American Politics & U.S. Immigration Policy. She brings a diverse professional skill-set within program management, compliance, monitoring and evaluation, and tracking of government-funded awards. Her international affairs background is in human rights, international migration, refugee resettlement, humanitarian assistance, and Latin American politics and history, with a particular focus on Central America. More than anything, she brings an excitement and enthusiasm to lead Black Women in International Affairs!


Outreach Coordinator

Danielle grew up in Inglewood, CA, and graduated with a B.S. in Psychology from Barry University and served as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer In Service To America), where worked as a Veteran Coordinator at the San Diego District Attorney’s Office in Community Programs, now Prevention and Intervention Programs. After two years as a VISTA, Danielle returned to school and received her M.S. in Conflict Management and Resolution from the University of San Diego. Danielle has extensive experience in developing and managing programs and projects. She has worked with various community and government stakeholders to build evidence-based and effective processes to support those who are underserved. She is passionate about advocating for those who are misunderstood and overlooked. She believes that the community is and will always be the experts when it comes to their needs and how to support them.

Black Women in International Affairs