Board of Directors

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has. —Margaret Mead

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"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has." —Margaret Mead

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Board of Directors

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Joyce Debrah-Sheppard

Co-Founder, President and Daughter of Susana Lankai Debrah

Joyce A. Debrah-Sheppard is a career educator and advocate for girls empowerment.  Over the course of her 22-year teaching and civic career, she has sponsored and or supported numerous endeavors that empower girls to reach their highest potential.  She was inspired to launch this dedicated foundation in honor of her mother’s native country and commitment to education.  Joyce currently resides in Chicago, IL and works for Chicago Public Schools, the 3rd largest public school district in the country helping to drive the district’s commitment to high-quality and equitable educational opportunities for all students.  


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vice president

Kate Pressler

Ms. Katherine (Kate) Pressler is a passionate educator who is driven by the need for equitable education for all. From a young age, Kate was inspired by her own educational experiences and the many educators in her family, to focus her efforts and career on advocating for all young people to have the opportunity to receive a high quality education. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology and M.A. in Education, and currently serves as a Postsecondary Coach with the Network for College Success out of the University of Chicago. As the Vice President of the foundation, Kate brings organization, dedication, and compassion to the team.




David Tetteh-Amey Abbey

Mr. David Tetteh-Amey Abbey is a seasoned investment professional, a member of the CFA Institute and currently the Deputy CEO of the National Pensions Regulatory Authority in Ghana. His mother, a lifetime teacher and educator, imbued in the young David an abiding love for education. Not surprisingly David volunteers for several educational causes, including his alma mater, the venerable Mfantsipim School in Cape Coast, where he represents alumni group on its board.  As the foundation Secretary, David brings with him integrity, commitment and discipline to the SLDEF.




Mr. Prince Appiah Debrah

Co-Founder, Son of Susana Lankai Debrah

Mr. Prince Appiah Debrah is a CPA and attorney. He is currently the Chief Audit Executive of the National Health Insurance Authority in Accra, Ghana. Appiah was raised single-handedly by his maternal grandmother who never went to school herself. Appiah's passion for education is therefore real and a stellar example of its transformative power. He brings to the SLDEF over 20 years experience in finance and corporate governance.



board member

Mrs. Dinah Debrah

Mrs. Dinah Amarkai Debrah is a career teacher with over 20 years' classroom experience. She brings to the SLDEF a hands on approach to engaging the teachers and the girls to identify their educational needs and to bring out the best in each and every girl-student. “Dinny”, as she is affectionately known, lives in Ghana where she is raising her family and works to develop action plans that ensure the achievement of the SLDEF goals. Dinny is also a proud alumni of Osu Presbyterian Girls School.