Samantha Alarie-Leca adds a dynamic combination of training and hands-on experience in the non-profit sector to the West Foundation’s work in collaborating with high-impact, grassroots international development programs. As the foundation’s inaugural Program Officer, she is responsible for developing and supporting partnerships with its constituent organizations, as well as establishing communications with potential new partners for the gifting program.
Originally from Johnston, Rhode Island, Ms. Alarie-Leca’s first sojourn in the Hoosier State occurred when she attended Notre Dame University for her college experience, eventually graduating summa cum laude with a B.A. in French and Francophone Studies in 2007.
Ms. Alarie-Leca also holds an M.S. in Nonprofit Leadership from the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, which she earned in 2013. While at Penn, she served as a Fellow for the prestigious Lipman Family Prize with the Leadership Office at the Wharton School of Business. The $100,000 prize is annually awarded to a single non-profit organization in recognition of excellence in the social sector. As a Lipman Fellow, Ms. Alarie-Leca participated with an interdisciplinary team in completing due-diligence research on candidate organizations. She also visited the 2013 winner, READ Global, to conduct field research on their operations in Nepal and co-authored a case study analyzing and documenting the best practices of their model.
Prior to embarking upon her graduate program, Ms. Alarie-Leca served for two years as a National Service Volunteer with AmeriCorps. During her service, she collaborated with non-profits on natural resource management initiatives in Massachusetts and coordinated an elementary school garden in Oakland, CA. She also lived and worked in the Santa Cruz Mountains for several years, leading educational hikes for 5th- and 6th-grade students among the coastal redwoods and later acting as an administrator for Exploring New Horizons Outdoor School.