Thunderbird for Good

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The Power of Entrepreneurship

Teaching people how to create something from nothing, driven by their own vision, fueled by their own abilities and determination has always been a part of what Thunderbird does.  We have been teaching people how to bootstrap at Thunderbird long before it became a part of business vocabulary.  We’ve done it, because in many emerging markets entrepreneurship is one of the few ways people can lift themselves out of poverty.

Thunderbird for Good ClassAccess to High Impact Empowerment

In 2004, Thunderbird formalized this by creating a unit called Thunderbird for Good.  It began as program designed to provide learning opportunities for women in Afghanistan who were hungry for knowledge and opportunity.  Today, this outreach has spread to include non-traditional students from emerging markets all over the world. As our menu of on-site and on-location and online programs has grown, so has Thunderbird’s list of funding partners, mentors and faculty.

Starting and growing a company takes courage anywhere. But the challenges are multiplied for men and women at the base of the pyramid in emerging markets such as Afghanistan, Haiti, Peru and Pakistan and even in the inner cities and Native American communities of the United States.  Aspiring entrepreneurs in these countries and communities have passion and tenacity, but too often they often lack knowledge to write business plans, manage cash flow and market their enterprises.


Project DreamCatcher 2015 - alumni and studentA Force for Sustainable Prosperity

Thunderbird for Good works to tear down the barriers to entrepreneurship through management education programs that support nontraditional students who lack access to top quality training.

An initiative that began with women in emerging markets has spread, and today includes men and women around the globe who are generating outcomes that create sustainable prosperity worldwide.  More than 120,000 graduates of these programs across 60+ countries– sponsored by corporate partners, delivered by Thunderbird faculty, and often supported by Thunderbird alumni who live and work in these underserved markets -- create jobs, share knowledge and improve living conditions in their communities.

It is a program that changes lives and in so doing, changes the world – for good.

Download Thunderbird for Good Flyer

A Collaborative Effort

Our Partners

Our Partners

Our partners

Thunderbird for Good partners include our mentors, sponsors and volunteers all over the world. We also develop key partnerships with business, government and nonprofit organizations. These partners include:

  • The American University of Afghanistan
  • Australian Agency for International Development
  • Business Development Center (BDC) in Jordan
  • Freeport-McMoRan Foundation
  • Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women
  • Mibanco in Peru
  • Multilateral Investment Fund of Inter-American Development Bank
  • The Small Business Administration
  • Universidad del Pacífico in Peru
  • U.S. Department of State


Our Team

Our Team

Our team

kellie-kreiserKellie Kreiser '04
Thunderbird for Good Executive Director and Assistant Vice President, Thunderbird School of Global Management

Kellie Kreiser is founding director of Thunderbird for Good and a 2004 Thunderbird graduate. She has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Pennsylvania State. 


Cindy YeagerCindy Yeager '08
Thunderbird for Good Sr. Director, Latin America

Cindy Yeager manages programs in Latin America and supports campus-based and off-site programs. She is a 2008 Thunderbird graduate and has a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, French and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 


wynona heimWynona Heim '08
Thunderbird for Good Client Director

Wynona Heim manages programs in the Middle East and Africa, including Project Artemis and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women program in Afghanistan. She is a 2008 Thunderbird graduate and has a Bachelors in Business Administration from Fort Lewis College.


Katherine Zuga '04katherine zuga
Thunderbird for Good Program Director

Katherine Zuga manages the North American DreamBuilder program, an online business training program, and Project DreamCatcher, an on-campus program for Native American women entrepreneurs. She is a 2004 Thunderbird graduate and has a Bachelor of Science in International Studies from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service

Derek Shaw '16
Thunderbird for Good Program Director

Derek Shaw manages programs for the Middle East and Central Asia regions including PROMOTE: Women in the Economy, and supports Project Artemis, and DreamBuilder. He is a 2016 Master of Business Administration graduate from Thunderbird School of Global Management and holds an interdisciplinary Bachelors degree in Education and Communication from Arizona State University.

Faduma Mohamed '17 - Thunderbird for Good Project ManagerFaduma Mohamed '17
Thunderbird for Good Project Manager

Faduma Mohamed manages development and marketing-related projects for the DreamBuilder program, an online business training platform. She is a 2017 Thunderbird graduate, with a Bachelor's degree in Finance from the University of Nairobi.

Luis Cova, Thunderbird for Good Grants ManagerLuis E. Cova
Thunderbird for Good Grants Manager

Luis E. Cova manages the execution and budgets of all grants for the department, including programs such as DreamBuilder, DreamCatcher, and others. Luis holds an MBA and an MAEd with an specialization in Adult Education and Training.