Awad Abdelgadir

Awad Abdelgadir, President and Chairperson

Awad A. Abdelgadir grew up in Zawrat village in Northern Province, Sudan. He is the son of Mother Maryam and dedicates projects to his mother’s memory and to all mothers. He runs Nile Valley Herbs, Inc., which produces and markets hibiscus tea and supports humanitarian activity. He taught at The University of Texas at Austin and St. Edward’s University and is now retired. He is a member of South Austin Rotary Club.

Keith G. Smith

Keith G. Smith, Vice Chairperson and Board Member

Prior to the formation of Mother Maryam Foundation, Keith Smith assisted in securing grants and raising money for the water project in the village. He is Past President of both South Austin Rotary Club and Austin-Westlake Rotary Club, and past Treasurer and Trustee of The Girls School of Austin. He is Senior Vice President and Regional Manager of Prosperity Bank, and lives in Westlake Hills with his wife and two children.

Steven R. Hake

Steven R. Hake, Treasurer and Board Member

Steven R. Hake is an attorney engaged in the practice of business law in Austin, Texas. He is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley. He is admitted to the Bars of Massachusetts, Washington, and Texas and has been in private practice since 1978. Steve is a member of the Rotary Club of Austin and has established close ties with Rotarians in Africa, Australia, and Mexico. After working many years to assist projects in the village, he and his wife visited Az-Zawrat and attended a welcoming celebration at the Kolomiseed Health Clinic.

Linda Boxberger

Linda Boxberger, Secretary and Board Member

Linda Boxberger is a researcher and consultant specialized in Southern Arabia and Sudan. She has a Ph.D. in Modern Middle Eastern History from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a past Secretary of the American Institute for Yemeni Studies and was for many years a member of its Board of Directors. She has documented village life in northern Sudan and the various development projects supported by the Mother Maryam Foundation and its directors since 1988.

Stephanie Savage, Board Member

Stephanie Savage is a non-practicing attorney who has worked and volunteered in the nonprofit sector for the past 15 years. A graduate of Emory University and The University of Georgia School of Law, she practiced with an Atlanta firm and then at The University of Georgia prior to moving to Austin in 1998. Since leaving her position as Director of Grants and Programs at The Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, Stephanie has devoted her time to several nonprofit organizations, including the Mother Maryam Foundation. She lives with her husband, David, and her son, Noah, who is a senior at the University of Oregon.

Kyle Overby

Kyle Overby, Board Member

Kyle Overby was born and raised in Austin, Texas. He earned a Master in Global Policy Studies with a focus in International Development from the University of Texas at Austin. He has worked on development projects in Latin America, the Middle East, and other parts of the world. He has made trips to Az Zawrat, Sudan with the Mother Maryam Foundation. He currently lives in Barcelona, where he runs an American high school called AESA Prep International.


Ahmed Hemeida, Board Member

Ahmed Hemeida was born and raised in Tripoli, Libya. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa and has lived in the US all his adult life. Ahmed has traveled to over 50 countries for his business and personal interests. He was a small business owner in Austin for over 30 years and is now semi-retired and active in community affairs.


Leah Goetzel, Board Member

Leah Goetzel is a photographer from Austin, Texas. Leah graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a double major in History and French. She has been working with the Mother Maryam Foundation since third grade, organizing school supply drives and raising money to build a middle and elementary school. She currently owns and operates a wedding photography business in Denver, Colorado where she lives with her fiancé.