Awad Abdelgadir

Awad Abdelgadir, Founding Member

Awad A. Abdelgadir, who grew up in Az-Zawrat village in the Northern Province, Sudan, died on March 7, 2023. As the son of Mother Maryam, he dedicated humanitarian projects to his mother’s memory and to all mothers. He ran 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 was a member of the South Austin Rotary Club. See Awad’s obituary

Stephanie Savage, Chair

Stephanie Savage is a non-practicing attorney who has worked and volunteered in the nonprofit sector for more than 20 years. A graduate of Emory University and The University of Georgia School of Law, she practiced law for 10 years before moving to Austin in 1998. Stephanie most recently has worked as the Grants Manager for Explore Austin. She and her husband, David, have an adult son who lives in Eugene, Oregon.

Steven R. Hake

Steven R. Hake, Treasurer

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 was a member of the Rotary Club of Austin. 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

Linda Boxberger has a Ph.D. in Modern Middle Eastern History from the University of Texas at Austin, specializing in Yemen, Oman, and East Africa. 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 conducted historical and ethnographic research in Yemen and Oman and has also documented village life in northern Sudan since 1988, including the development projects supported by the Mother Maryam Foundation.

Keith G. Smith

Keith Smith

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. Keith is retired after a 42 year banking career.

Kyle Overby

Kyle Overby

Kyle Overby earned a Master in Global Policy Studies with a focus in International Development from the University of Texas in his hometown of Austin, Texas. He has worked on development projects all over the world, including in Sudan with the Mother Maryam Foundation. He has been living in Barcelona for the past decade, where he runs two American high schools.


Ahmed Hemeida

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

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 husband.

Samie Abdelaziz

Samie Abdelaziz grew up in both the US and Sudan. He has served the Mother Maryam Foundation as an advisor, helped by his contacts in the agricultural and health sectors in the Northern Province of Sudan. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio and currently runs a trucking company and a business, Simsim Trade and Investment. He currently lives in Sugarland, Texas, with his wife, Sana, and three sons.