Our Team

Since joining Aid to Artisans in 2007 and Creative Learning in 2012, Maud Obe has more than ten years of experience in managing economic empowerment and development projects in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, particularly in the artisan sector funded by USAID, World Bank, US State Department, local governments, and foundations.  Maud has developed and implemented projects around the world that have strengthened artisan businesses and linked artisans to markets across the world. She is responsible for overall project implementation, consultant supervision, organization of activities, compliance with funder requirements, budget reporting, and monitoring and evaluation. She is an expert in organizing artisan capacity building workshops, one-on-one coaching, tradeshow preparation, export readiness training, and marketing events targeted for expats and tourism.

Moreover, Maud has over 7 years experience in organizing participation at several large tradeshows in the US including NY NOW and the Las Vegas Market for home décor, accessories, gifts and hand made products in the US. She coordinates the representation of artisans entrepreneurs to these shows and linkage with US buyers. She is currently charged with the overall supervision of ATA’s signature training program, the Market Readiness Program TM, its e-training platform called Aid to Artisans U and has overall responsibility for the newly designed program called TEAM (Training for Entrepreneurs in Artisan Markets) at the Las Vegas Market. All these programs are designed to help anyone in the artisan sector prepared successful entry into the US retail market.

Born in France, Maud holds a Master’s Degree in International Development and Social Change and a Bachelor in Government and International Relations from Clark University, Worcester, MA. She is fluent in French, English, and Spanish and has travelled extensively in Europe, Africa, South Asia, and Latin America.

Deborah has experience in policy design and training on a range of topics related to peace and security. She co-authored and contributed to guidelines and handbooks on civil-military-police relations, civilian protection, humanitarian negotiation and corporate social responsibility. She also designed and facilitated training programs for senior political, military, private sector, UN and NGO representatives in various countries. Before joining CL, Deborah has worked and consulted for UNICEF Vietnam, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, The Sustainability Forum Zurich, Oxfam America, and the United States Institute for Peace. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Stanford University.
Lauren Barkume is the Training Director at Creative Learning’s Aid to Artisans division. With over 13 years of experience in international development and artisan programs, Barkume spent nearly 9 years based in South Africa working directly with entrepreneurs, artisans and small businesses in the region, developing community co-created programs, designing and running practical business skills workshops for small business owners, and working in collaboration with artisan communities across Southern Africa. Lauren cares deeply about facilitating responsive, community driven development.
Project Management professional with 6 years of non-profit organization and program management experience. Specializes in effective knowledge management, monitoring & evaluation, and strategic communication. Passionate about empowering vulnerable individuals in the artisan sector to provide economic opportunities, preserve culture and ensure sustainable impact.