Our Team

Board of Directors

Sayydah Garrett

Founder and President

Sayydah was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She has a lifelong passion for helping others. 

Sayydah Garrett was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Since childhood she has seen her parents (Ukrainian mother and African-American father) set the good example of helping less fortunate people in their community. This instilled the lifelong passion Sayydah has for helping others, whether it’s watching over elderly neighbors in her town, contributing to her favorite charities or doing community service. Her personal mission statement is, “Tell me what you want and I’ll help you get it.”

While on safari in Kenya in August, 2012 Sayydah visited Namayiana Village in Samburu County and learned about harmful centuries-old practices from a Samburu warrior (PCF’s Co-founder) who is fighting for girls’ rights to education. Sayydah promised to help and Pastoralist Child Foundation was founded on the very day of her visit to the village.

Sayydah is fluent in English, French and Russian, and speaks conversational Spanish. She enjoys learning languages and meeting people from all over the world, especially when they share food with her! She has traveled to 25+ countries.

Sayydah is a certified ESL (English as a Second Language) instructor and Adult Basic Education (ABE) instructor. She also teaches French at a local adult night school. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, Honours in Russian Language & Literature from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. 

Sayydah’s pastimes include spending time with family and friends, doing aqua fitness, and baking. She also enjoys doing community service as the President of the Kiwanis Club of Glen Ridge, and as a member of the music committee of the Women’s Club of Glen Ridge. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, GRAMMY Award winning and NEA Jazz Masters 2023 Honoree  saxophonist and composer, Kenny Garrett. 

Samuel Siriria Leadismo


Samuel is a pastoralist from Samburu County, Kenya. His family is from the Black Cattle clan and he’s designated as a “Samburu Warrior.”

“I’m a pastoralist from the Samburu tribe, Black Cattle clan in Samburu, Kenya. The Samburu tribe is nomadic – moving from one place to another with their livestock searching for greener pastures.

When I was 25 years old my mother developed throat cancer. I cared for her during the last year of her life. During this period we shared many things. She told me about growing up poor, of herding goats as a child, and an early marriage. I knew her to be a deeply caring person and a strong, positive presence for not only her own children, but for all the children in the village, boys and girls. I learned from our conversations how much she wished she could have gone to school and to pursue a path of education so that she could have done more with her life and for others. During her last year, she shared her dream with me. She asked me to guide my younger sisters, to educate them, and to fight for the rights of all girls to enjoy the opportunities and life she didn’t have.

It is not easy for a warrior to learn this lesson and fight for the rights of girls. I am proud of myself, our community, and of the work we are able to do through The Pastoralist Child Foundation.

I’m a role model, advisor, and counselor in our villages, always encouraging my fellow youth to continue their education. I advocate against child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) by actively promoting childhood and adult education in my community. I attained a higher Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Zetech University. I’m the proud dad of 3 daughters who will not undergo FGM. My favorite thing about being a father is that I can work hard every day to leave this world a better place for my daughters and my community.  Being a dad softens my heart, and makes me instantly more accountable and responsible to the world around me.

My dad is a polygamist and lived far from us, so it was my mother who influenced my life the most through kindness, compassion, integrity, calmness even in the face of extreme challenges, passion for life, humor, and unconditional love. During my mother’s last year, she asked me to guide and educate my younger sisters, and to fight for the rights of all girls to enjoy the opportunities she didn’t have. I’m honored to fulfill my mother’s wishes through the work I do at Pastoralist Child Foundation.

Halima Garrett

Board Secretary

Halima Garrett has a caring heart for children and enjoys watching them thrive. Volunteering with PCF gives her the opportunity to help girls achieve their goals and become empowered to attain better life outcomes. Halima holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from the University of Maryland (College Park). She holds a passion for nutrition and health education, resulting in greater awareness of the advantages of healthy eating. Halima previously worked as the Nutrition Data Specialist at Weight Watchers International in New York City. She currently owns Threads of Habit – selling vintage clothing and designing one-of-a kind garments from sustainable materials and vintage fabrics. Halima enjoys listening to music, sewing, thrift shop bargains, and creating recipes for delicious healthy food. 

Mark O'Sullivan
Board of Directors

Mark O’Sullivan is a Managing Director at Blue Owl, a New York-based investment management firm with over $150mln in assets under management. In his role, he focuses on underwriting equity and financing transactions and manages various ongoing external relationships. Before joining Blue Owl, Mark spent over 20 years in the financial services industry, both in New York and London, with an emphasis on investing in and advising corporations around the world. Mark received his MS in Financial Management from Nyenrode University and holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Technical College Delft, both in The Netherlands. Mark currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, Caryn and their two daughters, Elyse and Hannah. 

Tara Schmitt
Board of Directors

Growing up in New York City, Tara Schmitt has been fortunate to have had many opportunities to explore her interests including: Science and Technology, in her studies at Brooklyn Tech and later at the University of Massachusetts where she earned a Bachelor Degree in Computer Information Systems, graduating Summa Cum Laude; Music, in her semi-professional pursuit as a guitarist opening up for international acts such as Bo Diddley; and Animal Welfare, homing and providing life-saving resources to numerous abandoned animals and volunteering to ban greyhound racing in Massachusetts (which was successful!). As a federal bank regulator for two decades, Tara ensures financial institutions work to safeguard personal financial information for the customers they serve. She is also an avid traveler, having visited over 36+ countries and territories around the world across four continents.

Tara currently lives in New Jersey with her husband, Mike Cronin, and their cat, Starsky.

Caryn O'Sullivan
Board of Directors

Caryn O’Sullivan is a Board-Certified Clinical Nutritionist with an MS Nutrition & Integrative Health, a Certified Integrative Health Coach, and the founder of Appetites for Life.  She has 15+ years of experience in holistic nutrition, health coaching, functional nutrition, and preventative health.  Drawing on these skills and knowledge, she helps clients make diet and lifestyle changes through personalized nutrition coaching.  Caryn resides in New Jersey with her husband Mark, their two daughters, and their energetic dog, Ace. 

Simone Sloan
Board of Directors

Simone Sloan, Positive Disruptor Rph, MBA, Founder and CEO of Your Choice Coach. Simone is an accomplished business strategist, executive coach, and DEI consultant. She has held senior roles at Fortune 500 companies across marketing, communications, medical affairs, sales, and global business strategy. Her tenure includes successfully launching and leading products and services, implementing programs for key stakeholders across the globe, and developing and training sales, medical, and technical teams.

Simone’s mantra is “Voice, Power, Confidence.” As an emotional intelligence executive coach, she changes the way leaders and their businesses engage their employees and clients. Simone emphasizes the human element with a focus on diversity and inclusion. Simone is a keynote speaker and has been featured as a thought leader in articles for Huffington Post, Forbes, and Pharmacy Times. She is an active member of the Tri-State Diversity Council and advocate for women, LGBTQI, BIPOC, people with disabilities, and cross-generations. Simone holds a BS in Pharmacy and an MBA from Howard University. She is co-author of the books: Achieving Results, 30 Days to Courage, and Leadership without Borders, and is certified in DISC, Emotional Intelligence (EQI) 2.0, IDI, Cultural Competence, Cultural Intelligence (CQI), Culture-Values, Block Chain, Behavior Design, and is also accredited through the International Coaching Federation.

Kenya Staff

Samuel Siriria Leadismo

Co-founder & Director

Elizabeth Lemoyog

Community Mobilizer & FGM Educator

Jackline Nzioki

Student Scholarship Director

Alfred Lepalo

Office Secretary

Asha Lereesh
Gender, Youth, & Social Inclusion Officer

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