Marina LeGree is the founding director of Ascend and brings over a decade of in-depth experience working in Afghanistan and other unstable environments. She specializes in creating development strategies and managing programs in remote and insecure settings, having done so for international organizations such as the United States Agency for International Development, GIZ, and the International Organization for Migration. Marina has also worked as a senior trainer and mentor to the United States government in Afghanistan, providing critical support to US troops and civilians in their stabilization mission.
As a lead civilian advisor to the US government’s stabilization program in the East of Afghanistan, Marina addressed insecurity by working directly with the Afghan people, especially women and youth. She brings a unique understanding of the challenges that face women and young people in Afghanistan and the opportunities that are available to them.
Marina is an outdoor enthusiast who is passionate about preserving nature and its beauty. Her work has combined athletics and the environment to safely bring people together across lines of divide and create a sense of common good. This conservation-and-sports approach to development is at the core of Ascend’s mission.
Marina holds an MPA from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and an MA from the George Washington University. She completed her BA magna cum laude at Washington State University.