Meet The HOPE+ Africa Board

Hope Phillips – Founder of Hope+ Africa, Executive Director

Hope is the Executive Director of Hope+ Africa. She is our fearless leader and inspiration for the organization. Hope Positive Africa is based on her life story. Read her story here. Since we believe African women know best how to minister to the needs of African women, children, and families the mission and daily work of HOPE+ Africa is directed by Hope.

Ahmed Costa – Director of U.S. Operations

Ahmed is the Director of U.S. Operations at Hope Positive Africa and also serves as our Board Treasurer. He was born in South L.A. by the beach and is definitely a water baby! So I guess it’s perfect that his sign is Aquarius! Other than the important work he does for Hope Positive Africa, he is a Professional Actor, so perhaps at some point you’ll see him on the big or small screen!

He first met Paul before Hope and Jojo got their visas to enter the USA. He met Paul at a brewery in Torrance, California during a Homebrewed Christianity podcast and they hit it off and stayed connected. Then he met Hope and Jojo and fell in love with the Phillips as a family and is known as ”Uncle Ahmed” to them!

He was so honored to be invited to serve on the Board of Directors of Hope Positive Africa as the Board Treasurer, albeit insecure in his abilities. But after living in the role for a year he was able to build the infrastructure Hope Positive Africa needed to manage and account for all financial transactions, reporting systems, payroll systems, and people operations systems. And two years ago he joined the small staff with Hope Phillips to run the organization from the USA and free up Hope to focus on African operations.

He is available to answer any of your questions. His email is and our office phone number where he can be reached is (951) 470-2744. You can follow him everywhere @mrcostamedia.

Joslin Salant – Secretary

Diana Wilcoxen – Chairwoman

Diana loves to serve, has been a donor, and involved as part of the Hope Positive Africa family since Paul and Hope followed their calling to start the ministry. She was drawn to the relationships they made with the women they served, and how they prayed to have God’s wisdom for how He wanted them to demonstrate His love and hope in life changing ways.

Her professional career as a Registered Nurse, after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, was mostly in Labor and Delivery and in Rural Home Health Nursing. After retiring, she volunteered with the Red Cross, and continued a lifetime of volunteering through the Church and other community organizations. She has prior experience serving on the Board of Directors of Manna House, a Christian Food Pantry, and she worked with a Christian nonprofit in Mexico, personally equipping poor people who have disabilities with mobility and hope.  

She first knew Paul before he met Hope as we both live in Mariposa. And she has grown to know and love Hope & Jojo during the years after they received their visas. So she’s honored to have been asked to serve along side the other Board Members of Hope Positive Africa and join them in the work God is doing through all of us together.

Shannon Andrea Thomas

Shannon is the Founding Partner of Just Media LLC., a Mediation + Creative Strategy agency that is healing conflict, building coalitions, and taking direct action for global solidarity at the local level in L.A. Shannon graduated Summa Cum Laude from UC Berkeley with a double-major in Middle Eastern Studies and Peace & Conflict Studies before finishing her Masters in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, concentrating in International and Global Affairs and multiparty negotiations. Today, she acts as a certified Mediator. She is also Survivor for Abolition and an Advisor for Malikah’s global women’s network, all while developing local Mutual Aid networks to feed the streets of Los Angeles. Shannon specializes trauma-informed identity conflict resolution, having travelled and worked in 25 countries with folks of all backgrounds.