Meet the HOPE+ Africa Board

Hope Phillips – Founder of Hope+ Africa, President and Chief Executive Officer

Hope is the Chief Executive Officer and President 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 – Chief Financial Officer

Ahmed is the Chief Financial Officer of Hope Positive Africa. He was born south of Los Angeles and by the beach, which is one of his favorite places, in Torrance, California. He’s definitively a water baby! He loves acting and performing improv so maybe at some point you’ll see him live or on a screen of some sort! He also knows how to make beer, loves craft breweries, and playing bartender at home crafting exotic cocktails. Ahmed loves to make himself available to answer any of your questions regarding donations, managing your recurring donations, end of year contribution statements, and other donation related questions. His email is You can follow him on Twitter @lifewithahmed  or Instagram @lifewithahmed.

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. 

Joslin SalantChairwoman and Secretary

Paul Phillips – co-founder of HOPE+ Africa, Senior Vice President of Operations and Licensed Minister

Paul is the Senior Vice President of Operations for Hope Positive Africa. He is the husband to Hope Phillips. Paul and Hope started the work that became HOPE Positive Africa together in 2010. He serves on the Hope Positive Africa board and acts as Hope’s assistant and partner in everything. He grew up in Southern California and Texas and earned a BA in Telecommunications at a university in Oklahoma. He has a varied background from working as a graphic artist, journalist, flight attendant, web designer, to selling exotic cars. Paul’s background includes growing up and working in two international missions based organizations – one a child sponsorship program, the other involved in bible translation. Growing up a minister’s son, traveling the globe, and working to raise funds and produce media for the two missions organizations, he saw the beauty of good international friendships and much of the intrinsic problems of poor stewardship of finances, toxic theology, and unexamined colonial racism that plagues most American/Western missions efforts. Deeply disillusioned by family of origin, church, and missions, Paul abandoned his life long desire to work in the church and missions and devoted himself to his family and business, until the 2008 financial crisis when he lost his job selling Lotus and Porsche cars and God began a year long project of dismantling his plans by bringing Hope into his life in 2009. Since then Paul has worked with Hope to bring what they feel is a healthier vision of what Western-African relations could and should be. Read more about the vision of HOPE+ Africa here. Paul says he is a very blessed man having Hope in his life.