Habele was established by three young Americans who lived and taught in Micronesia. In 2006 the Habele Outer Island Education Fund was incorporated and granted IRS nonprofit status, formalizing individual efforts of sponsoring students and organizing book donations that started in 2002.

Alexander Sidles

Alexander Sidles is President of the Habele Board Directors. He is a former classroom teacher with experience in Chuuk and Yap States (2000-03). As a Marine Corps NCO, Alex served five combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Marc McNamara

Marc McNamara is Treasurer of the Board of Directors. He is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and a former Peace Corps Volunteer who served as a community health adviser and classroom teacher (Republic of Madagascar 2003-2005).

Matthew Coleman

Matthew Coleman is Habele’s Director of Operations. He led Habele’s far-reaching response to Super Typhoon Maysak in 2015. Matthew led the expansion of Habele’s Robo League, growing the high school-based STEM program across all four states of the FSM.

Neil Mellen

Neil Mellen is Habele’s Executive Director. Neil served as Peace Corps Volunteer in the State of Yap from 2002 through 2005 and authored a Ulithian-English Dictionary. Neil has served as an appointee to the South Carolina Educational Broadband Commission and South Carolina Governor’s Executive Budget Review Task Force as well as a designee on the state’s Child Fatality Advisory Committee. His editorial columns on US-Micronesian relations have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Honolulu Star Advertiser and the Pacific Daily News.

Amelia Weiss

Amelia Weiss is Habele’s Director of STEM Programs. Amelia earned her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University. She was instrumental in the establishment of the Yap Robo League in 2011. Since 2016, Dr. Weiss has trained Robo League teachers and students across the FSM. 

Scott Leis

Scott Leis is a member of Habele’s Board of Directors. Scott served in the Peace Corps as a Natural Resource, Conservation and Development volunteer at the Yap State Marine Resources Management Division (MRMD) from 2005-2006, and as a classroom teacher in Ulithi atoll from 2006 – 2007.

Established by former Peace Corps Volunteers, Habele is a 501(3) nonprofit supporting Micronesian students.