Emily Francona is a retired U.S. Air Force officer with degrees in international relations. Her professional and personal travel have exposed her to a variety of cultures in the Middle East, Europe, the Balkans, Latin America, and New Zealand. Following several years as a professional staff member of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Emily’s retirement brought her to the southern Oregon coast.
Emily is a firm believer in the power of education to help lift disenfranchised people out of poverty. She became involved in Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala’s (AAV) efforts to empower Mayan children through education after visiting the organization’s Maya Jaguar Schools in 2019. She volunteered as the program coordinator for Let's Leave No Girl Behind, a two-year Rotary Club project that focused on promoting education and literacy for impoverished Maya girls. With a number of AAV program presentations to Rotary clubs, her efforts resulted in increased program visibility and donations for scholarships.
After first serving on AAV's Literacy Council and Advisory Council, Emily plans to dedicate her communications skills to reach out to more Rotary clubs and other service organizations in the USA and Canada with presentations about AAV's programs. These efforts will directly support AAV's goals to increase awareness and expand the donor base.