Meagan and founder Bunker Roy, outside his office.

Following eleven invaluable years of service to Barefoot College, our CEO and visionary Meagan Fallone is stepping out of her current position. In the spirit of our rooted methods to honour a collective decision-making process, she has boldly delegated our Barefoot Decision-Making and Leadership Committee (BDLC) to continue managing all levels of operation. The BDLC is composed of each department head, and represents a collective and consensual decision-making process that is totally inclusive. These heads will work to ensure the voices and experience of staff across our pan-India and global development operations are heard.


The BDLC will act as a united, diverse team, focused on utilizing all of the talents of our ever-growing organization. It will also provide the foundation for ease of collaboration across departments by embracing the interconnectedness that exists naturally throughout our programs. We firmly believe that every member of our Barefoot family, from the administrators to the program implementers, the rural women and their families have something valuable to contribute. It is this quality that has fostered each innovative initiative since our humble conception.

From Centralized to Distributed Governance

source: paradigm21

This transition will be guided by two long-standing Barefoot team members, Gloria Jonathan and Rodrigo Paris, who will serve alongside the committee as interim CEOs. We warmly congratulate them on their new roles and feel confident that as of August 1st, 2020, their service will honour the lives of the people we serve every day.

Gloria’s seamless management experience in solar operations over the past five years could not have been possible without her uncanny, holistic comprehension of the multiple facets of Barefoot College. She has facilitated Tilonia community meetings, speaks five languages, and was mentored by Guru Ji, head of our Solar Department. She has hosted numerous high-profile representatives of government and CSR, as well as liaised with ground partners across the subcontinent. 

Rodrigo has delivered the Barefoot College Solar Program to 21 countries of Latin America. Without a regional team, the Colombian x-diplomat has created dozens of meaningful, strategic relationships with ambassadors, ministers and nation leaders making it possible for Latin Solar Mamas to participate every year since 2013. An avid reader, his appreciation for nature, cool-headedness, and empathy towards everyone he comes in contact with leaves a lasting impression of goodwill. 

This decentralized mechanism that birthed such an innovative and multi-dimensional grassroots organization, lives on despite the immense growth that it has experienced in its recent years.



Barefoot board member Naoko Felder and Meagan Fallone first meeting with Bunker Roy in 2010


In the last 5 years since founding a second entity within The Barefoot College (Barefoot College International), under Meagan’s leadership, we have onboarded an additional 100 team members and burgeoned into 5 new innovative program departments. In the last 10 years, she has increased the number of countries Our team serves nearly tenfold, expanded into 6 additional Barefoot Regional Training Centers and worked to develop systems change structures within more than 11 Governments and myriad private sector partners forging unique lasting partnerships with numerous entities that echo our vision for a brighter global future.

Such growth would have been impossible without the unfaltering determination that Meagan has spearheaded for the past 11 years. Her dedication has rippled into every department, program and touched every team member, evoking the motivation that has taken Barefoot College well beyond its modest beginnings. It is with deep gratitude, warmest wishes and her legacy of collective optimism in the face of great adversity that we fully support her while she transitions into a new role able to make an even larger impact and spread the Barefoot magic to some of the critical challenges facing the rural poor, as a result of the current pandemic.

Effective August 1st, Meagan will shift into the role of Director and active participant as a Board Member for Barefoot College International. As a response to the urgency of global changes in climate and ecocide, she’ll also focus on managing women-led regenerative livelihood initiatives through our B.Barefoot Enterprise model. Such initiatives are the single-most effective solution to leveraging resiliency, adaptability and confidence in marginalized communities of all geographies and demographics.

Meagan has launched her private consultancy Step Up Advisors, Ltd. to help Companies, Governments and Social Entrepreneurs build partnerships that deliver an Integrated stakeholder result towards systemic change. Her first project will be with The Swiss/Indian conglomerate Innoterra to Develop impact strategies and build an Agri Academy Platform. This project will collaborate strongly with Barefoot College and other India-based social innovation and social entrepreneurial organizations.